Reportedly, the DJI Mini 3 has officially taken to the air – and the compact drone could be the new favorite for beginners looking for their first flying camera.
The Mini 3 is a combination of the more expensive DJI Mini 3 Pro and the older DJI Mini 2, which, according to the drone manufacturer, will remain on sale for now. And like these drones, its under 250g weight makes it exempt from drone regulations in many regions.
So what is the Mini 3 Pro missing? The two main features the Mini 3 lacks compared to this model are obstacle avoidance sensors (for detecting objects in front of and behind the drone) and OcuSync 3.0 connectivity.
DJI Mini 3 Specifications
Sensor: 1/1.3 inch CMOS
Lens: 24mm f/1.7
Video: up to 4K/30p, 2.7K/60p
Pictures: 12 MP (JPEG and raw)
Flight time: 38 minutes per charge
Transfer: OcuSync 2.0
Obstacle avoidance sensors: only pointing down
Maximum video bitrate: 100Mbps
Wind resistance: Level 5
Instead, the Mini 3 uses DJI’s older O2 video transmission, which means the maximum range of the drone and the reliability of its connection to the controller will be slightly inferior to those of its more expensive siblings. Although the Mini 3 has the same 1/1.3-inch sensor as the Mini 3 Pro, it is also not capable of recording 4K/60p video (4K/30p maximum) and has a slightly lower maximum bit rate of 100Mbps.
Still, for most novice pilots, these missing features will be minor annoyances rather than obstacles. Plus, the DJI Mini 3 is a big step up from the Mini 2, thanks to a larger sensor, vertical video powers, a longer 38-minute flight time, and compatibility with DJI’s new RC controller.
Unfortunately, these improvements mean the Mini 3 is also slightly more expensive than the Mini 2.
Price-wise, it sits almost exactly between the Mini 3 Pro and the Mini 2, starting at $469 / £439 / AU$699 (only for the drone without controller) and going up to $699 / £669 / AU$1019 when bundled with the DJI RC controller, which has a built-in screen meaning you don’t need to use your smartphone to get the drone view on board.
DJI Mini 3 price and release date
The DJI Mini 3 isn’t as affordable as the Mini 2 when it landed in 2020. For example, the Mini 3 bundle with the DJI RC-N1 controller (the one that has the smartphone holder) costs $100 / £100 / AUD 80 more than the equivalent Mini 2 bundle, likely due to a combination of inflation and the Mini 3’s enhanced features.
That said, the Mini 2 will remain on sale (for now) if you want an even more affordable drone, and the Mini 3 is still much cheaper than the premium Mini 3 Pro – buy both drones with a DJI RC controller (which I recommend you do if you can) and The Mini 3 runs $210 / £190 / AU$280 cheaper.
|Row 0 – cell 0||DJI Mini 3||DJI Mini 3 Pro||DJI Mini2|
|Drone only||$469 / £439 / AU$699||$669 / £639 / AU$989||Not applicable|
|With DJI RC-N1 controller||$559 / £519 / AU$829||$759 / £709 / AU$1,119||$449 / £419 / AU$749|
|With DJI RC controller||$699 / £669 / AU$1019||$909 / £859 / AU$1299||Not applicable|
DJI has also brought back the “Fly More Combo” kits for the Mini 3. These kits include useful extras such as two intelligent flight batteries, spare propellers, a charger, and a shoulder bag. On the Mini 3 Pro, the “Fly More Pro” option was an additional optional extra, but the Mini 3, controller, and these additional accessories can be purchased together for less than buying them separately.
The Mini 3 Fly More Combo costs $718 / £678, and Australian residents get the Fly More Combo Plus Bundle instead ($1,118), which includes a battery that provides up to 51 minutes of flight time. If you’re feeling extra fit and want the ultimate Mini 3 bundle, you can also get the Fly More Combo Bundle with DJI RC Controller for $858 / £828 (or $1,378 for the equivalent Fly More Combo Plus Bundle).
Analysis: DJI’s new sweet spot?
The DJI Mini 3’s thunder was a bit stolen by the arrival of the Mini 3 Pro in May. This drone debuted most of the Mini 3’s most impressive features, including a 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor and a bright f/1.7 lens that can be rotated 90 degrees to shoot high-quality vertical videos.
But despite looking like a stripped-down Mini 3 Pro, the Mini 3 is an impressive upgrade over the Mini 2. We were impressed by its camera module in our DJI Mini 3 Pro review, saying its “ISO support is, without a doubt, excellent.” .
In theory, the Mini 3’s camera should offer similar performance to its more expensive sibling, although it lacks 4K/60p mode and has a lower 100Mbps video bitrate compared to the Mini 3 Pro’s 150Mbps. And its 38-minute flight time is actually slightly longer than its siblings.
It’s a shame that the Mini 3 lacks some of DJI’s automated shooting modes, such as Timelapse, Asteroid, and MasterShots, giving the impression that DJI is intentionally limiting features to create a separation between drone lines. Meanwhile, the lack of OcuSync 3.0 transmission means its maximum range is 10km, not 12km.
But overall, the Mini 3 promises to be an excellent drone for its price. And if that’s still a bit pricey for you, we’ve seen some good discounts on the Mini 2 recently, making it a good alternative for beginners.