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DJI Mini 3 Pro first impressions: A tiny, quiet, flying camera wrapped around a battery

It's a Mini for sure, but is it a Pro?
adrian-kingsley-hughes.jpg
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on
DJI Mini 3 Pro
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

DJI has finally released the Mini 3 Pro. After weeks of mockups and leaks, there wasn't much that we didn't know about this sub-250g drone.

I've had the drone for a few hours, so what follows is my first impressions of the Mini 3 Pro. Once I have a dozen or so hours of flight time under my belt with this new craft, I'll post a more detailed review that looks at the flight characteristics as well as the quality of the new camera.

DJI Mini 3 Pro tech specs

  • Sub-249 g
  • 1/1.3-inch sensor
  • Aperture: f/1.7
  • Up to 4K/60fps videos and 4K/30fps HDR videos
  • 48MP JPEG/DNG (RAW) photos
  • 34-min max flight time (windless condition)
  • Up to 12km 1080p/30fps video transmission
  • Forward/backward/downward tri-directional dual-vision obstacle sensing system
  • Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems 4.0 (APAS)
  • FocusTrack: ActiveTrack 4.0
  • FocusTrack: Point of Interest 3.0
  • FocusTrack: Spotlight 2.0
  • MasterShots
  • Timelapse
  • True Vertical Shooting

The first thing I noticed about the Mini 3 Pro is the weight. It's really close to that 250g mark. So close that I don't think you can even add a strobe to it without taking it over that weight. This is not a problem in the US, but in territories where that sub-250g category allows for much more flying freedoms and going beyond that weight could result in regulatory headaches, it's something to note.

The Mini 3 Pro is bigger and bulkier than the Mini 2, but retains the same quality feel. Even though modern drones are made of lightweight plastic, the Mini 3 Pro doesn't feel like lightweight plastic. There's a quality, premium feel to the drone that sub-250g drones from other companies just don't have.

The front/rear obstacle avoidance sensors add to the bulk of the drone, and to be able to fit this tech into a sub-250g package, DJI had to shave weight off the drone somehow.

But it's hard to see where this was done.

This is a superbly made product.

The batteries snap into the body with a very positive click, and don't feel like they are going to fall out accidentally in mid-flight. Like the Mavic 3, the Mini 3 Pro doesn't have a battery door, which reduced on weight and also means fewer bits to break off.

Also: DJI Mavic 3: The very best drone for 2022

In a change from previous foldable drones from DJI, the Mini 3 Pro doesn't have legs built onto the arms, but instead has feet built onto the belly of the fuselage. I'm curious to see if this improves wind resistance or makes take-off and landing on rough terrain easier.

Time will tell.

Here are a few things I've noticed from my short time with the Mini 3 Pro.

  • It gets really hot, really fast. As in uncomfortable to hold hot. I'm assuming that, when it's flying, the moving air is cooling it down, but when grounded and doing things like updating, this thing pumps out a lot of heat.
  • It's also the quietest DJI drone I've flown. I'm not really that bothered by sound, but the quieter a drone is, the less attention it attracts. For people who like to fly without drawing attention to themselves, this could be a nice bonus.
  • The gimbal cover is the easiest and quickest to snap off and on that I've come across. This pleases me, and is going to save a lot of frustration when I'm trying to pack up the drone in a hurry.
The Mini 3 Pro with RC controller

The Mini 3 Pro with RC controller

The package I have for testing is the Mini 3 Pro with the RC controller (more on this controller in the future).

Mini 3 Pro Fly More combo

Mini 3 Pro Fly More combo

I also have the Fly More kit... more on this in a future review.

DJI Mini 3 Pro in folded configuration

DJI Mini 3 Pro in folded configuration

Cooling vents on the back of the DJI Mini 3 Pro

Cooling vents on the back of the DJI Mini 3 Pro

Front sensors and gimbal covering the camera on the DJI Mini 3 Pro

Front sensors and gimbal covering the camera on the DJI Mini 3 Pro

Side view of the DJI Mini 3 Pro

Side view of the DJI Mini 3 Pro

The DJI Mini 3 Pro rests on its belly as opposed to legs off the arms -- a novel design

The DJI Mini 3 Pro rests on its belly as opposed to legs off the arms -- a novel design

The DJI Mini 3 Pro battery

The DJI Mini 3 Pro battery

The battery compartment... the Mini 3 Pro is essentially a flying camera wrapped around a battery

The battery compartment... the Mini 3 Pro is essentially a flying camera wrapped around a battery

DJI Mini 3 Pro with RC controller

DJI Mini 3 Pro with RC controller

A couple of questions I want to answer about the Mini 3 Pro over the coming weeks are, well, first, what makes this "Pro" (price aside)? Secondly, is this a replacement for the Mini 2, or a different product line?

I have my thoughts, but it is too early to share them right now. I need more flight time.

The Mini 3 Pro comes in three bundles -- the Mini 3 Pro featuring the standard controller for $759, the Mini 3 Pro featuring the new DJI RC controller for $909, and the Mini 3 Pro drone with no controller for $669.

The Mini 3 Pro Fly More kit that adds two extra batteries, a charger, spare props, and a few other bits costs an additional $189.

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