DJI Mavic 3 Spec Review
The new DJI Mavic 3 was released today and it has some incredible features, I’n this post I’m going to do an initial review the Mavic 3 based on the released specifications and give my thoughts about it!ARVE Error: src mismatch
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DJI Mavic 3 Options
The Mavic 3 comes in three purchasing options and has two different spec levels.
Then we have the DJI Mavic 3 Cine Combo for £4,279 which is a higher specced drone that adds some impressive features and recording options.
Comparing the specs
Here’s DJI’s listed specs for both models…
As you can see the main difference between the two models is that the DJI Mavic 3 Cine includes the ability to record Apple ProRes 422HQ to an internal 1TB SSD of storage. The Cine model is also supplied with an improved DJI RC Pro Controller and an additional set of ND filters.
So let’s start by looking at the features the two models share and then we’ll look in to more detail about those additional features on the Cine version.
Both models are similar in weight with the standard model at 895g and the CINE being 899g. It’s impressive that DJI have packed in that 1TB of SSD storage and the ability to process ProRes HQ 422 at the cost of only 4 grammes!
Both models have two onboard cameras – yes, two cameras!
Firstly there’s the Hasselblad L2D-20c, a 20MP 4/3″ CMOS camera featuring a new improved optical system. This main camera offers an adjustable aperture from f/2.8 – f/11 with an 84° field of view (24mm Equivalent). The Hasselblad cameras on DJI’s drones are renowned for offering natural colours with wide dynamic range.
Secondly there’s a “Tele Camera” which offers a 1/2″ CMOS sensor with an optical 7x zoom (162mm equivalent) at f/4.4 with digital zoom at 14x and 28x. This is a great idea and much better than having separate models for zoom and quality!
Megapixels & Frame-rates
Whilst the two models offer different codecs both appear to offer the same shooting formats. Stills can be captured at 20MP DNG RAW with video options up to 5.1K (5280 x 3956) at 50 fps. DCI 4K is included at up to 120fps.
DCI 4K: 4096×2160@24/25/30/48/50/60/120fps
H.264 & H.265 codecs are used in both versions of the Mavic 3 offering 10 bit recording at up to 200 Mbps.
DJI Mavic 3 Flight Time
DJI list the flight time of the Mavic 3 at 46 minutes. This is an impressive improvement over the previous model.
DJI have introduced another new video transmission system in the form of o3+. DJI list this new system as having a 15km max transmission range with higher stability and less video lag. They do also mention these specs…
Strong Interference – City Centres (approx. 1.5-3 km)
Medium Interference – Suburban Areas (approx. 3-9 km)
Low Interference – Open Landscapes (approx. 9-15 km)
O3+ is reported to transmit the video signal in 1080p at 60fps which is ground breaking and I look forward to being able to try out this new technology.
The Mavic 3 includes Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing. This system uses multiple wide-angle vision sensors providing all around awareness with intelligent processing to detect obstacles and select a flight avoiding those obstacles.
DJI state that the Mavic 3 combines the omnidirectional obstacle sensing with their APAS 5.0 (Advanced Pilot Assistance System) stop interruptions when shooting as the aircraft will adjust its route automatically and smoothly.
Some of the features included with the Mavic 3 are as follows…
• Waypoints 3.0
• Activetrack 5.0
• WiFi 6
• Advanced Return to Home
Whilst some details have been about these new or updated options I think I’ll need to get my hands on the Mavic 3 before shouting too much about them as they seem to offer similar functionality as the previous model but with some sexy new names!
The Mavic 3 CINE
So let’s talk about the Mavic 3 Cine Combo. This version includes the ability to record using Apples ProRes HQ Codec along with 1TB of internal SSD Storage, a better controller and extra ND filters. For those additional features you’re paying a whopping £4279 which is £1,730 over the standard Fly More combo.
Apple ProRes 422 HQ
So let’s start with the big one! Apples ProRes 422 HQ is an industry standard codec that preserves visual quality better than the standard H.264 / H.265 Codecs. ProRes is usually easier to edit in post production given its less compressed intraframe construction.
1TB Internal Storage
Using ProRes 422 HQ the Mavic 3 will record at 3772 Mbps, which is around 19 times more data than the 200 Mbps H.264/H.265 codecs. The obvious drawback to this data rate is file size which is why DJI have included 1TB internal storage for this version over the 8GB storage in the standard version.
It’s worth noting that the storage is non removable so if you want to offload shots between flights it’s going to require a bit of time connecting the drone to a computer and downloading the files. DJI do include a 10Gbps Lightning Cable with the CINE version to help with this if you have a laptop cable of utilising those speeds.
RC PRO Controller
Also included with the CINE version is DJI’s RC PRO Controller.
This new controller is very similar to the companies previous ‘Smart Controller’ and includes 5.5″ 1000nit screen making it ideal for use in bright conditions. The RC PRO also includes a cellular dongle allowing it to utilise 4G signals combined with the o3+ transmission system.
The RC PRO also features a Micro SD card slot, built in speaker and a Mini HDMI port. The RC PRO retails separately for £879 on DJI’s Website
DJI Mavic 3 First Thoughts
I think the Mavic 3 offers some fantastic updates and the CINE version especially appeals to me as a professional drone operator flying the Inspire 2. Whilst the Inspire does still offer many advantages including dual operators, removable lenses and better codecs, the Mavic 3 Cine is a fantastic solution for locations where transporting or operating the larger Inspire 2 may not be practical.
No C2 Classification is Disappointing!
I’m really disappointed that the DJI Mavic 3 isn’t C2 rated for use in Europe. Having this rating would have reduced legal operating distances substantially and given European operators a big reason to invest in the drone. Without this c2 rating the legal operating distances for most commercial UK & EU operators remains the same as the much larger Inspire 2.
Heliguy have posted an interesting article explaining DJI’s official response to this…
“The standards for drone class identification labels have not been finalised yet.
We are aware that the current situation has led to many uncertainties amongst users when it comes to compliance of DJI drones with the new European Drone Regulations and class identification labels.
Rest assured this issue is of the utmost importance to us, and we hope to resolve it as quickly as is feasibly possible.”
DJI seem to blame it on the standards for C2 Classification not being finalised yet in Europe .
I do think there’s some questions to be answered by the UK & EU authorities if this is the case as we have been using this system for over a year now with thousands of operators paying to be able to operate under these new classifications.
Is the DJI Mavic 3 CINE version worth it?
That depends! The H.264 / H.265 10 bit codecs at 200 Mbps are going to provide fantastic quality footage and most people would likely not see a noticeable increase in quality by recording in ProRes.
If however you’re using ground based cameras that are shooting ProRes or you need to supply pro format files to a production company then going for the CINE could be a wise choice. Yes it’s £1,730 more than the standard Fly More Combo but you’re also getting the £879 RC PRO controller along with 1TB of SSD Storage and some additional ND filters.
If DJI had classified the Mavic three for C2 in the EU & UK then I would seriously think about getting the CINE version for professional use. Without this C2 mark though the only advantage it would offer over my Inspire 2 and X7 camera is portability. If a job comes in that demands portability and ProRes though, the Mavic 3 CINE would be a no brainer!
Check out the DJI Mavic 3 on DJI’s Website