DJI has cemented itself as the clear leader in consumer drone technology. Since unveiling the popular Phantom line in 2013, DJI has continued to push the boundaries of what’s possible with quadcopter drones aimed at hobbyists and professionals.
The Mavic series, first introduced in 2016 with the original Mavic Pro, represented DJI’s push into more compact, portable drones without sacrificing performance. Foldable arms and streamlined designs allowed the Mavic models to be easily carried in bags and backpacks.
Now, with the release of the Mavic 3 Pro in 2022, DJI has set a new standard for prosumer aerial photography drones. The DJI Mavic 3 Pro packs a high-end adjustable Hasselblad camera, 40-minute flight times, a 15km transmission range, and a wealth of intelligent shooting modes – all in a portable package.
For hobbyists who want to step up their aerial filming and photography, as well as professionals needing a competent drone that doesn’t require cumbersome equipment, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro hits the sweet spot. It brings professional creative possibilities without the size, bulk, and cost of a full cinema-level drone setup.
DJI Mavic 3 Pro: Camera, Lenses and Image Quality
The heart of the DJI Mavic 3 Pro is the integrated Hasselblad L2D-20c camera. Hasselblad is renowned for producing some of the best high-end mirrorless cameras used by professionals, and DJI’s partnership brings Hasselblad’s expertise in optics and imaging to a drone platform.
The L2D-20c camera provides exceptional image quality and creative control:
- 1-inch CMOS sensor with 20 megapixel resolution for highly detailed still photos. The large image sensor allows for a beautiful dynamic range and noise-free results even in low light.
- Adjustable aperture from f/2.8 to f/11 gives you control over depth of field and shutter speed. Wide apertures like f/2.8 allow for cinematic bokeh and isolation focus effects.
- 10.7 stops of dynamic range means the Mavic 3 Pro can capture detail in the brightest highlights and darkest shadows when shooting high contrast scenes.
- ISO range from 100 to 6400 allows capturing usable footage even in low light scenarios like sunrise or sunset. Noise artifacts are kept to a minimum throughout the whole ISO range.
- 12.8 stops of video dynamic range makes it possible to color grade DJI Mavic 3 Pro footage to get professional quality results.
- Up to 8K video recording at 24fps produces stunningly detailed aerial video, while 4K at up to 120fps is available for silky smooth slow motion.
The 28x hybrid zoom range goes from wide 24mm to 672mm, making it easy to capture close details from a distance without having to move the drone physically. Hasselblad’s image stabilization provides steady, shake-free footage even at full zoom.
For aerial photographers, the 20 megapixel RAW and JPEG stills offer tons of flexibility for post-processing adjustments to get the perfect shot.
Combining a high-end adjustable lens camera with precision 3-axis stabilization, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro achieves a new high watermark for image and video quality from a drone in this class.
Flight Performance and Battery Life
The DJI Mavic 3 Pro builds on the storied flight heritage of DJI’s drones to provide best-in-class flight time, speed, responsiveness and safety:
- Up to 40 minutes of maximum flight time per charge. The 4650mAh battery exceeds previous Mavic 2 batteries and sets a new bar for aerial endurance. You can spend more time in the air capturing the perfect shots.
- 15km HD video transmission range gives you the flexibility to fly far while maintaining a crisp low-latency video feed. The O3+ transmission system provides a reliable connection across long distances.
- Top speed of 15m/s allows fast movements and the ability to ride wind currents. Gets you to the ideal vantage point quickly. Sport mode enables agile maneuvers.
- 68 kph max ascent speed means the DJI Mavic 3 Pro can reach desired altitudes rapidly.
- Max descent speed of 75 kph provides control when needing to lower altitude quickly.
- 40 mph max wind resistance gives you the confidence to fly in less than ideal weather conditions while maintaining stability.
- Four-way omnidirectional obstacle sensing with dual-vision sensors detects objects in all directions avoiding collisions.
- Precision hover capability allows the Mavic 3 Pro to lock into place and hold its position when needed for framing shots.
Between the long maximum flight time, fast top speeds, long transmission range, and robust obstacle avoidance, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro grants you the aerial freedom to get virtually any shot you can imagine with confidence and safety.
Intelligent Flight Modes
The DJI Mavic 3 Pro comes packed with a suite of intelligent flight and subject tracking modes that make capturing professional-level aerial footage easy even for beginners:
- Spotlight 2.0 keeps the camera automatically locked onto a selected subject while you fly the drone. Perfect for tracking moving subjects or vehicles.
- FocusTrack includes Trace, Parallel, and Circle modes that automatically orbit and follow subjects for dynamic shots.
- ActiveTrack 5.0 lets you select subjects on your mobile device screen for the drone to follow autonomously. Works for multiple subjects too.
- Point of Interest 3.0 automatically orbits a fixed subject while keeping the camera aimed at it. Set radius, speed, and angle.
- Waypoints 2.0 allows plotting complex flight paths on screen that the DJI Mavic 3 Pro will execute autonomously. Perfect for intricately planned shots.
- MasterShots automatically plans and executes complex cinematic shots with just a tap. Choose from Pro, Portrait, Boomerang, or Hyperlapse options.
- Panoramas stitche together a sequence of photos to capture sprawling scenery. Spherical, 180, or wide angle modes are available.
- QuickShots provides preprogrammed cinematic moves like Dronie, Rocket, Circle, Helix, Boomerang and Asteroid with a tap.
- Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) 5.0 avoids obstacles in real time while remaining on course along your planned flight path.
With these intelligent flight and subject tracking modes, you can get mesmerizing aerial footage with basic piloting skills. The latest versions of the features on the Mavic 3 Pro make capturing Hollywood-level videos easier than ever.
Remote Controller and Safety Features
The dedicated remote controller included with the DJI Mavic 3 Pro remains compact while gaining intuitive controls and enhanced transmission power:
- Built-in 5.5″ screen provides a bright, crisp live feed from the drone camera for ideal monitoring and framing. No need to connect your phone.
- Ocusync 3.0 transmission extends the HD low-latency video range to 15km. Provides reliable signal strength across long distances.
- Physical control sticks give you precision input over drone movements and gimbal control. Includes customizable C1-C3 control buttons.
- Intelligent Return to Home (RTH) automatically brings the drone back to the takeoff point if the connection is lost or the battery runs low.
- Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) 2.0 uses GPS and zoning maps to warn or restrict flying in designated no-fly locations like airports.
- AirSense ADS-B alerts you when nearby airplanes or helicopters are detected to avoid collisions.
- LED beacon lights make the drone clearly visible. Strobe alerts potential obstacles to your presence.
- Loud warning alarms activate if the aircraft gets too close or if it descends too rapidly.
The optimized remote controller provides a seamless flight control experience. And the robust automated safety systems give you confidence when flying far distances or in populated areas.
Design, Portability and Build Quality
Despite being DJI’s most advanced prosumer drone, the Mavic 3 Pro retains a surprisingly portable and travel-friendly design:
- Foldable arms allow the drone to shrink down to a compact rectangular block that fits into an included shoulder bag. Easy to pack and carry.
- Unfolded dimensions of 347x283x312mm provide stability while still being reasonably compact.
- Folded dimensions of 221x191x90mm. It’s slightly larger than Mavic 2 but still fits in smaller bags.
- 905g takeoff weight is heavy enough for winds stability while still under 250g categories to avoid regulations in some areas.
- Streamlined silhouette cuts through the air with minimal drag. Provides smooth, quiet flights.
- DJI claims the Mavic 3 Pro is 35% quieter than the Mavic 2 during flight thanks to refined propellor design. Less noise pollution.
- Retractable landing gear tucks away into the body for unobstructed camera views and a cleaner look.
- IP54 weather sealing protects drones from dust, rain and other environmental factors.
- A range of accessories like filters, propellor guards, landing pads and extended batteries are available.
Despite having a larger airframe to fit its more capable camera and sensors, DJI’s designers retained a surprising amount of compactness. The DJI Mavic 3 Pro still travels well and can be operated in tight spaces when needed.
Software, Apps and Ease of Use
DJI provides in-depth mobile apps and software tools to get the most out of the Mavic 3 Pro:
- The DJI Fly app offers intuitive camera controls, a live feed with telemetry overlays, auto-generated edits and more. Available on iOS and Android.
- In-app tutorials and a simulator mode help new pilots learn controls safely without risking their drones.
- DJI Assistant 2 desktop app lets you update firmware, access logs, analyze flight issues, and customize parameters.
- SDK development kit enables the creation of custom apps and software using Skydio’s infrastructure.
- Community forums provide tips and techniques from experienced DJI pilots.
Despite being a high-end drone packed with professional features, the Mavic 3 Pro retains a reasonable learning curve for hobbyist pilots thanks to DJI’s polished apps and guidance tools.
Key ease-of-use elements include:
- Automated launch, landing and RTH controls remove much of the skill challenge.
- Multiple intelligent flight modes produce complex shots with just taps.
- Clear in-app and remote controller warnings for obstacles, no fly zones, etc.
- DJI Go app hides advanced settings until you want them. Easy to grow into the platform.
While mastering the Mavic 3 Pro takes time, DJI provides the software and resources for pilots of any skill level to smoothly control and capture cinema-quality aerial footage.
Verdict – Is the DJI Mavic 3 Pro Worth the Investment?
With its high-end adjustable camera, long flight times, obstacle avoidance, and an array of intelligent shooting modes, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro represents a new pinnacle for prosumer drone technology.
- Outstanding image quality from the adjustable Hasselblad camera
- Very stable footage and photos, even in windy conditions
- Up to 40 minutes of flight time per battery
- Omnidirectional obstacle sensing for added safety
- 15km HD video transmission range
- Intelligent tracking modes produce complex shots automatically
- Cross platform mobile app with simulator mode
- High price tag, especially with extra batteries and accessories
- Can still face regulations in some areas due to weight
- Learning curve to master all intelligent flight modes
- Large airframes are not as portable as smaller drones
For professionals, hobbyists, or anyone looking to take their aerial photography and videography to the next level, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro delivers tremendous value. It removes many of the skills and challenges of piloting, allowing you to focus on getting great shots and expanding your creative possibilities.
While the cost is substantial, no other drone on the market combines this level of image quality, flight performance, and intelligent capture modes in a reasonably portable package. For those who can justify the investment, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro warrants strong consideration.
What accessories are recommended for the DJI Mavic 3 Pro?
Some useful accessories to improve the DJI Mavic 3 Pro experience include additional Intelligent Flight Batteries for longer flying sessions, propellor guards for added safety, ND filters to reduce glare and enable slower shutter speeds, landing pads for stable takeoff and landing, the DJI Professional Drone Hard Case for travel protection, and the DJI 10Gbps Lightspeed Data Cable for faster content transfers.
What software updates can we expect from DJI in the future?
DJI has a strong history of providing useful software updates to existing drones. We can likely expect continued improvements to automated flight modes, transmission systems, and camera capabilities via firmware updates. Entirely new intelligent flight modes could be added as well.
Does the Mavic 3 Pro have any automated orbiting shots or special effects?
Yes, using Point of Interest, FocusTrack, and QuickShots modes, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro can automatically orbit subjects while keeping them in the frame and execute advanced moves like drone reveal shots, boomerangs, asteroid shots and more. MasterShots can even produce Hollywood-level cinematic shots with just a tap.
Can I safely hand-launch and land the Mavic 3 Pro?
While automated launch and landing is recommended, gently hand-launching and catching the Mavic 3 Pro is possible for experienced pilots. Always use caution and ensure propellors have fully stopped before handling.
Is there an option for first-person-view (FPV) goggles?
Currently, DJI does not offer FPV goggles compatible with the Mavic 3 Pro. The included remote controller screen provides a clear first-person live feed. However, third party FPV options may become available.
With a 20 megapixel Hasselblad camera, 4K/8K video recording, 40 minute flight times, and a wealth of intelligent capture modes, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro represents a new pinnacle for prosumer aerial filmmaking and photography.
It combines DJI’s flight control and stability excellence with premium optics and Hasselblad imaging. Even in winds, the footage remains smooth and stable. The adjustable aperture and ND filters allow dialing in the ideal exposure.
And the suite of automated flight modes like FocusTrack and Point of Interest opens up creative possibilities that previously required expert piloting skills. Now, virtually anyone can capture complex cinematic shots with just a few taps on the DJI Fly app.
While the DJI Mavic 3 Pro costs substantially more than consumer drones, it delivers ample value for professionals, creative hobbyists, or anyone looking to produce awe-inspiring aerial visuals.
You have to consider if you can justify the price tag carefully. But if aerial photography or videography is a passion, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro will enable you to fulfill creative visions that lesser drones can’t achieve.
For those who can afford the investment, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro will stimulate new possibilities and reignite your passion for aerial image making. It earns its spot at the top of the prosumer drone market.