- The Mini 3 Pro and Mavic 3, are both made by DJI — one of the world’s largest and most prominent drone manufacturers.
- For most people, a smaller and significantly more affordable DJI Mini 3 Pro is a better option, mostly due to its ease and portability.
- Mavic 3 is a professional-grade UAV and boasts a battery capacity of 5000mAh, which is significantly larger than the Mini 3 Pro’s 3850mAh battery.
- For professional photography and videography, the Mini 3 Pro can’t really compare to DJI Mavic 3’s Hasselblad dual camera system and bigger sensor.
Commercial drones have gained enormous popularity among photographers and videographers since they first appeared on the market. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are equipped with fantastic technologies that were previously inconceivable on such small devices. Naturally, not all tech is the same, and some models are nothing more than glorified gadgetry for children.
In this guide, we’ll compare two of the best-known drone models, the Mini 3 Pro and Mavic 3, both made by DJI — one of the world’s largest and most prominent drone manufacturers. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. Mavic 3: A Side-by-Side Comparison
|DJI Mini Pro 3||DJI Mavic 3|
|Price||Approx. $910||Approx. $2050|
|Battery Life||Up to 36 minutes||Up to 46 minutes|
|Size and Portability |
|145×90×62 mm||221×96.3×90.3 mm|
1/2” CMOS (Tele Camera)
20 MP Prime
12 MP Tele Cam
|Sensors||Forward, Backward, Downward||Omnidirectional binocular |
vision system supplemented
with an infrared sensor at the
bottom of the aircraft
DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. Mavic 3: What’s the Difference?
The DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. Mavic 3 doesn’t seem like a fair fight since DJI Mavic 3 is technologically more advanced than the Mini 3 Pro. However, while bigger and more advanced attributes usually imply that the product is better than its competitor, that’s not always the case.
In truth, it’s really difficult putting the two up against each other since they belong to two different classes of UAVs. For most people, a smaller and significantly more affordable DJI Mini 3 Pro is a better option, mostly due to its ease and portability.
However, videographers and aerial photographers will appreciate all the technologically advanced features that the DJI Mavic 3 offers, including a significantly better camera and a more robust build quality. Below is the extensive comparison between DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. Mavic 3, categorized by price, ease of use, camera specs, size, and portability.
#1: Price Comparison
- With a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad Camera, the sensor provides a 12.8-stop dynamic range that retains more details in highlights and shadows
- 46 Minutes of flight time
- Equipped with advanced Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, letting you fly confidently and safely wherever you are
- 15-kilometer max transmission range, which means you can fly farther to explore and capture more
- O3 Plus Transmission system for smooth and stable live feeds are smooth and stable.
- Smart Return to Home with a new Advanced RTH system whether activated by low battery or the pilot
DJI Mavic 3 is marketed for professional videographers and aerial photographers. As such, it’s equipped with professional-grade features, which are reflected in its price tag. The drone itself is priced at just above $2,000 on Amazon, which might sound like a bit too much. However, considering the number of high-quality features this drone offers, the price point is more than reasonable.
In fact, it’s very challenging to find a drone that’s more feature-packed in this price bracket. So, if you’re looking for top-of-the-line specs and the budget isn’t a concern, the Mavic 3 is your drone. Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut winner regarding price points; you simply get what you paid for.
#2: Battery Life
When choosing a drone, either for professional use or merely for fun, it’s important to consider the battery, its power rating, as well as its size. For example, a same-size battery with the same capacity can power a smaller drone for longer. Likewise, it will also power a larger drone for a shorter period of time.
With DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. Mavic 3, the size and the capacity aren’t relevant, as both products use different batteries. Mavic 3 is a professional-grade UAV and boasts a battery capacity of 5000mAh, which is significantly larger than the Mini 3 Pro’s 3850mAh battery. This, of course, means that Mavic 3 has a bigger and heavier battery, which may hinder the drone’s portability.
With that being said, despite the added weight of a larger battery, the Mavic 3 is a better-optimized machine and offers approximately 10 minutes more flight time than the Mini 3 Pro. So, it’s clear that DJI Mavic 3 wins when it comes to battery life.
#3: Size and Portability
When it comes to comparing the size and portability advantages of DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. Mavic 3, things aren’t as clear-cut as one might hope. When it comes to portability, smaller and lighter are better, and Mini 3 Pro scores a point in this category. The drone can be tucked into a filled backpack or a larger jacket pocket since it’s only 145mm long when folded.
Mavic 3, on the other hand, is 221mm long when folded. Weight is another thing users should consider. Portability-wise, lighter is better, and Mini 3 Pro scores yet another point in the weight category. The DJI Mini 3 Pro weighs 249 grams, making it incredibly portable and exempt from any drone regulations. In the US, drones below 250 grams don’t require an AUV piloting license and certificate. But a lower weight also means less flight stability in windy weather.
Weighing 895 grams, most of which stem from its battery pack, the Mavic 3 is a real miniature flying tank. It might not be as portable, and you’ll likely need an AUV piloting license and certificate, depending on where you live. Mavic 3 is considerably more stable when flying in windy weather. Ultimately, with everything said, the DJI Mini 3Pro wins the price and portability category.
Let’s discuss the most important feature; the camera. With a 48-megapixel camera, one would think that the DJI Mini 3 Pro has the upper hand over DJI Mavic 3’s 12-megapixels. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Most professional and experienced photographers know that megapixels aren’t everything. Photo sensor size plays a massive role in both image and video quality.
For example, larger individual pixels can capture more light than super high-res sensors. This means that a 16-megapixel 1/2″ sensor would, in theory, produce far cleaner low-light shots than a 52-megapixel 1/2″ sensor — if every other variable is the same.
The DJI Mavic 3 comes equipped with a Hasselblad dual camera system, fitted with a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera sensor with 20-megapixels for photography, and a 12-megapixel Tele camera. DJI Mini 3 Pro has a smaller image sensor, with 48 megapixels, which, despite the higher MP count, produces a slightly lower image quality.
We’re not saying the Mini 3 Pro’s camera is bad in any way. In fact, it’s the best camera system on a DJI Mini drone ever. However, for professional photography and videography, it can’t really compare to DJI Mavic 3’s Hasselblad dual camera system and bigger sensor. If you’re capturing images and videos for social media, then Mini 3 Pro makes more sense due to its considerably lower price.
Ultimately, the DJI Mavic 3 has a better camera and is the clear winner in this category.
#5: Other Factors
While price definitely is a factor you should want to consider, the camera, battery, and size aren’t everything. Other features are important too. Obstacle sensing is really important, and while it’s rather rudimentary on Mini 3 Pro, Mavic 3 has an omnidirectional binocular vision system which is supplemented with an infrared sensor at the bottom of the aircraft.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t crash it. The Mavic 3 also boasts a longer flight time, sitting at 46 minutes, while the Mini 3 Pro only flies for about 34 minutes. That also applies to flight distance; Mavic 3 has a range of 30km, while Mini 3 Pro only goes as far as 12km.
Additionally, Mavic 3 has six times larger internal storage, supports up to 1000GB of external memory, has 28% more battery power, and 50 Mbps higher movie recording bitrate (sitting at 200Mbps). On the other hand, DJI Mini Pro can record 4k@60fps, while Mavic 3 offers 50fps maximum – though at higher video and image resolution.
DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. Mavic 3: 5 Must-Know Facts
- Before they made it to the commercial market, drones were developed by the military for warfare and reconnaissance.
- Model airplanes are also UAVs, so they’re technically drones.
- You don’t need a license to fly drones lighter than 250g.
- In some states, flying larger drones requires permission, a license, and certification.
- Some countries, like Egypt, India, Morocco, Iran, Nicaragua, and several others, have a ban on drones. Make sure to check with the local authorities whether you’re allowed to fly your UAV there.
DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. Mavic 3: Which One Is Best?
Speaking from a technological standpoint, the Mavic 3 is an overall better machine compared to DJI Mini 3 Pro. It features a better camera system, more battery power, and stronger hardware. However, this all comes at a higher price and less portability compared to DJI Mini 3 Pro.
Ultimately, the concept of “better” depends on context. If you’re looking for a professional-grade drone for photography and videography work, you’ll appreciate all the features DJI Mavic 3 has to offer. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a high-quality yet portable and reasonably priced drone to capture your travels, DJI Mini 3 Pro will meet all your expectations.
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The image featured at the top of this post is ©Vantage_DS/Shutterstock.com.