The DJI Mini 3 is a drone I nonetheless fly avidly to today regardless of that it was launched greater than a 12 months in the past and has the Mini 3 Professional and Mini 4 Professional in line after it. It’s one among DJI’s most traditional creations.
Then there’s the Air 3, completely different in some ways, equivalent to its distinctive second digital camera and prolonged flight time with out the necessity for a battery improve. I fell in love with it the second I flew it and nonetheless relish each time I take it out.
These two drones are each glorious decisions for business pilots, albeit destined for various audiences.
The Mini 3 is beginner-friendly and appeals to a social media crowd who need to make a huge impact with out being drone specialists. The Air 3 is for the seasoned pilot who needs to step it up.
So, which is healthier?
This text will overview the variations between the DJI Mini 3 and Air 3, relating areas like battery life, efficiency, impediment avoidance, digital camera high quality, and all the opposite components affecting your decision-making when shopping for a drone. I’ll share loads of my private ideas and expertise alongside the best way that can assist you see why I chosen the Air 3 as my drone of alternative between these two glorious DJI fashions.
I do know you’re able to purchase your drone now, so let’s not waste a second.
DJI Mini 3
As talked about, the Mini 3 is an “older” drone in some respects, launched in Could 2022. It was adopted inside that very same 12 months by the Mini 3 Professional, then the Mini 4 Professional in September 2023.
Not like these two Professional editions, the Mini 3 has accessibility and inclusivity going for it. That’s what drew me to it.
It appeared just like the form of drone anybody may choose up and fly, and I in the end confirmed that to be true after I examined it out. It was really easy to study and grasp, which felt very rewarding.
Listed here are its standout options:
- An ultra-capable 1/1.3-inch CMOS digital camera that shoots in 48 MP picture high quality and 4K HDR video. That’s a big step up from the Mini 2’s high quality, and the Mini 3’s high quality nonetheless holds up over a 12 months after its launch. That’s the form of high quality that may spoil you if that is your first drone, particularly in case you purchase a drone from a producer aside from DJI.
- An FAA-complementary weight of below 249 grams. In case you use this drone recreationally, you don’t need to hassle registering it. It’s all the time good to save lots of time and the $5, particularly for newbies who don’t need to do anything earlier than they’ll fly.
- The battery life is surprisingly first rate, with 38 marketed minutes with the usual Clever Flight Battery. In case you improve to the Clever Flight Battery Plus for a further charge, DJI says this drone can fly for over 50 minutes!
- A powerful suite of Clever Flight Modes that newbies will enjoyment of, together with extra QuickShots modes, Vertical and Horizontal capturing, and entry to DJI’s free, intuitive enhancing app LightCut, which runs on Wi-Fi. You’ll be able to shoot, polish, and publish your footage earlier than you even head dwelling for the day, sustaining a posting schedule that retains your title high of thoughts.
- Surprisingly nice Stage 5 wind resistance for a drone so light-weight. DJI recommends flying this drone in winds of 24 miles per hour, however I’ve pushed it previous 25 mph a couple of times with adequate outcomes.
DJI Air 3
Following a couple of 12 months after the discharge of the Mini 3 was the Air 3, an entry within the long-running Mavic collection.
This drone gained approval for its dual-camera system, which despatched shockwaves via the drone neighborhood.
I used to be so psyched for this drone to return out, and I didn’t wait lengthy after its launch to personally fly it. Since that fateful day, I’ve flown this drone for tons of of hours general, familiarizing myself with its each characteristic.
So, that are essentially the most noteworthy? Right here’s an inventory:
- The twin-camera system has a medium tele and wide-angle digital camera. Each cameras obtain 12 to 48 MP picture decision relying on the capturing mode. The cameras have completely different format equivalents and apertures based on your temper and setting. The medium tele digital camera additionally options 3X optical zoom.
- Twin 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensors can produce 4K HDR video at 60 frames per second. This video high quality is great, and with sturdy coloration grading, the lifelike richness of your movies and images will make it easier to construct a five-star undertaking portfolio.
- An marketed baseline battery size of 46 minutes, with out the necessity to improve to a different battery.
- Extra superior options make flying the Air 3 protected, equivalent to omnidirectional impediment sensing and Good RTH. You’ll be able to fly this drone with fewer worries.
- Wonderful Clever Flight Modes, together with FocusTrack by way of the medium tele digital camera, 2.7K Vertical Taking pictures, QuickShots, and MasterShots. LightCut can be appropriate with this drone for quicker enhancing.
Right here on Droneblog, we solely carry you the highest drone suggestions primarily based on tons of of hours of flight testing, private expertise, and analysis. So, between the Mini 3 and Air 3, which drone comes out on high?
I really feel assured in concluding that the DJI Air 3 is the higher drone between it and the Mini 3. It doesn’t solely come right down to its dual-camera system, though that was actually a contributing issue. The Air 3 additionally has extra Clever Flight Modes, a sturdy impediment avoidance system, and a stronger battery life out of the gate.
After all, I may heap praises on the Mini 3 all day. It’s that good of a drone.
It nonetheless stands up effectively towards the Mini 3 Professional and Mini 4 Professional, though these drones may need some superior options the Mini 3 lacks.
The Mini 3 stays an economical entry within the Mini line for newbies who need top-notch picture and video high quality, starter Clever Flight Modes, and a battery that doesn’t give up. It’s simply not so good as the Air 3.
What are the primary variations?
Though each drones are manufactured by DJI, their variations aren’t negligible. These two drones belong to completely different collection, making every a refreshingly distinctive flight expertise.
There’s lots to have interaction you regardless of which of those two drones you choose.
Let’s delve into what makes them dissimilar.
- Variety of cameras: Like many DJI drones earlier than and after it, the Mini 3 is supplied with a single digital camera. The Air 3 gives two, offering extra versatility.
- Weight: As you’d possible determine, the Air 3 is a heavier drone as a result of it has two cameras. It’s additionally not designed to be as light-weight because the Mini 3, which weighs below 250 grams. The Air 3 is 720 grams by comparability, so it’s greater than twice the load of the Mini 3. They don’t name it a Mini drone for nothing!
- Impediment avoidance: The Air 3 has omnidirectional impediment sensing and APAS 5.0 to detect and dodge obstacles. It’s a sensible system and the most effective DJI gives at present (no less than as of this writing). By comparability, the Mini 3 has no impediment avoidance. That makes it significantly much less protected to fly, though it’s fitted to newbies extra so than the Air 3.
- Clever Flight Modes: Each drones have Clever Flight Modes; these are DJI drones, in spite of everything. Nonetheless, the Air 3 has extra, together with MasterShots and FocusTrack.
- Newbie-friendliness: The Air 3 is an superior drone, however let’s be actual, it’s form of intimidating in case you don’t have a variety of flight expertise. Regardless that it has impediment detection and avoidance, it’s not essentially the most beginner-friendly drone from DJI. The Mini 3 is way simpler to choose up and fly by comparability. It has options like auto-launching that I believe are so useful!
DJI Mini 3
The Mini 3 continues an ultra-successful line of DJI drones designed to be flown recreationally with out FAA registration.
These travel-friendly drones below 250 grams have impressed many copycats, however there’s one thing concerning the originals that simply can’t be beat.
The 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor is similar discovered within the Air 3. Its highest picture decision is a shocking 48 MP. That’s about nearly as good because it will get in DJI’s consumer-level drones.
You’d need to improve to an enterprise answer for higher, and which may not suit your wants even when working commercially.
The 4K HDR video high quality is about nearly as good as DJI does it, too. Positive, a few of its cameras can obtain 5.1K video, however the distinction between the 2 isn’t massive sufficient that you just’d have to contemplate one other collection in addition to the Mini in case you love every thing else concerning the Mini 3.
Moreover these glorious digital camera qualities, the 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor has twin native ISO, four-in-one pixels, and f/1.7 aperture.
Though an adjustable aperture is all the time extra enjoyable, I discovered the default settings of the Mini 3’s digital camera are well-suited for day and night time images and videography.
You need to anticipate unbelievable highlights, particulars, and shadows in your work, the form of head-turning high quality that may put a smile on any consumer’s face. Oh, and did I point out this digital camera has 4x zoom for getting in shut with out flying your drone too close to the scene?
The three-axis mechanical gimbal helps Vertical and Horizontal capturing alike for social media-friendly pictures.
The QuickShots options are among the most plentiful in any DJI drone, with 5 togglable modes for extra enjoyable: Dronie, Boomerang, Rocket, Circle, and Helix.
These options mechanically raise the Mini 3 into the sky, capturing movies because it maneuvers. You’ll be able to increase the Mini 3’s digital camera capabilities with the Panorama characteristic, capturing in Large Angle, Sphere, and 180-Levels.
Good RTH is a failsafe in case of low battery or lack of sign. You may also launch the Mini 3 mechanically via Auto Takeoff, a characteristic DJI discovered so good, it returned within the later Mini 2 SE.
The infrared sensors, downward imaginative and prescient system, and GNSS maintain this drone hovering stably to extend your self-assurance as you learn the way this drone maneuvers.
DJI Air 3
The Air 3 continues DJI’s esteemed line of drones on this collection, producing a double-camera system that’s one of many producer’s most crowning achievements to this point.
In case you personal the Mini 3 and also you’re searching for a drone to improve to after you study its options and achieve sufficient expertise, the Air 3 will really feel like a well-recognized companion.
In any case, it has the identical 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor you’re used to, producing glorious video and picture high quality.
The cameras can shoot in 12 MP in some modes, which isn’t that nice, however with a max high quality of 48 MP, I’m not sweating the 12 MP settings a lot, and also you shouldn’t both.
Let’s take a better have a look at the cameras.
One is a medium tele digital camera with an f/2.8 aperture and a 70-millimeter format equal. That is the 3x zoom digital camera. The wide-angle digital camera contains f/1.7 aperture and a 24-millimeter format equal.
The cameras seize the identical scenes fairly in a different way. Somewhat than carry a number of drones on a undertaking or journey, you need to use simply the Air 3 to take footage that matches the temper and setting.
Plus, with 10-bit HLG and 10-bit D-Log M, the vary of colours in your movies and photographs will improve your footage so fantastically that you just may solely have to spend minutes in publish. The twin native ISO and crop-free movies additionally scale back your enhancing time.
You’ll be able to spend extra time flying and importing, good for content material creators who by no means take a time off.
The Air 3 has security options aplenty, excess of you’ll discover within the Mini 3. It makes use of the Superior Pilot Help System or APAS 5.0 to keep away from obstacles and omnidirectional impediment sensing.
That’s a complete security system for newbies and extra skilled pilots alike.
Just like the Mini 3, the Air 3 has Good RTH, Vertical Taking pictures (in 2.7K for each cameras), and QuickShots.
Moreover, it has FocusTrack by way of the medium tele digital camera, with Level of Curiosity 3.0, Highlight 2.0, and ActiveTrack 5.0 for locating topics, locking on, and zooming in.
MasterShots is a social media star’s dream, because it has results and cuts for shortly placing collectively your cinematic masterpiece. You’ll be able to even add music.
Then, between SmartPhoto 3.0 (which selects the scene, hyperlight, and HDR based on your setting, taking single-shot photographs), Night time Mode, Sluggish Movement, and Hyperlapse, you’ve bought all you want.
Digital camera system
Winner: DJI Air 3
The Mini 3 and Air 3 have the identical digital camera sensor techniques and picture and video decision. Whereas it will have been a better battle if these had been single-camera drones, they aren’t.
The Air 3 has two cameras, so it has a bonus. The wide-angle digital camera expands the world round you extra fantastically than you’ve maybe ever skilled with a drone earlier than, whereas the 3x medium tele digital camera zooms and maintains glorious high quality, whether or not capturing photos or movies.
Then, between the 10-bit D-Log M and 10-bit HLG, you get a blinding array of colours the Mini 3’s digital camera can’t fairly stay as much as. It’s shut, don’t get me fallacious, and I nonetheless love the colourful movies and pictures you’ll be able to take with the Mini 3, however they’re not fairly as vibrant.
The element, highlights, shadows, and dynamic vary you’ll be able to anticipate within the Air 3 are additionally superior, though I’ll give the zooming capabilities to the Mini 3.
Its digital camera can zoom in 4x reasonably than the 3x the Air 3 achieves. It’s a small win, however a win, however.
Winner: DJI Air 3
The Mini 3 is a tremendous drone throughout the board, and it excels in efficiency. Nonetheless, it doesn’t excel to fairly the identical diploma because the Air 3, no less than not in most classes.
By way of launching and retaining your drone airborne, sure, the Mini 3 wins. It does all this nearly mechanically to facilitate confidence in new pilots.
Nonetheless, when you’re within the sky, the Air 3 offers a greater expertise.
It has extra Clever Flight Modes than the Mini 3. I like the Mini 3’s sensible options, however sure, after some time, you need extra. The Air 3 delivers.
The Air 3 can be a safer drone to fly, because it has impediment detection and avoidance. The Mini 3 has a downward sensing system, however that’s not fairly impediment detection, and it actually can’t keep away from obstacles. That’s all on you.
It’s a curious omission on this beginner-friendly drone made curiouser by the truth that some Mini drones don’t have any impediment avoidance by any means, and others do. Go determine.
Winner: DJI Mini 3
The Mini 3 is the clear winner on this class. This drone is designed to journey right here, there, and in all places. It’s light-weight, small, foldable, and the last word in portability.
You’ll be able to carry it in a small bag, a bigger one, a backpack, or absolutely anything, and it gained’t weigh you down.
The Air 3 additionally folds, nevertheless it’s bigger than the Mini 3 and in addition weighs extra. It’s the form of drone you are taking in your travels with a knot in your abdomen, hoping it reaches its vacation spot in a single piece.
Touring with it gained’t be a back-breaking expertise or something of that kind, however this drone isn’t precisely that gentle, and also you may really feel it after some time.
RC compatibility and transmission vary
Winner: DJI Air 3
The touchscreen is tremendous responsive, and you’ll customise the management buttons to fly the Mini 3 (and different appropriate drones) how you want. What’s to not love?
The Air 3 contains the DJI RC 2, which DJI calls a “next-generation” distant.
This controller has a display dimension the identical because the DJI RC, nevertheless it’s bought an FHD show. The processor can be new and improved, as is the transmission system and antenna system, the latter of which boasts 4 receivers and two transmitters.
It’s a nicer-looking controller that handles effectively, after which there’s that superb display. It’s the last word solution to see how your drone is dealing with all of the flight controls.
This controller debuted with the Air 3 and is up to now solely additionally appropriate with the Mini 4 Professional, so the Mini 3 wins within the controller compatibility division.
Nonetheless, the DJI RC can solely transmit video information 10 kilometers away, whereas the O4 video transmission system included within the RC-N2 doubles that, making it the higher distant.
Winner: DJI Mini 3
The Mini 3 has a typical flight time of 38 minutes with the bottom Clever Flight Battery. Nicely, that’s the time DJI advertises. I bought round 35 minutes, which is okay however not so long as a few of DJI’s opponents nowadays.
The bottom battery lifetime of the Mini 3 doesn’t need to be excessively lengthy, contemplating you’ll be able to improve to the Clever Flight Battery Plus to get an marketed 51 minutes of flight time.
Now, it’s a bummer this battery doesn’t include the bottom Mini 3, nevertheless it’s price upgrading. I bought round 47 minutes of time within the sky with this battery, which is effectively over 10 minutes greater than what the bottom battery will get you.
The Air 3 doesn’t have an upgradable battery. Its battery life is an marketed 46 minutes, so round 42 minutes. It’s a a lot better battery life for a 2023 drone.
I might have picked the Air 3 if not for the Mini 3’s ultra-tempting 51-minute flight time, even in case you don’t get it with the bottom drone.
» MORE: Drone Batteries (In-Depth Data)
Deciding on between the DJI Mini 3 and Air 3 doesn’t produce a loser both means. Your alternative ought to come right down to what you’re searching for in a drone.
In case you search an ultra-lightweight mannequin, the Mini 3 gained’t disappoint. Its high-quality digital camera, base Clever Flight Options, and on-the-go enhancing make it a powerhouse. That stated, it’s lacking impediment detection and avoidance.
The Air 3 is for the professional drone photographer and videographer who needs to simplify their fleet.
This drone has two cameras in a single to go well with extra moods and images and videography eventualities, to not point out nice Clever Flight Modes and top-line impediment avoidance.