The DJI Mavic 3 is the most powerful folding drone the company has ever produced, and in terms of clean performance, it is the best. But the big upgrades in the DJI Mavic 2 Pro come at a cost. This means that, for many non-professionals, the smaller and more affordable DJI Air 2S is the better overall purchase.
The highlight of the DJI Mavic 3 is, of course, its new dual camera, which features a single sensor and two lenses. Surprisingly, the main camera’s 20MP quarter CMOS sensor has an adjustable aperture; this provides the best image quality in its class. The drone’s second telephoto lens is very limited, with no manual control or raw shooting, but is an occasional useful option for capturing distant subjects.
The Mavic 3 is available in two versions: standard and cinema. The main difference between the two, aside from the price, is that the 1TB SSD supports Apple ProRes 422 HQ video recording rather than Cine’s 8GB of internal storage. We used the Cinema Premium Combo for this review, which offers all the same live and still photography features as the standard version, except for the Apple ProRes shooting capability.
The enhanced video capture power of the Mavic 3 makes it a significant upgrade over the Mavic 2 series, and extends it to professional photographers and videographers like It can shoot up to 5.1K videos at 50 frames per second, 4K at 120 frames per second, FHD at 120 frames per second when shooting Apple ProRes, and up to 200 frames per second when shooting H264/H.265 codecs, including D-Log (Raw).
Flight Response and Better Battery Life Despite this, we discovered that real-world flight times are nearly 30 minutes longer than the stated 46 minutes.Despite all these improvements, the design of the Mavic 3 is compatible with its backpack-friendly predecessors, and both models weigh less than 900 grams. For Europe-based drone fans, this could help them achieve the EU classification before the new drone rules take effect in the region on January 1, 2023.
Perhaps the biggest factor to keep in mind is that the DJI Mavic 3 lacks a number of features, including ActiveTrack 5.0 subject tracking, MasterShots (its automatic flight mode range), and Wi-Fi QuickTransfer whenever you launch. It uses the Wi-Fi 6 protocol to quickly transfer your photos and videos to your phone. DJI says all of this will come with a firmware update on January 22, 2022.
None of these are deal breakers or key features for most pro-pilots, but it is a shame they disappear on launch, especially with such an expensive drone. Still, image quality is your top priority, both for video and stills, and the DJI Mavic 3 will not disappoint, despite its price tag and lost software tricks, making it one of the best DJI drones you can buy.
Design and control
The DJI Mavic 3 follows the same design as previous Mavic drones. This means that when you’re ready to take it into the air, it’s folded into the propulsion arms to make it smaller and bag-friendly when the drone is not in use before bending back a few seconds. Despite its dark paint work, the Mavic 3 still has that unique, iconic Mavic look and build quality.
The curved dimensions of the Mavic 3 are 212 96.3 x 90.3 mm, and its stretch size is 347.5 283 x 107.7 mm. This makes it similar to the Mavic 2 Pro when folded, with a slightly larger stretch size.
The launch weight of the Mavic 3 is 895g for the standard version and 899g for the Cine version. This is lighter than the Mavic 2 Pro (907g), which is heavier than the Mavic 3’s battery, and offers a higher capacity of 5,000mAh compared to the Mavic 2’s 3850mAh battery. In this case, the battery is inserted into the back of the Mavic 3 body, not the top.
The Mavic 3’s enhanced flight time battery is a key player, and the more efficient motors and propellers (with slightly less weight on the drone) help increase flight times and deliver the maximum speed of the game mode at 47mph (21m/s).
But compared to the Mavic 2 series, DJI claims that the shape of the drone, camera, and propeller weapon are not the same design improvements. Of course, this is not possible to test, but the flight time has definitely improved from the previous generation.
The standard version and the standard controller that come with the Fly More Bundle are the same as the ones you get with the DJI Mavic Air 2 and DJI Air 2S.
Unlike the DJI Mavic 2 series controller, this is a fixed size with a telescopic mount on the top of the unit where the telephone cable can be stored, and can be stored below the controller stick when not in use. Unlike the Mavic 2 controller, there is no LCD screen that displays flight information, which is a shame considering the high price of the Mavic 3, but this information can be viewed and previewed in the DJI Fly app.
Flight Specifications and Features
The Mavic 3 is a faster, faster flying drone that is more responsive to flight than its Mavic 2 predecessors. In that sense, it’s really like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. The controls are more sensitive in both normal mode and game modes, while Cinema Mode offers lower control sensitivity, slower speed, and more cinematic footage for smoother flights.
The flight can be as fast or as subdued as you want. Mavic 3 Specifications and CostIt is best suited for experienced drone pilots and professional content creators, but can also serve as an entry point for beginners thanks to its advanced security features. Still, there are more advanced entry-level drones, such as the DJI Mini 2, and some amateur-friendly features (such as MasterShots automated flight modes) will not be available on the Mavic 3 until the firmware update on January 22, 2022.
Another feature located in the protected area is the new positioning algorithm of Mavic 3, which claims to improve navigation accuracy with low drift by connecting to GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou satellites. This is really welcome, but when browsing the drone, you will not notice a difference between the Mavic 3 and previous generation models.
DJI says the Mavic 3’s new 5,000 mAh battery provides a maximum flight time of 46 minutes or 30 kilometers (without wind). In reality, this never happens, because you have to charge the wind, ambient temperature, and minimum battery charge before you can start “back home,” so the advertised flight time can rarely be achieved. During the test, the battery lasted well, even in cold and windy conditions, but it was nearly 30 minutes before the drone proposed RTH.
QuickShots are a set of automated flight patterns for the easy creation of professional-looking videos, including Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Helix, Boomerang, and Asteroid. There is also a HyperLaps mode for creating timelines and high-resolution videos with timely photos for panoramic modes, single shots, automatic exposure brackets and stills. It comes with automation, aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual shooting modes for both stills and video.
Video and photo quality
The crown jewel of the Mavic 3 is its dual Hasselblad cameras, while the main camera features a 20MP quarter CMOS sensor and a focal length of 24mm.
This camera, like the Mavic 2 Pro, offers an adjustable f/2.8 to f/11 aperture with automatic and manual focusing from 1m to infinity. The second camera features a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor with a focal length of 162mm, a fixed f/4.4 aperture, and a 28x hybrid zoom.
The Mavic 3’s adjustable aperture is more useful for controlling exposure, as the 3/4 sensor is still relatively small compared to a full-frame camera.
But the ability to control the aperture is a great feature when shooting video, as you can quickly change the exposure in the air when you want the shutter speed to stay within a certain setting.
The DJI Mavic 3’s second camera is more limited and can only capture images in JPEG and standard video at 4K 30fps. This hybrid camera offers only basic functionality and automatic shooting and has the ability to easily view distant scenes.
Should I buy the DJI Mavic 3?
Buy it now.
You want a great, pro-image
The Mavic 3 is without a doubt the leader in the image quality class, thanks to its three-quarter sensor. Still, sound handling in high ISO settings is also great, making it a powerful option for still photographers who produce aerial stills commercially.
You are a professional videographer.
The Cine version is extremely expensive, but for working advantages, cost is not always the deciding factor, and the Mavic 3 is still cheaper than the DJI Inspire 2. Such a small drone is amazing at being able to shoot Apple ProRes video to a 1TB internal SSD.
You have a DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
The Mavic 2 Pro has been around for several years now, and even the DJI Air 2S is a strong competitor, even though it does not have a changeable aperture. But the Mavic 3 is ahead of the Mavic 2 Pro, and the image quality enhancements are worth the price.