DJI Launches the Mini 3, a Cheaper Version of the Mini 3 Pro that Still Packs a Punch
BY Zacc Dukowitz14 December 2022
DJI just launched the Mini 3, a toned-down, less expensive version of the Mini 3 Pro that still has many of the main features of the Pro.
The Mini 3 retains the sub-250 gram weight (.55 pounds) found in all the drones in the Mini series, which means it doesn’t have to be registered with the FAA.
Despite being so light it’s an impressive drone. Its flight time is almost 40 minutes, and this can be bumped up to 51 minutes with the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus upgrade (but the addition will push the drone’s weight over 250 grams).
The Mini 3 is one of the best values out there right now for those looking for a prosumer drone with a good camera under $1,000.
There are three pricing options currently available for the new Mini 3—$469 for just the Mini 3 with no remote controller, $559 for the Mini 3 with a DJI RC-N1 controller without a screen, and $699 for the Mini 3 with a DJI RC controller with a screen.
Learn more about pricing options for the Mini 3 on the DJI website.
What’s the Difference Between the Mini 3 Pro and the Mini 3?
The Mini 3 is a toned-down version of the Mini 3 Pro, which came out in May of this year.
But just how much cheaper is the Mini 3 as compared to the Mini 3 Pro? Take a look:
Just for the Drone
- Mini 3—$469
- Mini 3 Pro—$669
The Drone + The RC N-1 Controller
- Mini 3—$559
- Mini 3 Pro—$759
The Drone + the RC Controller
- Mini 3—$699
- Mini 3 Pro—$909
What Do You Get for that Extra $200?
The DJI Mini 3 Pro
For the extra money, the Mini 3 Pro comes with:
- Obstacle avoidance sensors (the Mini 3 doesn’t have any)
- Active Track—lets you program the drone to follow a subject while flying
- Spotlight and POI modes—lets you lock the drone’s camera on a single object as the drone flies
- Burst photo mode—lets you take a lot of photos very fast
- Color profiles—Mini 3 Pro allows you to go from normal to D-Cinelike, while the Mini 3 doesn’t allow you to change your color profile
- 10 bit recording—the Mini 3 Pro automatically records in 10 bit, while the Mini 3 doesn’t have this option
- Ability to change your recording format—the Mini 3 Pro lets you change from H.264 to H.265
- Different frame rates—the Mini 3 Pro supports 4K video at up to 60fps while the Mini 3 only has 4K at up to 30fps
Specs and Features for the Mini 3
Here are the main specs for the DJI Mini 3:
- Weight. 249 grams.
- Camera. 1/1.3” CMOS sensor that can shoot in 4K HDR with dual native ISO.
- Flight time. 38 minutes.
- Wind resistance. Can fly in wind going 23 mph (38 kph).
True Vertical Shooting
One of the biggest new capabilities of the Mini 3 as compared to the Mini 2 is that it supports vertical shooting, which can be helpful for content creators making social media clips.
The Mini 3’s gimbal allows for vertical shooting with a wide-angle tilt, so you can actually shoot vertically instead of cropping a shot after it’s taken. The larger gimbal range also allows for more shooting angles.
How Is the Mini 3 Different from the Mini 2?
Here are the five biggest upgrades from the Mini 2 to the Mini 3.
1. The Mini 3’s Camera Can Capture More Details
The Mini 3’s camera has a bigger sensor than the Mini 2, and it has an f/1.7 aperture and larger 2.4μm 4-in-1 pixels, allowing it to capture clear details even in low light conditions.
Here’s a comparison between the cameras on the two drones:
- Mini 3—1/1.3″ CMOS with f/1.7 aperture
- Mini 2—1/2.3″ CMOS with f/2.8 aperture
2. The Mini 3’s Camera Can Capture Better Shots
Both the Mini 3 and the Mini 2 shoot video at 4K/30fps, but the Mini 3 comes with chip-level HDR technology, supporting the capture of more nuanced, textured shots than the Mini 2.
3. Vertical Shooting
The Mini 3 supports vertical shooting and the Mini 2 doesn’t.
4. Longer Flight Time
The Mini 3 has seven more minutes of flight time than the Mini 2—here’s a comparison:
- Mini 3—38 minutes of flight time, or 51 with the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus.
- Mini 2—31 minutes.
5. Compatible with the DJI RC
The Mini 3 can be used with the DJI RC controller , while the Mini 2 can only be used with the RC N-1.
The DJI RC has a screen, and the RC N-1 doesn’t. It also has smoother control sticks, and can be customized, making for an overall better flying screen.
A picture of the DJI Mini 3 with the RC controller