DJI Mavic Professional 3 Assessment: A Professional-Stage Drone That is Dear, However Value It

DJI Mavic Pro 3 Review

After a few years of development, drone know-how feels prefer it has reached a plateau. Even cheap drones now have strong collision-avoidance sensors, lengthy battery life, good picture high quality, and easy-to-use software program. So the place does the Mavic Pro 3 slot in?

With drone know-how being so good, the optical design is one space the place drone know-how enhancements are nonetheless important. Most drones characteristic fastened focal size lenses and solely digital zoom, limiting nonetheless and video seize potentialities.

DJI’s new Mavic Professional 3 and Mavic Professional 3 Cine sort out these limitations with a trio of lenses that present as much as a 7x zoom and a “Hasselblad digital camera” for picture seize — a complicated time period for just a few causes.

DJI acquired legendary digital camera maker Hasselblad and makes use of the time period “Hasselblad digital camera” in its advertising for a lot of drones, together with the Mavic Professional 3, to discuss with their higher-end sensors and lens mixtures. Nonetheless, most individuals consider a digital camera as the entire gadget, so for that motive, I’ll additionally discuss with the mix of the lens and sensor as a digital camera to stay with DJI’s terminology.

Digicam Settings

DJI affords each the Mavic Pro 3 and Mavic Pro 3 Cine with comparable options, and I examined the Mavic Professional 3 Cine, which boasts greater inner storage (1 TB versus 8 GB) and an information switch charge to the controller of a claimed 10Gbps. Of be aware, that is tough to check because it’s a proprietary connection, however this information charge is 10x increased than my house gigabit fiber optic connection.

The opposite peculiar factor is that DJI markets the Mavic Professional 3 Cine as having a Hasselblad digital camera, however that’s solely true for the widest-angle digital camera. That has a Kind 4/3 20-megapixel CMOS, 84-degree area of view (24mm equal) lens with a variable aperture of f/2.8-f/11.

The medium-focal-length digital camera, in the meantime, is a 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor at 48 megapixels and a 35-degree area of view (70mm equal) with a set f/2.8 lens. The third digital camera has a field-of-view of 15 levels (166mm equal), a set f/3.4 lens, and a 12-megapixel sensor.

One other enchancment over earlier generations of drones is that the Mavic Professional 3 can seize in Apple ProRes from every digital camera, able to producing Apple ProRes 422 HQ/422/422 LT. The Hasselblad digital camera does 422 HQ at 3,772 Mbps, whereas the others cap out at 1,768 Mbps. Larger-end drones are a greater choice for the shoppers affected by this.

The Mavic Professional 3 captures 5.1K, DCI 4K, and UHD 4K resolutions on the first Hasselblad digital camera and 4K from the opposite two cameras, and all three report FHD.

Seize body charges fluctuate between the cameras, however all three can do not less than 4k at 60 frames per second (FPS), and the Hasselblad digital camera captures as much as 120 FPS.

DJI claims 43 minutes max flight time and 37 minutes most hovering time. These numbers are usually not remarkably correct when the drone is positioned in real-world conditions, however runtimes had been superb in my exams. I received about 25 to half-hour of flying time whereas doing a mixture of exams that included hovering, cinema-style video panoramas, and a few aggressive exams of the collision avoidance system.

The drone’s weight shall be acquainted to anybody utilizing a DJI drone on this class and is available in underneath a kilogram. The Mavic Professional 3 folds sufficient to suit right into a small bag—I tucked mine right into a purse-sized messenger bag and had room for the additional batteries and a small digital camera and lens combo. It’s an excellent weight for somebody mountain climbing with a backpack.

Picture High quality

As with all the present crop of DJI drones, footage from the DJI Mavic 3 Professional is great. Video footage is clear and clear, although on the 3x and the 7x zoom vary, it turns into necessary to contemplate atmospheric haze.

The Canadian wildfires that dropped smoke on the Northeastern United States blanketed our area for weeks, and even on the times of the lightest particulate matter, footage taken with the zoom lenses exhibits notable quantities of softness.

footage from DJI mavic 3 pro

footage from DJI

The Mavic 3 Professional Cine can seize ProRes 422 HQ and 422 LT, which is why the Cine model of the drone has 1TB of inner storage. Individuals engaged on commercials, documentaries, and movies profit from ProRes’s expanded shade and backbone capabilities, and shade grading is vastly simplified.

With regards to video picture high quality, it’s exhausting to seek out something to quibble about right here. To get better-looking footage than supplied by the Mavic 3 Professional Cine, it might be obligatory to leap to a drone with an even bigger sensor, and that’s a major step up in worth.

This implies the Mavic 3 Professional Cine gives the highest quality footage in need of leaping to the DJI Encourage 3 or Sony Airpeak (which has its personal set of issues). The Encourage 3 is about $17,000 and the Airpeak is round $8,000, however Airpeak is just a platform for flying, so a digital camera must be added, which will increase the price considerably. Add in the price of the higher battery and improved navigation, and the Airpeak can rapidly exceed the worth of the Encourage 3.

Nonetheless footage is decidedly hit-or-miss with drones normally, and the DJI Mavic 3 Professional Cine suffers from the identical points as any digital camera with a tiny sensor. Backlighting is difficult and over or underexposures are frequent points. Out of doors scenes have vast distinction between gentle and shadow, making these situations exhausting for the sensor to deal with.

DJI Mavic 3
The bridge within the distance has each chromatic aberration and jagged artifacts on the help cables.

When capturing stills with drones, I wish to shoot in publicity bracketing mode and merge the HDR footage after the flight.

HDR images from multi-exposure bracketing mode.
HDR photographs from multi-exposure bracketing mode.
HDR images from multi-exposure bracketing mode.
HDR photographs from multi-exposure bracketing mode.

Avoiding Bother

Many long-time drone customers are aware of the unhappiness of slamming a drone right into a tree or a wall as a consequence of blind spots within the collision avoidance system. The Mavic Professional 3 has detection in all instructions, and the system works extremely effectively. I do know this as a result of I deliberately tried to crash the drone.

With some earlier Mavic fashions, I may run into branches or a bush, principally when flying backward—a notable place for blind spots. It was not possible to crash this drone within the regular and cinema modes, and I’m impressed with the re-routing capabilities of the Mavic 3 Professional. I captured nice footage by flying the drone by way of a closely wooded space and letting it map round obstacles.

I additionally had my son fly the drone immediately at me, and as anticipated, it stopped just a few toes away. I didn’t anticipate this, however as I approached the Mavic Professional 3 Cine, it might stay in a spot, hovering in entrance of me, however it made no effort to again up as I walked nearer.

Putting my hand (rigorously) underneath the drone’s ground-facing sensor, the Mavic Professional 3 headed skyward to keep away from “colliding” with my hand. But, I may have walked straight into the spinning blades even with collision avoidance on. I’m assured that is the case with all of DJI’s drones though I by no means thought to check it by approaching it in collision-avoidance mode till now.

Triple Sight

The standout characteristic of this drone is its variable focal size seize capabilities and these three lenses make the Mavic Professional 3 far more succesful than single-lens drones.

With tiny sensors within the three “cameras” (the largest is a Kind 4/3 sensor), digital zoom performs a crop on an already tiny bodily chip. The results of this crop in different drones has at all times made for very poor-quality photographs in each noise and sharpness. The three-camera system flips the zoom downside as all three cameras seize on the sensor’s most decision.

The result’s excellent-quality footage. A Kind 4/3 sensor won’t ever seize a full-frame digital camera’s dynamic vary and noise ranges, however DJI ekes probably the most out of those tiny sensors.


Highly effective Seize Modes

As with earlier Mavic drones, the Mavic Professional 3 has the corporate’s wonderful vary of customized capturing automation. A couple of faucets allow and set off these auto-flying modes that produce pictures that eradicate the necessity for booms, gimbals, and generally even a helicopter.

Get Management

The management pad for the Mavic Professional 3 Traditional includes a vivid, massive display screen that’s simple to see even in direct daylight. Programmable buttons permit customization, however the controllers are simple to make use of, even straight out of the field.

After thirty minutes of flying time on an 85-degree day, the display screen of the controller turned extremely popular. I’m certain the big dimension of the controller permits for thermal administration, however an iPhone that sizzling would shut off.

Fly Casually

The frequent design parts between the totally different drone fashions imply that flying a Mavic Professional 3 or Mavic Professional 3 Traditional is an identical to flying the remainder of DJI’s drone lineup.

The software program is acquainted, and I may have gone from field to flying in seconds if it weren’t for the firmware updating that’s at all times a part of flying a brand new DJI drone.

With a constant interface throughout gadgets, I may fly this drone with out being compelled to be taught one thing new. Picture transmission high quality was wonderful, with clear and high-res video proper as much as the sting of the drone’s transmission vary.

In-camera panorama mode can produce some…distinctive outcomes.

Tremendous (Creepy) Zoom

One of many options on the Mavic Professional 3 that weirds me out a bit is the “Discover” mode, a 28x mixture of optical and digital zoom that ends in a really creepy quantity of attain.

I solely fly my drone over public (and authorized) lands or non-public property with permission of the proprietor, and I attempt to solely report movies of somebody’s property with out recording behind partitions or different privateness limitations.

As these examples present, it’s practically not possible in an city surroundings to not peer into somebody’s life at 28x.

I’m not suggesting “Discover” mode needs to be eliminated; it’s a improbable characteristic for scouting out a route from the air. Unsure if a waterfall within the distance is well worth the flying time? Zoom in 28x and test it out earlier than utilizing battery time. However I’d suggest avoiding Discover mode in suburban or city environments.

A number of photographs zooming in from 1x to 28x may be seen under.

The bottom quantity of zoom, 1x.

Zoom Modes

DJI Mavic 3 Professional: A Actual Professional Mannequin for Actual Execs

Drones are an train in compromise. Weight provides stability however reduces battery life. Larger digital camera sensors result in higher photographs however enhance weight. Higher batteries permit higher ranges, however that requires higher transmission charges, and so forth.

With the Mavic Professional 3 and Mavic Professional 3 Cine, DJI has made only a few compromises. Probably the most important tradeoff is worth, because the Mavic Professional 3 and controller combo is $2,200. The very best-end combo with the DJI Mavic 3 Professional Cine Premium Combo (drone, controller, batteries, pack, and so on.) is $4,800.

DJI Mavic 3 Pro cine

Are There Alternate options?

DJI has labored exhausting to nook the drone market, and the DJI Mavic Professional 3 and Mavic Professional 3 Cine additional cement the top-end stays managed by DJI, which means options are simply going to be different DJI drones.

For anybody searching for comparable flight and efficiency capabilities however with out a number of cameras, the DJI Mavic 3 Classic, which we reviewed, is a good selection.

Ought to You Purchase It?

Sure. If you happen to’re searching for a spread of focal lengths in your drone images and videography, the Mavic Professional 3 and Mavic Professional 3 Cine are your most suitable option.