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How to change filters on your DJI Mini 3 Pro without breaking your drone

It's a lot easier once you know what you're doing.
DJI Mini 3 Pro with the DJI wide-angle lens next to it on brown background.

DJI Mini 3 Pro along with the DJI wide-angle lens.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is an amazing drone. It's a sub-250g flying marvel with a 4K HDR camera and close to half an hour of battery life, which packs down small for all your adventures.

The camera might be small, but it's very capable. And it can be made even better by the addition of filters. There are neutral density (ND) filters that act like sunglasses for your drone, allowing you to capture cinematic shots or take amazing long exposure photos, or there are wide-angle lens that allow you to capture even more of the scene.

Also: The 5 best surveillance drones

But fitting filters is fiddly, and the camera is relatively fragile, so it's a good idea to take things slowly and carefully.

And to know what you're doing.  

I've heard from quite a few Mini 3 Pro owners who have found this difficult. Some have also given up, fearful that they might break the camera.

How to change filters on your DJI Mini 3 Pro without breaking your drone

1. Turn the drone off

First, turn the drone off. You can can change the filters with the drone on (or even running), but it's not recommended.

Next thing you need to know is what part of the camera you're removing. A big mistake that many do is think that they're trying to remove this bit below.

Incorrect part of DJI Mini 3 Pro to remove with arrow pointing to it

No, this is not this part you're trying to remove.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

2. Twist off the filter housing

Remove this bit by twisting it off in a counterclockwise direction.

The best way is to use one hand to hold the camera and use the other hand to grab the filter housing. Then, you gently twist counterclockwise just a few degrees, and off it comes.

The bigger your hands and fingers, the trickier this is. See the images below for how to twist the filter housing off.

Also: The 4 best photography drones

Correct part to be removed from the DJI Mini 3 Pro with arrow pointing to it

This is the bit that needs to be removed.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET
Hand holding body of the camera

Hold onto the body of the camera with one hand.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET
Hand holding filter housing.

Next, grab the filter housing with the other hand.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET
Hands twisting the filter housing to take it off.

Gently twist the filter housing counterclockwise.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

3. Line up the filter with the camera body to refit a filter

To refit a filter (or the lens protector that ships with the drone), line up the filter with the camera body. 

Hand lining up the filter to the camera body

Lining up the filter with the camera body.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

4. Twist the filter clockwise

Once it's lined up, gently twist the filter clockwise, wait for the subtle click, and you're done. 

Hand holding refitted filter on camera.

Done.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

5. Refit the gimbal cover when you're not using the drone

Always refit the gimbal cover when the drone is not in use -- this protects the camera and gimbal from damage.

Also: The 5 best camera accessories

Gimbal cover on the DJI Mini 3 Pro.

Always replace the gimbal cover.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Oh, and I like to keep the props safe and out of the way using a prop holder. This makes packing the drone away a lot easier. This Skyreat Mini 3 Pro RC Propeller Holder is one of the best $11 drone accessories you can buy.

Skyreat Mini 3 Pro RC Propeller Holder with the DJI Mini 3 Pro

Skyreat Mini 3 Pro RC Propeller Holder is a must-have accessory.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET
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