Last update on November 14th, 2023 at 11:13 am
Aiming to provide professional quality stabilization for content creators, DJI offers the first ever Mini version of its RS series of camera stabilizers, the DJI RS 3 Mini. At 795g, it is a compact, lightweight, portable stabilizer, and compatible with a wide range of mirrorless cameras. But how does it compare to its big brothers, the RS 3 and RS 3 Pro? Is it for you? All the answers in our complete test.
DJI RS 3 Mini: Features at a glance
Let’s start right away with a small summary of the technical characteristics of the device: its weight, its various dimensions, its autonomy, the mechanical amplitude of its pod, or the load it can accommodate:
|Dimensions Stabilizer (L x W x H)||323 x 195 x 98 mm (folded) |
180 x 159 x 296 mm (unfolded)
|Weight Stabilizer||795g (850g in landscape mode)|
|Payload weight||0,4 to 2 kg|
|Batteries||2450 mAh (Li-ion 2S)|
|Charging time||2.5 hours|
|Mechanical amplitude||Pano axis: 360° continuous rotation |
Roll axis : from -95 to +240°.
Tilt axis: -110° to +210°.
DJI RS 3 Mini: design, interface and startup
The DJI RS 3 Mini stabilizer has an all-black design with small grey and red levers. The set has a very nice finish that gives it a professional look.
It consists of the following 3 main elements:
- a handle with non-slip surfaces, which houses the rechargeable battery
- a gondola with three axis stabilization
- a mounting plate that attaches to the base of your camera and fits into the tilt arm of the basket
In addition to all these elements, there is also a small handle/tripod that screws into the base of the handle and can either be opened to be used as a tripod, or left closed to extend the handle and make it longer.
But what really makes the DJI RS 3 Mini unique is its measurements. With dimensions of 180 × 159 × 296 mm unfolded and a weight of 795g (850g if you add the mounting arm to put the camera in landscape mode), it is half the size and weight of the RS 3 Pro. A huge advantage to take it easily everywhere.
And despite its compact size, the RS 3 Mini can support cameras with lenses up to 2 kg. DJI claims that it is compatible with most mirrorless cameras on the market, but to find out if this is the case with your camera, just check the list of compatible cameras and lenses directly on the DJI website.
The DJI RS 3 Mini has a small 1.4-inch color touchscreen on top of the handle that displays useful information such as remaining battery life and selected stabilization mode, and allows you to control most of the stabilizer’s functionality.
In addition to this touch screen, the following physical buttons are available:
- the power button
- the registration button
- a joystick that allows to control the cradle
- the M button which is used to select the stabilization mode of the cradle
- a trigger on the back of the camera to center the camera or switch to selfie mode
- a wheel also at the back which allows to control directly with the index finger different functions (zoom, focus, ISO, aperture, movement of the pod, etc.)
The RS3 Mini has the advantage of offering a Bluetooth connection that allows direct control of the shutter and camera features.
Finally, the stabilizer has two USB-C ports, one near the screen for charging, and a second one on the pod so you can control your camera when Bluetooth is limited (which can happen depending on the camera model), as well as a NATO expansion port to attach additional accessories.
Besides getting to grips with the stabilizer in general, the necessary step before you can start shooting your first video, once you have mounted your camera, is balancing the gimbal.
Several locks and levers must be pushed in a specific order to balance the basket properly. This part may seem laborious the first time, but it is not that complicated when you follow the procedure well and with practice, it is done relatively quickly. What’s more, DJI provides a quick start guide and a video tutorial on Youtube.
DJI RS 3 Mini: features
As we mentioned in the paragraph on the interface of the camera, the DJI RS 3 Mini has the huge advantage of offering a Bluetooth connection to come directly control the shutter and other features of your camera, something that even the RS 3 Pro does not have. This means that no cables are needed. And if you have a compatible Sony lens, you’ll even be able to control the zoom using the dial on the front of the camera.
However, it is important to check beforehand if your camera allows you to access all the features in Bluetooth, because this is not the case for all cameras. But rest assured, if this feature is limited in your case, the wired connection via the USB-C port on the pod will allow you to access all the functions.
The DJI RS 3 Mini offers three main stabilization modes accessible via the M button:
- PF mode (Follow Pan): this mode limits the gimbal movements to the pan axis, which is more suitable for horizontal, left and right movements.
- PTF mode (Tracking Pan and Tilt): this mode limits the movement of the cradle to the pan and tilt axis, which is more suitable for diagonal shots.
- FPV mode (First Person View): it allows movements on the three axes and offers a greater freedom of movement.
You can also set custom modes to follow any axis you choose.
One feature that we particularly liked during our tests is the 3D Roll 360. In this mode, you hold the stabilizer parallel to the ground, and you can use the joystick to rotate the camera 360 degrees, which gives a very cool dynamic visual effect.
You can go even further with theRonin smartphoneapp, which lets you remotely control your tripod-mounted stabilizer, and adds features such as timelapse, panorama, or the ability to control the gondola via a Playstation or Xbox gamepad. A handy feature of the application is the Pursuit mode, which allows you to plan a movement from point A to point B by recording up to 10 waypoints.
Note also that the RS 3 Mini offers the possibility of filming vertically. To do this, simply remove the base of the tilt axis to position and fix the camera on the vertical. This requires a new balancing, but it can be very handy if you are used to creating content in the format of social networks such as TikTok or Youtube Shorts.
Finally, if you’re a vlogger, you should know that three presses of the trigger on the back will switch it to selfie mode, with the lens facing you, allowing you to use the RS 3 Mini as a selfie pole… with the added advantage of stability.
DJI RS 3 Mini : performances
After these long presentations, it’s time to give you our opinion on the DJI RS 3 Mini!
To begin with, the handling is simple and intuitive. The small touchscreen offers quick and easy navigation through the settings, and the layout of the various buttons further enhances the ease of use of the device. You are quickly ready to take your first shots. And with its light weight, the device is extremely easy to handle.
In terms of stabilization, the performance of the RS 3 Mini is exceptional. The stabilizer leverages DJI’s third-generation stabilization algorithm, and it does an outstanding job of producing smooth, stable footage in a wide variety of situations.
The basket does a fantastic job and follows the movements perfectly, even when you go for it in a rougher way. It is possible to manually adjust the speed and stiffness of the basket, and it even has a Sport mode that pushes both parameters to the maximum. And even when we tried to push the gondola to its limits, we still got super stable images.
Finally, regarding the autonomy, the battery charges in 2h30 and DJI announces a time of use of 10 hours. We did not check if this data is accurate, but even if you can shoot 8 or 9 hours continuously, it is already more than enough for most uses. The only drawback is that the battery is built-in, so you have to remember to recharge the device in advance, especially if you plan a long recording session.
DJI RS 3 Mini: price
The DJI RS 3 Mini is available for 389€ on the DJI website. For this price, you will get the stabilizer, the extra handle/tripod, the plate and screws for fixing, a charging cable and a control cable for your camera.
And if you also want the complete equipment for sound recording, DJI offers a DJI RS 3 Mini Creator Bundle for €638 which adds, in addition to the basic package, the DJI Mic as well as all the accessories that go with it, from the windscreen to the magnetic fixing clips, through the various cables, adapters, and even a nice little dedicated carrying case.
Conclusion: should you buy the DJI RS 3 Mini?
This is not DJI’s first try with the RS 3 Mini, and it clearly benefits from the firm’s experience in the field of stabilizers. We find the quality of design of the stabilizers of the brand. Its performance is impressive, the camera provides ultra-smooth and stable images and is packed with useful features.
The DJI RS 3 Mini offers a more compact and lightweight alternative to its bigger brothers, the RS 3 and RS 3 Pro. Of course, it has not inherited all their functions and the balancing system is not as advanced and precise. Despite this, many of the same features are still available and the speed and reaction time of the gondola is comparable to the larger models.
So, should we get it?
Yes and no, it all depends on you. Well, your camera to begin with. Depending on the weight of your camera, it will be compatible or not with the RS 3 Mini. If it exceeds 2 kg, you will have to go for a bigger stabilizer.
But if your camera is compatible and if this is your first stabilizer, you will be more than satisfied. It offers a wide range of features that will allow you to film in almost any situation, and it not only has the advantage of being much more compact and lightweight than other models of the brand, but also much more affordable.
Finally, if you’re a professional, the DJI RS 3 Mini can be a useful purchase as a second stabilizer, depending on what you need it for and for those days when you want to travel light and leave the heavy artillery at home. 😁
➡️ Need a smartphone stabilizer? Read our full review of the DJI Osmo Mobile 6.