DJI is packing a heck of a lot of punch into their latest Mini 3 Pro drone that can quite literally fly under the regulatory radar all around the world. And while the drone’s design is meant to avoid the prying eyes of big brother, the biggest new feature may be its new smart controller, which has its own touch screen built right in.
Weighing in at 249 grams, the drone is just light enough to be placed in what DJI calls the “safest drone category” in many countries and regions that have used 250 grams as a cut-off point for mandatory registration or certification. Yet in spite of its lightweight and pocket-sized footprint, the Mini 3 Pro is packed with a huge amount of features that can give even a beginner the ability to shoot cinematic video with complete confidence and control.
The drone offers many professional advanced features including 4K/60fps video, ActiveTrack, tri-directional obstacle sensing, and 90° gimbal rotation to shoot high-quality vertical imaging for social media.
Overall flight time has also been greatly extended to well over 30 minutes (some have reported 34 minutes in the air), and the three-axis recessed gimbal can grab an angle of view approaching 90 degrees.
DJI has also offered an optional extended Intelligent Flight Battery Plus for the first time, which can expand the Mini 3 Pro’s useful flight time to a maximum of 47 minutes, and can transmit 1080p live video from a distance of up to 3 miles (12 km) although FAA regulations limit flights to remain within line of sight of the operator.
The extended flight battery does, however, make the drone weigh heavier than 250 grams, triggering applicable drone regulations for UAVs above that weight limit. However, in addition to longer battery time through an extended battery, DJI has redesigned the arms and rotors of the drone to be more compact and aerodynamic, to increase flight time by reducing drag.
Safety features include sensors arrayed with broader coverage for better obstacle avoidance. The sensors provide valuable data that DJI’s Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems (APAS) 4.0 can use to detect and analyze the drone’s surroundings in order to find a safer path around obstacles during flight.
The advanced system also integrates APAS and FocusTrack, which allows users to select a subject for the drone to automatically keep within the center of the frame during flight as it simultaneously plans the safest route, a first of the Mini lineup.
Camera-wise, the 48MP 1/1.3” CMOS image sensor is capable of capturing 4K video at 60 fps. HDR is also supported for up to 30 fps, with improved image performance to capture more image detail, especially in low light conditions.
But what may be the biggest feature of the Mini 3 Pro, is the drone’s new optional intelligent smart controller, which is nearly larger than the drone itself.
The DJI Remote RC controller has its own built-in 5.5” touch screen with the DJI Fly app integrated into it, meaning that users no longer have to rely on their smartphone for visual references while piloting the drone and freeing it for other purposes.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro is available for preorder at $669 without a remote. Or $759 with the RC-N1 standard remote. The price jumps to $909 with the optional Remote RC Controller, and frankly, it’s worth the extra $150 to include it.
There’s also the FlyMore Kit which includes 2 Intelligent Flight Batteries Plus, 1 Two-Way Charging Hub, 2 sets of propellers, and one Shoulder Bag for an additional $229. Available for preorder now, with an expected shipping date of June 30.
- DJI Mini 3 Pro Drone (B&H)
- DJI Mini 3 Pro Drone with RC-N1 Remote (B&H)
- DJI Mini 3 Pro Drone with DJI RC Remote (B&H)
- DJI Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Battery Plus (B&H)
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