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Hey drone enthusiasts!
James here, back at it again to geek out over DJI’s latest and greatest mini drone offerings. As the founder of DSS, the nation’s largest drone survey company, I’ve logged thousands of hours piloting DJI’s fleet – from the compact Mini 3 Pro to the heavy-lifting Matrice 350 and everything in between.
My vast field experience has given me an in-depth understanding of DJI’s craftsmanship and capabilities over the years.
I know you’re all eager to hear my take on how the Mini 3 and Mini Pro 3 compare.
Well, you came to the right place!
In this post, we’ll be examining the differences between DJI Mini 3 vs Mini 3 Pro to help you determine the best mini drone for your needs and budget.
To kick things off, let’s take a quick bird’s eye view of what these tiny beasts are packing before looking at their specs.
DJI Mini Pro 3 Quick Overview
- Sharper 48MP camera with 4K/60fps video
- Forward, backward and downward obstacle sensors
- Faster top speed and acceleration
- Advanced tracking and cinematic flight modes
- Shorter max flight time (34 mins vs 38 mins)
- Slower 67 min battery recharge
- Not as durable body design
- More expensive than regular Mini 3
The Mini 3 Pro is the best option for those wanting top-tier performance, premium imaging, and advanced creative features in a highly portable drone. It provides pro-level capabilities for only a bit more cost than the standard Mini 3.
DJI Mini 3 Quick Overview
- Longer max flight time (38 mins vs 34 mins)
- Faster 56 min battery recharge time
- More durable and rugged body
- Lower price point great for beginners
- 12MP camera with 4K/30fps vs 48MP camera with 4K/60fps on Pro
- Simpler downward obstacle sensors only
- Slower top speed and acceleration
- Fewer advanced creative flight modes
The DJI Mini 3 is the better choice for recreational users who want an affordable, long-flying drone with excellent flight capabilities. Though it lacks some of the premium features of the Pro, the Mini 3 provides tremendous value.
DJI mini 3 vs DJI mini 3 pro specs Overview
|Spec||DJI Mini 3 Pro||DJI Mini 3|
|Size (L x W x H)||Folded: 145×90×62 mm|
Unfolded: 171×245×62 mm
|Folded: 148×90×62 mm|
Unfolded: 251×362×72 mm
|Max Flight Time||34 mins (regular battery), 47 mins (plus battery)||38 mins (regular battery), 51 mins (plus battery)|
|Hovering Time||30 mins (regular battery), 40 mins (plus battery)||33 mins (regular battery), 44 mins (plus battery)|
|Photo Modes||Single, Burst, AEB, Panorama, Timed||Single, Timed, AEB, Panorama|
|Video Resolution||4K up to 60fps||4K up to 30fps|
|Video Format||MP4/MOV (H.264/H.265)||MP4 (H.264)|
|Digital Zoom||2-4x depending on resolution||2-4x depending on resolution|
|Obstacle Sensing||Forward, Backward, Downward||Downward|
|Operating Frequency||2.4GHz, 5.8GHz||2.4GHz, 5.8GHz|
|Max Ascent Speed||5m/s||Unspecified|
|Max Descent Speed||5m/s||3.5m/s|
|Max Altitude||4,000m (regular battery)||4,000m (regular battery)|
|Operating Temp||-10°C to 40°C||-10°C to 40°C|
|Storage||microSD (not included)||microSD (not included)|
|Intelligent Flight Modes||Yes||Yes|
|Charging Time||56-101 mins||56-101 mins|
|Panorama Modes||Sphere, 180°, Vertical||Sphere, 180°|
DJI MINI 3 VS MINI 3 PRO | Design & Build Quality
At first glance, the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro look quite similar – both sport DJI’s classic white, gray, and black color scheme with four folding arms.
The most obvious difference is the Mini 3 Pro’s additional forward, backward, and downward obstacle sensors.
These lend it a slightly more high-tech look.
In terms of build quality though, I give the edge to the Mini 3.
Its arms feel more sturdy and the camera module seems to be reinforced for added durability. DJI also managed to squeeze landing legs onto the Mini 3 – a nice bonus for smooth takeoffs and landings.
The Mini 3 Pro had to forego those legs to stay under 250 grams, which is admirable but does mean slightly more care is needed on landing.
Materials used are comparable between the two models, with both leveraging lightweight plastics, composites, and metals.
Overall, while the Mini 3 Pro certainly isn’t flimsy, the Mini 3 feels a bit more solidly constructed and rugged. This ruggedness inspires confidence when flying in tricky conditions.
So for me, the Mini 3 narrowly wins out on design and build quality thanks to its resilience while maintaining an impressive weight.
DJI MINI 3 VS MINI 3 PRO | What Comes In The Box
The core items in both boxes are the drone itself, extra propellers, charging cable, screws/screwdriver, and basic instructions.
The key difference is the Mini 3 Pro includes the Intelligent Flight Battery and RC-N1 controller as standard.
If choosing the bundles with the more advanced DJI RC controller, both add that premium controller in the box.
For maximum accessories, the Fly More kit provides extra batteries, charging hub, carrying case, and cables for either model.
In summary, the Mini 3 Pro gives you the Intelligent Flight Battery and basic RC-N1 controller right out of the box, while you need to purchase add-ons to get both with the regular Mini 3.
Other kits are available to equip either model fully, but the Mini 3 Pro version includes more core components upfront.
So if you want to fly right away with minimal separate purchases, the Mini 3 Pro may have an advantage in box contents. But both can be purchased in bundles with the accessories needed for a complete ready-to-fly package.
DJI MINI 3 VS MINI 3 PRO | Flight Performance
When evaluating flight performance, the DJI Mini 3 Pro edges out the Mini 3 in several areas like speed, wind resistance and safety features.
Both models top out around 40 mph in ideal conditions. But the Mini 3 Pro accelerates faster and is more nimble thanks to its upgraded motors. This improved agility makes navigating tight spaces noticeably easier with the Pro.
For wind resistance, the Mini 3 Pro again leads, officially rated to handle winds up to 24 mph compared to 19 mph on the Mini 3.
In real world tests, the Pro appears to stand up better to gusts, providing confidence in tougher conditions.
The Mini 3 Pro also packs forward, backward and downward obstacle detection sensors.
These provide a huge safety benefit, allowing the beginner drone pilots to automatically avoid crashes in many scenarios. It gives beginners much more room for error as they learn to fly.
The Mini 3, while lacking some of the Pro’s advantages, offers an incredibly long maximum flight time of 38 minutes. This extended airtime is a major plus.
Overall, while both perform well, the Mini 3 Pro wins this category by offering faster acceleration, stronger wind resistance, and safer obstacle detection for just a bit more money.
But the Mini 3 is still an excellent flier with its long battery life.
So for beginners or those on tighter budgets, the Mini 3 is a fantastic choice. But those seeking max flight performance will appreciate the Mini 3 Pro’s advantages.
DJI MINI 3 VS MINI 3 PRO | Battery Life & Charging
First, the Mini 3 can stay airborne for up to 38 minutes on a single battery charge, compared to a max of 34 minutes on the Mini 3 Pro. That extra 4 minutes of flight time gives you more time to capture footage or simply hone your flying skills as a beginner.
The other advantage goes to the Mini 3 for charging speed. It takes only 56 minutes to fully recharge the Mini 3 battery from empty. The Mini 3 Pro needs 67 minutes for a full charge. Those 11 extra minutes waiting for the Pro to charge could mean missing golden hour light or having to cut a flight session short.
Both drones allow hot swapping of batteries to extend flying time. But the Mini 3’s slightly lighter body makes transporting multiple batteries a bit easier.
So while the Mini 3 Pro offers solid flight time, the Mini 3 ultimately wins this category with its longer max airtime of 38 minutes and faster 56 minute recharge time.
That extra juice can make a real difference when you’re up in the air.
However, the Mini 3 Pro makes up ground in other areas like camera performance and speed. So weigh the battery differences here against other features to make the right choice for your needs. But for pure battery stamina, the Mini 3 comes out ahead.
DJI MINI 3 VS MINI 3 PRO | Obstacle Avoidance
When it comes to obstacle avoidance, the DJI Mini 3 Pro clearly provides superior safety and collision protection versus the more basic system on the Mini 3.
The Mini 3 Pro packs forward, backward, and downward facing sensors that use both visual and infrared detection. This allows it to actively avoid crashes from objects in three directions, even in low light conditions.
Comparatively, the Mini 3 only has downward facing sensors. It lacks the rear bubble sensors of the Pro, limiting its ability to prevent backward collisions.
For new drone pilots, the Mini 3 Pro’s robust 3-directional system offers invaluable peace of mind. Even experienced pilots will appreciate the added safety net when navigating complex environments.
The Mini 3’s simpler downward facing sensors still provide protection from below, which accounts for a majority of drone mishaps. But for more comprehensive collision avoidance, the Mini 3 Pro is worth the extra investment.
In the end, while both offer some obstacle avoidance sensors and detection, the Mini 3 Pro clearly provides superior safety. For beginners or those flying in tight spaces, the Pro’s advanced system could save your drone from disaster. But the Mini 3 may suffice if you fly conservatively in open areas.
DJI MINI 3 VS MINI 3 PRO | Autonomous Flight Modes
When comparing intelligent flight modes, the DJI Mini 3 Pro offers more advanced creative options versus the standard QuickShots available on the Mini 3.
The Mini 3 Pro introduces FocusTrack modes like ActiveTrack, Spotlight and Point of Interest. These allow automatic tracking and circling of subjects with various framing styles.
- ActiveTrack: The drone autonomously follows a moving subject while keeping it in the center of the frame. ActiveTrack allows the user to select a subject by tapping on the live view screen or enabling subject recognition.
- Spotlight: The camera stays locked on a selected subject while the aircraft moves freely under manual control.
- Point of Interest: The drone automatically orbits a fixed point chosen by the pilot while keeping the camera focused on that point.
The Mini 3 lacks any subject tracking abilities.
The Mini 3 Pro also brings new modes like Hyperlapse for timelapses and MasterShots which can automatically plan and execute complex cinematic shots.
The Mini 3 does not provide these sophisticated creative presets.
|Feature||DJI Mini 3||DJI Mini 3 Pro|
|Subject Tracking||❌||✅ (ActiveTrack, Spotlight, POI)|
|Complex Shots||❌||✅ (MasterShots)|
|Orbiting||✅ (QuickShots)||✅ (POI, QuickShots)|
|Preprogrammed Moves||✅ (QuickShots)||✅ (QuickShots)|
The Mini 3 isn’t devoid of autonomous features though – it does retain DJI’s classic QuickShots like Rocket, Dronie and Helix for dynamic selfie videos.
Quick Shot Modes:
- Dronie: The drone flies backward and up, keeping the subject framed in the center. This captures a video revealing the surrounding scenery. The optimal dronie distance varies between drone models.
- Rocket: The drone ascends vertically with the camera pointing straight down, capturing a unique top-down perspective.
- Circle: The drone orbits around the subject at a constant distance and altitude, keeping the camera locked on the subject.
- Helix: The drone ascends and spirals around the subject in an upward corkscrew pattern. This adds a sense of motion and energy to the video.
- Boomerang: The drone flies backward and upward, then returns to the starting point while recording. This captures the subject from different angles and perspectives.
- Asteroid: The drone flies up and away from the subject, then turns and descends in a spiral pattern around the subject while recording. This provides a dynamic reveal of the surroundings.
But for next-level creative options that produce professional-looking footage with minimal effort, the Mini 3 Pro is the clear winner here. Its FocusTrack, Hyperlapse and MasterShots modes allow incredible cinematic videos at the tap of a button.
So if you’re seeking advanced intelligent flight capabilities, the Mini 3 Pro is worth the upgrade over the Mini 3. But the Mini 3 still brings simple automated QuickShots for basic selfie videos and orbiting timelapses.
DJI MINI 3 VS MINI 3 PRO | Remote Control
When it comes to remote controllers, the DJI Mini 3 Pro has an edge over the Mini 3 due to its compatibility with more advanced options.
Both models work with the standard RC-N1 controller, which provides a solid 6 hours of battery life but requires a smartphone for the live video feed.
However, the Mini 3 Pro also supports the premium DJI RC controller with a built-in 5.5” screen. This gives you a brighter, higher quality view without needing to connect a phone.
Additionally, the Mini 3 Pro is compatible with the DJI Motion 2 controller that allows gesture-based control. This brings an entirely new way to steer your drone.
The Mini 3, on the other hand, only works with the RC-N1 or a smartphone. So you miss out on the benefits of DJI’s more capable camera and advanced controller options.
For most recreational fliers, the RC-N1 will be just fine. But if you want the best-in-class control experience, the added controller flexibility gives the Mini 3 Pro an advantage.
Being able to use the premium RC controller or Motion 2 opens up a more immersive and seamless flying experience. So if maximizing your remote control options is important, the Mini 3 Pro is the way to go.
DJI MINI 3 VS MINI 3 PRO | Flight Range
When it comes to max transmission range, the DJI Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro are evenly matched – both can fly up to 18km with the standard battery and 25km with the extended battery in ideal conditions.
In real world use however, performance will vary based on factors like weather, interference and regulations. The Mini 3 Pro may have a slight edge, as its upgraded O3 transmission system provides a more reliable connection that’s less prone to interference or dropout.
But in open areas, both should perform similarly range-wise.
It’s important to keep in mind that extended range flights take careful planning and coordination. You need to maintain line of sight, stay below maximum altitudes, and consider battery life for the return trip.
Sudden interference or connection issues could also arise at a distance.
For most users, the maximum FCC line of sight range of 8km will be more than sufficient. Buthaving the ability to extend out to 18-25km opens up possibilities for large surveys, inspections or mapping projects if properly executed.
In the end, I’d call it a tie for max range between the Mini 3 and 3 Pro.
Their high transmission capabilities enable flights beyond visual line of sight in the right conditions. But exercise caution when pushing these long ranges, and make sure you understand local laws.
DJI MINI 3 VS MINI 3 PRO | Flying Altitude
When it comes to maximum flight altitude, the DJI Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro are limited to the same legal 500 meter height restriction in most regions.
Technically, both drones can reach up to 4,000 meters when unlocked. However, for safety and regulatory compliance, DJI imposes a 500 meter ceiling by default within the app.
This 500 meter limit can only be increased if you have proper authorization and waivers for expanded altitudes. And you should always abide by local laws – in the US, recreational drones are limited to 400 feet (120 meters) without a waiver.
Exceeding these imposed altitude limits can pose significant risks both to air traffic and people on the ground. It also violates aviation rules in many countries.
While hitting 4,000+ meters may seem exciting in YouTube videos, I would caution all drone pilots to respect DJI’s sensible 500 meter default cap unless you have explicit clearance. Responsible and safe flight means putting prudence over thrill-seeking.
Both the Mini 3 VS Mini 3 Pro offer essentially identical altitude potential. But sticking to under 500 meters will keep your flights both legal and safely away from manned aircraft in all but the rarest circumstances.
DJI MINI 3 VS MINI 3 PRO | Software Intergration
When it comes to software integration and capabilities, the DJI Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro are quite evenly matched at this point, with a few limitations:
Neither model has native mapping or photogrammetry support in the DJI Fly app currently. While third party options exist, having this functionality built-in would be ideal.
Similarly, the SDK for custom development has not yet been released for either drone. This restricts advanced programming and integration with other software ecosystems for now.
For autonomous flight planning, the story is the same – third parties fill the gap, but native support in DJI Fly would be preferable.
In my view, the lack of these software capabilities isn’t a huge drawback, as DJI often rolls out expanded features after initial launch. And third party options exist in the interim.
But I would give a slight edge to the Mini 3 Pro if advanced programming or mapping integration is critical. Its higher image quality and sensors may lend themselves better to complex software usage once the SDK is available.
However, for most recreational users, the playing field is level. Neither model has a clear software advantage at this point. And DJI will likely bring both up to feature parity over time.
DJI MINI 3 VS MINI 3 PRO | Warranty Coverage
The DJI Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro come with an equivalent 12-month manufacturer’s warranty covering defects in materials and workmanship. This provides basic protection against flaws in manufacturing.
However, DJI Care Refresh offers more comprehensive coverage that can be well worth the added cost.
The standard 1-year warranty protects against defects, but not accidents, crashes or flyaways that may occur when actively using the drone.
Refresh plans cover all of these mishaps by providing up to 4 replacement drones at low deductibles.
Refresh also extends the warranty period when no claims are made.
This can effectively provide coverage for up to 2 years. There are also options tailored for 1 or 2 year timeframes based on your expected usage.
While the included 12-month warranty offers essential manufacturing defect protection, Refresh is more suited to the realities of real-world flying.
Accidental collisions or water landings can happen even with the most careful pilots. Refresh provides affordable replacements instead of expensive repairs in these cases.
For most drone pilots, the peace of mind of having Refresh coverage is well worth the investment, providing extended coverage periods and protection from common user mishaps exceeding the standard warranty provisions. Ultimately, both models receive the same 1-year warranty, but can hugely benefit from Refresh plans.
DJI MINI 3 VS MINI 3 PRO | Ease of Repairs
When comparing the DJI Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro in terms of ease of repairs, several factors should be considered including availability of replacement parts, complexity of the repair process, and cost of repairs.
Replacement parts for both drones are readily accessible online through retailers like Amazon and AliExpress. This makes it feasible to source broken components for do-it-yourself repairs.
However, installation and repairs require considerable technical skill and precision.
While online guides exist, it is not a straightforward process for the average consumer. Professional installation is recommended.
The cost of repairs can vary significantly based on damage severity. Minor crashes may cost $80-100 in parts/labor through DJI.
However, prices can jump substantially for third party service or more extensive repairs.
There is also a chance DJI could replace your entire drone rather than repairing if sent in, potentially resulting in lost personalizations.
In summary, while replacement parts are available for purchase, repairs on both the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro models are best performed by seasoned technicians.
The repair process appears equally complex for both drones, requiring advanced technical ability and proper tools for DIY repairs beyond minor issues.
Given the equal parts accessibility but high repair complexity, the Mini 3 VS Mini 3 Pro are on par regarding ease of service. Neither stands out as significantly easier to repair and maintain.
Caution is advised for both models to avoid the need for intricate repairs.
DJI MINI 3 VS MINI 3 PRO | Drone Bundle Comparisons
When comparing the bundle options available for the DJI Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro drones, there are several configurations to suit different needs.
For the Mini 3, DJI offers a drone-only package, a fly more combo with extra batteries and accessories, and a bundle adding the RC-N1 controller.
This provides a good range of choices for entry-level buyers.
The Mini 3 Pro is available as a drone alone, adding the RC-N1 controller, or bundled with DJI’s premium RC remote control that includes an integrated screen. There is also a fly more kit with extra batteries and a carry case sold separately.
Having options ranging from a basic drone to bundles with enhanced controllers and accessories allows buyers to choose the right fit based on flying needs and budget.
The Mini 3 line overall caters to those seeking an affordable, compact drone. The Mini 3 Pro bundles provide more advanced options for enthusiasts wanting upgraded performance and premium components.
Rather than comparing prices, focus on the flying capabilities and accessories you require to pick the right package. Both models offer multiple configurations to suit new and experienced pilots.
DJI Mini 3 VS Mini 3 Pro Summary
The Mini 3 Pro edges out the Mini 3 in areas like camera quality, flight performance, and intelligent flight modes. It captures sharper 48MP photos and 4K/60fps video, while the Mini 3 is limited to 12MP and 4K/30fps.
The Pro also has forward, backward and downward obstacle detection for safer flights, vs just downward on the Mini 3.
However, the Mini 3 has some advantages like longer maximum flight time (38 mins vs 34 mins), faster charging, and a more durable body design.
Released May 10th, 2022
- Captures sharper 48MP photos
- Shoots smooth 4K/60fps video
- Excels in low light with higher ISO
- Offers advanced creative filming modes
- Adds obstacle avoidance for enhanced safety
No Licence required licence for recreational drone flying in the USA and UK
The Mini 3 Pro packs impressive camera capabilities into a highly portable drone frame. Its compact size and 4K video make it great for travel vlogging, real estate shots, inspections and more. It appeals to hobbyists, travel creators, beginner commercial operators and DJI pilots who want a lightweight drone with advanced features.
Hitting a sweet spot between power and portability, I’d highly recommend the Mini 3 Pro for anyone needing pro-grade aerial imaging on the go.
The Mini 3 is also more affordable, making it better suited for beginners and casual users.
For software, they are currently quite similar until DJI releases the full SDK and expanded features. Both offer multiple bundle options to fit different budgets and needs.
Overall, the Mini 3 Pro brings premium performance and imaging for a higher price tag, while the Mini 3 is an impressive value drone with excellent flight capabilities.
Released September 28th, 2022
- More affordable price point for beginners
- Extended 38 minute flight time
- 12MP camera sufficient for new pilots
- Lighter and easier to transport
- Simple to fly with stable performance
No Licence required licence for recreational drone flying in the USA and UK
The DJI Mini 3 packs a 12MP camera and 4K/30fps video into an ultraportable 248g drone at a lower price point than the advanced Mini 3 Pro. Released after the Pro model, the Mini 3 aims at first-time and casual fliers who don’t require premium performance. DJI leveraged insights from the Mini 3 Pro to make thoughtful compromises, finding the right balance between cost and features.
Though not top-of-the-line, the Mini 3 still delivers beautiful aerial footage without breaking the bank, making it a great option for mainstream drone users.
The Mini 3 caters to recreational beginners, while the Pro is better suited for hobbyists who need the highest quality footage and tech.
So in choosing between them, consider your budget, skill level, and desired features. For many casual users, the affordable Mini 3 will perfectly meet their needs and provide an incredible flying experience for the price.