DJI’s Mini collection of drones has all the time been about one factor: maintaining the burden below 250g. The rationale for that’s merely to make it attainable to fly them in lots of international locations with out registration or coaching. You may get them out of the field and fly them legally with no paperwork or additional prices, and that’s what customers need.
Till now, if you happen to purchased a Mini you needed to compromise on options and – to some extent – high quality. That’s as a result of, till the Mini Three Professional, there was no impediment avoidance and no capacity to routinely monitor a topic: commonplace options on different DJI drones.
However now, you’re getting successfully the options from the Mavic Air 2 (with a number of enhancements in addition) you can fly in lots of extra locations.
The Mini Three Professional, then, represents a significant improve, however can it justify its ‘Professional’ suffix and is it definitely worth the considerably larger value? Let’s discover out.
Options & design
Vertical taking pictures
Tri-directional impediment sensors
Beforehand, the Mini 2’s video topped out at 4K30 which was good, however didn’t match heavier, costlier fashions such because the Mavic Air 2.
Now, the Mini Three Professional shoots at as much as 4K60, permitting you to decelerate the footage for a fair smoother, extra cinematic look. It could possibly additionally shoot in HDR as long as you’ve chosen 24, 25 or 30fps in any decision.
One other new characteristic is that the gimbal can rotate the digital camera to portrait, which is best for taking portait images and naturally, movies for sharing on social media because it means you’re not cropping a panorama picture and throwing away so many pixels.
The opposite two highlights are the ahead, backward and downward impediment sensors, plus help for ActiveTrack 4.0.
A giant grievance of earlier DJI Mini drones has been the shortage of sensors which can assist forestall them crashing into bushes and different objects whilst you think about taking pictures. Although there aren’t any side-facing sensors, the six current cowl an excellent space across the drone and allow the Mini Three Professional to fly routinely, monitor a topic and keep away from obstacles on the similar time.
It additionally has the total complement of QuickShot modes: Dronie, Helix, Rocket, Circle, Boomerang and Asteroid.
The Mini 2 didn’t have the latter, which produces a enjoyable video that begins as a sphere panorama excessive up within the air and flies down to finish centred in your topic.
There’s additionally MasterShots, which performs a collection of maneuvers whereas maintaining your topic within the centre of the body. It’s a simple option to seize a cinematic-looking sequence with out first having to grasp the flying abilities to take action.
One of many greatest gripes from Mini homeowners was the shortcoming of their drone to trace a topic, particularly contemplating the older DJI Spark may do that. DJI has by no means formally defined the rationale behind this, however the excellent news is that the Mini Three Professional has ActiveTrack 4.0.
You should use this in two modes: Hint and Parallel. The primary tracks your topic at a relentless distance whereas the second flies subsequent to your topic at a set distance and angle.
ActiveTrack is a part of FocusTrack which additionally consists of Highlight 2.0, which retains your topic within the body whilst you management the drone manually, and Level of Curiosity 3.Zero which flies routinely in a circle round a topic.
When it comes to design, the Mini Three Professional is totally completely different to its predecessors. Its entrance arms rotate 180°, and the rear arms flip out horizontally. The battery slots instantly into the rear with no cowl to open and shut and the gimbal stands out in entrance of the drone and could be angled upwards by 60° (not fairly the 90° attainable with the Parrot Anafi), which may very well be helpful for sure pictures when flying decrease than your topic. It’s extra helpful when taking spherical panorama images as there’s a lot much less of a blind spot on the high of the picture in comparison with different DJI drones whose gimbals usually tilt upwards solely 30°.
DJI says the arms and propellers are extra aerodynamic, and that enables for a barely longer flight time of 34 minutes from the usual battery. In some international locations (however not the EU or UK), you should buy a ‘Plus’ battery that extends flying time as much as 47 minutes, however this does enhance the burden past the 250g threshold.
Wind resistance is barely improved from the Mini 2’s 10.5m/s to 10.7m/s, however stays rated at stage 5.
As earlier than, there’s a microSD slot and USB-C charging / switch port. And also you get round 1.5GB of inner storage so you possibly can nonetheless take images and file a small quantity of video if you happen to overlook your microSD card.
Selection of two
DJI RC has built-in 5.5in touchscreen
The opposite notable change is the introduction of a brand new distant controller. It’s very similar to the RC Professional you might have seen obtainable with the Mavic Three and features a 5.5in touchscreen so that you don’t have to make use of your cellphone and the DJI Fly app.
It’s mainly a built-in Android cellphone devoted to the Fly app, and it’s definitely much more handy to make use of than connecting a smartphone to the present RC-N1 controller (the controller included with the Mini 2 and Mavic Air 2S).
You’ve a selection of each with the Mini Three Professional as DJI affords bundles which embody each. There’s even a 3rd choice to purchase the Mini Three Professional with no controller in any respect and use one you have already got, however these are the one suitable fashions: you can’t use a DJI RC Professional.
With a brightness of 700 nits, the DJI RC’s display screen is usable in most circumstances, however would profit from a hood if you happen to’re confronted with direct daylight. Little question DJI will promote one as an adjunct.
There are different (programmable) buttons and two jog wheels for controlling gimbal tilt and digital camera controls, in addition to devoted shoulder buttons for taking images or beginning and stopping video.
No matter which controller you utilize, the Mini Three Professional makes use of the O3 video transmission system which is able to a 1080p30 preview as much as 12km away, although that’s diminished to about 1.5-3km in city areas the place there’s robust interference.
In the event you do purchase the bundle with the DJI RC, then you should use the QuickTransfer characteristic to obtain movies and images to your smartphone (utilizing the DJI Fly app), permitting you to edit and share them without having a PC.
1/1.Three inch sensor
150Mbps most bitrate
f/1.7, 24mm-equivalent lens
In addition to having a redesigned gimbal and the power to shoot in portrait, the Mini Three Professional has a bigger sensor. Having the figures in fractions of an inch isn’t too useful as most individuals can’t simply perceive the variations in dimension.
The Mini Three Professional has a 1/1.3in sensor, which is larger than the 1/2.3in sensor within the Mini 2, and the 1/2in sensor within the Mavic Air 2 (however smaller than the Mavic Air 2S’s 1in sensor).
A a lot simpler comparability is to place these into the realm of every sensor. So, roughly talking, right here’s how they stack up:
1/2.3: 28.5 mm²
1/2: 31 mm²
1/1.3: 69 mm²
1: 116 mm²
The bigger the sensor, the extra info (the extra gentle) it will get, and this good for a few causes. First, it ought to result in higher high quality when within the early morning and at nightfall, or night time and it also needs to imply higher dynamic vary, for extra element in highlights and shadows.
Aiding with all that is the f/1.7 lens, which has a bigger aperture than the Mini 2 and Mavic Air 2’s f/2.eight lenses. Focus isn’t fastened, both, as with the Mini 2, so you possibly can faucet on the display screen to concentrate on a selected object, or swap to handbook focus.
Attending to the all-important high quality itself, the Mini Three Professional affords nice 4K footage with a number of element and, even if you happen to don’t use the D-Cinelike profile, respectable colors.
There’s nonetheless the potential for skies and highlights to blow out in high-contrast scenes, so you might wish to spend money on a set of DJI’s ND filters. Nonetheless, dropping from 4K60 to 4K30 means video could be recorded in HDR and that helps fairly a bit.
High quality in low gentle is superb, and it’s attainable to get some nice trying images and video at nightfall specifically.
The 120fps slo-mo mode is enjoyable to make use of if you happen to’re capturing fast-moving topics, however because it’s solely obtainable at 1080p, element takes a noticeable hit.
Within the regular single-shot picture mode, photographs are recorded at 12Mp. This is identical pixel-binning method that many smartphones use, and results in completely usable, detailed images. You may go for the 48Mp mode, and you too can select to shoot in RAW (DNG format) for processing in Photoshop later.
However for higher-resolution photographs, the Mini Three Professional can shoot 180° panoramas in horizontal and vertical points. In horizontal mode, it takes fairly a number of images and (as with all pano modes) stitches them collectively routinely. It then compresses the picture to round 25Mp, not the 100s you may think. Pano is a separate mode from images, and you need to scroll by the listing of modes to search out it, which generally is a bit complicated for these new to DJI Fly.
Flying the Mini Three Professional isn’t any completely different to another DJI drone, which is to say it’s extraordinarily straightforward. The DJI RC has a mode slider so you possibly can shortly swap between Cinema, Regular and Sport modes. These merely change the responsiveness of the sticks, so in Cinema mode, large actions don’t have a lot of an impact, and this helps to maintain video as jerk-free and cinematic as attainable.
ActiveTrack works brilliantly, and the impediment avoidance allows it to comply with you (or your topic) whereas avoiding tree branches and different issues.
Worth & availability
As talked about, there are three choices when shopping for a Mini Three Professional. Right here’s what you get and what they price:
Mini Three Professional (drone solely): £639 / US$669
Mini Three Professional + RC-N1 controller: £709 / US$759
Mini Three Professional + DJI RC controller: £859 / US$909
There’s additionally a Fly Extra bundle, however this doesn’t embody the drone: it’s only a package deal of equipment which incorporates two commonplace batteries, a three-way charger, shoulder bag and two units of propellers. This prices £159.
You should buy a Mini Three Professional from DJI instantly, nevertheless it’s additionally obtainable from different retailers together with Apple, Finest Purchase within the US, Argos within the UK and others.
In the event you’re after a succesful drone that has impediment avoidance, the power to trace topics and shoot at 4K60 (or in HDR), the Mini Three Professional is a superb selection. The low weight means you possibly can fly it straight out of the field with out coaching programs or the hassles and value of registration in lots of international locations.
As a bonus it additionally shoots vertical video, which makes it ideally suited for TikTok creators, or these utilizing different social media the place vertical video is a should.
The excessive price means it isn’t the apparent different or improve from a DJI Mini 2, however if you happen to already personal an RC-N1 controller, with the ability to purchase the drone by itself would possibly show a tempting choice.
Most customers received’t use the Mini Three Professional’s RAW or D-Cinelike modes, however they’re a welcome sight for actual fans and execs needing to make use of a light-weight drone.
DJI MIni Three Professional: Specs
Dimension folded: 145×90×62 mm
Dimension unfolded (inc propellers): 251×362×70 mm
Max flight time: 34 minutes
Max flight velocity: 16m/s (Sport mode), 10m/s (Regular mode, 6m/s (Cinema mode)
Max wind resistance: 10.7m/s
Inner storage: 1.5GB (microSD as much as 512GB)
Digicam sensor: 1/1.3in CMOS, 48Mp (8000×6000 pixels)
Digicam lens: f/1.7, FOV 82.1°, 24mm equal
Gimbal: 3-axis mechanical
Pictures: 12Mp or 48Mp JPG / DNG (RAW)
Video: As much as 4K / 60fps, HDR as much as 4K / 30fps
Max bitrate: 150Mb/sec
Color profiles: D-Cinelike, Regular
Video codecs: MP4 / MOV
H.265 / H.264 AVC
H.265 / H.264 HEVC
Imaginative and prescient system: Ahead, backward, downward