DJI Mini 4K vs Mini 3: which drone to choose?

With the introduction of the Mini 4K, DJI enriches its collection of mini drones weighing less than 250 grams, offering the most affordable model with 4K resolution. A step above, the DJI Mini 3 also offers 4K, but with a few significant improvements and differences. This article offers a detailed comparison between these two drones: design, camera, features, price… What are the differences between them? Which one should you choose? All the answers in our comprehensive DJI Mini 4K vs Mini 3 comparison!

DJI Mini 4K vs Mini 3: design

dji mini 4k vs mini 3 design
 DJI Mini 4KDJI Mini 3
Weight< 249g248g
Dimensions (folded, without propellers) (L x W x H)138 x 81 x 58 mm148 x 90 x 62 mm
Dimensions (unfolded, with propellers) (L x W x H)245 x 289 x 56 mm251 x 362 x 72 mm

Although all the drones in the Mini range share visual similarities, from the Mavic Mini, the first in the series, to the Mini 4K, via the Mini SE, Mini 2, and Mini 2 SE, the Mini 3 stands out by adopting more of the features of the Mini 3 Pro. The latter, released earlier, marked a notable change in the design of the models in the series.

As a result, the two models differ significantly aesthetically . In terms of dimensions, the Mini 3 is bigger, wider and taller. In terms of shape, the Mini 3’s propellers are longer, and its arms are slimmer and longer. The Mini 3’s front design is also distinct, with a prominent camera, unlike that of the Mini 4K, which is integrated below the top.

Despite these differences in size, both drones weigh in at just under 249 grams.

DJI Mini 4K vs Mini 3: transmission and radio control

dji mini 3 pro test review
 DJI Mini 4KDJI Mini 3
Compatible radio controlsDJI RC-N1DJI RC-N1
DJI RC
Video transmission systemDJI O2DJI O2
Max. transmission distanceFCC : 10 km
CE : 6 km
FCC : 10 km
CE : 6 km

Both the Mini 4K and Mini 3 use the same DJI O2 transmission system, offering identical transmission quality and range: 10 km in FCC and 6 km in CE.

Both models are compatible with DJI’s standard screenless remote control, the DJI RC-N1. Although the controller supplied with the Mini 4K is marked RC-N1C, it is in fact the same radio control unit as the one released with the Mini 2, equipped with a fold-out bracket on the top edge for connecting a smartphone.

However, the DJI Mini 3 has an added advantage: it is also compatible with the DJI RC screen radio control, launched alongside the Mini 3 Pro in May 2022. This remote control offers added convenience thanks to its integrated, ultra-bright display, which not only saves time when connecting, but also preserves your smartphone’s battery life.

To find out more about the DJI RC remote control, read our full review here :
➡️ DJI RC remote control: is it worth it?

Our parts & accessories for
DJI Mini 4K

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DJI Mini 4K vs Mini 3: in flight

 DJI Mini 4KDJI Mini 3
Maximum speed16 m/s16 m/s
Max. ascent speed5 m/s5 m/s
Max. descent speed3.5 m/s3.5 m/s
Max. wind resistance10.7 m/s (level 5)10.7 m/s (level 5)
Batteries2250 mAh Li-ion2453 mAh Li-ion
Autonomy31 minutes38 minutes

Performance

On paper, the DJI Mini 4K and DJI Mini 3 boast identical technical specifications. In Sport mode, both models reach the same maximum speeds: 5 m/s (18 km/h) uphill, 3.5 m/s (12.6 km/h) downhill and 16 m/s (57.6 km/h) horizontally. What’s more, they both withstand level 5 winds, with gusts of up to 10.7 m/s (38.5 km/h).

In practice, both drones benefit from DJI’s excellent stability and flight performance. However, the Mini 3, with its greater wingspan and longer propellers, is slightly more stable, especially when facing stronger gusts of wind.

In-flight features

While the Mini 3 Pro represented a significant step forward in the Mini series, being the first drone in the range to offer automated flight modes with subject tracking, the Mini 3 is a lighter version of this model. As a result, it lacks these features, as does the Mini 4K.

Neither the Mini 3 nor the Mini 4K feature automatic subject tracking or obstacle detection, which are only available on the Mini 3 Pro. In this respect, the Mini 4K and Mini 3 are equivalent.

Autonomy

One of the notable improvements brought about by the third-generation Mini is the new 2453 mAh battery, coupled with improved energy management, which delivers a significant gain in autonomy. While the Mini 4K offers a theoretical flight time of 31 minutes, which is already very comfortable, the Mini 3 can stay airborne for up to 38 minutes!

It’s important to note that these data are measured in optimal conditions, and that range in real-life conditions will generally be lower. However, compared with the Mini 4K, the Mini 3 still offers several precious extra minutes of flight time.

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DJI Mini 4K vs Mini 3: photo and video

 DJI Mini 4KDJI Mini 3
Sensor1/2.3-inch 12 MP CMOS1/1.3-inch 48 MP CMOS
Lens24mm equivalent format F/2.8 aperture
83° FOV
24mm equivalent format F/1.7 aperture
FOV 82.1
Max photo resolution12 MP12 MP and 48 MP
Max video resolution4K up to 30 fps
2.7K up to 60 fps
1080p up to 60 fps
4K up to 30 fps
2.7K up to 60 fps
1080p up to 60 fps
ISO range100 à 3200100 à 3200
Max bit rate100 Mb/s100 Mb/s
Digital Zoom4K : 2x
2.7K : 3x
FHD : 4x
4K : 2x
2.7K : 3x
FHD : 4x
Photo formatJPEG
DNG (RAW)
JPEG
DNG (RAW)
Video formatMP4 (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)MP4 (H.264)
Color profileNormalNormal
Photo modesUnique photo
AEB (3 pictures)
Interval
Unique photo
AEB (3 pictures)
Interval
Video modes QuickShots (Dronie, Spiral, Rocket, Circle, Boomerang)QuickShots (Dronie, Spiral, Rocket, Circle, Boomerang)
PanoramasSphere
180°
Wide-angle
Sphere
180°
Wide-angle

Nacelle

The camera is the main difference between the Mini 4K and the Mini 3. It all starts with the gondola: unlike the Mini 4K, the Mini 3 features a rotating gondola that can be tilted into a vertical position. This feature is particularly useful for those who publish their creations on social networks such as TikTok or YouTube Shorts, enabling them to capture videos in true vertical format without losing pixels when cropping.

What’s more, the Mini 3’s nacelle offers a wider tilt range, from -135 to +80 degrees vertically, compared with the Mini 4K’s, which tilts from -110 to 35 degrees. This capability allows the Mini 3 to capture more varied shots, such as impressive low-angle views or extended vertical sweeps, enriching users’ creative possibilities.

Sensor and resolution

This is the major difference between the two models. The DJI Mini 4K is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor, while the DJI Mini 3 has a 1/1.3-inch sensor. The the Mini 3’s sensor is therefore larger than that of the Mini 4K and offers a wider aperture of f/1.7 (compared with f/2.8), enabling it to capture more light and produce more vivid, detailed images, even in low-light conditions.

In terms of video resolution, although the Mini 3 features a larger sensor inherited from the Mini 3 Pro, it is a lighter version of the latter. Its capacities are limited, which means that its video specifications are identical to those of the Mini 4K. Thus, the Mini 3 and Mini 4K both offer 4K resolutions at up to 30 fps, 2.7K at up to 60 fps, and 1080p at up to 60 fps, with the same video bit rate of 100 Mb/s.

However, the Mini 3 stands out in photography, where it is capable of producing resolutions of 12 MP and 48 MP, unlike the Mini 4K, which is limited to a resolution of 12 MP. This difference enables the Mini 3 to offer superior image quality and greater flexibility for photography enthusiasts.

Photo and video features

The DJI Mini 3 offers some additional features over the Mini 4K, enabling it to produce higher-quality images, with more detail in the shadows and highlights, as well as a better dynamic range :

  • Automatic HDR: this function merges three separate exposures to enhance the visibility of shadows and highlights, creating more vivid, colorful images.
  • Native double ISO: this technology analyzes and compares two different ISO sensitivities at each pixel, optimizing clarity of detail in both bright and dark areas. This minimizes digital noise in low-light conditions, a problem more visible on the Mini 4K.

Another Mini 3 advantage is data transfer. While the Mini 4K requires a wired connection to retrieve your files, the Mini 3 is equipped with the QuickTransfer function, which lets you send your files quickly to a smartphone.

For the rest, both models offer exactly the same photo and video modes:

  • Photo modes: single shot, AEB (capture of three images at different exposures) and interval.
  • QuickShots modes: these automated modes, named Dronie, Spiral, Rocket, Circle and Boomerang, program pre-set aerial trajectories for the drone, enabling it to capture video while following these specific routes.
  • Panoramas: Sphere, 180° and Wide-angle.

Photo and video formats, color profiles (note that no flat profile is available on either model) and digital zoom are also identical on both models. The digital zoom magnifies the image twice in 4K resolution, three times in 2.7K and up to four times in Full HD.

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DJI Mini 3

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DJI Mini 4K vs Mini 3: price

 DJI Mini 4KDJI Mini 3
Single drone without remote control299€
Standard package299€379€ (DJI RC-N1)
499€ (DJI RC)
Fly More Pack439€529€ (DJI RC-N1)
649€ (DJI RC)

The Mini 4K and Mini 3 are available in a standard package that includes the drone, remote control, battery, pod protection, spare propellers and various cables. The standard Mini 4K package is priced at €299. For the Mini 3, you can choose between two remote controls: the standard DJI RC-N1 remote control or the DJI RC remote control with integrated display. The standard package with the RC-N1 is available at €379, while the package with the DJI RC is priced at €499.

Both drones are also available in a package with additional accessories, the Fly More Bundle. In addition to the contents of the standard pack, this bundle adds two extra batteries, extra propellers, a charging station, a shoulder bag, and a propeller attachment for the Mini 4K. The Fly More pack is priced at €439 for the Mini 4K, and €529 for the Mini 3 with the DJI RC-N1 radio control system, or €649 with the DJI RC.

The DJI Mini 3 is also available on its own, without remote control, for €299. This can be an interesting option if you already own a DJI RC-N1 remote control from an older Mini. This means you can buy the Mini 3 for the same price as the Mini 4K basic package.

Finally, for those looking to buy the Mini 4K from the manufacturer’s online store, it’s important to note that this model is only available on Amazon. However, the Mini 3 is now available from the DJI website.

Conclusion DJI Mini 4K vs Mini 3: which one to choose?

To sum up this comparison between the DJI Mini 4K and the Mini 3, the DJI Mini 3, positioned just above the Mini 4K in the DJI Mini range, stands out mainly for its better camera. Thanks to its larger sensor, it captures superior images, especially in low light. What’s more, it’s equipped with a rotating gondola for vertical shots, and offers greater autonomy.

However, these advantages come at a cost: the Mini 3 basic package costs 80 euros more than the Mini 4K (and 200 euros more if you opt for the DJI RC remote control with its integrated screen). The Fly More pack, including additional accessories, costs 90 euros more for the Mini 3 (and 210 euros more if you choose the DJI RC remote control).

This price difference is an important consideration for those on a budget.

Choose the DJI Mini 4K if…

you’re just starting out, or plan to use your drone only occasionally. With its 4K resolution, the Mini 4K presents itself as the new Mini 2, offering excellent value for money within the Mini range. In daylight, it delivers impressive image quality that’s sure to please.

Choose the DJI Mini 3 if…

you like to shoot in the evening or capture videos in vertical format. If you really need the extra features of the Mini 3, such as its larger sensor or rotating gondola, then investing the extra euros that separate the two models will be amply justified.

Discover our full individual drone tests in this DJI Mini 4K vs Mini 3 comparison:
➡️ DJI Mini 4K: 4K for less than €300!
➡️ DJI Mini 3: our full review