DJI Mavic 3 Review: The Next Generation DJI Camera Drone

DJI Mavic 3 Review: The Next Generation DJI Camera Drone

The DJI Mavic 3 is a next-generation content-creation drone, with 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad Camera, 5.1K/50fps and 4K/120fps video, 46 minutes of flight time and ability to use Apple ProRes 422 HQ.

10 minute read

  • DJI launch the Mavic 3 - a next-generation content-creation drone;
  • Key features of the Mavic 3 include a dual-sensor system, a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad Camera, 5.1K/50fps and 4K/120fps video, and 46 minutes of flight time; 
  • Three packages available, with the Cine Premium Combo featuring Apple ProRes 422 HQ, internal 1TB SSD, and new DJI RC Pro smart controller;
  • Mavic 3 is a versatile drone designed for two types of filmmaker - the amateur/semi-pro content-creator with a passion for tech and a desire to raise the bar, as well as professional production houses for incredible cinematic content. 

DJI has launched the Mavic 3: A comprehensive content-creation drone with a dual-camera system, upgraded sensor, longer flight times and omnidirectional object sensing. 

Highlights of this new-release drone include a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera, the ability to shoot 5.1K/50fps and 4K/120fps video, a 28x hybrid zoom camera, a mightily impressive 46 minutes of flight time, Apple ProRes 422 HQ capabilities (Cine Combo only) and new smart controller compatibility.

 

 

It's impressive stuff, and should leave content-creators drooling. Indeed, the Mavic 3 has seemingly been designed for two types of filmmaker: Professional video producers, as well as the amateur/semi-pro who wants to raise the bar and demands the best tech possible. 

The Mavic 3 is available in three different packages and the enhanced Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo - priced £4,279 and suited to professional media and film-production houses - offers Apple ProRes 422 HQ encoding for richer video processing, an internal 1TB SSD onboard for high-speed data storage, and features the DJI RC Pro - a next-generation Smart Controller.

 

 

Then there's the Mavic 3 Fly More Combo and the Standard Mavic 3 drone package, which are more suited to amateur content creators and tech lovers. Neither come with Apple ProRes, the internal 1TB SSD, or the DJI RC Pro - instead featuring the RC-N1 Remote Controller (although the RC Pro will be available as a stand-alone accessory).

The Standard package is £1,879 at launch, while the Fly More Combo is £2,549 and features a few more accessories than the stand-alone package.

heliguy™ is a premium launch partner of the Mavic 3 and stock is expected by November 18. View the Mavic 3 here and sign up for stock notifications. 

To find out how the Mavic 3 compares to the Mavic 2 Pro, and other DJI camera drones, read our comparison blog

The Mavic 3 does not currently have a class-marking, as part of the drone regulations in the UK and Europe, but DJI says it wants to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Read DJI's official statement here.

Mavic 3 - Dual-Camera System

The Mavic 3 sets a new standard for aerial imaging, with its new dual-camera
Hasselblad system.

The drone features a customised L2D-20c aerial camera, which embeds a professional-grade 4/3 CMOS sensor with a 24mm prime lens.

Rigorous Hasselblad standards enables the drone to shoot 20MP still images
in 12-bit RAW format and videos in 5.1K at 50fps and 4K at 120fps.

 

 

The higher video definition creates smoother footage and more generous cropping possibilities and allows for slow-motion video at 120fps.

The larger image sensor gives Mavic 3 higher video resolution and dynamic range and more effectively suppresses noise in low-light environments.

A native dynamic range of 12.8 stops helps retain more details in highlights and shadows, preserving rich visual information with a greater sense.

An adjustable aperture of f/2.8-f/11 is available to meet the needs of aerial photographers in a wide variety of lighting scenarios to get sharper and clearer images.

 

 

The 24mm equivalent autofocus prime lens has an 84° FOV to capture more details with sharp clarity.

Mavic 3’s second camera features a 162mm tele lens with 28x Hybrid Zoom (7x optical, 4x digital), a 12 MP resolution and an aperture of f/4.4 that can bring distant objects visually closer, offering the user more dynamic perspectives and creative possibilities at a distance.

The new Vision Detection Auto Focus technology for quick focusing allows the Hasselblad camera to work with multiple vision sensors on board to capture distance data to optimise focusing speed.

Mavic 3 delivers a deeply accurate colour palette straight out of its camera thanks to the unique Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution (HNCS).

 

 

With professional imaging performance, Mavic 3 records aerial videos at high resolutions and framerates and captures up to 1 billion colours thanks to the 10-
bit D-Log colour profile, offering natural colour gradations and advanced flexibility in post-production.

Mavic 3 Cine is a version with Apple ProRes 422 HQ encoding for a maximum data rate of 3772Mbps giving professional users a powerful tool to satisfy post-production needs in their daily business.

To handle the large amounts of data from the ProRes codec and high frame rate videos, Mavic 3 Cine comes with a built-in 1TB SSD.

For a smoother export experience, the new DJI 10Gbps Lightspeed Data Cable helps transfer large data files rapidly.

For the record, DJI Mavic 3 Cine supports Apple ProRes 422 HQ and H.264/H.265 encoding, while DJI Mavic 3 (including Fly More Combo) only supports H.264/H.265 encoding. A 3772Mbps data rate is possible only while recording in the Apple ProRes 422 HQ codec at 4K/120fps.

Enhanced Flight Safety

The Mavic 3 has improved obstacle sensing and navigation systems to give drone pilots the guidance they need to stay safe.

APAS 5.0 combines inputs from six fish-eye vision sensors and two wide-angle sensors, which seamlessly and continuously sense obstacles in all directions and plan safe flight routes to avoid them - even in complicated environments.

 

 

The Mavic 3 also features the upgraded ActiveTrack 5.0 (available in a future firmware update, expected January 2022), which allows users to sense obstacles, even in Normal mode.

Previous iterations of ActiveTrack enabled the camera to follow a subject as it moved directly toward and away from the drone while remaining largely stationary, as well as fly alongside a moving subject.

However, ActiveTrack 5.0 allows Mavic 3 to move with the subject as it moves forward, backward, left, right, and diagonally, and fly alongside as well as around a moving subject.

 

 

In addition, if the subject moves too fast and temporarily goes out of frame, the visual sensors on the aircraft will continue to track and frame the subject intelligently and pick it back up when it reappears.

These new directions enable much more fluid and diverse drone and camera movement while using ActiveTrack.

The drone also features a rebooted Advanced Return To Home. This impressive new feature enables the aircraft to automatically determine the shortest, safest, and energy-efficient route to land back at its home point.

At the same time, the drone measures the wind speed of the current environment and calculates the power required for returning home based on the wind speed and the return path in real-time. This provides users with more time flying safely before triggering the RTH action.

 

 

Mavic 3 comes with a powerful positioning algorithm that improves hovering precision with signals from GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou satellites.

This enables Mavic 3 to lock onto multiple satellite signals faster than ever.

The increased positioning precision also makes Mavic 3 less likely to drift in the air and more stable when shooting long exposures and timelapses.

The Mavic 3 also comes with other safety features, such as:

  • Geofencing and altitude limits: To alert drone pilots when they fly near sensitive locations and to raise awareness of altitude restrictions.
  • AeroScope Remote ID: System that allows authorities to identify and monitor airborne drones in sensitive locations.
  • DJI AirSense: Warns drone pilots of nearby planes and helicopters transmitting ADS-B signals, so they can quickly fly to a safer location.

Mavic 3 - Extended Battery Life And Streamlined Design

DJI has reshaped every element of the Mavic 3's flight envelope and power
management to enable drastically longer flight times. And the result is incredible - up to 46 minutes of flight time!

This is incredible for a drone of its size and gives unprecedented freedom for aerial photographers to shoot dynamic scenes.

 

 

DJI has also streamlined the shape of Mavic 3’s arms, body, and gimbal on aerodynamic principles. Wind-tunnel testing shows Mavic 3 produces 35% less drag than previous generations, allowing faster top speeds, with the drone able to reach 46.9 mph.

In true Mavic tradition, the Mavic 3 is foldable, portable and easily transportable, and weighs just shy of 900g.

Enhanced Transmission System

Mavic 3 features DJI O3+, which is an upgraded transmission system that delivers stable, smooth, and clear video transmission, even under challenging conditions.

With a maximum control range of 15km (FCC) / 12km (CE), O3+ enables Mavic 3 to fly further and transmits signals with higher stability and less video lag.

Mavic 3 is DJI’s first drone that offers a High Frame-Rate Transmission
with a 1080p/60fps live feed. This means the camera view is displayed at a resolution close to what the camera actually records. 

DJI RC PRO Controller

There are two controllers for the Mavic 3: The new RC Pro Controller, as well as the standard RC-N1 Remote Controller.

The new RC Pro Controller offers a smoother control experience and is upgraded with enhanced antenna power for an extended transmission distance.

 



It features a 1000-nit high-bright screen which allows better vision and control for outdoor flights.

Its battery system offers an extended operating time of up to three hours and can be charged in 90 minutes.

The RC Pro Controller comes as part of the Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo, and will be available as a separate accessory. The RC-N1 Remote Controller is included in the Mavic 3 standard package and Mavic 3 Fly More Combo.

Intelligent Shooting Modes

Mavic 3 offers a range of intelligent modes to help content creators capture compelling photos and videos.

These include:

  • MasterShots: Lets users create high-quality content more easily and quickly. After automatic editing and dubbing in the app, videos can be created in minutes and directly shared with friends.
  • Panorama Mode: Mavic 3 allows pictures to be directly stitched and processed by the drone, without the DJI Fly App or any post-production, allowing users to capture breathtaking landscapes with sweeping breadth and rich detail.
  • QuickTransfer: Lets users store and process materials on their mobile devices without linking with the remote controller. Mavic 3 can now transmit materials from the drone to the mobile device more quickly through the Wi-Fi 6 protocol.

These modes will be available in January 2022 through firmware updates.

Mavic 3 Accessories

In true DJI fashion, the Mavic 3 has an ecosystem of accessories.

 

 

These include:

  • DJI 65W Portable Charger: A fast-charging option with a charging time of approximately 96 minutes. Its USB Type-C output makes it compatible with current notebooks and smartphones.
  • DJI Convertible Carrying Bag: Features an entirely new design with a backpack and shoulder bag configuration which can accommodate the Mavic 3, accessories, a laptop, and other personal items.
  • DJI Mavic 3 Wide-Angle Lens: Offers an FOV of up to 108° for a more immersive FPV-style flight experience.
  • DJI Mavic 3 Storage Cover: With its lightweight and minimalist design, the Storage Cover protects the camera, gimbal, and propellers when folding and transporting Mavic 3.
  • DJI ND Filters Set: These come in two ranges: ND4/8/16/32 and ND64/128/256/512. These ND filters let the camera excel in any bright lighting condition.
  • DJI 10Gbps Lightspeed Data Cable: Enables users to download materials from the drone to their computer at high speed. Material backup is available on-site, thanks to high-speed transmission.

Mavic 3 Combos - What's The Difference?

Mavic 3 comes in three versions: Standard, Fly More and Cine Premium.

The biggest difference is that the Cine Premium features the additional Apple ProRes 422 HQ encoding, internal 1TB SSD and the DJI RC Pro.

The below table shows the main in-the-box differences between the three.

 

Mavic 3 Standard Mavic 3 Fly More Combo Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo
Drone x1 x1 x1
Built-in 1TB SSD No No Yes
Apple ProRes 422 HQ No No Yes
DJI RC-Pro No No Yes
RC-N1 Remote Controller Yes Yes No
RC-N1 Cable x3 x3 N/A
Intelligent Flight Battery x1 x3 x3
Battery Charger x1 x1 x1
Battery Charging
Hub
No x1 x1
Storage Cover x1 x1 x1
Propellers (Pair) x3 x6 x6
ND Filters Set (ND4\8\
16\32)
No Yes Yes
ND Filters Set
(ND64\128\256\512)
No No Yes
Convertible Carrying Bag No Yes Yes
DJI 10Gbps Lightspeed Data Cable No No Yes
Price at launch £1,879 £2,549 £4,279

 

Mavic 3 - Summary

Put simply, the DJI Mavic 3 is an amazing drone.

Rumours of the Mavic 3 have been doing the rounds for donkeys and now it's here, it's safe to say it's worth the wait.

The impressive camera specs, coupled with the incredible flight time, make it a true aerial powerhouse, ideal for both the amateur/semi-pro content creator with a passion for tech, as well as professional filmmakers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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