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DJI Mini 3 Review : So Good Till We Crashed It

After have experienced the DJI Mini 3 Pro a few months ago, I was a little skeptical when I heard they released a standard Mini 3 as they did with their Mavic 3 Classic. While that may give users more options to choose from, are they really getting more for value? Or are you better off spending a little extra on the Pro variants?


So this time around, the DJI Mini 3 has trimmed off a little of that fat from what some people call “Pro” features, and made this standard Mini 3 geared for more of its basic functions. Quite a lot like what they did with the Mavic 3 Pro in comparison to the Mavic 3 Classic for removing the zoom lens, to just the main Hassleblad camera.

So the kinda same situation here. It’s still under flight compliances for staying under the 250g weight limit by essentially retaining the same size when folded and unfolded. Other aspects like the micro SD card slot are still at the back, but as I mentioned earlier, the sensors at the front are just now these meshes to cover up where they used to be.

While you get forwards, backward and downward avoidance sensors on the Mini 3 Pro, this only comes with a landing sensor. No Obstacle Avoidance Systems, which is quite a bit of a confusing strategy if DJI planned to market this as a "starter drone" knowing how it's pretty much very basic features with barely little assistance.

But then again, maybe there’s just some people out there who are looking for something simple, something lightweight and under the compliance standards for most countries, or people experienced enough to fly a drone, and just not looking to spend a little extra for those safety and camera features.

After all, while some people might want a drone and have it last for years to come, there are some drone enthusiasts out there who burn through these drones like memory cards. Crashing one drone after another then immediately buying one when a new one comes out.

Camera Specs

Jokes aside, the Mini 3 still comes with a 1/1.3 inch sensor, but dropped to a 12MP from a 48MP. Well as DJI claims, this strongly suggests that the larger area of each pixel, the stronger the light sensing capability. In 4-in-1 mode, where four pixels are combined into one, the pixel size can achieve 2.4 μm to perform better in low-lit environments.

Or in other terms, with the same size, more pixels mean more details; less pixels in total means bigger area per pixel and greater performance when shooting at night.

It only tops up to 4K30fps, and you don't get 4K60, internal memory, D-Cinelike picture profile, coding format options of H.264 or H.265 and MP4 or MOV options, and you also lose out on ActiveTrack so you really need to be careful when it comes flying it around since there's no autonomous features.

But where it does stand out is the f/1.7 lens, so it does show much better performance in low light as DJI suggests, and you also still get the option to switch to vertical mode for those quick social media shares.

To which, I still think only the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro has among the rest of DJI drones, and not to mention the most unique feature which I personally fell in love with when I first experienced the Mini 3 Pro, which is having the camera to tilt all the way up to 60° thanks to this cutout, and up to 35° when moving forwards due to the natural angle the camera that has to compensate when flying.

Flight Specs

Flight wise, It still does 16 m/s (same as before), and capable of wind resistance up to 10.7m/s, again.. Same as before. In my previous video of the Mini 3 Pro, I did mention how it does feel as though it struggles a bit more when flying through the air just because of how small it is, but I don't want to take away the fact of how capable and fun it is to fly.

It's a very quiet drone so you are less likely to annoy anybody nearby, but It's more so about the concern for people who aren't too familiar with flying and wouldn't know how to counter steer themselves out of a situation such as closing into a wall or tree, or in moments when a sudden gust of wind just blows it away from its natural course. Then yeah, you'll start to see that probably a slightly more capable drone like an Air 2s would be a more viable option.

Battery life & Price

But with a suggested Max flight time of 38 minutes, you could say that's far more than you could ask for, especially if you do get this Fly More combo that comes with 3 extra batteries priced at $868, and I highly suggest getting with this DJI RC which has about 700 nits peak brightness and just something worth paying for knowing how it can be connected to almost all of DJI drones. Something about having a dedicated screen is just way better than pairing your phone to it.

OR you could opt for just the drone itself which starts at only $469 if none of that interests you. There's also an Intelligent flight battery plus available, which says it would do up to 51 minutes but it does decrease the height limit just a bit. We didn't get to test it with the intelligent battery, but I'll leave a link in the description if you're keen to get that instead.

Final Thoughts

So what have I learned here? Well to simply put it in a paradoxical way, I'll need to fly more. Which also entails that I could risk crashing another drone, which then implies that anybody who's planning to start flying will eventually have to crash too? Well of course not! Just don't be as inconsiderate and careless as I have been.

The Mini 3 is far more than capable of handling itself but like I said, do fly it in open air space and be sure to stay away from any obstacles around like buildings, power lines, or whatever that might get in the way because of the lack of features that the pro version has.

Another way of saying things, it's not the most manoeuvrable drone, so do fly with caution and maybe in my opinion, just spend a little more on the pro version because its just comes with way more safety precautions and might save you in those critical situations.

All I know, if DJI decides to send more drones in the future, I'll be prepared to tone down my ambitious needs to get beautiful shots and make do with standard sceneries with open air space instead.


Written by Fitri Aiyub

Camera by Kai Hong & Bryan

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