DJI Mini 3 Vs DJI Mini 3 Pro

DJI Mini 3 Vs DJI Mini 3 Pro

DJI has launched the Mini 3 drone. It is a stripped-down version of the DJI Mini 3 Pro, but is a more cost-effective option. Find out the differences between both drones in this in-depth review to help you pick the right aircraft.

Last updated: Dec 12, 2022
Published on: Dec 06, 2022

17 minute read

DJI Mini 3 vs DJI Mini 3 Pro

  • DJI has launched the Mini 3. Find out how it compares to the Mini 3 Pro in this in-depth review; 
  • The Mini 3 has some of the same features as the Mini 3 Pro, but is a more cost-effective option;
  • Both drones have a 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, but the Mini 3 Pro's sensor has 48MP, while the Mini 3 has 12MP. The Mini 3 Pro can shoot 4K @ 60fps video, the Mini 3 tops out at 4K @ 30fps;
  • The Mini 3 Pro features DJI's upgraded O3 transmission for greater transmission distance and reduced latency, while the Mini 3 has the older O2 transmission;
  • The Mini 3 benefits from 38 minutes of flight time, while the Mini 3 Pro has 34 minutes. 

The DJI Mini 3 is here - offering a more cost-effective alternative to the popular Mini 3 Pro which launched in spring 2022.

 

 

While the cheaper price tag does result in some sacrifices - such as a less capable camera and watered-down safety features - the Mini 3 is still a seriously attractive proposition and a more than capable performer, especially for beginners or those on a budget. It's also fair to say that the Mini 3 series has become an attractive tool for some commercial operators.

Key features of the Mini 3 include a 12MP 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, ability to shoot 4K HDR video, rotating gimbal for portrait content, 38 minutes of flight time, and intelligent shooting modes - all within a tiny 248g frame.

So, if you're in the market for a mini drone, should you opt for the Mini 3 Pro or the Mini 3? Find out in this in-depth comparison blog.

Or to find out how the Mini 3/Mini 3 Pro compare to the older versions of the DJI Mini Series, such as the Mini 2 and Mini SE, and to discover how the series has evolved, read this versus article.

Key Specs  

This table provides an at-a-glance overview of the key specs of the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro.

 

Mini 3

Mini 3 Pro

Weight 248g <249g
Dimensions (L x W x H) Folded: 148 x 90 x 62 mm;
Unfolded (with propellers): 251 x 362 x 72 mm
Folded: 145 x 90 x 62 mm
Unfolded (with propellers): 251 x 362 x 70 mm
Camera 1/1.3-inch CMOS
Effective Pixels: 12 MP
1/1.3-inch CMOS
Effective Pixels: 48 MP
True Vertical Shooting Yes Yes
Video Resolution 4K @ 30fps 4K @ 60fps
Flight Time 38 minutes 34 minutes
Transmission System DJI O2 DJI O3
Transmission Distance (CE) 6km 8km
Sensing Systems Downward Forward, Backward, Downward
Compatible Controllers DJI RC-N1:
DJ RC
DJI RC-N1:
DJI RC;
DJI RC Pro
Price Drone only: £439.00
Drone and RC-N1 controller: £519.00
Drone and DJI RC controller: £669.00
Fly More Combo, with drone, RC-N1 and additional accessories: £678.00
Fly More Combo, with drone, DJI RC, and additional accessories: £828.00
Drone only: £639.00
Drone and RC-N1 controller: £709.00
Drone and DJI RC controller: £859.00

No Fly More Combo is available, but a Fly More Kit with key accessories (but no drone/controller) is available: £159.00

 

Mini 3 Vs Mini 3 Pro: Camera

Thanks to their lightweight nature and small frame, the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro are great drones for capturing content on the go.

So, how do their cameras stack up? In truth, both offer plenty in this department, especially considering their size, although the Mini 3 Pro does have the edge when it comes to content creation capabilities.  

Both drones feature a 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, but the Mini 3 Pro benefits from 48MP while the Mini 3 has 12MP.

 

 

There are also differences in the ISO range, with the Mini 3 Pro stretching from 100-6400 (Auto/Manual; Video/Photo), and the Mini 3 has a smaller 100-3200.

In terms of video, the Mini 3 Pro can achieve 4K @ 60fps, but the Mini 3 tops out at 4K @ 30fps. But, whether this matters depends on the requirements of each user - especially as 1080p resolution is more than good enough for YouTube, and both drones are capable of 1080p @ 60fps. But for commercial operators who deploy the Mini drones, the best-quality footage possible may well be preferable.

 

DJI Mini 3 Pro.

 

Social media fans will be pleased to hear that both drones benefit from True Vertical Shooting to enable content creators to capture portrait-shaped imagery, which is especially ideal for Instagram users.   

The Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro feature QuickShots mode, which helps operators capture complicated shots effortlessly with a couple of button clicks. Both can conduct Dronie, Helix, Rocket, Circle, and Boomerang operations, but the Mini 3 Pro has the additional Asteroid function.

These QuickShot modes enable the drone to do the following: 

  • Dronie: The aircraft flies backward and ascends, with the camera locked on the subject.
  • Circle: The aircraft circles around the subject.
  • Helix: The aircraft ascends and spirals around the subject.
  • Rocket: The aircraft ascends with the camera pointing downward.
  • Boomerang: The aircraft flies around the subject in an oval path, ascending as it flies away from its starting points and descending as it flies back.
  • Asteroid: The aircraft flies backward and upward, takes several photos and then flies back to the starting point. The video generated starts with a panorama of the highest position and then shows the descent.

Aside from QuickShots, the Mini 3 Pro and Mini 3 can facilitate panoramas (180°, wide angle, and sphere - the Mini 3 Pro can also do vertical) and have up to 4x zoom capabilities.

The table below provides a full overview of the camera specifications, to show the features and differences between the two drones. 

 

Mini 3 Mini 3 Pro
Sensor 1/1.3-inch CMOS
Effective Pixels: 12 MP
1/1.3-inch CMOS
Effective Pixels: 48 MP
Lens FOV: 82.1°
Format Equivalent: 24 mm
Aperture: f/1.7
Focus: 1 m to ∞ 
FOV: 82.1°
Format Equivalent: 24 mm
Aperture: f/1.7
Focus Range: 1 m to ∞
ISO Range Video: 100-3200
Photo: 100-3200
Video: 100-6400 (Auto), 100-6400 (Manual)
Photo: 100-6400 (Auto), 100-6400 (Manual)
Shutter Speed Electronic Shutter: 2-1/8000 s Electronic Shutter: 2-1/8000 s
Max Image Size 4000 x 3000 4:3: 8064 x 6048 (48 MP), 4032 x 3024 (12 MP)
16:9: 4032 x 2268 (12 MP)
Still Photography Modes Single Shot: 12 MP
Timed: 12 MP
JPEG: 2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s
JPEG + RAW: 5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s

Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 12 MP, 3 frames at 2/3 EV step

Panorama: Sphere, 180°, Wide Angle
Single Shot

Interval:
JPEG: 2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s
JPEG + RAW: 2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s

Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames at 2/3 EV Bias

Panorama: Sphere, 180°, Wide-angle, and Vertical
Photo Format JPEG/DNG (RAW) JPEG/DNG (RAW)
Video Resolution 4K: 3840 x 2160@24/25/30 fps
2.7K: 2720 x 1530@24/25/30/48/50/60 fps
FHD: 1920 x 1080@24/25/30/48/50/60 fps
4K: 3840 x 2160@24/25/30/48/50/60fps
2.7K: 2720 x 1530@24/25/30/48/50/60fps
FHD: 1920 x 1080@24/25/30/48/50/60fps
Slow Motion: 1920 x 1080@120fps
HDR Mode HDR: The Single Shot mode supports outputting HDR images.

HDR: Recording with the 24/25/30fps frame rate supports outputting HDR images.
Photo: HDR supported in Single Shot mode

Video: HDR supported when shooting at 24/25/30fps
Video Format MP4 (H.264) MP4/MOV (H.264/H.265)
Max Video Bitrate 100 Mbps 150 Mbps
Zoom Range 4K: 2x
2.7K: 3x
FHD: 4x
4K: 2x
2.7K: 3x
FHD: 4x
QuickShot Modes Dronie, Helix, Rocket, Circle, and Boomerang Dronie, Helix, Rocket, Circle, Boomerang, and Asteroid
Colour Profiles Normal Normal
D-Cinelike
Supported File System FAT32 (≤ 32 GB)
exFAT (> 32 GB)
FAT32 (≤32 GB)
exFAT (>32 GB)

 

Flight Performance And Safety Features

Considering their size, the Mini 3 Pro and Mini 3 are seriously impressive performers.

Flight Time

Both have decent endurance to help operators capture more content in a single flight. In fact, the Mini 3 has a maximum flight time of 38 minutes, while the Mini 3 Pro is slightly less, at 34 minutes. 

 

 

These drones' airtime can be increased by using the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, but these batteries are not being introduced in the UK.

Speed

The Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro are fairly pacey operators, clocking a maximum speed of 16m/s, which is around the 35 mph mark.

Operational Envelope

Both drones are robust platforms, enabling pilots to fly in a range of weather conditions.

This includes the ability to handle temperatures from -10°C to 40C and wind speeds of 10.7m/s (or Level 5 = fresh breeze). For guidance, this wind speed resistance places the Mini 3 drones on par with other DJI drones - which are larger platforms - such as the Air 2S and Phantom 4 Pro V2.0.  

It's worth noting that neither drone has an IP rating, therefore it is not recommended to fly either in the rain.

 

 

Transmission Distance

One of the big differences between the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro is the transmission system.

The Mini 3 Pro benefits from DJI's enhanced OcuSync 3 transmssion, while the Mini 3 is restricted to the older DJI O2.

So what does this mean?

Essentially, OcuSync 3.0 uses a new image transmission solution. Equipped with four antennas compared to OcuSync 2.0's two antennas, it brings full HD image transmission at greater distances, enhances the anti-interference capability of the image transmission system, and improves the reliability of the image transmission system in complex environments such as cities.

 

 

So, how does this play out in real terms in relation to the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro?

First off, the Mini 3 Pro has a maximum transmission distance of 8km (CE), while the Mini 3 is restricted to 6km (CE). 

The Mini 3 Pro's upgraded transmission system enhances the live view quality on the controller, achieving 1080p @ 30fps compared to the Mini 3's 720p @ 30fps.

On top of this, the Mini 3 Pro has a lower latency of approximately 120 ms, while the Mini 3 lags slightly behind at around 200ms. Both of these speeds can be impacted by the environment and mobile device. 

Whether these transmission specifications truly matter depend on the requirements and expectations of each user, but it's worth noting that the Mini 3 Pro has enhanced credentials in this department.

Safety Features

Both drones are safe and sturdy platforms - and their light weight places them in the safest drone category.

However, the Mini 3 has watered-down sensing capabilities, featuring only a downward vision system.

 

The DJI Mini 3 has a downward vision system.

  

In contrast, the Mini 3 Pro's downward vision system is complemented by forward and backward vision systems.

Return To Home functionality is found on the two drones, which benefit from the following RTH modes:

  • Smart RTH: Used to bring the aircraft back to the home point. If Smart RTH is initiated, the aircraft will enter Straight Line RTH, adjusting its orientation and altitude accordingly.
  • Low Battery RTH: Triggered when the battery is depleted to the point where the drone may not be able to return safely. 
  • Failsafe RTH: The action the aircraft performs once it loses signal with the remote controller. Can be set as RTH, Land or Hover.  

Obstacle Avoidance and Tracking

The Mini 3 Pro benefits from the obstacle sensing system, APAS 4.0. It also has the FocusTrack suite, including ActiveTrack 4.0 which helps the drone track static and moving objects, such as vehicles and people.

The Mini 3, however, does not have these features.

Flight Performance And Safety Features: Key Specs

The table below provides an overview of the key specifications of the drones' flight performance and safety features, for an at-a-glance comparison.

 

Mini 3 Mini 3 Pro
Max Speed (at sea level, no wind) 16 m/s 16 m/s (S Mode)
10 m/s (N Mode)
6 m/s (C Mode)
Max Ascent Speed 5 m/s 5 m/s (S Mode)
3 m/s (N Mode)
2 m/s (C Mode)
Max Descent Speed 3.5 m/s 5 m/s (S Mode)
3 m/s (N Mode)
1.5 m/s (C Mode)
Max Flight Time 38 mins 34 mins
Max Hovering Time 33 mins 30 mins
Max Wind Speed Resistance 10.7 m/s (Level 5) 10.7 m/s (Level 5)
Operating Temperature -10°C to 40°C (14° to 104° F) -10°C to 40° C (14° to 104° F)
Hovering Accuracy Range Vertical:
±0.1 m (with vision positioning)
±0.5 m (with GNSS positioning);

Horizontal:
±0.3 m (with vision positioning)
±1.5 m (with GNSS positioning)
Vertical:
±0.1 m (with vision positioning)
±0.5 m (with GNSS positioning)

Horizontal:
±0.3 m (with vision positioning)
±0.5 m (with high-precision positioning system)
Sensing System Downward Forward;
Backward:
Downward
Video Transmission (CE) DJI O2 DJI O3
Live View Quality 720p/30fps
1080p/30fps
Latency (depending on environmental conditions and mobile device) Approx. 200 ms Approx. 120 ms
Antenna 2 antennas, 1T2R 4 antennas, 1T2R

   

Design

Mini by name, mini by nature: The DJI Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro are seriously small drones.

Their tiny footprint, plus their sub 250g weight and foldable design, make them extremely portable - perfect for slipping into a bag or pocket to capture content on-the-go, as and when you need it.

 

 

 

This is ideal for vloggers, travel content creators, and even some commercial drone pilots who want to throw the Mini 3 platforms up for jobs like wedding photography, marketing, and certain visual inspection jobs.

Their sub-250g weight places them in the safest weight category (particularly advantageous for newbies) and means that they can be operated in the Open Category's A1 subcategory, which permits flights over involved people, but not crowds, without the need for pilots to sit a drone training course, such as the A2 CofC or GVC.  

 

Mini 3 Mini 3 Pro
Weight 248g <249 g
Dimensions (L x W x H) Folded: 148 x 90 x 62 mm;
Unfolded (with propellers): 251 x 362 x 72 mm
Folded: 145 x 90 x 62 mm;
Unfolded (with propellers): 251 x 362 x 70 mm

 

DJI Mini 3 Vs Mini 3 Pro: Controllers

The Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro are compatible with the DJI RC-N1 and the DJI RC. The Mini 3 Pro is compatible with the DJI RC Pro smart controller with built-in screen, but on launch, it is unclear whether this controller can be used with the Mini 3. However, this may come in a future firmware update.

 

DJI Mini 3 with the DJI RC smart controller.

 

DJI Mini 3 with DJI RC-N1 controller.

 

The DJI RC-N1 requires pilots to connect a separate mobile device, whereas the DJI RC and DJI RC Pro are dedicated drone smart controllers with built-in screen.

Benefits of using the smart controllers include: Ultra-bright screen for crisp viewing even under direct sunlight; easy setup and quick start; and no need for pilots to worry about interference from calls or text messages during flight.

But whether this matters comes down to preference, and the DJI RC-N1 - which is still a popular controller - may well fit the bill.

The table below provides some key specs of each controller. For a more in-depth comparison, read the DJI RC Pro vs DJI RC vs DJI RC-N1 blog.

 

DJI RC Pro DJI RC DJI RC-N1
Built-in Screen Yes Yes No
Screen Brightness and Resolution 1,000 cd/m²

1920 x 1080 resolution
700 cd/m²

1920 x 1080 resolution
Depends on the mobile device
Screen Size 5.5 inches 5.5 inches Supports devices up to 180mm (L) x 86mm (W) x 10mm (H).

Also compatible with tablet holder.
Weight 680 g 390 g 387 g (not including mobile device)
Battery Life 3 hours 4 hours 6 hours (without charging any mobile device)


4 hours (when charging a mobile device)
OcuSync Transmission System Up to O3+, depending on the drone.

Mini 3 Pro supports O3, Mini 3 supports O2.
Up to O3+, depending on the drone.

Mini 3 Pro supports O3, Mini 3 supports O2.
Up to O3+, depending on the drone.

Mini 3 Pro supports O3, Mini 3 supports O2.
Transmission Distance (CE) Up to 8km, depending on the drone.

Mini 3 Pro has a max distance of 8km, the Mini 3 has a max distance of 6km.
Up to 8km, depending on the drone.

Mini 3 Pro has a max distance of 8km, the Mini 3 has a max distance of 6km.
Up to 8km, depending on the drone.

Mini 3 Pro has a max distance of 8km, the Mini 3 has a max distance of 6km.
Antennas 4 2 2
Compatible DJI Drones Mavic 3;
Mavic 3 Cine;
Mavic 3 Classic;
Mini 3 Pro;
Air 2S.
Mavic 3;
Mavic 3 Cine;
Mavic 3 Classic;
Mini 3 Pro;
Mini 3;
Air 2S.
Mavic 3:
Mavic 3 Cine:
Mavic 3 Classic;
Mini 3 Pro;
Mini 3;
Air 2S;
Mini 2;
Mavic Air 2.

 

At this point, it is worth mentioning that different Mini 3 packages come with different controllers included in the box. This is discussed in the next section. 

What's In The Box

When choosing between the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro, it is important to know what comes in the box, as various options are available.

Mini 3: What's In The Box

 

In The Box Drone Only With RC-N1 With DJI RC Fly More Combo (with RC-N1) Fly More Combo (with DJI RC)
Mini 3 1 1 1 1 1
DJI RC-N1 Remote Controller - 1 - 1 -
DJI RC-N1 RC Cable (USB Type-C Connector) - 1 - 1 -
DJI RC-N1 RC Cable (Lightning Connector) - 1 - 1 -
DJI RC-N1 RC Cable (Standard Micro-USB Connector) - 1 - 1 -
DJI RC - - 1 - 1
Intelligent Flight Battery 1 1 1 3 3
Spare Propellers (Pair) 1 1 1 3 3
Spare Screws 6 6 6 18 18
Screwdriver 1 1 1 1 1
Gimbal Protector 1 1 1 1 1
Type-C to Type-C PD Cable 1 1 1 1 1
USB-C Cable - - - 1 1
Shoulder Bag - - - 1 1
Two-way Charging Hub - - - 1 1

 

Mini 3 Pro: What's In The Box

 

In The Box Drone Only With RC-N1 With DJI RC
Mini 3 Pro 1 1 1
DJI RC-N1 Remote Controller - 1 -
DJI RC-N1 RC Cable (USB Type-C Connector) - 1 -
DJI RC-N1 RC Cable (Lightning Connector) - 1 -
DJI RC-N1 RC Cable (Standard Micro-USB Connector) - 1 -
Intelligent Flight Battery 1 1 1
DJI RC - - 1
Spare Propellers (Pair) 1 1 1
Gimbal Protector 1 1 1
Type-C to Type-C PD Cable 1 1 1
Screwdriver 1 1 1
Screws 6 6 6

 

As highlighted by the above tables, Fly More Combos are available for the Mini 3, featuring the drone, either the DJI RC-N1 or DJI RC controller, and additional accessories. The Fly More Combo works out a more cost-effective option compared to buying the extras accessories separately.

Fly More Combos are not available with the Mini 3 Pro, but the standard packages can be bulked out with the Fly More Kit, which features:

 

  • Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Batteries x 2
  • Two-way Charging Hub
  • Data cable
  • Mini 3 Shoulder bag
  • Spare Mini 3 propellers - 2 pairs
  • Spare screws x 12

Mini 3 Vs Mini 3 Pro: Price

One of the biggest appeals of the new Mini 3 will be the price, with a reduced cost compared to the Mini 3 Pro.

For instance, at launch, the Mini 3 drone-only package is £200 cheaper than the Mini 3 Pro equivalent, while the Mini 3 drone with DJI RC package represents a £190 saving compared to the Mini 3 Pro version.  

The table below shows the prices of the various Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro packages. The prices were correct as of December 9th, 2022, but are subject to change.

 

Mini 3 Mini 3 Pro
Drone Only £439 £639
With RC-N1 £519 £709
With DJI RC £669 £859
Fly More Combo With RC-N1: £678
With DJI RC: £828
No Fly More Combo available, but the Fly More Kit is £159.

 

Mini 3 Vs Mini 3 Pro: Summary

Launching simplified versions of existing drones appears to be an emerging DJI trend.

Fairly recently, the world's leading UAS manufacturer released the Mavic 3 Classic, as a stripped-down, and more cost-effective version, of the Mavic 3

A month later, and they have followed up with the Mini 3 to provide a budget alternative to the Mini 3 Pro, which was unveiled earlier in the year.

With this reduced price tag in mind, operators of the Mini 3 must be prepared to make some concessions compared to flying the Mini 3 Pro, such as less capable camera, watered-down sensing system and less effective transmissions system, although it does benefit from slightly longer flight time.

 

 

But whether any of this matters will depend on the requirements of each user.

After all, the new Mini 3 is still a hugely attractive proposition, especially for beginners or those wanting to save some cash.

However, for extra bit of investment, the Mini 3 Pro is a stellar choice and has raised the bar for what miniature drone are capable of.  

 

 

Either way, DJI has now provided its fanbase with two Mini 3s to choose from, giving more scope to pick the best option for your needs. 

 

Contact heliguy™ to find out more about the DJI Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro and to add them to your drone fleet.

 


1 comment


  • Mike Haines

    Thanks for a fantastic overview/comparison of the Mini 3 v Min 3 Pro. This was just what I needed to help me decide what to purchase.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

If you have a question or require urgent assistance, please contact us to ensure your query is dealt with quickly.

Please note, this hidden field is to prevent bot submissions and entering data will result in your comment being discarded without moderation.