Now DJI&s new Mavic 3 is finally official - although most of the technical data was already known through various leaks, the release answers all previously unanswered questions - first and foremost, of course, the price.
As predicted, the new Mavic 3 will come in two versions, a standard and a ProRes-capable cine version. The biggest news is the new dual Hasselblad camera system, with a camera for normal flight shots with a 24mm lens, and a camera specializing in telephoto shots with a 162mm 7x zoom lens (28x via digital hybrid zoom).
DJI Mavic 3 Cine
In addition, the 5.1K main camera with its new 4/3 CMOS sensor represents a significant upgrade over the 1" cameras of the Mavic 2 or Mavic Air 2S ( visible here in our sensor size comparison ). Aimed at professional users, the Mavic 3 Cine model can also record video using Apple&s ProRes 422 HQ codec at a bitrate of up to 3,772 Mbps. This is the only differentiator from the standard version of the Mavic 3 - aside from accessories like the additional ND filter set and the new RC Pro remote control.
The other improvements of the collapsible Mavic 3 over the previous models (and also the new Air 2S) are an increased maximum flight time of 46 minutes (the Mavic 2 only managed 31 minutes) as well as a much longer video transmission range of now 12km per O3+ (Mavic 2: 6km, Air 2S: 8km) according to EU CE standards as well as live video transmission at 1080p with 60 fps (the Mavic 2/Air 2S were still limited to 30 fps) and an improved return function.
Standard, of course, are now the intelligent flight and recording modes already known from other DJI drones, such as HyperLapse, ActiveTrack, QuickShot, Panorama, as well as the automatic obstacle avoidance functions using special sensors with the help of APAS (Advanced Pilot Assistance System), which have been further improved.
. As nice as the new features are, one (rather large) downer is the high price of the new models. So the Mavic 3 costs 2,099 euros, the DJI Mavic 3 Fly More Combo 2,799 euros, so 700 euros more (it also includes two 2 Intelligent Flight Batteries as well as a convertible carrying case and a ND filter set).
Large is then again the price jump to the Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo, which is priced at 4,799 euros, so again 2,000 euros more expensive than the Fly More Combo. For that, you also get the option of recording with the ProRes codec, plus a 1 TB SSD for sufficiently fast storage of ProRes recordings, as well as an additional ND filter set and the DJI RC Pro remote control (which, as a successor to the previous Smart remote control, makes the smartphone superfluous as a controller and monitor).
DJI Mavic 3 Cine
For comparison, the Mavic 2 Pro (from 2016) with DJI Smart Remote Control with its own screen costs 1,999 euros, the current DJI Air 2S 999 euros. So anyone looking to buy a new drone should think carefully about whether the slightly more than double price of the Mavic 3 compared to the Air 2S is worth the improvements and additional features.
The dual Hasselblad camera system: the 5.1K main camera with 4/3 sensor
. As a key innovation, the Mavic 3 virtually combines the functionality of the old Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic Zoom with the help of its dual Hasselblad camera system.
The dual Hasselblad camera system of the DJI Mavic 3.
The main camera, model number L2D-20c, has a 4/3 CMOS sensor with a resolution of 5,280 × 3,956 pixels, a native dynamic range of 12.8 f-stops, and adjustable aperture from f/2.8 to f/11. Videos can be recorded at up to 5.1K (5,120 x 2,700) at a maximum of 50 fps, with DCI 4K/4K frame rates reaching up to 120fps, and even 200 fps for FullHD. Videos are recorded via H.265/H.264 in .MOV or .MP4 format. The maximum bitrate when recording with H.264 is 200 Mbps, with H.265 it is 140 Mbps. Photos can be shot at 20MP with 12-bit RAW.
Also supported, as with the Mavic 2 Pro, is video capture via 10-bit D-Log color profile and photo capture via Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution (HNCS). The larger image sensor is also said to significantly improve effective noise in low-light environments.
The focal length of the small autofocus lens - it weighs only 12.5 grams - is Kb-equivalent 24 mm (field of view 84°). It seems that the lens can be changed, as a second, wider-angle lens is offered as an add-on. A new Vision Detection Auto Focus technology for fast focusing allows the Hasselblad camera to work with multiple built-in vision sensors to quickly acquire distance data and optimize focusing speed.
The DJI Mavic 3 Cine Variant
. The Mavic 3 Cine variant also has the ability to record video using Apple&s professional ProRes 422 HQ codec at a maximum bit rate of 3,772Mbps (471 MB/s). To ensure that there is enough memory, including high bandwidth, for the space-consuming recording, DJI has equipped the Mavic 3 Cine with an internal 1TB SSD with a maximum write speed of 471MB/s (and read speed of 700MB/s). Both versions also have 8GB of internal memory, as well as the ability to record photos and videos on up to 2TB SDXC/UHS-I microSD cards.
DJI Mavic 3 Cine
The dual Hasselblad camera system: the zoom camera
. The second camera in the dual Hasselblad camera system is a dedicated zoom camera, for which DJI claims a 28x hybrid zoom, 7x optical and 4x digital. The actual focal length of the fixed f/4.4 aperture lens appears to be Kb-eq. 162mm (15° angle of view). Used in this camera is a 1/2" sensor with a resolution of 12 megapixels.
Unfortunately, the zoom camera does not have a manual mode - it automatically exposes and also records only in H.264/H.265 compressed 4K (3,840 × 2,160) video at 30 fps -- no no ProRes is available here.
. DJI includes an ND filter set (ND4/8/16/32) with the Fly More and Cine Premium combo. The ND filters cover both cameras and can be used to prevent overexposure or to maintain desired aperture values or exposure times. The Cine Premium Combo also comes with another ND filter set (ND64/128/256/512).
DJI Mavic 3 ND Filter Set
Improved RTH Return Function
. The return function, by means of which the drone automatically returns to the starting point if the user wishes, the battery power is very low or the connection to the remote control is interrupted for a long time, has existed for several years in various models from DJI. Previously, the drone would climb high enough to clear any obstacles in its path, fly in a straight line directly back to the takeoff point, and initiate its descent there.
The Mavic 3 now improves on this approach by automatically taking the shortest, safest and most energy-efficient route back to the launch point. In addition, the drone measures the current wind speed and uses it to constantly calculate in real time the power needed to return. This effectively results in extended flight and recording time before a low battery condition triggers the automatic return.
Improved obstacle detection and navigation systems: APAS and ActiveTrack 5.0
The Mavic 3 has further improved its existing obstacle detection and navigation systems for better flight safety. For example, the new version 5.0 of DJI&s obstacle detection and avoidance system APAS (Advanced Pilot Assistance System) continuously analyzes data from six fisheye vision sensors and two wide-angle sensors to detect obstacles in all directions and automatically avoid them in more complex scenarios and at high speeds.
DJI Mavic 3
Also jumping to version number 5.0 is DJI&s ActiveTrack object tracking system, which allows the Mavic 3 to follow an object while avoiding obstacles - even momentarily losing line-of-sight, then resuming tracking. Through ActiveTrack 5.0, the Mavic 3 can now perform more complex maneuvers during a subject tracking session, following a subject as it moves forward, backward, sideways and diagonally, and flying alongside or around a moving subject. ActiveTrack 5.0, however, will not be available until a firmware update on Jan. 22.
Other safety systems include familiar DJI features such as geofencing, the AeroScope identification system, and an integrated AirSense system that warns of nearby airplanes and helicopters sending ADS-B signals, helping to identify potential hazards early.
Extended flight time
DJI has made a big leap in one extremely important aspect for drone pilots, flight time. Thanks to improved energy efficiency through a redesign of the motors and propellers, a reduction in the weight of numerous components, and a new battery with a higher capacity of 5,000 mAh (77Wh), the Mavic 3 now achieves a flight time of up to 46 minutes under ideal conditions. The battery case - similar to the DJI Mini 2 - has now been placed on the back.
Live video transmission via DJI O3+ with 1080p60
. DJI&s OcuSync video transmission system, which DJI has now abbreviated to O3+, has also been upgraded. It is said to deliver stable video transmission even under difficult conditions, such as flying in environments with strong signal interference, with a transmission range of up to 12 kilometers (CE). In addition, the 1080p live feed can now be transmitted at speeds up to 60 frames per second, which also gives pilots a better impression of the actual footage.
Intelligent flight and shooting modes
. DJI has equipped the Mavic 3 with a series of intelligent flight and capture modes modes for dynamic photos and videos, which combine flight path and camera movements for special shots.
- Already familiar from the Air 2S is the MasterShot mode, an evolution of the previous QuickShots, which provides a smart feature for easy, interesting shots of a subject. After selecting a movie subject, the drone performs ten different flight maneuvers in succession, keeping the subject in focus, and automatically creates a short movie from it. After being automatically edited and set to music by the app, videos can be created in minutes and shared directly with friends (though the MasterShot feature won&t be available until a firmware update on January 22, 2022).
- The 100 MP Panorama allows direct automatic stitching and editing of images by the drone, without the DJI Fly app and without manual post-processing.
- Truncated Video Clips (Trimmed Download Mode) allows you to export a selected portion of a clip instead of the entire file to use only the footage you need while saving storage space and reducing export times.
- QuickTransfer allows files to be saved and processed on the mobile device without having to connect to the remote control. The Mavic 3 can now transfer files (at up to 80 MB/s) from the drone to the mobile device faster via via Wi-Fi 6 (however, the QuickTransfer feature will not be available until a firmware update on January 22, 2022).
New Smart Remote Control: RC Pro
. The standard version of the Mavic 3 comes with the RC-N1 remote control already known from the Air 2S, which only works together with a smartphone. The Mavic 3 Cine Combo, however, comes with the DJI RC Pro, the successor to DJI&s Smart Controller remote control, which acts as a standalone control device since both a screen and processor are integrated.
The DJI RC Pro has a 1,000 nits bright 5.5" display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and supports DJI&s new O3 video transmission system as well as Wi-Fi 6. One battery charge (5,000 mAh) is enough for three hours of operation. It can be connected to the network via Wi-Fi or 4G dongle.
Weight and drone class
DJI has managed to stay a hair under the future important weight limit of 900 grams - so the Mavic 3 weighs 895 grams in the standard version and 899 grams in the cine version. This puts both models under the drone class C1, which requires slightly fewer restrictions or prerequisites for the pilot than the next higher category C2, which not only prohibits flying over bystanders, but also a distance of 30 meters and, in addition to online training and a theoretical exam, practical training and another official exam.
Prices and availability of the Mavic 3
The DJI Mavic 3 is available to order now in a variety of configurations:
- The Mavic 3 costs (subject to VAT) €2,099 and includes: Mavic 3 drone × 1, Intelligent Flight Battery × 1, RC-N1 remote control × 1, RC-N1 remote control cable × 3, battery charger × 1, protective cover × 1, propellers (pair) × 3 and more.
- The DJI Mavic 3 Fly More Combo costs €2,799 and includes: Mavic 3 Drone × 1, Intelligent Flight Battery × 3, RC-N1 Remote Control × 1, RC-N1 Remote Control Cable × 3, Battery Charger × 1, Battery Charging Station × 1 , Protective Cover × 1, Propeller (Pair) × 6, ND Filter Set (ND4/8/16/32), Convertible Carrying Case x 1 and more.
- The DJI Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo is priced at €4,799 and includes an integrated 1TB SSD and supports Apple ProRes 422 HQ codec. The Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo also includes: Mavic 3 Cine drone × 1, Intelligent Flight Battery × 3, DJI RC Pro × 1, Battery Charger × 1, Battery Charging Dock × 1, Protective Cover × 1, Propeller (Pair) × 6, ND Filter Set (ND4/8/16/32) × 1, ND Filter Set (ND64/128/256/512) × 1, Convertible Carrying Case × 1, DJI 10 Gbps Lightspeed Data Cable × 1 and more.
For those who only need parts of a combo, they can also be purchased separately; for example, DJI offers the new RC Pro remote control, the ND filter sets (ND4/8/16/32) and (ND64/128/256/512), or the carrying case as options. An alternative wide-angle lens with a field of view of up to 108° can also be purchased. more infos at bei www.dji.com