DJI did something weird when they released the Mini 3 Pro earlier this year and kept the Mini 2 in the lineup. As expected, they followed up the “Pro” model with a proper, more affordable replacement with the Mini 3.
Besides the price, there are some real differences between the two versions. You’ll have to think about which is the best option for you.
For that we can look at Air Photography who did a breakdown of the Mini 3 Pro and Mini 3. With about a $200 difference between the two we’ll have to see whether the extra features are worth it.
There are plenty of areas where both the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro are almost identical:
- Can fly in level 5 wind
- Top speed of 16 m/s in Sport Mode
- Return to Home function with auto failsafe
- Exact same handling
Now, where the Mini 3 starts to shed features is with obstacle avoidance. The Mini 3 Pro has proper obstacle avoidance sensors around the unit which are missing on the standard model. This could be important to you or could mean nothing.
Cameras are very similar since they use the same underlying hardware. This means that they both have excellent image quality. DJI did make some changes between the models though.
Max frame rates are different between the two. The Mini 3 maxes out at 4K 30p while the Pro can hit 60p. The Mini 3 also doesn’t have any of DJI’s advanced flat profiles like D-Cinelike for a proper grading workflow.
Bitrates are lower on the Mini 3 with a max of 100 Mb/s while the Pro can reach 150 Mb/s.
Interestingly, the low-light sensitivity is lower on the Mini 3 at ISO 3200 while the Pro can reach ISO 6400. This isn’t a huge difference especially if you are mostly flying during the day.
Both have a fixed f/1.7 aperture and can be switched into a true vertical video mode. The same tilt and rotation controls are available on both.
Due to the lack of some features, like obstacle avoidance, some of the more advanced software functions are missing on the Mini 3. The Pro offers FocusTrack to automatically tracking subjects, Master Shots, and Hyperlapse. These can be very useful tools for more easily nailing some shots.
Photography also has some slight differences. The Mini 3 is able to shoot panoramas while it doesn’t benefit from the vertical shooting panoramic option on the Pro.
The Mini 3 also maxes out at 12MP for stills while the Pro offers a 48MP option. Even things like bracketing are expanded on the Pro.
Transmission is a big change between the two models. The Mini 3 relies on the older OcuSync 2.0 system while the Pro has upgraded to OcuSync 3.0.
You should get more reliable performance and range with clearer imagery on your controller with the Pro. In real-world use this might not be as make or break as it sounds on paper.
Likely due to the removal of certain features, the Mini 3 does beat the Pro in one key area: battery life. The standard battery will run for 38 minutes and the Plus will get you 51 minutes. With the Pro you’ll be getting 34 minutes and 47 minutes.
Some smaller things like the addition of legs on the Mini 3 and compatibility with the RC Pro may be nice for certain users but are certainly not critical.
Which one would you pick?
[source: Air Photography]
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