The DJI Mavic 3 was already one of the most impressive drones that we've ever tested, so when we got word of a Pro variant, we were pretty excited.
Now, we have it in our hands, and the biggest change is plain to see - the camera module has expanded in size and now features three sizable lenses offering a variety of focal lengths.
We've not spent too much time with the flagship flying machine just yet, but we've had just enough time to take it for a spin and look at the footage. Here are our initial thoughts on the DJI Mavic 3 Pro.
DJI Mavic 3 Pro
With the Mavic 3 Pro, DJI takes its flagship craft and adds an additional camera, while improving its existing telephoto offering. It also adds package deals with its excellent DJI RC remote. If you're seeking the best of the best, this could be it.
Choosing your options
- With DJI RC - $2199 / €2099 / £1879
- Fly More Combo with DJI RC - $2999 / €2799 / £2549
- Fly More Combo with DJI RC Pro - $3889 / €3499 / £3169
- Cine Premium Combo - $4799/ €4599 / £4109
As with the original Mavic 3, and most of DJI's other offerings, there are a variety of ways to purchase the Mavic 3 Pro. The key difference, this time around, is that the standard remote has been upgraded to the DJI RC, rather than the RC-N1 remote that came as standard on the Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Classic.
If you're not familiar, the DJI RC was introduced alongside the Mini 3 Pro last year. Instead of relying on your smartphone, the DJI RC essentially has an Android handset built right into the remote. It's much more convenient to set up, plus, your phone isn't tied up for the duration of your flight - which is always nice.
If you prefer, you can opt for a Fly More package with DJI's flagship RC Pro controller instead, and that's the version that we have in for testing. The RC Pro adds numerous programmable buttons, as well as a brighter display, 32GB of internal storage, a mini-HDMI output and external antennas. It'll cost you a pretty penny, though.
Elsewhere, the Fly More Combo nets you a carry bag, which is much lighter and more compact than the one included with the Mavic 3, and a lot more convenient. However, it doesn't feel quite as premium as the older model.
The bag looks the part, though, and features a new magnetic latching mechanism that reminds us of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack. It's functional and very satisfying to use.
The batteries are the same as the Mavic 3, so they can be used interchangeably, which we always like to see. And the included 3-bay charger is identical, too.
Design and features
- Takeoff Weight: 958g
- Dimensions folded: 231.1 × 98 × 95.4mm
- Dimensions unfolded: 347.5 × 290.8 × 107.7mm
- Storage: 8GB internal + microSD card slot
The Mavic 3 Pro is essentially the same size as the Mavic 3, except for the camera unit, which is substantially larger. Elsewhere the design remains largely identical, as far as we can tell.
The new camera unit pushes the weight over the all-important 900-gram mark, and depending on the regulations where you live, that could pose an issue with the legality of flying it. If you want to learn more about drone regulations, we have an in-depth guide to the UK and US requirements here.
Another change is found with the muzzle that reigns in the propellers and gimbal for safe transport. This was introduced with the original Mavic 3, but since the shape and size of the camera unit are so different, a new version was developed for the Mavic 3 Pro.
The new version works in much the same way, and it's still just as effective at keeping everything together and protected, but it feels much more cheaply made than the old one. This isn't going to be a dealbreaker for anyone, we're sure, but it's still a shame to see the material quality take a hit on this accessory.
The flying experience
- Max speed: 21 m/s in Sport mode
- Max flight time: 43 minutes
- O3+ video transmission
We've only just received our review unit, so we haven't had the chance to properly put it through its paces. Still, we had a spare half an hour, and couldn't resist taking it for a quick spin.
Our brief flight was conducted in fairly mild conditions with a wind speed of about 10 mph. This is absolutely nothing to the Mavic 3 Pro, and it remained rocksteady at a hover and nimble in flight.
The specs suggest that this drone should fly with pretty much the same characteristics as the Mavic 3, and that has been our experience so far. The only difference, as far as we can tell, is that the estimated maximum flight time has been reduced from 46 minutes to 43 minutes. This is likely due to the additional weight.
One difference that was immediately apparent was the quality of the video downlink to the RC Pro controller. We own the DJI Mini 3 and DJI RC controller, so we're already used to a good video link, but this really steps things up a notch.
The spec sheet tells us that the Mavic 3 Pro transmits to the RC Pro at up to 15 MB/s, compared to just 5.5 MB/s on the DJI RC and RC-N1. This massive difference in bitrate is probably the biggest selling point for the RC Pro controller. There's also 10 ms less latency, but we'd be surprised if anyone could tell the difference in the real world.
Cameras and image quality
- 24mm equivalent f/2.8-f/11 with 4/3 sensor
- 70mm equivalent f/2.8 with 1/1.3-inch sensor
- 166mm equivalent f/3.4 with 1/2-inch sensor
- Up to 20MP stills
- Up to 5.1k 50fps videos
The cameras are where the real difference is made with this model. The superb main camera with its whopping 4/3 sensor and variable aperture remains unchanged from the standard Mavic 3, but the telephoto camera gets a boost, and an intermediary 70mm equivalent is added.
The 70mm camera boasts a sensor size just shy of 1 inch, or roughly equivalent to the iPhone 14 Pro's main shooter, as well as a wide f2.8 aperture to assist with low-light shooting.
The telephoto lens still has a smaller 1/2-inch sensor, but its reach has been increased slightly, from 163mm to 166mm, and its aperture has been opened up to f/3.4, from f/4.4 on the previous model. It's still the weakest of the bunch, but it's an improvement.
The shooting formats and image resolutions remain unchanged from the Mavic 3, the key difference is that you now have more options for your focal length, which can unlock some very interesting and creative shots.
We haven't had enough time to properly analyse the imaging performance yet, but first impressions are great, and we'll report back when we've spent more time with the drone.
It's too soon to deliver our final verdict, but so far, things are looking good. It seems like the Mavic 3 Pro is shaping up to be the best consumer drone that money can buy, just like the Mavic 3 that came before it.
We'll be updating this article once we've had some longer flights in varying lighting conditions and had some time to play with the resulting footage and images. Stay tuned.