DJI’s smallest and lightest drone is getting a significant upgrade — both in features and price. The newly announced Mini 3 Pro comes with a new design, 4K60 video, a larger image sensor, a larger aperture, obstacle avoidance sensors, and even an option for a bigger battery. But don’t expect it to be as affordable as its predecessor. The Mini 3 Pro costs $669 to start, and that’s the price without a controller. With a controller, you’ll be paying $759 or more, a $300 premium over last year’s Mini 2.
What hasn’t changed is that the Mini 3 Pro still weighs less than 250 grams, which means you won’t need to register it with the FAA (with one important exception depending on what battery you choose). There’s also a welcome throwback from the original Mavic Pro: you can rotate the Mini 3 Pro’s gimbal 90 degrees for filming vertical videos and photos. Even Snap’s drone can’t do that without heavy cropping.
The Mini 3 Pro has a new and slightly larger 1/1.3-inch sensor compared to the 1/2.3-inch sensor found on the Mini 2, capable of filming video at 4K up to 60fps and HDR at 4K up to 30fps. Unlike the Mini 2, Mini 3 Pro can also shoot in a flat color profile to give videographers a few more coloring options in post-production. The Mini 3 Pro is also capable of capturing photos up to 48MP. All of that footage is captured on a new camera with an f/1.7 aperture, which is great news for everyone enjoying low-light drone photography and videography.
Obstacle avoidance sensors mean that the Mini 3 can do a lot more with autonomous flight modes — like Spotlight 2.0, which helps you keep the subject in the frame while you focus on the flight, or Point of Interest 3.0, which orbits people or buildings in a set radius and speed. ActiveTrack 4.0 helps with autonomously following subjects either from behind or while flying parallel to the side.
Mini 3 Pro is also capable of other intelligent flight modes, like MasterShots, which was introduced in the DJI Air 2S and sends out your drone to autonomously create a short edit based on pre-programmed flights. The Mini can also now film hyperlapse videos and other legacy predetermined flight routes, like dronies, helix, rocket, circle, boomerang, and asteroid.
The Mini 3 Pro comes with two battery options this year. There is the standard battery, which gives you a maximum flight time of 34 minutes on a single charge — a slight increase compared to the Mini 2’s 31 minutes. But there’s also an option to buy an “Intelligent Flight Battery Plus,” which allows for an impressive maximum flight time of 47 minutes. Hover time for each is 30 and 40 minutes, respectively. However, using the bigger battery means that your drone will be heavier than 250 grams, so don’t forget to register your drone with the FAA if you’re planning on spending more on the “Fly More Kit Plus” that comes with that battery. It’ll cost you $909.
In addition to the drone, DJI is also releasing a new remote controller: the DJI RC. It is a much lighter and stripped-down version of the $1199 DJI RC Pro. It features a bright 700 nit 5.5-inch built-in screen that eliminates the need for a phone. Normally, DJI drones require you to slot a phone into the controller, and that is still true for this drone unless you pay an extra $340 to bundle the new DJI RC. The DJI RC will only be available with the Mini 3 Pro at launch. DJI says, “There is a potential to be compatible with other drones in the future.”
You can pre-order the Mini 3 Pro starting today, and there are many bundles to choose from. If you already have a compatible remote controller, like the RC-N1 that came with the Mini 2, Air 2, and Air 2S, you can buy just the drone itself for $669. If you need the controller, you can buy the drone and the standard RC-N1 for $759. And if you want that new screen-equipped DJI controller with the drone, you’re looking at $909.
However, DJI doesn’t have a firm shipping date to confirm at this moment. In North America, the DJI Mini 3 Pro will ship this summer, but that’s as specific as DJI could get.
On top of all that, you can add the Fly More Kit bundle for an extra $189, which includes two extra Intelligent Flight batteries (the standard ones that still keep your drone sub-250g), a charging hub, two sets of propellers, and a shoulder carry bag. There’s also the Fly More Kit Plus bundle, which includes everything listed above but replaces the standard batteries with the larger 47-minute batteries for $249. This all means you could be spending anywhere from $669 to $1,158 for this drone, and that’s before you consider adding an extended warranty.
As is the case with most current DJI drones, Mini 3 Pro is using OcuSync 3.0 technology for its connection, which promises connectivity up to 18.6 miles — not that you should ever fly it that far away. Please don’t.
The suffix “Pro” in the name suggests that there might be a non-pro version of the Mini 3 on the horizon. But, as of right now, DJI won’t confirm that any such drone is in the works.
Correction May 10th, 11:55AM ET: The article originally stated that the Mini 3 Pro doesn’t have backward sensing capabilities. While it doesn’t have physical sensors in the back, it does have backward sensing with the help of other sensors. We regret the error.