DJI has two totally different strains of drones which might be typically thought of shopper drones — one thing a pastime photographer (or maybe knowledgeable photographer on a funds who doesn’t need all of the bells and whistles of a Mavic). They’re the DJI Air and DJI Mini strains. And now that we’ve marked the launch of the DJI Air 3 in July 2023, each strains can declare to be on their third generations of drones. So in a mashup between each third generations of drones, the DJI Air 3 vs. Mini 3 Professional, which drone is best?
The DJI Air 3 has far more options and extra highly effective expertise total. It’s additionally manner greater and far more costly — two main detractors. Nobody needs a better worth level, however many folks actively search smaller drones (particularly these within the sub-249 gram class, which the Mini 3 Professional falls into).
On this information to the DJI Air 3 vs. Mini 3 Professional, I’ll weigh the professionals and cons of each that can assist you decide the best digital camera drone for you:
Evaluating costs (winner: DJI Mini 3 Professional)
At $759 for the DJI Mini 3 Professional versus $1,099 for the Air 3 (assuming you choose the mannequin with the essential controller), it’s clear which one wins out on worth. You’ll save greater than 30% (that’s $340) by choosing the Mini 3 Professional over the newer Air 3.
Associated learn: DJI Mini 3 vs. Mini 3 Professional: which drone is best?
DJI Air 3 vs. DJI Mini 3 Professional key specs
However after all, the (largely) higher specs on the Air 3 could make it simple to justify the $340 increased worth. So with that, right here’s a comparability of the DJI Air 3 vs. Mini 3 Professional and a breakdown of what every provides so you’ll be able to determine the very best drone in your funds:
|DJI Air 3
|DJI Mini 3 Professional
|< 249 g
|Folded (with out propellers): 207×100.5×91.1 mm (L×W×H)
Unfolded (with propellers): 258.8×326×105.8 mm (L×W×H)
|Folded (with out propellers): 148×90×62 mm (L×W×H)
Unfolded (with propellers): 251×362×72 mm (L×W×H)
|Max Flight Time
|34 minutes (with Clever Flight Battery)
47 minutes (with Clever Flight Battery Plus *)
|Max Wind Pace Resistance
|World Navigation Satellite tv for pc System
|GPS + Galileo + BeiDou
|GPS + Galileo + BeiDou
|Onboard digital camera(s)
|Two cameras (Vast-angle digital camera and Medium tele digital camera)
|One digital camera
|1/1.3-inch CMOS, Efficient Pixels: 48 MP
|1/1.3-inch CMOS, Efficient Pixels: 48 MP
|Max Picture Dimension
|8064×6048 (48 MP)
|8064×6048 (48 MP)
|Max Video Bitrate
|Omnidirectional binocular imaginative and prescient system, supplemented with an infrared sensor on the backside of the plane
|Ahead, Backward and Downward imaginative and prescient system
|Video Transmission System
So what do all these specs really imply? Right here’s a deeper dive into the DJI Air 3 vs. DJI Mini 3 Professional drones:
Evaluating cameras (winner: DJI Air 3)
If we’re evaluating cameras, realizing that we’re not evaluating two cameras, however moderately, three. That’s as a result of the DJI Air 3 comes with two built-in cameras (making it the primary of the Air line to supply such a factor). The 2 cameras on the DJI Air 3 are:
- A 1/1.3-inch CMOS wide-angle digital camera
- 24mm format equal
- F1.7 aperture
- A 1/1.3-inch CMOS 3x medium tele digital camera (can obtain 3x optical zoom)
- 70mm format equal
- F2.8 aperture
The broad angle cameras on the 2 drones are surprisingly comparable. Whereas the Air 3 is top-of-the-line so far as digital camera drones come, the DJI Mini 3 Professional stunned drone followers when it delivered its personal 1/1.3-inch CMOS digital camera sensor with twin native ISO and a pair of.4μm pixels for top element. That type of tech was one thing beforehand solely obtainable on high-end cinematography drones.
Each drones even have some nice-to-have digital camera modes, together with a vertical capturing mode designed to make it simpler to shoot movies and pictures particularly for mediums like TikTok or Instagram reels.
However the place the Air takes the cake is that secondary tele digital camera. Now, videographers can shortly swap between zoom and broad angle in the identical flight with out having to take down the drone to alter lenses, as you’d must in case you had been flying a high-end digital camera drone like DJI’s Encourage 3.
Whereas the Mini 3 Professional does tout a zoom function, it has one main limitation: video solely. The Mini 3 Professional guarantees to help digital video zoom as much as 2x in 4K, as much as 3x in 2.7K, and as much as 4x in Full HD. Weirdly, it didn’t have picture zoom.
If you happen to’re counting on zoom (notably for photographs), you’ll want the Air 3.
Evaluating plane power (winner: DJI Air 3)
You may’t ignore the myriad ways in which the Air 3 is a much more highly effective plane than the DJI Mini 3 Professional They embody:
Higher battery life: The DJI Air 3 provides as much as 46 minutes of flight time. In the meantime, the bottom model of the Mini 3 Professional provides simply 34 minutes of flight time, which means you get a virtually 50% improve in battery life while you go for DJI’s newer, extra highly effective DJI Air 3 drone.
That mentioned, the DJI Mini 3 Professional makes a valiant effort to win within the battery life class, and that’s all because of a separate battery known as the “Clever Flight Battery Plus.” It is a battery offered individually by DJI through the DJI Mini 3 Professional Fly Extra Plus Equipment, which prices $249 and consists of two such batteries in addition to another goodies like additional propellers and a shoulder bag. That additional $249 value to get the longer battery life narrows the $340 worth hole between the Air 3 and Mini 3 Professional, so hold that in thoughts in case you’re evaluating the 2 based mostly on value.
One other downfall of the Clever Flight Battery Plus is that it’s decently heavy (and heavier than the usual Mini 3 Professional battery). When your Mini 3 Professional is working with the Clever Flight Battery Plus, it’ll find yourself weighing greater than 249 grams, which is in any other case one of many key the explanation why individuals select the Mini 3 Professional drone over the DJI Air 3 (I’ll dive deeper into why drones weighing lower than 249 grams are such an enormous deal down under).
Improved impediment sensing: So far as the drone’s means to detect obstacles (after which plan an alternate route round them), the DJI Air 3 is the clear winner. It begins with the Air 3’s APAS 5.0 tech versus APAS 4.0 on the Air 3. However the true recreation changer comes right down to the variety of sensors at play.
The DJI Air 3 is the primary drone within the Air Sequence to incorporate omnidirectional impediment sensing, one thing the Mini line doesn’t have. Whereas the Mini 3 Professional has a ahead, backward and downward imaginative and prescient system, the Air 3 provides consciousness in all instructions. Consider it like this: the Mini 3 Professional has just a few blindspots, so it’s not protected to imagine it’s crash-proof. Whereas DJI gained’t outright name the DJI Air 3 crash-proof (hey, it’s inevitable someway, someway to somebody), that is just about as shut as you will get.
Higher video transmission: The DJI Air 3 supply O4 video transmission, which is an enchancment upon the Mini 3 Professional’s O3 video transmission. With the Air 3, you’re a most transmission distance of 20 km (assuming low interference, equivalent to flying at most seashores), whereas the DJI Mini 3 Professional has a max transmission distance of simply 12 km.
Evaluating drone measurement (winner: DJI Mini 3 Professional)
Whereas the Air 3 is actually a extra highly effective drone, it’s additionally so much greater — and that’s not essentially an excellent factor. All of DJI’s shopper drones have drastically dropped in measurement from the clunky days of the DJI Phantom line. However whereas the DJI Mavic Professional was a recreation changer again when it launched in 2017 due to its foldable arms that condensed it to the dimensions of a water bottle, it would even be thought of a “massive drone” by immediately’s requirements.
And the Air 2S is definitely a tad bigger than the Mavic Professional, which is 198 mm lengthy when folded. In the meantime, the Air 3 is an even-longer 207 mm lengthy. But, the Mini 3 Professional is simply 148 mm at its longest level.
The Air 3 can also be heavier, coming in at 720 grams whereas the DJI Mini 3 Professional is lower than half that at underneath 249 grams.
Small measurement is unquestionably nice for folk who need to journey with their drone however decrease baggage house, or for people who find themselves simply at all times on-the-go and need to really feel empowered to tuck their drone into, say, a backpack with out it taking an excessive amount of actual property amidst their different stuff.
However then there’s a extra critical purpose why it’s important for the DJI Mini 3 Professional to weigh lower than 250 grams, and that’s the federal government. Many international locations classify drones based mostly on their weight, and construct in additional rules or restrictions based mostly on that. It’s fairly frequent for international locations (together with the U.S.) to make drones that weigh underneath 249 grams exempt from many types of regulation, together with registration necessities.
Smaller, lighter drones just like the DJI Mini 3 Professional assist to alleviate the paperwork burden from the pilot, and they’re additionally theoretically safer within the occasion of a crash (much less drive upon impression).
Who’s the DJI Mini 3 Professional greatest for?
Now that I’ve dug into the variations between the DJI Air 3 vs Mini 3 Professional, it’s time to know which drone is greatest for which individual. There isn’t a “one greatest” drone. There’s merely the very best drone in your state of affairs.
So with that, the DJI Mini 3 Professional is greatest for just a few forms of individuals, together with:
- Entry-level drone pilots
- Individuals who take their drones with them on outside adventures
- Frequent vacationers
- A extremely funds acutely aware pilot who nonetheless needs an important digital camera
The Mini 3 Professional is nice for brand new drone pilots. With its compact measurement, it’s a dream for vacationers, bloggers, outside journey fanatics and athletes who need a drone that they’ll throw of their bag, however gained’t get in the way in which of no matter else they’re doing, whether or not it’s jet-setting around the globe or occurring and off-the-grid tenting tour.
And with the value distinction, that $340 financial savings is likely to be a saving grace for essentially the most price-sensitive drone pilots.
Associated learn: DJI Mini 3 Professional drone overview and information
Purchase the DJI Mini 3 Professional drone now from:
Who’s the DJI Air 3 greatest for?
If the Mini 3 Professional is for the pilot who prioritizes their sport, expedition or vacationers over the drone itself, think about the DJI Air 3 to be the alternative. The DJI Air 3 is for the one that emphasizes flying the drone above all else, thus they don’t thoughts the bigger measurement and bigger price ticket. As a result of in return, they get a way more strong flying expertise due to options like longer flight time, improved transmission and omnidirectional impediment sensing.
An expert photographer searching for a less expensive various to the Mavic 3 would discover this drone to be ideally suited.
Consider it this manner: in case you think about your self an athlete, explorer or traveler first and a drone photographer second, get the Mini 3 Professional.
If you happen to think about your self a drone pilot first after which the sports activities, excursions and adventures come second to that, then get the DJI Air 3.
By the way in which, if you wish to see an entire rundown of every thing you get while you purchase the brand new Air 3 drone, try my recent DJI Air 3 unboxing video!
Between the DJI Mini 3 Professional versus Air 3 drones, which one would you moderately have? Share your remark under!