DJI Mavic 3 Pro Review: A Pro-Level Drone That’s Pricey, But Worth It

Has Pro3 3 Mavic fit in where? Drones now have inexpensive prices, robust collision-avoidance sensors, long battery life, good image quality, and easy-to-use software. After many years of drone technology growth, it feels like it has reached a plateau.

The design of optical technology in drones is one area where significant improvements are still being made. However, the capabilities of drone technology for capturing video and still images are still limited, as most drones only have digital zoom and fixed focal length lenses.

DJI’s new Mavic 3 Pro and Mavic 3 Cine Pro tackle these limitations with a trio of lenses that provide up to 7x zoom and capture a confusing term for a few reasons — an image capture camera like Hasselblad.

DJI utilizes the term “Hasselblad camera” in its marketing to refer to drones that have a sensor and lens end that is superior to many others, and this term is used because DJI acquired the renowned camera maker Hasselblad.

Photography Configuration

This data rate is more advanced than my home gigabit fiber optic connection, but it is challenging to assess due to its exclusive nature. It is worth mentioning that the Mavic 3 Pro Cine, which includes a larger internal storage capacity (1 TB compared to 8 GB) and a claimed data transfer rate of 10Gbps to the controller, was subjected to my testing. DJI provides both the Mavic 3 Pro and Mavic 3 Pro Cine, which offer comparable features.

The broadest-angle camera features a adjustable aperture ranging from f/2.8 to f/11, along with a lens offering a field of view of 84 degrees (equivalent to 24mm). It is equipped with a 20-megapixel CMOS Type 4/3 sensor, which DJI promotes as a Hasselblad camera. Nevertheless, this represents the sole factual information regarding the Mavic 3 Pro Cine. The additional curious aspect is that.

The third camera showcases a 12-megapixel sensor, a non-adjustable f/3.4 lens, and a field-of-view of 15 degrees (equivalent to 166mm). On the contrary, the medium-focal-length camera is equipped with a 48-megapixel 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor and a 35-degree field of view (equivalent to 70mm) with a non-adjustable f/2.8 lens.

The option for customers is better affected by drones with higher end capabilities. While some drones have a maximum speed of 1,768 Mbps, the Mavic 3 Pro is capable of producing HQ 422 ProRes Apple LT/422/422 camera footage at 3,772 Mbps. This is another improvement over earlier generations of drones, with the Hasselblad camera being able to capture high-quality images from each drone.

The primary camera on the Mavic 3 Pro captures resolutions of FHD, 4K UHD, 4K DCI, and 5.1K, while the other two cameras record in 4K and 4K UHD from Hasselblad.

The Hasselblad camera can capture up to 120 frames per second (FPS), and all three cameras are capable of recording at least 4k resolution at 60 FPS. However, the frame rates for capturing vary among the cameras.

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During my experiments, the durations of the flights were quite satisfactory. I obtained approximately 25 to 30 minutes of airborne duration while conducting a variety of tests, encompassing hovering, capturing cinematic video panoramas, and subjecting the collision avoidance system to some demanding assessments. DJI asserts a maximum flight time of 43 minutes and a maximum hovering time of 37 minutes. However, these figures are not particularly precise when the drone is exposed to real-life scenarios.

Familiar to anyone using a drone in this class, the weight of the DJI drone comes in under a kilogram. I tucked mine into a purse-sized messenger bag, with enough room for the small camera and lens combo, extra batteries, and a backpack for hiking.

Picture Clarity

The footage video from DJI’s Mavic Pro 3 is excellent, with clear and clean footage even at zoom ranges of 7x and 3x. It is considered important due to the atmospheric haze. This drone is the best among all the current DJI drones.

The Canadian wildfires dropped smoke on the northeastern United States, blanketing our region for even days and weeks. The footage taken with zoom lenses shows notable amounts of particulate matter, even on the lightest days.

footage from DJI mavic 3 pro

footage from DJI

The Mavic Pro 3 can capture Cine Pro 422 LT and HQ 422 ProRes formats, which is why the internal storage of the drone is 1 TB. This greatly simplifies grading color and expanding the resolution and color capabilities of benefit films, documentaries, and commercials featuring working people.

When it comes to video image quality, there is little to criticize here. In order to upgrade to a drone with a larger sensor, which comes at a higher price, one would need to obtain footage that looks even better than what the Mavic 3 Pro Cine offers.

When taking into account the superior battery and enhanced navigation, the expense of the Airpeak can easily surpass that of the Inspire 3. Augmenting the cost of the Airpeak, which solely functions as a flying platform, is the inclusion of a camera. The Airpeak is priced at approximately $8,000, whereas the Inspire 3 costs around $17,000. Nevertheless, both the DJI Inspire 3 and the Sony Airpeak (which possesses its own array of issues) fail to measure up to the Mavic 3 Pro Cine in terms of delivering the highest quality footage.

The footage captured by the DJI Mavic Cine Pro 3 and other drones often suffers from issues such as underexposures or overexposures, as well as challenging backlighting conditions. This is mainly due to the tiny sensor present in these cameras, which struggle to handle the wide contrast between shadow and light in outdoor scenes, making it difficult to achieve consistent results.

DJI Mavic 3
The bridge in the distance has both chromatic aberration and jagged artifacts on the support cables.

When taking pictures with drones, I like to capture them in exposure bracketing mode and merge the HDR footage at a later time, following the flight.

HDR images from multi-exposure bracketing mode.
HDR images from multi-exposure bracketing mode.
HDR images from multi-exposure bracketing mode.
HDR images from multi-exposure bracketing mode.

Preventing Problems

Many long-time drone users are familiar with the sadness of intentionally crashing the drone because I know this system works incredibly well and the Pro 3 Mavic has detection in all directions. Due to blind spots in the collision avoidance system, the drone can end up slamming into a wall or tree.

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I was amazed by the re-routing features of the Mavic 3 Pro, and I managed to capture fantastic footage by maneuvering the drone through a densely forested region and allowing it to navigate around obstructions. It was extremely difficult to collide with anything while using this drone in both normal and cinema modes, which was not the case with some previous Mavic models. In the past, I would often encounter branches or bushes, especially when flying in reverse, which were particularly problematic due to the presence of blind spots.

As I moved nearer, it showed no inclination to retreat, rather it stayed stationary, floating in front of me while I neared the Mavic 3 Pro Cine. True to my expectations, it halted a couple of feet away when I had my son pilot the drone directly towards me. This outcome caught me by surprise.

Until this moment, I had never considered testing it by utilizing the collision-avoidance feature, although I am certain that this applies to all of DJI’s drones. Despite having collision avoidance activated, I could have unintentionally walked directly into the rotating blades. The Mavic 3 Pro ascended into the sky to prevent any potential “collision” with my hand, as I cautiously positioned my hand beneath the drone’s sensor facing the ground.

Threefold Vision

The standout feature of this drone is its variable focal length, which allows it to capture much more with these three lenses than the Pro 3 Mavic single-lens drones can.

The problem with the three-camera system is that it always produces poor-quality images with low sharpness and high noise. This is due to the fact that other drones have a crop zoom system, where a digital zoom is performed on the already tiny physical chip, resulting in a significant loss of image quality. The biggest sensor in these three cameras is a 4/3 Type sensor, which contains tiny sensors.

DJI maximizes the potential of these small sensors, however, a Type 4/3 sensor will never match the dynamic range and noise levels of a full-frame camera. Nonetheless, the outcome is footage of exceptional quality.


Robust Photography Modes

The Pro 3 Mavic is an outstanding company that excels in the custom shooting range automation. It surpasses previous Mavic drones by eliminating the need for gimbals and booms. These auto-flying modes can be activated with just a few taps, resulting in shots that are produced effortlessly.

Gain Command

Straight from the package, the controllers are user-friendly. Customization is enabled through programmable buttons, while the control panel of the Mavic 3 Pro Classic showcases a vibrant, spacious display that remains visible even under direct sunlight.

I turned off my iPhone, but I’m confident that the large size of the thermal management controller allows for efficient heat dissipation. The screen of the controller became extremely hot after thirty minutes of continuous use on a day with temperatures reaching 85 degrees.

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Dress in a relaxed manner

The Classic Pro 3 Mavic and Mavic Pro 3 are two drone models from DJI’s lineup that share identical flying capabilities, but differ in their design elements.

Updating the firmware is always a part of flying a new DJI drone, as it is essential to ensure that the drone functions properly. Within seconds of taking it out of the box, I could have the software updated and become familiar with it.

The video transmission quality of the range transmission drone was excellent, with high-resolution and clear images right up to the edge. I could fly this drone without being forced to learn something new. It has a consistent interface across devices.

In-camera panorama mode can produce some…unique results.

Super (Spooky) Zoom

One of the features on the Mavic Pro 3 that weirds me out a bit is the “Explore” mode, which is a mix of digital and optical zoom with a very creepy amount of reach, reaching up to 28x.

I can only fly my drone over public or legally owned private properties with permission and I will only attempt to record videos without recording behind someone’s property’s privacy barriers or walls with the owner’s permission.

As these illustrations demonstrate, it is almost impractical in a metropolitan setting to refrain from glimpsing into an individual’s existence at 28x.

I suggest removing the “Explore” mode; it’s a fantastic feature for scouting a route out from the air. Is it worth the time to check it out and see if there’s a waterfall in the distance? Before using up the battery, make sure to check it out and zoom in 28x.

Below, you can observe a variety of pictures that gradually magnify from 1x to 28x.

The lowest amount of zoom, 1x.

Zoom Modes

Drones compromise on exercise. The battery life decreases, but stability is enhanced by adding weight. As weight increases, images improve to support larger camera sensors. Better transmission rates necessitate improved battery capabilities, enabling better ranges. And so forth.

The DJI Mavic 3 Pro Cine Premium Combo, which includes the drone, controller, batteries, and more, is priced at $4,800, making it the most expensive option. On the other hand, the Mavic 3 Pro and controller combo is available for $2,200, representing the most notable compromise. DJI has ensured that both the Mavic 3 Pro and Mavic 3 Pro Cine have few compromises.

DJI Mavic 3 Pro cine

Are There Other Options?

DJI drones have become the preferred choice for many, as there are not many other alternatives that can match the top-end quality and control offered by DJI. DJI has solidified its position in the market by continuously improving its flagship models, such as the Mavic 3 Pro and Mavic 3 Pro Cine. DJI has put in a lot of effort to establish itself as the leading brand in the drone industry.

For anyone looking for a great choice, the DJI Mavic 3 Classic is reviewed, which has similar performance and flight capabilities without multiple cameras.

Is It Worth Purchasing?

If you’re in search of a variety of focal lengths for your drone photography and videography, the Mavic 3 Pro and Mavic 3 Pro Cine would be your optimal options. Indeed.

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