DJI Air 3 Leaked, Release Slated for Late June/Early July

BY Zacc Dukowitz
30 May 2023

Recent leaks reveal that DJI may be releasing the Air 3 very soon.

According to these leaks, the DJI Air 3 will be coming out in “late June or early July.” Backing up this claim is the fact that DJI just ran a sale on the Air 2S, possibly clearing out inventory as it prepares to launch the Air 3.

Updates Expected for the DJI Air 3

A telephoto lens is the biggest update expected on the Air 3.

According to leaks, the Air 3’s telephoto lens will be similar to the one that comes with the Mavic 3 Pro.

The prediction is that the Air 3 will have either:

  • A 1/1.3” mid-telephoto lens with an effective 3x zoom, like the Mavic 3 Pro OR
  • A 1/2” telephoto lens with an effective 7x zoom

The DJI Air 2S has only one camera—a 1″ CMOS sensor that shoots stills at 20MP. The Air 3 will reportedly also have a 1″ sensor, but will include a telephoto lens. That extra lens will add a very small amount of weight to the drone—just about .009 pounds (4 grams).

The addition of the telephoto lens probably won’t make the Air 3 a good option for inspections, since it won’t provide the zoom capability needed for the detail you’d want when flying at a distance from a cell tower (for example).

But it will be useful for taking photos of subjects at a distance for aerial videography or photography, the target use case for the Air 3.

Here’s a short video claiming to show the Air 3 during testing:

Everything We Know about the Air 2S

Aside from the telephoto lens, here’s a short list of everything we know so far:

  • Larger camera module. The new module looks like a larger version of the one that comes with the Air 2S, bumped up in size to make room for the extra telephoto lens.
  • 30 minutes battery life. Same as the Air 2S.
  • No side obstacle avoidance. Based on leaked video and images it looks like the Air 3 will not have side obstacle avoidance.

But what will it cost?

A higher price seems likely for the DJI Air 3, given that it will have a second lens and most likely some other souped up specs that haven’t yet been released.

According to rumors, the Air 3 will sell for about $1,055 (7,500 yuan). That’s right on par with the Air 2S—it sells for $999. But again, these are just rumors, and the actual price could be higher once it launches.

DJI’s Releases So Far This Year

DJI is known for releasing drone after drone.

But this year the company is on a tear, releasing long-awaited updates every time we turn around.

Here are all the new drones DJI has put out so far in 2023:

  • The Matrice 350 RTK—update to the M300 that includes a night vision FPV camera and a souped up IP rating of 55.
  • The Mavic 3 Pro—first ever tri-camera drone with all the bells and whistles of the Mavic 3 series.
  • The Inspire 3—highly anticipated update to the Inspire 2, which came out way back in 2016.

So far, these releases line up well with the predictions we shared from @DealsDrone at the start of the year:

  • Inspire 3—March
  • Air 3—May
  • Matrice 350T—June
  • Mavic 3S—July

Looking at the list, the Inspire 3 and the Matrice 350 have both hit the market, making it seem likely that the Air 3 could also be on the way this year. A May launch won’t happen, but that prediction makes a June or July launch seem pretty likely.

And, of course, this timeline matches the current leaks, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Air 3 come out quite soon.

One thing that’s noteworthy about the Air 3 leaks is how few of them there have been. This is a sign that DJI seems to be clamping down on leaks, keeping tighter controls on test models ahead of their release dates.

This tighter control is evident when you look at this year’s leaks for the drones listed above to leaks we’ve seen in the past, in which all of a drone’s specs are shared well in advance of the launch. By comparison, this year we’ve seen leaks come out just before a launch, and often contain just a few images or snippets of information.

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