DJI lifts the veil on its new drone, the Mavic 3. Three years after the Mavic 2, this model multiplies the innovations by integrating a new sensor, a dual camera system, better obstacle detection and more autonomy. These are all elements that should allow the brand to increase its dominance.
Indispensable in the consumer drone sector, DJI is determined to establish its domination with the Mavic 3. The brand’s new benchmark follows on from a Mavic 2 available in two Pro and Zoom versions when it was released in 2018. Three years later, the quadcopter drone gives way to a model that – almost – no longer wants to make a choice. DJI goes upmarket and promises that its Mavic 3 is “The most successful improvement” from the Mavic range. The newcomer indeed brings several notable developments, emphasizing a new larger sensor and enhanced autonomy.
4/3 sensor, telephoto module and “Cine” edition
The drone still benefits from the partnership with the Swedish manufacturer Hasselblad and incorporates a 20 Mpx 4/3 CMOS sensor. Its surface area is almost twice as large as that of the 1-inch sensor present in the Mavic 2 Pro, which should in particular allow more light to be captured. This micro 4/3 format is used in particular by the Lumix cameras from Panasonic or the OM System, formerly known as Olympus. The lens has a 24mm equivalent fixed focal length (84 ° FOV) and a variable aperture from f / 2.8 to f / 11.
The camera can take photos with a resolution of 5,280 × 3,956 pixels in 12-bit RAW format and shoot at 5.1K at up to 50 fps. It is also possible to capture video in DCI 4K (4096 × 2160 pixels) or Ultra HD 4K (3840 × 2160 pixels) up to 120 fps, and in Full HD (1920 × 1080 pixels ) up to 200 fps. For comparison, the Mavic 2 Pro was limited to 30 fps in 4K definition.
The Mavic 3’s dual camera system. © DJI
The D-Log color profile is believed to provide more flexibility during post processing. To avoid choosing between a Hasselblad camera and a zoom like on the Mavic 2, DJI has integrated a second module. The latter is based on a 1/2 inch 12 Mpx CMOS sensor topped by a 162 mm telephoto lens opening at f / 4.4. It offers a 28x “hybrid” zoom (4x digital zoom and x7 optical zoom) and the ability to shoot up to Ultra HD 4K at 30 fps.
Unlike the Mavic 2, the Mavic 3 is presented as a single device integrating many technologies. DJI will, however, offer two versions by launching a Mavic 3 Cine edition, with encoding in Apple ProRes 422 HD (3722 Mb / s) format and an integrated 1 TB SSD. A variant which mainly targets content creators.
The Mavic 3 Cine takes on the creators. © DJI
Improved sensors, increased autonomy
In addition to its dual camera system, the Mavic 3 can count on an improvement in its omnidirectional obstacle sensors with a maximum range of 200 meters. There are six fish-eye sensors and two wide-angle sensors, as well as APAS technology in version 5.0. The ActiveTrack tracking system also takes the opportunity to upgrade to version 5.0. However, you will have to wait until January 2022 to benefit from this firmware update.
Finally, the Return To Home (RTH) system promises to be more efficient by allowing the device to “Automatically determine the shortest, safest and most energy-efficient route”. To do this, the tool gives the drone the possibility of calculating the power required to return home according to the speed and direction of the wind.
The Mavic 3 offers better obstacle detection and more range. © DJI
Another major innovation concerns flight time, with a sharp increase in range. DJI claims to have reworked its copy to bring the autonomy up to 46 minutes “Under ideal conditions”, against 31 minutes for the Mavic 2 Pro. A significant gain which is largely explained by the integration of a 5,000 mAh (77 Wh) battery, against 3,850 mAh (59.29 Wh) for the previous model. The manufacturer also explains that it has developed more energy efficient motors and propellers.
We will also note an improvement of technology 03+ to offer a stable video return in 1080p and 60 fps, as well as a maximum control range of 15 km in the authorized regions (12 km for the European version). New smart modes are appearing (MasterShots, Panorama and QuickTransfer) on the Mavic 3 and DJI is full of new accessories. The drone still features a foldable design that is 22.1cm long, 9.6cm wide and 9cm high when folded. When unfolded, it measures 34.7 x 28.3 x 10.7 cm (excluding propellers) for a weight of 895 g (899 g for the Mavic 3 Cine). Thus, it falls into the A1 subcategory and can fly near people provided it obtains a CE mark (C1), which is not currently the case.
Prices revised upwards
The Mavic 3 incorporates many new features and this translates into significantly higher prices. DJI’s drone arrives in three different configurations, with a starting price of 2,099 euros. For this price, we are entitled to the “Standard” version including the DJI Mavic 3 drone, a battery, an RC-N1 radio control, 3 RC-N1 cables, a charger, storage protection or even 3 pairs of propellers.
A bundle called Mavic 3 Fly Moore adds 2 batteries, a battery charging station, 3 pairs of propellers, an ND filter set (ND4 / 8/16/32) and a convertible carrying bag. It is displayed at 2,799 euros.
Finally, the Mavic 3 Cine Premium is sold at a price of 4,799 euros and includes the Mavic 3 Cine drone supporting ProRes recording, a 1TB SSD, three batteries, a DJI RC Pro remote control, a charger, a docking station. charging, storage protection, 6 pairs of propellers, a set of ND filters (ND4 / 8/16/32), a convertible carrying bag, as well as a 10 Gb / s cable.