DJI’s Mini 3 drone is cheaper, but more limited than the Pro model it’s based on Engadget

sYou would think that after launching so many products in 2022, DJI would be done for this year. However, this is not quite the case, as it has just announced a DJI Mini 3 drone aimed at the consumer market. It’s a stripped-down version of the Mini 3 Pro, with no front or rear obstacle detection, no ActiveTrack and video limited to 4K 30p. These compromises are reflected in the price, which means you’ll pay $469 for the drone alone compared to $669 for the Mini 3 Pro.

The company believes that the Mini 3 Pro is ideal for first-time users, in scenarios such as “suburban outings, vacation travel, and urban shooting/exploration with family and friends.” In this sense, it is a more spiritual successor to the DJI Mini 2 than the Mini 3 Pro-lite. However, it’s almost identical to the Mini 3 Pro, aside from the front sensors being removed and replaced with clips and the smooth plastic where the rear sensors are on the Pro.

The Mini 3 weighs less than 249 grams, so it doesn’t require a special permit to fly in many countries. It has the same Type 1 / 1.3 (9.6 x 7.2 mm) f / 1.7 sensor as the Mini 3 Pro, so you can shoot in 4K HDR and take 12MP stills. However, video is limited to 4K 30p, instead of 4K 60p on the more expensive model. It also offers “true portrait” video and photo shooting, as the camera flips 90 degrees to allow for high-quality social media content.

Exhibition: DJI Mini 3 drone exhibition | 21 photos

DJI’s included 2.7K and Full HD captures max out at 60fps, so there’s no 120fps like found on the Mini 3 Pro. You can shoot HDR at up to 30fps, and it has dual native ISO for good low-light performance on a relatively small sensor.

Intelligent Flight batteries provide extended flight times, up to 38 minutes with standard and 51 minutes with extended batteries (the latter available in North America but not in Europe and other regions). Those times were in ideal conditions; You will probably see about 30-32 minutes. However, this is excellent for this category and provides a cushion for beginners who might let the drone fly too far. Despite its small size, it has “strong power,” DJI says, which also helps it handle reasonably high winds.

As with the Mini 3 Pro, you can get the Mini 3 with DJI’s RC controller for an additional $230. This option is worth it, because it is much more convenient than using a smartphone with a regular RC-N1 console. It features a similar design to other DJI controllers, with the addition of photo and video triggers that automatically switch between those respective modes. The RC controller’s joysticks can be stored under the controller body for travel, and while the screen struggles a bit in bright sunlight, it’s sharp and clear.

Steve Dent/Engadget

The Mini 3 has a key feature for social media users, DJI’s QuickShots. This allows you to take short, sweet videos without having to experiment, the drone does all the work. Some of these include “Dronie” (starting tight on the subject and flying away to reveal the background) and “Circle”, where the camera pans around the subject.

However, it lacks many of the AI ​​features found on the Mini 3 Pro such as ActiveTrack (following a topic), Timelapse, and Mastershots. The fact that it can track a subject using QuickShots indicates that it is capable of ActiveTrack, but the functionality may simply be disabled.

It has other smart functions to help beginners. This includes Automatic Takeoff and Return to Home (RTH) including Smart RTH, Low Battery RTH and Failsafe RTH, which instructs the aircraft to return to the starting point if the battery is low or the signal drops.

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