DJI launched their latest flagship cinema drone, the Mavic 3, on 5th November 2021. The drone is packed with powerful specs and a host of new features. The Mavic 3 brings advanced obstacle avoidance and a robust Hasselblad camera. The drone is a massive upgrade from the previous versions. DJI has also announced a Cine variant of the Mavic 3 with added features.
DJI Mavic 3 Specifications
|Takeoff Weight||Mavic 3: 895 g | Mavic 3 Cine: 899 g|
|Max. Speed||19 m/s (68 km/h)|
|Max. Flight Time||46 minutes|
|Max. Flight Distance||30 km|
|Hasselblad camera||4/3” CMOS sensor | 20 MP|
|Max. Video Resolution||5.1K|
|Tele Camera||1/2″ CMOS sensor|
|Stabilization||3-axis motorized gimbal|
|Obstacle Avoidance||Omnidirectional binocular vision system, supplemented with an infrared sensor at the bottom of the aircraft|
Price: $2,199 (buy it on the DJI store)
The largest sensor on a Mavic drone
The DJI Mavic 3 has been a long-anticipated drone and from the spec sheet and initial reviews, it does not disappoint. It features two cameras. The Hasselblad L2D-20c is the primary camera with a massive 4/3” CMOS sensor. The professional camera clicks 20 MP stills and has an adjustable aperture (f/2.8- f/11).
The large sensor significantly improves low-light performance. The images captured in low-light are noise-free and have a high dynamic range. However, the Mavic 3 pulls far ahead of all competition with its videography. It gives creators complete control over their footage in post-production with the 10-bit D-Log mode. Additionally, the 5.1K resolution delivers crisp details, unlike any other drone.
The Mavic 3 Cine also supports the industry-standard Apple ProRes 422 HQ encoding. The Cine has a maximum data rate of 3772 Mbps and a whopping 1TB internal storage. This makes uploading and storing your footage from the Cine, a breeze.
The drone also comes with an additional Tele camera for long-distance exploration. The 162mm lens enables 28x hybrid zoom. The presence of a telephoto lens could make a huge difference in scene composition. Generally, drone cameras lose detail when zooming, thus, drones have to be flown closer to subjects. With a telephoto lens, pilots can scout their subjects without disturbing them. Applications for this include wildlife videography and filming in remote locations.
DJI drones do come with obstacle avoidance. However, the sensors on the Mavic 3 seem to be an improvement over the past iterations. Coupled with a more powerful computing system, the Mavic can display some level of autonomy in a constrained environment. Apart from obstacle avoidance, DJI has optimized the classic RTH function in the Mavic 3. In the updated feature, the drone plots the best flight path while flying back to its base station.
The drone’s performance is a noteworthy upgrade. Powered by DJI’s O3+ transmission system, the drone can fly for a maximum of 46 minutes, which is the highest flight time on any of DJI’s consumer drones. With a transmission range of 15km, the drone relays live feed in 1080p resolution at 60fps.
While the DJI Mavic 3 packs impressive hardware, the company did leave some cracks open in the software. According to reviews, several crucial features such as the Active Track 5.0, Quick Shots, Master Shots, Panorama Mode, and the Quick Transfer were left out of the November release. You will have to likely wait for a January 2022 firmware update from the company to fill in these software gaps.
The DJI Mavic 3 is a complete cinematic package and the drone is marketed as such. While technically it can be used for enterprise solutions, it isn’t meant for that. The drone lacks a mechanical shutter which is a strong requirement for photogrammetry. Additionally, since it can only capture RGB imagery, it wouldn’t be suitable for other tasks anyways. Take it on your trips, capture jaw-dropping aerial shots, or use it for wildlife photography from the sky; because that’s what the Mavic 3 does best. To learn more about the Mavic 3, head over to DJI.