Born as the Mavic Mini, back in late-2019, the Mini hits a nice sweet spot for casual drone flyers. It’s far more capable that the Spark — which, while fun, never nailed the landing. Instead of being a super-casual selfie drone — of the variety Snap is currently attempting with Pixy — it’s more of a gateway into the world of drone imaging.
DJI dropped “Mavic” from the name with 2020’s Mini 2, which brought longer flight times and 4K on-board, while maintaining the line’s iconic folding design. After the standard spate of leaks, the company today announced the Mini 3 Pro, which adds 4K/60fps video shooting to the equation, along with improved obstacle sensing and a better flight time of around 34 minutes.
As DJI notes, many governing bodies have set the cutoff for the “safest” drone category at 250 grams (~0.55 pounds). That includes the FAA, which requires recreational flyers to register all drones above that weight. The organization notes, “All drones must be registered, except those that weigh 0.55 pounds or less (less than 250 grams) and are flown exclusively under the Exception for Recreational Flyers.”
The company has, no doubt, taken great pains to sneak the Mini 3 Pro just under the wire at 249 grams. That puts it in line with the Mini 2’s weight, while extending some of those “pro” features. We’ll be sharing a review of the system soon, but DJI has cornered the consumer market in a seemingly insurmountable way, building on years of advancements and some innovative designs. The company’s made some missteps along the way, but the Mavic line has long been the one to beat.
It has once again crammed a lot of drone into a small and lightweight footprint here. Imaging is, as ever, the central thesis here. On the hardware side, that includes a 1/1.3-inch CMOS camera sensor that can capture 48-megapixel images. While the 60fps rate exists for 4K video, HDR can be capatured at up to 30fps. It also features up to 4x digital zoom, though that will drop the resolution from 4K to HD.
That’s coupled with the standard Mavic software suite, including the latest version of ActiveTrack, which features two subject tracking options. QuickShot options, meanwhile, include Dronie, Helix, Rock, Circle, Boomerang and Asteroid. The system can also create hyperlapse-style timelapse shots.
In addition to the 34-minute battery, the company is adding an Intelligent Flight Battery Plus to the mix, which allows for flights of up to 47 minutes. DJI is also introducing a new remote control, the DJI RC, which features a 5.5-inch touchscreen, allowing users to fly it without hooking up a smartphone.
The Mini 3 Pro runs $669 without the remote and $909 with. There are also two bundles, which include things like the new Intelligent Flight batteries, charging hubs, replacement propellers and the like.