DJI Mini 3 : our complete test

A few months after the release of the Mini 3 Pro, DJI is pleased to offer us a new version: the DJI Mini 3 (without the “Pro” extension). This new Mini is much more affordable and seems to be a worthy successor to the Mini 2. But how is it different from the “Pro” version? What is it worth? And most importantly, do you have to buy it? The answers in our complete test!

DJI Mini 3 Pro: its characteristics

First, let’s take a look at the features of the beast:

Weight<249 g
Dimensions (L x W x H) Folded (without propellers): 148 x 90 x 62 mm
Unfolded (with propellers): 251 x 362 x 72 mm
Sensor1/1.3 inch 12 MP CMOS
Lens24mm equivalent
Fixed aperture f/1.7
Field of view 82.1
Max video resolution4K / 30 fps
2,7K / 60 frames/s
1080p / 60 fps
Max photo resolution12MP
Video formatMP4 (H.264)
Photo formatJPEG/DNG (RAW)
Max bit rate100 Mb/s
Digital Zoom4K : 2x
2.7K : 3x
1080p: 4x
Video modesQuickShots: Dronie, Spiral, Rocket, Circle and Boomerang
Maximum speed16 m/s
Maximum wind resistance10.7 m/s (level 5)
TransmissionDJI O2
RangeFCC : 10 km CE : 6 km
Obstacle detectionDownwards
Drums2453 mAh
Maximum flight time38 minutes

Discover our accessories for
DJI Mini 3


DJI Mini 3: design and radio controls

The design

dji mini 3 test 1

From an aesthetic point of view, the DJI Mini 3 is very similar to the Mini 3 Pro. We find of course the foldable design faithful to the drones produced by DJI, and always with a weight of less than 250g, like all the drones of the Mini series.

However, there are some small differences with its big brother with the “Pro” extension: first of all, two feet are added under the front arms, in order to offer more stability when it is put on the ground, especially on unstable grounds.

Finally, the most important difference: theabsence of obstacle detectors. Lacking the three-dimensional obstacle detection system of the Mini 3 Pro, the Mini 3 no longer has the two sensors located on the top of the drone. These are replaced by vents, which slightly change the physical appearance of his nose. Also, no more sensors under the drone, where only the infrared sensors remain.

Radio controls

dji mini 3 pro test review

The DJI Mini 3 is compatible with two radio controls:

  • the DJI RC-N1, also supplied with the Mini 2, Mavic 3, Mavic Air 2 and Air 2S drones, on which you connect your smartphone to have the video return.
  • the DJI RC, released with the Mini 3 Pro, with a large 5.5-inch screen with a brightness of 700 nits. Clearly the best option if you want our opinion, but also involves a higher expense.

Unlike the Mini 3 Pro, the Mini 3 is not compatible with the DJI RC Pro radio control.

➡️ Find our complete test of the DJI RC radio control (click here)

DJI Mini 3: the camera

Pod and camera

The DJI Mini 3 is equipped with the same camera as the Mini 3 Pro. Well almost, it is actually slightly different. Indeed, it is the same 1/1.3 inch CMOS sensor, but with a lower resolution: 12MP, against 48MP on the Mini 3 Pro.

As on the Mini 3 Pro, the pod can tilt the camera vertically. You can take pictures and films in landscape of course, but also in portrait. Ideal for those who want to share on social networks: we think of course of the followers of TikTok, Instagram stories, or Youtube shorts.

One last point about this gondola: it is capable of vertical orientation from -135 to +80 degrees, which offers greater flexibility in making videos. This will allow us to obtain original shots, for example by placing ourselves in low angle under buildings, or by making vertical sweeps that are more extensive than with a traditional gondola.

Note: the sensor being the same as on the Mini 3 Pro, we can use the same filters on one as on the other.

Photo and video modes

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is a little less provided with photo and video features than its “Pro” version. Don’t worry, there are many modes available that will satisfy most users, but we think it’s important to specify which modes are present and which are absent from this version, so you know what to expect.

In photography, there are three shooting modes:

  • the unique photo mode
  • AEB mode, which allows you to take 3 shots in burst at different exposures to create an HDR effect
  • interval mode, which will take pictures at regular intervals

We note theabsence of the burst mode which is present on the Mini 3 Pro. Also, the AEB mode allows you to take “only” 3 pictures, while you can choose 3 or 5 shots on the Pro version.

In video, we find the famous QuickShots, these automatic modes that allow you to make original videos by simply pressing a button. The Mini 3 has the Dronie, Spiral, Rocket, Circle and Boomerang modes. No Asteroid mode, however, reserved for the Mini 3 Pro.

Notable absentees are the MasterShots mode, which combines QuickShots and adds music to make a small clip ready to post, and the Hyperlapse mode, which creates a timelapse effect in motion. If you are an absolute fan of these two modes, you will have to pass.

As for the panorama modes, there is no vertical mode. On the other hand, the Sphere, 180° and Wide Angle modes are available.

Finally, it is not strictly speaking a photo or video mode, but the Mini 3 is well equipped with the mode QuickTransfer which allows a quick transfer of your shots to store them on your smartphone or share them as soon as possible on social networks. You shouldn’t keep your followers waiting. 😁

Image quality

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is capable of capturing 12MP photos. In video, it can shoot in 4K up to 30 fps (compared to 60 for the Pro version), and in 2.7K up to 60 fps. The 1080p resolution is limited to 60 fps, so you won’t be able to do the same slow-motion shots as on the Mini 3 Pro, which offers a frame rate of 120 fps at the same resolution.

Finally, to be complete on the technical characteristics of the device, know that the Mini 3 has only the Normal color profile, not D-Cinelike profile as on the Mini 3 Pro. Moreover, its bit rate is 100 Mb/s, against 150 Mb/s on the Pro version.

As for zoom, the new Mini is capable of zooming up to 2x in 4K, 3x in 2.7K, and 4x in Full HD. Note that this is a digital zoom, so do not expect wonders, we will inevitably lose in quality. But the fact that the function is present is already an asset that can come in handy.

So, what does this mean in practice? 🤔

Compared to the Mini 3 Pro, the difference is not striking. The quality is slightly lower, but it is not so obvious either.

On the other hand, compared to the Mini 2, the image quality is much better: the images are more detailed, the contours are more marked and we have a better dynamic range.

All this is made possible by two processes:

  • Automatic HDR, which compiles three different exposures to bring out the shadows and highlights: this gives a more dynamic image, with more vibrant colors.
  • native double ISO: the sensor measures two different ISO values to select the best sensitivity pixel by pixel. This will reveal more detail in the highlights and shadows, and also reduce low-light grain, which was lacking in the Mini 2.

DJI Mini 3: features and flight performance

dji mini 3 test 2

Safety and smart modes

This is THE big difference with the Mini 3 Pro: the Mini 3 lacks the three-dimensional (forward, backward and downward) obstacle detection system of the Pro version. So if you’re the cautious type and you absolutely want to reduce any risk that you could put your precious drone through (even if there is no such thing as zero risk), you might want to opt for the Pro version.

Who says no detection of obstacles, necessarily says no mode that requires its sensors. Thus, there is no subject tracking mode or APAS mode for automatic obstacle avoidance.

However, rest assured, the RTH mode ofautomatic return to the starting point is present and will be triggered in case of loss of signal, low battery, or at your request if the need arises.

Battery and flight time

The DJI Mini 3 is equipped with the same batteries as the Pro version. The smart battery with a capacity of 2453 mAh can therefore be used on both drones without any problems.

But surprise, DJI announces an improvement of the autonomy, with a maximum duration of use of 38 minutes, that is to say 4 minutes more than on the Mini 3 Pro. This is simply the best range for the Mini series to date.

Of course, this duration is difficult to reach in real conditions of use, but we regularly reached flight times around 30 minutes, which is really very comfortable and largely sufficient to have time to immortalize a new place.

Note also that the Mini 3 is also compatible with the large capacity battery of 3850 mAh already available as an option with the Mini 3 Pro. With this battery, the Mini 3 will be able to reach a record autonomy of 51 minutes! This will however increase the total weight of the drone to 290g.

Transmission and scope

On the transmission side, the Mini 3 is equipped withOcySync 2.0, just like the Mini 2, while the Mini 3 Pro is equipped with the latest version 3.0. This reduces the range by 2km, i.e. 10km FCC and 6km CE.

Flight behaviour

Like the Mini 3 Pro, whose design it takes after a few details, the DJI Mini 3 has the advantage of being larger than the Mini 2 when unfolded, with longer arms and slightly larger propellers, giving it better lift, better wind resistance, and therefore better stability in flight.

Like its predecessor, the Mini 3 is capable of flying up to 16 m/s, or about 57 km/h, and can withstand level 5 winds of up to 10.7 m/s (about 38 km/h).

However, we noted during our tests a slightly worse hovering stability than on the Mini 3 Pro, most likely due to the lack of downward obstacle sensors.

A word about the regulations: the DJI Mini 3 will be approved in category A1 class C0. This involves a simple online registration, so no training or exam. This approval is in progress at the time of this article, but don’t worry if you are among the first owners of the drone: it will be retroactive.

DJI Mini 3: the price

dji mini 3 test 4

Upon its release, the DJI Mini 3 is available in no less than 5 different packages. It seems that DJI wants to satisfy as many people as possible and to adapt to all budgets.

Like the Mini 3 Pro and the Mavic 3, the DJI Mini 3 is available on its own, without a remote control. Ideal if you already own a DJI RC-N1 or a DJI RC from another device, or if your drone has been broken.

Here are the 5 different packages available on the official DJI website:

DJI Mini 3 (drone only)489€
DJI Mini 3 + DJI RC-N1579€
DJI Mini 3 + DJI RC749€
DJI Mini 3 + DJI RC-N1 + Fly More Combo768€
DJI Mini 3 + DJI RC + Fly More Combo938€

For comparison, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is available alone for 739€, with the DJI RC-N1 for 829€, and with the DJI RC for 999€. So if you opt for a Mini 3 instead of a Mini 3 Pro, you will save 250€, which is clearly not negligible.

On the other hand, for a drone that is announced as the replacement of the Mini 2, the price difference with the latter is perhaps one of the drawbacks that can be pointed out, since the Mini 2 with DJI RC-N1 is available at a price of 459€, or a difference of 120€. between the two models.

That being said, if you have the budget to get the Mini 3 instead of the Mini 2, we strongly advise you to do so: the Mini 3 is clearly superior.

Discover our accessories for
DJI Mini 3


Conclusion: should you buy the DJI Mini 3 Pro?

The DJI Mini 3 is positioned between the Mini 2 and the Mini 3 Pro, both in terms of features and budget. Almost identical visually to the Mini 3 Pro, it is a bit of a “lite” version of the latter, to which DJI has reduced the image resolution, removed the detection of obstacles and some features to offer it at an attractive price.

Compared to the DJI Mini 2, the Mini 3 is slightly more expensive, but it is also better in many ways: with it, you will get better image quality, better flight behavior, as well as better autonomy.

DJI Mini 3, for whom?

If you’re looking for a drone to get started (and you have the budget), the DJI Mini 3 is clearly the option to choose. For its price, you will have an excellent drone capable of making superb images, and full of features.

If you already own a larger drone like a DJI Air 2S or Mavic 3, the DJI Mini 3 can be the perfect drone to add to your arsenal, giving you an ultra-portable drone that you can easily take with you anywhere. The perfect drone for a trip.

Between the Mini 3 or the Mini 3 Pro, which one to choose?

The DJI Mini 3 is an excellent drone that will be more than enough for most uses. But if you’re afraid of collisions and want a safer drone (and you have the budget 😅), it might be worth it to go for the Mini 3 Pro. Same conclusion if some of the features missing from the Mini 3 are essential for you, such as the subject tracking or the Hyperlapse mode.

From the point of view of the camera, the Mini 3 does largely the job. If you’re not a professional or content creator, the difference in image quality between the two models won’t justify the extra money you’ll need to invest in the Mini 3 Pro. On the other hand, if this is a serious matter and you absolutely need a 60 fps frame rate in 4K or the D-Cinelike profile, then you know what you have to do.

➡️ Also find our complete test of the DJI Mini 3 Pro (click here)

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