Compact new drone packs a 48MP camera and obstacle sensing | Cult of Mac

Compact new drone packs a 48MP camera and obstacle sensing

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The DJI Mini Pro 3 can fly for 34 minutes on a standard charge.
The DJI Mini Pro 3 can fly for 34 minutes on a standard charge.
Photo: DJI

DJI launched its newest consumer drone Tuesday, the compact and lightweight Mini Pro 3. It’s just light enough so you don’t have to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration. Folded up, it fits in the palm of your hand.

And it packs features associated with bigger, pricier drones, like a 48MP camera, 4K 60fps video and obstacle sensing.

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DJI Mini 3 Pro drone packs a host of improvements over Mini 2 Pro

DJI’s new Mini Pro 3 drone is an update of the Mini Pro 2. At just 249 grams, it doesn’t require registration with the FAA in the U.S. And it complies with drone policies in many countries. The low weight generally makes it fairly safe to operate. Like many drones, the Mini 3 Pro can fold up for packing into a small bag.

“When we launched the Mini drone series in 2019, our goal was to give everyone the easiest way to see the world from above for the first time,” said Ferdinand Wolf, creative director at DJI. “Through their images and stories, we discovered how capable a small aerial camera could be. Today, we share the integration of excellent flight capability, intelligence, and imaging versatility into our ultra-lightweight aerial camera. DJI Mini 3 Pro raises the bar on what a portable, powerful camera drone can achieve.”

DJI noted the new drone features a new structural design. Its arms and propellers have been adjusted for a more aerodynamic flight, resulting in longer flying time. And it has forward and backward dual-vision sensors for safer flight.

The Mini 3 Pro includes features previously limited to DJI’s higher-end Mavic and Air drones. The update includes better flight performance, camera, battery life and AI capabilities. It can shoot 4K 60fps video. Its redesigned gimbal can rotate 90 degrees and can capture more camera angles, such as tilt-up shots and true vertical shooting in portrait mode.

Folded up, the drone is smaller than its standard remote.
Folded up, the drone is smaller than its standard remote.
Photo: DJI

Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing

The Mini 3 Pro is the first drone in DJI’s Mini series to include Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing, with forward, backward and downward visual sensors.

It’s also the first Mini with sensors enabling Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems 4.0 to detect safer paths around obstacles during flight. And they work with FocusTrack, which enables the drone to keep a subject in the center of the frame while in flight.

A 1/1.3-inch camera with an f/1.7 aperture can shoot up to 48-megapixel images. Along with 4K 60fps video, it can capture HDR video at 30fps and digitally zoom up to 4x. It features improved low-light performance compared to the Mini 2.

DJI’s Mini 3 Pro can remain aloft for 34 minutes on one charge. An extended flight battery option allows for a maximum flight time of 47 minutes. You can operate the drone with the DJI RC, a lightweight remote controller with a 5.5-inch touchscreen. It integrates with the DJI Fly app.

The DJI Mini Pro 3 drone is available for preorder, expected to ship in June. With no remote, the drone costs $669. With the RC-N1 remote, it costs $759. And with the DJI RC, the drone goes for $909. Upgrade kits include additional batteries, propellers and other accessories.

Where to preorder: Amazon