While there's been plenty of speculation about the DJI Mavic 3, DJI's newest drone just officially flew onto the radar today (Nov. 4), featuring two cameras — one with a 4/3 sensor and the other a 28x zoom lens — along with a bevy of other features, including a record 46-minute flight time.
Here's everything you need to know about the DJI Mavic 3, including its price, sensors, capabilities, and when it'll be available.
DJI Mavic 3: Price and availability
The DJI Mavic 3 is available now, and will be sold in three configurations:
Mavic 3 Standard version ($2,199)
Includes Mavic 3 drone, Intelligent Flight Battery, RC-N1 Remote Controller, Battery Charger, Storage Cover, and three pairs of Propellers.
Mavic 3 Fly More Combo ($2,999)
Includes Mavic 3 drone, three Intelligent Flight Batteries, RC-N1 Remote Controller, Battery Charger, Storage Cover, battery charging hub, ND filter set (ND4\8\6\32), carrying bag, and six pairs of Propellers.
Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo ($4,999)
Includes Mavic 3 Cine drone with a built-in 1TB SSD that supports Apple ProRes 422 HQ video recording, three Intelligent Flight Batteries, RC-N1 Remote Controller, Battery Charger, Storage Cover, battery charging hub, DJI RC Pro, ND Filters Set (ND4\8\6\32), ND Filters Set (ND64\128\256\512), 10Gbps Lightspeed Data Cable.
Additional batteries will cost $209 each.
The starting price of $2,199 places it well above DJI's other Mavic drones. The Mavic 2 Pro — the next-most expensive drone, starts at $1,599. Still, the Mavic 3 is about $1,000 less than DJI's pro-focused Inspire 2.
DJI Mavic 3: Cameras
In a first, the DJI Mavic 3 will feature not one, but two cameras: The first is a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera; the second is a 28x hybrid zoom camera, which has a 4x digital zoom on the main lens and a 7-28x zoom on the tele lens; the view shifts from one lens to the other, similar to that of the iPhone 13's zoom.
The main camera can capture 20MP still images in 12-bit RAW format and videos in 5.1K at 50fps and 4K at 120fps. Its 24mm equivalent lens has an 84-degree field of view, and it has an adjustable aperture from f/2.8-f/11.
The second zoom lens is a 162mm equivalent with an aperture of f/4.4, so it should be fairly good, even in somewhat darker conditions.
The Mavic 3 will be able to record H.264 video at a max bitrate of 200Mbps, and H.265 at 140Mbps.
A special Mavic 3 Cine version of the drone will have a built-in 1TB SSD, which will enable Apple ProRes 422 HQ encoding for a maximum data rate of 3772Mbps.
DJI Mavic 3 vs. DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Just how big a leap is the Mavic 3 over the Mavic 2 Pro? This chart below doesn't cover all the differences between the two models, but there are some significant upgrades.
For starters, the Mavic 3 is a bit larger than the Mavic 2 Pro, but manages to be a hair lighter. You can also see that the Mavic 3 has a much longer flight time — 46 minutes vs. 31 minutes — though the max hover time is slightly closer.
The Mavic 3's larger image sensor also allows for much higher resolutions when filming — 5.1K/50fps versus 4K/30 fps. Moreover, the Mavic 3 offers double the resolution when filming at higher frame rates.
|DJI Mavic 3||DJI Mavic 2 Pro|
|Size (unfolded)||13.7 x 11.1 x 4.2 inches||12.6 x 10.1 x 3.6 inches|
|Weight||~2 pounds||2 pounds|
|Cameras||4/3 CMOS (24mm), 1/2-inch CMOS (162mm)||1-inch CMOS|
|Flight time||46 mins||31 mins|
|Hover time||40 mins||29 mins|
|Max video resolution||5.1K at 50fps/ 4K at 120fps||4K/30 fps/ 1080p/120 fps|
DJI Mavic 3: Features
Similar to the Mavic 2, the Mavic 3 will have sensors on all sides — six fish-eye vision and two wide-angle — that will not only help it to avoid obstacles, but to plot a course around the obstructions.
ActiveTrack 5.0 should allow for more cinematic shots, as the Mavic 3 will be able to not only follow subjects better, but also fly alongside and around a moving object.
Also new to the Mavic 3 is DJI's O3+ transmission system, which will let the drone stream 1080p/60 fps video directly to the controller, and has a range of up to 15 km.
An updated return-to-home feature will allow the Mavic 3 to automatically determine the shortest, safest, and energy-efficient route to land back at its home point.
The Mavic 3 will not work with DJI's FPV goggles at launch, but a company representative said future integrations could be possible through firmware updates.
DJI Mavic 3: Flight time
Apart from the cameras, perhaps the most impressive feature of the Mavic 3 is its expected flight time. DJI says the Mavic 3 can stay aloft for up to 46 minutes — 12 minutes longer than the Mavic 2, which topped out at 34 minutes.
Of course, battery life is affected by a number of factors including the ambient temperature, wind conditions, and how you're flying the drone, but it's great to see such a large leap. We hope this trickles down to DJI's other drones.
DJI Mavic 3: Outlook
The DJI Mavic 3 seems like a huge step forward from the previous generation. Its dual-camera system, along with its longer flight times and enhanced tracking system, looks to make the Mavic 3 one of the best drones for videographers who don't have the budget or need for a full-size professional system.
Most casual drone operators will do just fine with DJI's sub-$2000 models, but the Mavic 3 could be the new go-to drone for those who want something portable yet powerful. We hope to get our hands on the Mavic 3 soon, so stay tuned.