DJI takes off its best drone and we tested it (without crashing)

Alone in the world. DJI, the manufacturer of drones and accessories for video, has hardly any competitors in the market for small aircraft dedicated to aerial photography. His last Mavic 3 Pro that 20 minutes was able to take in hand, testifies to this.

This drone, more dedicated to enthusiasts than to simple amateurs (but which remains a consumer device), stands out as the ultimate tool for immortalizing sublime videos seen from above.

The DJI Mavic 3 Pro drone allows you to immortalize images of incomparable quality. – Christophe Séfrin/20 Minutes

For the price of a good camera…

Let’s get rid of the question of price. The Mavic 3 Pro is expensive (from 2,099 euros, with its remote control screen). Certainly, but at a time when the creation of content has become an international sport, it was important to us to seize it. And to see what differences the device offered compared to a small drone for pure leisure, like the DJI Mini 3 (from 629 euros, with the same remote control) that we had tested a few months earlier.

At the price of a nice camera, a large TV, or even some iMacs, the beast is beautiful and robust. Weighing 958 g (against 249 g for its frail elder)*, it even reassures as to its resistance.

Three cameras to track better images

But what catches the eye at first glance is its nacelle. Where the Mavic 3 Classic only has one sensor; where the Mavic 3 offers two; the Mavic 3 Pro adds a third.

This time, make way for a hitch made up of 24 mm cameras (Hasseblad), 70mm and 166mm. As on a smartphone that multiplies its objectives in order to deal with all types of shots (from macro to ultra wide-angle), the Mavic 3 Pro wants to offer us expanded filming possibilities, thanks to its new 70 camera. mm. The equivalent of a medium telephoto lens. Thus, the versatility of the Mavic 3 Pro is enhanced.

DJI's Mavic 3 Pro, now equipped with three cameras.
DJI’s Mavic 3 Pro, now equipped with three cameras. – Christophe Séfrin/20 Minutes

As we have seen, this contribution makes it possible to go even further in the search for perfect images, in particular by enhancing a subject, by getting closer to a person or animals while keeping a distance and remaining discreet. , but also by playing on perspective. The images thus gain in feeling of relief when several subjects are aligned behind each other (such as a person, a monument and a natural setting), with more impressive backgrounds.

Regret however: the different size of the three sensors ** will not necessarily offer the same image tonality, with colors that it may be necessary to touch up in post-production.

Automated flights and security

Remains that the test and after some preliminary adjustments, the Mavic 3 Pro remains quite easy to handle. We find the simple controls offered by the radio control and its two joysticks and the possibilities of automated flights.

ActiveTrack thus allows the drone to follow a defined target in its movements (such as an athlete in full action or a moving vehicle). Spotlight directs the camera to a specific point regardless of the movements operated by the drone. Finally, the POI mode (for Point of Interest) puts the drone in orbit around a subject, with a rotation trajectory automatically managed by the quadricopter. Not better for filming with the required precautions the steeple of a church, a rocky outcrop, etc.

The remote control of the DJI Mavic 3 Pro allows you to perfectly maneuver the drone.
The remote control of the DJI Mavic 3 Pro allows you to perfectly maneuver the drone. -Sandrine Guilloux

A doubt ? The countless tutorials from DJI and its online community instantly answer any questions. They helped us a lot, not to say reassured us in our tests.

Just like the obstacle detection present on the Mavic 3 Pro equipped with eight specific sensors, which avoided any crash during our five to six flights, where we had miserably planted the Mini 3 (which does not have this detection) in a tree, during our tests!

Resources to explore

Filming up to 5.1K at 50 frames per second (but also in 4K up to 60 fps and 1080p at 60 fps) and taking photos in 20 megapixels; being able to zoom up to 7x optically, the Mavic 3 Pro therefore produces dazzling images. Comparing them with those shot with a Mini 3, there is no… picture! Still, we will need more than a handful of flights to tame the machine.

If it is easy to use, this quadricopter has countless resources that we will have to explore as we go out. Its battery, with a flight autonomy of up to 43 minutes, leaves plenty of time.

* In France, the legislation imposes in particular the registration of the drone, of more than 800 g, on the platform AlphaTango.

** 4/3 format, 24 mm equivalent (f/2.8 – f/11); 1/1.3 inch CMOS, 70mm (f/2.8) and 1/2 inch, 166mm (f/3.4).

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