Our work here at JC Drones has been inspired by the DJI Mavic 3, which was founded in November 2021. The Mavic 3 shoots the best quality video footage we’ve seen yet coming from this series of drones. It also has a dual set of cameras capable of capturing up to 5.1K video and pushing it to extremes with its hybrid 28x zoom lens system.
Some may say that the Mavic 3 is just an iteration of past Mavic drones, but this statement couldn’t be any further from the truth. With updates to the previous features and new innovations galore, DJI has once again proven itself as an innovator in its field.
Note: Our review of the DJI Mavic 3 Cine was conducted with the drone. The DJI RC Pro remote control is included in this top-tier unit, as well as an internal SSD.
DJI Mavic 3
|Camera:||4/3 20MP sensor & 1/2-inch 12MP sensor|
|Video resolution:||Up to 5.1K|
|Frame rates:||5.1K up to 50fps / 4K up to 120fps / FHD up to 200fps|
|Flight modes:||Sport, Normal & Cine|
|Battery:||5000 mAh / up to 46 minutes flight time|
|Charger type:||100-240 V AC, 47-63 Hz, 2.0 A|
The Mavic 3 Drone is the best model in the newest lineup of drones from DJI. Despite its compact size, it packs a punch with an average flight time of 31 minutes and a 20 MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor and adjustable aperture at f/2.8-f/11 that captures the most breathtaking aerial images possible.
In addition to shooting in Raw and JPEG, this camera offers the same types of shooting modes as mirrorless or DSLR cameras. There’s an unlimited amount of capability given that it shoots video at 5.1K up to 50fps, 4K at up to 120fps, FHD up to 120fps, and finally, it can even shoot high-quality videos with Apple ProRes 422 HQ which is all stored on its 1TB SSD!
There are two models of the Mavic 3 drone – Standard and Cine. The latter is more expensive because it has a built-in 1TB SSD instead of 8GB of internal storage, and it also comes with a Smart Controller that features an LCD screen.
The Cine version, which is identical to the Standard one in performance, was what we got for testing. Considering how highly rated it has been since its release – that being at the top of our list wasn’t an easy decision.
Today’s Best DJI Mavic 3 Deals and Offers
DJI Mavic 3 review: Design
- Approximately 900 grams in weight
- The foldable design and high-quality construction
- Improved flight times through aerodynamic design
The Mavic 3 has a compact design like other Mavics, which means it’s easy to transport and store. Folded dimensions are 221 x 96.3 x 90.3mm while unfolded dimensions are 347.5 x 283 x 107.7mm with the basic model weighing 895g/31.5oz and the Cine version weighing 899g/31.7oz – though both weights vary negligibly with support for 1TB SSDs on board (supporting Apple ProRes 422 HQ).
Flight time has been increased thanks to several improvements in the design of the Mavic 3 and its new battery; the shape of the drone and propeller arms have been streamlined to reduce drag by 35% according to DJI, and the new motors and propellers are claimed to be more efficient than those found on the Mavic 2 Pro.
The new battery is capable of providing a distance of 18.6 miles (if there is no wind) or 46 minutes of flight (if there are no wind conditions). In my own personal tests though – after taking into account weather conditions and the time it takes for a drone to come back home when you’re running low on power – flights barely lasted longer than 30 minutes at most.
In comparison to the previous two models, this one offers significantly improved pictures thanks to its two cameras. One camera has a 20MP CMOS sensor and equates to a 24mm focal length lens with an adjustable aperture from f/2.8 – f/11 as well as autofocus (1m – infinity). The second camera has a 1CMOS sensor equating to a 162mm lens with a fixed f/4.4 aperture and a 28x hybrid zoom which only functions in auto mode for photography and videography.
A DJI RC-N1 controller is used with the Standard Model of the Mavic Air 2, which is identical to the RC-N1 controller used on the Mavic Air 2S and Mavic Air 2. It has a fixed size without an LCD screen, and controls are nestled away when not in use. The controller that comes with the Cine edition of the Mavic 3 is a Smart Controller (pictured above) – featuring both a 5.5-inch touchscreen interface and advanced features for users seeking something different from other models on the market today.
DJI MAVIC 3 REVIEW: FUNCTIONALITY
- Supports GLONASS, GPS, and BeiDou satellites
- Collision avoidance technology
- An update to ActiveTrack’s firmware is expected in January 2022
The Mavic 3’s response time is great and the fastest in its class of drones. You can also fly it at 47mph in Sport Mode but there are other flying modes for when you’re looking for a slower, calmer flight – Normal Mode being the most commonly used one followed by Cine Mode which limits the speed and reduces sensitivity to offer cinematic video footage. It has both beginner-friendly features along with professional ones so it doesn’t matter how much experience you have when flying these UAVs; they will provide assistance during flights if needed or wanted.
A new positioning algorithm is used with the Mavic 3 to improve hovering precision with less drift. The drone utilizes GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou satellites. This is near impossible to test, but when we tried hovering with the drone at low winds – we were able to do so without much deviation from where we intended it to go. This means if you’re looking for high-quality photography that requires extreme stabilization- this might be just what you need!
The Mavic 3 also has cutting-edge APAS 5.0 technology that relies on six sensors of varying angles to map out all nearby obstacles, enabling the drone to automatically avoid them in many situations. However, this often causes the drone to fly randomly in densely forested areas where there are numerous trees blocking its vision.
A new feature coming out with the newest January release is ActiveTrack 5.0 for subject tracking; unlike current and past models of Mavic drones which are limited to up/down/left/right only when tracking subjects, these newer models come equipped with an omnidirectional obstacle sensing system that helps improve the accuracy of object avoidance when monitoring a target- making it easier to track what you want without missing anything along the way.
DJI MAVIC 3 REVIEW: PERFORMANCE
- The main camera provides excellent image quality
- Performance in ISO is impressive
- A video resolution of up to 5.1K
Packing a Four Thirds sensor in the main camera of the Dual-Hasselblad camera is a remarkable achievement given its small size and low weight. It sets a high standard for drones in its class, making them capable of taking incredible photos without sacrificing performance or portability.
The image quality from the main Four M43 camera is excellent overall with no chromatic aberration visible along subject edges in high-contrast scenes. The center of images is sharp and packed with detail with just a small amount of sharpness fall-off towards the edges, although this is typical of many lenses so no surprise.
ISO performance is also exceptional across the entire ISO spectrum – up to 6400. Detail starts becoming noticeably grainy at ISO 800, but if you’re willing to sacrifice some details then there’s no reason why you can’t continue shooting all the way up to 3200. You might want to be careful when using Auto-ISO though because it will sometimes raise sensitivity levels higher than what may needlessly and unnecessarily occur.
The variable aperture has many advantages when shooting both video and stills. Even if you are using an ND filter on the camera, it allows you to adjust exposure without having to land the drone, or use different filters; this is especially helpful for aerial photographers. For most shots though, depth-of-field isn’t affected much due to the size of the sensor – but stopping down causes diffraction which blurs pictures so avoid f/8 or higher in favor of f/5.6 or lower for best results.
With the top of the line video cameras, shooting video is available at 5.1K up to 50fps, 4K at up to 120fps, FHD up to 120fps, and when shooting Apple ProRes on the Cine model up to 50fps at 5.1K and up to 120fps at 4K.
The second camera may be limiting, but it still has its use. It is good for observing distant subjects and getting closer to objects or people that are out of range due to drone regulation(opens in a new tab). Files are stored in JPEG format – there are no other options – while video resolution maxes out at 4K at 30 frames per second. You can zoom through this camera, though the effect will degrade with increased digital zoom.
DJI MAVIC 3 REVIEW: COST
The DJI Mavic 3 is now available for purchase worldwide through the company store and resellers; however, there are limitations placed on those who want to purchase these drones because they’re only in limited quantities. With such a high price tag, this drone is obviously being marketed toward professionals instead of amateurs or people just looking for an affordable toy – but even if you don’t fall under one of those categories you’ll still love it at first sight!
Available in three kits, the Mavic 3 can be purchased as a Standard version and an upgraded Fly More Combo which includes useful accessories that would cost more if they were bought individually. There’s also the Cine Premium Combo for professionals who want to venture into filmmaking or photography and it comes with a high-end accessory package including a new DJI RC Pro Smart Controller with its own built-in screen and operating system.
The DJI Mavic 3 Standard (opens in new tab) will cost you £1879 / US$2199 / AU$3099 / from €2,099 and includes the drone, one battery, remote controller, phone cables, charger, and other necessary items.
The DJI Mavic 3 Fly More Combo (opens in new tab) costs £2549 / US$2999 / AU$4199 / from €2799 and includes all of the above plus two additional Intelligent Flight Batteries, three additional pairs of propellers, a three-battery charging hub, an ND Filter Set (ND4\8\6\32), a Convertible Carrying Bag and other useful accessories.
The DJI Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo (opens in new tab) costs £4279/US$4999/AU$7199 and includes everything you need to fly safely. There are some added bonuses, too – a built-in 1TB SSD that supports Apple ProRes 422 HQ video recording, an extra set of filters for different lighting situations, and the DJI 10Gbps Lightspeed Data Cable which allows fast data transfer from the hard drive to your computer.
Today’s Best DJI Mavic 3 Deals and Offers
SHOULD YOU BUY DJI MAVIC 3?
Buying any drone can be a major investment so you want to make sure that the model you’re buying is tailored for your skill level, desired use, and, of course, budget. For example, Mavic 3 models provide high-quality images despite being one of the cheapest options from DJI. However – if you’re looking for a cheap alternative then there are many other lower-priced (or free) alternatives out there that give high-quality images as well.
The Mavic 3 is clearly aimed at advanced and professional photographers and videographers with a price point to match. For those looking for the best image quality possible in a portable, lightweight drone – upgrading to the Mavic 3 is an easy decision. And while the Cine model offers one terabyte of storage with support for Apple ProRes 422 HQ video recording and a Smart Controller, it might be worth considering that many people would need less memory capacity thanks to the D-Log color profile.
For those who are just starting out, there is going to be a lot more in this drone than they need. Though the Mavic 3 offers beginner-friendly features such as safety precautions and user-friendliness, many cheaper alternatives exist which might suit them better. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed with one of these less expensive models – or if it does not live up to your needs at all – then upgrading would seem like a good idea; but we don’t know when that time will come.