DJI has released yet another drone, this time a cut down version of the Mini 3 Pro.
So, what do you get for your AUD$829?
Well, you get the base Mini 3 drone and the standard controller. The Mini 3 weighs in under the magical (and somewhat mythical in Australia *) 249 grams and impressive is DJI rating the Mini 3 at being operable in winds up to 38kph, which is right up there with the bigger and heavier (595g) Air2S I own.
If you run the standard battery, you’ll get around 38 minutes of flying time, but the “Intelligent Flight Battery Plus” is said to boost that to 51 minutes.
The Mini 3’s camera has a 1 1/3” CMOS sensor with dual native ISO and chip level HDR technology – which basically means better and more accurate imaging no matter the light levels. There is also a 4X zoom built in.
If you are heavily into social media imagery, you’ll also be pleased to know the Mini 3 can shoot horizontally and vertically by the way. This has been achieved by clever gimbal technology apparently.
The usual Quickshots – Dronie, Circle, Helix, Rocket and Boomerang are all there and the Quick Transfer system allows you to send the results of your shoot to your smartphone or tablet for saving and sharing.
The digital video range is 10km – a bit of a moot point in Australia if you stay within CASA regs and restrain from flying out of visual range.
What don’t you get?
Importantly, especially for the beginner, the only sensor on the Mini 3 is the downward facing one, used for landing. So, trees and the like, if they get in the way, will win every time. Because of this I very much suggest if you decide to get a Mini 3, get the prop guard system with it. At least you’ll have a modicum of protection, although in a full speed wallop, I wouldn’t be holding my breath.
For that, also recommend the DJI Care system in the early stages at least too. This way if something does go awry, at least you get a replacement for a minimal cost.
In short, the improvements over the Mini 2 are primarily imaging based and a better flying time due to improved battery technology.
If you spend a further $190, you can also get the upgraded remote controller, the DJI RC-N1 which gives you an-controller screen which I also recommend, instead of using a smartphone or tablet.
Or if you upgrade to the Mini 3 Fly More combo (AUD1378), you get the drone, standard controller, 3 Intelligent Flight batteries, charging hub, shoulder bag, spare props and other goodies.
If you line up a GoPro 9, 10 and 11 side by side, I challenge anyone to see an immediate difference, because as far as I can tell, there isn’t one.
Resolution and Other Techie Stuff
But under the bonnet, things are very different. The biggest single change is the new sensor which has grown in size to 1/1.9 inches and now has available an 8:7 aspect ratio for shooting, and ups the ante for resolution increasing to 27.13MP up from 23MP.
Now of course this aspect ratio means you can shoot almost square still images in high resolution, but there is another bigger benefit if you are a TikTok’er YouTube’er or Instagram’er. If you shoot video at 8:7, you have the option to crop in editing to 1:1, 4:3, 16:9 or even 9:16 for these platforms. If you use the GoPro Quik app, these presets are already there (assuming you don’t mind smartphone editing of course). It also means you can shoot stabilised 4:3 video with a Superview (GoPro’s widest lens setting).
Another change is you can now shoot 5.3K and 4K at 120Mbps bit rate, an increase of 20% over the Hero 10.
And with the Hero 11, GoPro has opted to go the 10bit colour rate for the very first time. If that is pure gobbledygook to you it simply relates to the number of colours the camera can record, in this case it is 1billion, up from the 16.7 million of the Hero 10.
This means that in shots of the sky with a brilliant sunset say, the gradient between the colours will be considerably smoother and colour definition overall much better.
Also scoring a makeover is GoPro’s already impressive stabilisation I mentioned earlier. There is a new mode they call AutoBoost which basically means the camera has ‘smarts’ and can detect any shake automatically and switch on the Hypersmooth system.
Shot on GoPro Hero 11 Black in Supervidei 2.7K Handheld
In conjunction with the stabilisation, like the Hero 10, the Hero 11 has a horizon lock system which basically means as the camera is taken off the horizontal plane (tilted) it will keep the horizon straight in the image. The Hero 10 allowed this up to 27° but the 11 covers a full 360° which means there is a hell of a lot of image processing going on in that sensor which is very impressive indeed.
The other big difference here is that the Hero 11 does all this out of the box whereas the Hero 10 needs the Max Lens Mod.
There is a minor limitation though, in that the maximum frame rate / aspect ratio pair when running at 5.3K is 30fps and 16:9. If you need a faster frame rate, you need to drop the resolution to 4K.
Showing the Horizon Lock
New Imaging Modes
There are three new imaging modes built in: Light Painting, Vehicle Light Trails and Star Trails.
An example of Light Painting is being in a dark room and waving a torch about. The camera shutter will stay open, and the Hero 11 creates a short video clip giving the impression of electronic brush strokes created by the light. Vehicle Lights Trails are similar but used to create the same thing from the lights of moving vehicles. Finally, Star Trails creates star lines caused by an open shutter and the rotation of the Earth.
Sometime back GoPro launched the Enduro battery as an option, but now it ships with the Hero 11. This is said to give you up to 80 minutes of shooting time. GoPro says the Enduro is more efficient when the camera is in “idle” mode.
The Enduro battery is also said to be more efficient in extreme cold.
If you are one of those that just want the minimum off fuss to get your stills or video, the Hero 11 now has two modes, Easy Mode and Pro Mode.
Easy Mode simply gives you less options to choose from, letting you basically point and shoot. If you switch to Pro Mode, you get access to all functions and settings of the camera to tweak and experiment to your heart’s content.
All these new features are of course very welcome, but there a few things most users wish GoPro would address. The biggest of these by reading through various Facebook Groups is an overheating issue which many say has been a curse since the GoPro Hero 8. I have an 8, 9 and 10 and have never had this issue personally. A number of observers have suggested a lot of people have every function turned in the camera – many of them superfluous to the current operation – and this will not only cause overheating but also minimise battery life, so this is worth checking.
Another solution, and one I often employ, is to remove the battery altogether and use a PowerBank connected via the USB-C. The drawback to this is of course you’ll lose the full portability, but if you have a GoPro mounted on a car, boat, trailbike etc it is a worthwhile option. You need to remove the battery door, sure, but GoPro do also sell a “pass through” door for this very purpose.
The second gripe is the low light usability. There was hope the larger sensor might have knocked this issue on the head but sadly not. Again of course GoPro do make an add on option, the Light Mod, but this needs a shoe to sit in. The easiest way to get this is via the Media Mod (which I have on my 9 and 10 permanently). Why? Because I prefer to have external audio from a Sennheiser MKE200 as against the on-board mics or the mic in the m Media Mod.
I can also use the Hollyland Lark C1 if the situation calls for wireless mic capability.
The GoPro Hero 11 retails at $549.98, but much to many dealer’s chagrin I’d venture, you can buy through the GoPro online store with a “subscription” and save $200.
The subscription model offers a few extras, the most notable being automatic Unlimited Cloud Storage. Also included is the GoPro Quik app getting some extra features such as the Speed Tool for slo-mo effects, filters for snow and water and some themes and original music to add to your videos.
You also get offered discounts on GoPro accessories purchased from the site.
The GoPro is without question the de-facto “standard” in action cameras. I wrote a few years back that many others – Nikon, Canon, Sony included – tried to muscle in on the market but none really took off (despite the Sony offerings being very, very good).
DJI is still hanging in there of course, although with the Action 2, I feel they went slightly off the rails and thus brought out the Action 3 which is more conformist, and is in some ways, I think, superior to the GoPro.
But if it’s an action camera you want, then the Hero 11 has all the things you need with the caveat of the low light and potential overheating issues.
But I have to say at this point, a GoPro is not designed as a “Swiss Knife” camera. There are some things it is just not designed for. I have seen users ask questions about using the GoPro for wedding photography for example …
I suggest a good maxim is the one used by a popular outdoor store. The GoPro is for “BCF-ing fun!”
The O3 Air Unit a compact is a lightweight FPV camera and transmission module system that delivers an robust and reliable image to empower users to reach new heights of their immersive flight. A 1/1.7-inch sensor delivers up to 4K/60fps video with a 155° super-wide FOV, all while delivering a 1080p/100fps live feed from up to 10 km away with latency as low as 30 ms. With these features and more, the DJI O3 Air Unit is the perfect addition to a high-performance FPV experience.
Flagship Video Transmission
The backbone of any FPV system is transmission, which is why the O3 Air Unit comes with DJI’s premier O3+ system. 2T2R omnidirectional antennas built into the air unit deliver 1080p/100fps
H.265 Video Transmission at a max bitrate of 50 Mbps. [] To help ease users during flight, video transmission covers up to 10 km while providing latency as low as 30 ms. [] When it senses a crowded signal environment, the O3 Air Unit automatically selects the best signal frequency and uses anti-interference technologies to keep a strong connection to its pilot. []
When it senses a crowded signal environment, the O3 Air Unit automatically selects the best signal frequency band and uses anti-interference technologies to keep a strong connection to its pilot.
Content-Ready Image Quality
The O3 Air Unit was made just to let users experience and capture flight like never before. The camera module houses a 1/1.7-inch sensor that shoots up to 4K/60fps video at a 155° super-wide FOV. [] Video can be shot in D-Cinelike color mode, allowing for stunning visual results after color grading and post-processing. The camera is also compatible with the DJI Avata ND filter set to ensure ideal recording in all lighting conditions. []
Customizable and Compatible
DJI understands that FPV enthusiasts have unique preferences when it comes to an immersive experience, so the O3 Air Unit was developed accordingly. Canvas mode allows for customization of the on-screen display, ensuring pilots see the OSD display that’s right for them. For more options in viewing and control, the Air Unit is compatible with DJI Goggles 2, DJI FPV Goggles V2, and DJI FPV Remote Controller 2. []
Awaken with DJI Goggles 2
After its debut in the DJI Avata Pro-View Combo, DJI Goggles 2 is now available in a standalone version. It takes advantage of DJI O3+ transmission for latency as low as 30 ms, delivering a crisp 1080p display through its Micro-OLED screens. Its top-tier performance is complemented by soft, replaceable foam padding that reduces light leakage and SyncSmooth technology for a more fluid live feed that reduces visual fatigue. Built-in diopters are adjustable from +2.0 to -8.0 to let users who wear corrective lenses fly glasses-free.DJI Goggles 2 is compatible with the DJI O3 Air Unit, DJI Avata, and DJI FPV Remote Controller 2.
Ultra-low latency video transmission at speeds shorter than 28 ms. []
Transmission fluency via flagship algorithm that enhances live footage smoothness and minimal latency.
48-megapixel sensor for superior, high-definition images.
f/2.8 aperture for excellent depth of field.
2.7K/120fps slow motion video for dramatic edits. []
Lightweight and compact like its predecessor, the DJI Digital FPV System, for easy installation.
RockSteady support to create even smoother footage.
Open IMU data enables convenient post-editing and stabilization.
Card Reader mode via USB connection for quick file reading.
20GB of built-in storage in the transmission module.
Price and Availability
The DJI O3 Air Unit is available today from store.dji.com and most authorized FPV retailers for USD $229 and includes the Camera Module, Transmission Module, Antenna, and 3-in-1 cable.
DJI Goggles 2 is also available today from store.dji.com for USD $649 and includes Goggles 2, battery, eyeglass frames, screen protector, headband, power cable, dual-band antenna, and OTG cable.
 Measured while using DJI Goggles 2 and tested in an outdoor open environment free of interference, FCC-compliant.
 Tested in an outdoor open environment free of interference. Video transmission latency data varies with different goggles. With DJI Goggles 2 at 1080p/100fps video transmission quality, the lowest video transmission latency is 30 ms. With DJI FPV Goggles V2 at 810p/120fps video transmission quality, video transmission latency is less than 28 ms.
 The 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequency bands are supported for receiving; however only the 5.8 GHz frequency band is supported for transmitting. Some countries or regions do not support 5.8 GHz. Please check, confirm, and strictly abide by local laws and regulations before use.
 The 155° FOV is only available when the aspect ratio is 4:3 and the video recording specification is 2.7K@50/60fps or 1080p@50fps/60fps; or when the aspect ratio is 16:9 and the video recording specification is 4K@50/60fps, 2.7K@50/60fps, or 1080p@50/60fps. 4K/60fps videos do not support the aspect ratio of 4:3 and only support that of 16:9.
Last night Perth (in Western Australia, not Scotland) held its annual City of Light Christmas Show that featured 500 drones. But something went wrong and about 50 of them simply dropped from the sky into the Swan River. The total cost of the loss is estimated to be around $100,000 according to Drone Sky Show managing director Joshua Van Ross.
No cause is yet apparent as to what befell the casualties, but today divers are attempting to salvage as many as they can to try and ascertain what went wrong.
Nobody in the huge crowd was in danger by the way as there was a 120 metre exsclusion zone around the area the drones were flying – or not as the case may be.
Perth is known as the “City of Light” because in 1962, Perth residents and businesses left on their lights, shone torches to the sky and lit lanterns to generate as much light as possible – Astronaut John Glenn commented on the brightness from space and Perth became known as The City of Light. Glenn was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.
The highly-anticipated City Of Light Christmas drone show didn’t go exactly as planned last night…
Multiple drones began malfunctioning and falling from the sky throughout, crashing into the Swan River below as crowds watched on. #9Newspic.twitter.com/oThMMvUEYf
When DJI posted the announcement of the Mavic 3 Classic, I posed the question: with this release, should you buy this new drone or the older Air2S?
I have an Air2S along with an AVATA, Mini 2 and FPV, and love it. It is used far, far more than the others, although to be fair, I am still coming to grips with the AVATA. Nevertheless, I have been pondering the original question at length. I do not own, or even had a play with the Mavic 3 Classic (as yet anyway) so can only compare side-by-side specification wise to come to some sort of conclusion.
So here goes:
DJI Mavic 3 Classic
4/3 CMOS Hasselblad
f/2.8 – f/11
5.1K / 50fps 4K /120fps
5.4K /30fps 4K /60fps
Up 15Km with 1080p/ 60fps live feed
Up to 12Km with 1080p/30fps live feed
Forward, Backward, Upward, Downward
DJI-RC with 5.5” built in screen
Standard controller, no screen (uses phone or tablet)
Assuming we all stick to the letter of the law and only fly within visual range, then 15Km v 12Km is neither here nor there, so comparing the capabilities of range is a bit of a moot point at the end of the day.
Other specification can be split between drone capability and photographic. There is no doubt that the imaging– both photographic and video – is superior on the Mavic Classic 3. A bigger sensor, adjustable aperture and increased frame rate beat the higher resolution of the Air2S, no question. Having said that, from my experience, the capabilities of the Air2S optics and sensor are remarkable and will give you no cause for complaint I assure you.
On the drone side, the increased battery life is a big plus for most. I tend to only fly for a maximum of 20 minutes being gun shy of battery failure due to a past (and expensive) experience. This gives me a decent margin of error.
(For those coming late I had one of the original GoPro Karma drones that had a bug in the battery life sensor. Consequently, when returning from a flight shooting whales at Hervey Bay, it ended up in a watery grave about 2 metres away from landing.)
For those who have ever had a serious crash, the omnidirectional sensor system is also a bonus, which, whilst not eliminating such a possibility, certainly minimises it.
But a big winner for me is the inclusion of the DJI RC controller. The bane of my life has been getting a method of shielding the phone or tablet from sunlight so you can read the information on-screen, and also see clearly what you are shooting.
I know there are commercial sunshades available, but I have yet to find one that will correctly fit a Samsung A7 tablet. If you know of one, please let me know! I do have one for my phone, but it being a Samsung A71, I prefer a larger screen.
If it works as well as say the Karma controller did in bright sunlight, this to me is worth the price difference alone. (The Air2S has just had an hardware update to support the DJI-RC controller too by the way and you can buy the controller alone for AUD$399 which I reckon is well worth it.
So dear reader, there it is. Whilst the question of “which drone” is not fully answered, I’d suspect if you have the extra $900 in your pocket, that, longer term would be the way to go. But as I say, if you don’t have those 900 shekels and thus get the Air2S, you will not be disappointed.
Not at all. Despite the above conclusions, I still think the Air2S is the best bang for buck model DJI make.
We got some more more info from DJI this afternoon. Here it is … (slightly edited)
DJI says the world’s best camera drone is now more accessible with the Mavic 3 Classic, giving creators a new way to experience the unparalleled Hasselblad camera and unbeatable flight performance of the Mavic 3 Series. Mavic 3 Classic features the same 4/3 CMOS 20-megapixel camera, 46-minute maximum flight time, and O3+ transmission system as the original Mavic 3 drone, without an additional telephoto lens. Mavic 3 Classic is compatible with existing DJI RC Pro, DJI RC, and DJI RC-N1 to put premium performance in a more affordable package, making it easy for drone creators to move up to the best flying camera on the market.
“The Mavic 3 series has always set the standard for what a drone can do, from the original Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Cine that transformed aerial photography and cinematography, through the Mavic 3 Enterprise and Mavic 3 Thermal platforms for professional work,” said Ferdinand Wolf, Creative Director at DJI. “Now, DJI is moving forward to give more creators access to the photographic excellence and operational reliability that are the hallmarks of the Mavic 3 Series. With the launch of Mavic 3 Classic, we hope to see even more creators putting our top-of-the-line tools to work and pushing their creativity past their old limits.”
The Best Camera for Your Best Content
With the launch of Mavic 3 Classic, more creators will have full access to the wide possibilities afforded by the Mavic 3 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera. For video work, the camera captures up to 5.1K/50 fps, 4K/60 fps and 1080p/60fps using H.264 and H.265 encoders. In slow-motion applications, Mavic 3 Classic captures video at 4K/120fps and 1080p/200fps. Its 24mm equivalent focal length lens opens to an adjustable aperture spanning f/2.8 to f/11 for 12.8 stops of native dynamic range. When light hits the 20-megapixel sensor, it is processed in 12-bit RAW for photography and 10-bit D-Log for video, making the camera up to the challenge of accurately conveying the vivid colors, peak highlights, and detail-rich shadows of our world.
Because the Mavic 3 Classic camera is based on Hasselblad’s groundbreaking research and development, it is designed to capture true-to-life details matching what the human eye perceives. The Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution directly outputs photos and videos with genuine and accurate colors, and its HLG system for high dynamic range photography generates footage that does not require color tuning in post-production. Even in low-light scenarios such as sunrises and sunsets, a night shot video mode reduces visual noise to allow cleaner shots.
Intelligent in the Air and on Your Screen
Capturing the world’s images accurately is just the beginning of the creative process. Mavic 3 Classic is engineered to put the power of DJI’s flight technology at the service of every creator in a simple and easy-to-use interface that functions smoothly right out of the box, is customizable for the most precise control, and easily outputs images and videos for sharing, editing, and post-production.
Creators who have honed their skills on earlier versions of DJI’s drones will find themselves free to fly for up to 46 minutes with Mavic 3 Classic, which uses the same batteries as the rest of the Mavic 3 Series. The O3+ transmission system for flight control and video can display stellar 1080p/60fps video at a range of up to 15 kilometers (9.3 miles). Transmission distance is a proxy for signal strength, and Mavic 3 Classic should always be flown within the pilot’s line of sight.
From the first moments in the air, Mavic 3 Classic’s array of intelligent algorithms can begin tracking subjects, framing images and automatically moving the camera in cinematic flight patterns. The ActiveTrack 5.0 system uses multiple vision sensors to recognize subjects, lock them in frame, and move the drone and camera in concert to create professional-quality videos. With MasterShots, both shooting and editing functions are automated to make the creative process simple and effective even for new pilots still developing their personal visual language in the air.
Mavic 3 Classic features the automated QuickShots shooting modes that DJI pilots have come to love, as well as continued support for timelapse, hyperlapse, and panorama shooting styles. The new Cruise Control feature allows pilots to set a constant flight speed for their drone, allowing them to focus on the imagery while minimizing any camera shake from manual speed control.
Once Mavic 3 Classic is back on the ground, turning raw imagery into classic content is easier than ever. The High-Speed QuickTransfer option allows quick image and video downloads direct from the drone to a mobile phone over Wi-Fi 6 at speeds up to 80 MB per second without connecting to the remote controller.
DJI Care Refresh
DJI Care Refresh, the comprehensive protection plan for DJI products, is now available for DJI Mavic 3 Classic. The replacement service covers accidental damage, including flyaway, collisions and water damage. For a small additional charge, you can have your damaged product replaced if an accident occurs.
DJI Care Refresh (1-Year Plan) includes up to two replacements in one year. DJI Care Refresh (2-Year Plan) includes up to three replacements in two years and extends the original warranty up to 2 years from the date of purchase. Other services of DJI Care Refresh include rewards for safe flight and free shipping.For a full list of details, please visit: https://www.dji.com/service/djicare-refresh.
Price and Availability
The DJI Mavic 3 Classic is available for purchase today from store.dji.com and authorized retail partners in three purchase configurations:
Mavic 3 Classic (Drone Only) does not include a remote controller or charger, and is ideal for owners of existing DJI drones who are ready to move up to the top-of-the line camera performance of Mavic 3. It is compatible with any existing DJI RC-N1, DJI RC or DJI RC Pro controller. It is available for the retail price of AUD2299.
Mavic 3 Classic includes a charger and the DJI RC-N1 remote controller. It is available for the retail price of AUD2399.
Mavic 3 Classic (DJI RC) includes a charger and the DJI RC remote controller. It is available for the retail price of AUD2599.
Mavic 3 Classic Fly More Kit(Shoulder Bag) includes two Intelligent Flight Batteries, a Battery Charging Hub (100W), a 65W Car Charger, a Shoulder Bag and propellers. It is available for the retail price of AUD799.
DJI is excited to see the creative works that will result from the help of DJI Mavic 3 Classic. To bring this opportunity to the world, SkyPixel – the leading global community for aerial photographers and videographers – is also launching a campaign that will give users the chance to try and shoot with this new impressive drone. The SkyPixel Product Tryout Program will send DJI Mavic 3 Classic to select users who will be able to experience content creation with the device for a limited time, and be in the running to win their very own DJI Mavic 3 Classic. For more detailed information, please visit the official SkyPixel site: https://www.skypixel.com
To be fair, it was pretty much expected. A Classic version of the Mavic 3 – still with a lot of bells and whistles, but without the stratospheric price tag the top of the range Pro has. That is not to say the imagery ability has been downgraded, not at all. It still has the Hasselblad camera on board giving 5.1k / 50fps 20MP AND has 46 minutes* flying time with a stated 15Km video transmission range. But no, there is no secondary telephoto camera.
It comes with the full on DJI RC Controller though, so you can ditch your phone or tablet, and hopefully, the screen also is bright / contrasty enough to do away with the need for any sunshade (I have requested a controller for my Air2S now that is compatible so hopefully I will be able to let you know on that score).
The difficulty for the consumer in my mind is now whether to go for the Air2S ($1699) or the Mavic 3 Classic ($2599). Is it worth the extra $900? With the Pro controller valued at $1529 stand alone, the answer I’d say is yes.
I’ll have a complete run down on all the features etc shortly.
The environment of Mt Everest is complex and changes fast. DJI engineers made the theoretical calculations about what it would take to fly from the summit and adapted a Mavic 3 to be able to handle the harsh conditions.
But would actually work?
The 8KRaw team reached the summit and became the first climbers to launch a drone from the top of Everest.
The DJI Mavic 3 captured the beauty of this awe-inspiring peak and its surroundings from 9232 m (30289 feet). DJI engineers are already putting the collected data to use on development of future drone technology.
YuanZong Wang Founder of 8KRaw
“With Mavic 3 which is light small and reliable we saw Everest with a new perspective. I am beyond grateful to the mountain for accepting us.”