Everything we know about the DJI Mini 3 so far

Despite the current DJI Mini 2 arriving in November 2020, the previous year went by without a DJI Mini 3. So, may we see the third iteration of DJI’s low-cost tiny drone this year? While rumors are few, we’ve included all of the most recent conjecture — as well as our thoughts on what we’d want to see from a DJI Mini 3.

The Autel Evo Nano (which we’re evaluating) has finally arrived, and the DJI Mini SE is now available in additional markets. That excellent value drone demonstrates why a new higher-end ultra-light drone may be in order.

DJI has enhanced its patented Ocysync wireless transmission technology since the Mini 2, and we believe that increases in CPU power and camera sensor technology will allow the Mini 3 to shoot greater frame rate footage. It would most certainly fly off the shelves as a result of the combination of those variables.

We’ll look at some of the pre-announcement stories and rumors in our DJI Mini 3 preview to get a partial picture of what to anticipate from this drone. Then we’ll take a closer look at some of the features we’d like to see in the DJI Mini 3.

Date and pricing of the DJI Mini 3 have been announced.

The DJI Mini 3 is expected to be launched in April 2022, according to a tweet from the Twitter handle DealsDrone in December 2021, which claimed to be a DJI release calendar.

This is around 18 months after the release of the DJI Mini 2, which is a perfectly fair time frame and somewhat longer than the 13-month gap between the release of the original Mini and the release of the Mini 2.

Currently, we’re seeing a lot of significantly longer generational gaps as a result of delays caused by the chip scarcity as well as shipping backlogs across the world. For internet businesses, there has arguably never been a time when putting the clamps on a little more has felt more prudent.

The DJI Mini 3 is expected to cost between $499 and $549 USD/£479-499 GBP/$699 AUD, according to trustworthy sources. However, there are presently no solid reports on the price of the DJI Mini 3. This would provide clear distinctions between it and competitors like as the $299 DJI Mini SE, the $799 DJI Air 2, and the $999 DJI Air 2S. However, we will update this page as soon as we receive any further information.

DJI Mini 3 specifications and features are said to be available

There have been no significant leaks regarding the DJI Mini 3 yet, with the exception of a rumored roadmap that gives us an idea of when the drone will be released. But one of the more fascinating messages has come from drone pilot OsitaLV on Twitter, who offered thoughts about probable alterations that may be introduced in the next-generation drone model.

They predict that enhanced aerodynamics, larger propellers, a single-chip SoC (System on a Chip) CPU, a larger camera sensor, longer battery life, and stronger obstacle-detection sensors would all be included in the vehicle. All of these recommendations seem plausible enough, but they are nothing more than a collection of scribbled notes on a scrap of paper about what one drone user believes will happen.

We can, however, almost absolutely state that the DJI Mini 3 will weigh less than 250g when it is released. The size and shape of the drone will not vary significantly as a result of this, assuming that this is correct.

Sure, it may have slightly tilted rotor arms, as mentioned by OsitaLV on Twitter, but its low weight and ease of folding for transportation remain its distinguishing characteristics. In particular, the sub-250g weight category is critical since drones weighing more than that fall into a different legal category in several jurisdictions.

In the United States, for example, drones weighing less than 250 grams are not required to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. You may just utilize them in accordance with the myriad of restrictions that apply to each drone operator on the planet.

There will be no such thing as a middle-of-the-road drone in terms of size and weight, with the DJI Mini 3 falling between the Mini SE and the bigger Air versions. In this regard, it will be identical to the DJI Mini SE in terms of design.

While this is the case, it’s probable that this new drone will be utilized to showcase one of the significant and exciting improvements that are coming to the DJI drone ecosystem. DJI has updated its SDK, or software development kit, to provide third-party developers with more access to the company’s key hardware capabilities.

This will allow developers to patch in software modes that aren’t currently available in the drone’s base capabilities. The Mini 2 will benefit from this as well, but there is a possibility that it may be marketed as a “feature” with the debut of the Mini 3. Here are some of the things that we wish to see and anticipate seeing in the future.

DJI Mini 3: Here are six things we’d like to see

1. 4K/60p video capture

The DJI Mini 2 is capable of shooting 4K video, but only at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. It seems evident that increasing the frame rate from 1080p to 4K/60p will provide more useful video capturing in a tiny, reasonably priced drone.

The ability to upload film at 60 frames per second is important, but having the option to slow down footage to half-speed in post-production while working at 30 frames per second is as important.

This pace of video recording should be possible with a large number of camera sensors of the size and resolution that the Mini 3 is projected to feature – it should absolutely be possible.

2. A larger camera sensor

There’s a potential that the DJI Mini 3 will be able to fit a bigger camera sensor than its present 1/2.3-inch sensor in it. This would allow the drone to obtain better outcomes at different times of day, such as sunset or dawn. Both are excellent opportunities to shoot visually arresting drone footage that is rich in color and has dramatic light pathways.

The primary advantage of a bigger sensor would be increased dynamic range, which would allow DJI to keep highlight detail while not reducing shadow detail to black. Despite this, we’re not convinced that a bigger sensor is really necessary for the DJI Mini 3 in this iteration.

Despite the fact that some competitors have larger sensors than the Mini 2, that camera still outperforms them virtually all in terms of processing, which includes greater color tone and better handling of the shadows.

However, given how fantastic the footage from the Air 2S’s 1-inch sensor looks, we wouldn’t rule out a bigger sensor in the future.

Check Out: A new version of the DJI Fly app adds new features for the Mavic 3 drone.

3. Ocusync 3.0

Since the release of the Mini 2, DJI has included Ocusync 3.0 in its lineup. This is the wireless communication standard used by the corporation, and it is responsible for relaying the live footage from the drone’s camera to your phone or remote control.

Ocysync 3.0 employs double the amount of antennae as its predecessor, which will almost certainly prove to be a source of technical difficulties in such a little drone. On the contrary, it would minimize latency while simultaneously increasing the bit rate and frame rate of the live view, as well as improving dependability while operating the drone from a distance. It would also enhance the maximum range.

This would also assist in putting even more gap between the ‘full fat’ Mini drone and the Mini SE, which utilizes regular Wi-Fi transmission rather than Ocusync to communicate with the drone controller.

4. Obstacle avoidance sensors

DJI’s hardware developers are faced with a number of challenges, including fitting a pair of antennae into a small space. A more difficult difficulty to solve is that these small drones do not have obstacle sensors, which is one of the key sacrifices they make while flying in tight spaces.

The Mini 2 and Mini SE are equipped with merely a pair of sensors on their undersides, which are used to detect things beneath the drone. A drone’s sensors can either be made of optical hardware, which is effectively a pair of eyes that uses parallax to create a depth map of the world or of infrared sensors, which calculate the distance between the drone and obstacles by measuring how long it takes for a signal to bounce off an object and return to it.

While optical approaches perform well during the day, infrared techniques can step in to fill up the gaps in low light conditions. The Mini 3 will not feature 360-degree object detection since there just isn’t enough room in the budget, be it in terms of money, size, or weight — but it may have an additional set of obstacle sensors on the front, depending on how much space is available. When compared to the DJI Air 2S, which contains hardware for the front, rear, upward, and downward sensors,

DJI’s increased third-party app compatibility will be significantly more beneficial if the company can add another set of obstacle sensors to its arsenal. One of the most promising applications for these apps is the addition of tracking and programmed movement modes, and in order to do so successfully, a drone must be able to navigate about securely. Following me functionality should be enabled via additional sensors, which might be given by DJI directly rather than through third-party apps like as Litchi.

5. Faster charging

It’s doubtful that consumers who purchase the Mini 3 Fly More bundle, which contains extra batteries, would find faster battery charging to be a significant selling point. However, if you’re looking for a high-quality drone for casual usage, rapid charging would be a welcome addition to the DJI Mini 3’s base configuration.

With Qualcomm Quickcharge 2.0, the Mini 2 can charge at a relatively rapid rate of 18W at the time of writing. Due to the fact that the DJI Mini 3 will feature a USB-C connector, it would be beneficial if these drones switched to the USB-PD connector. “PD” stands for power delivery, which is another type of charging standard to be aware of.

When compared to other charging protocols, USB-PD is a straightforward solution that could easily see DJI improve to around the 30W threshold, allowing for battery recharge in under an hour in most situations.

6. Improved flight time

One of the most often requested enhancements for the DJI Mini 3 is an increase in flying duration. For example, you may refer to competitors such as the Hubsan Zino Mini SE, which has a 45-minute run time, as reasons why this series’ 30-31 minute run time is no longer sufficient.

Despite this, we have serious questions about the likelihood of a 50 percent increase on Husban’s performance. According to the manufacturer, there is a one-minute discrepancy between the reported flight durations of the Mavic Mini, Mini 2, and Mini SE models in this series.

We’ve already asked DJI to include additional obstacle sensors without increasing the total weight of the drone, and things like as the Mini series’ excellent small gimbal stabilizer do not come free of charge in terms of weight. Even getting a few additional minutes out of a brand new DJI Mini 3 would be a significant accomplishment. It appears that a flight duration of 33-35 minutes is more realistic than the 40-plus minutes that some speculators are hoping for.

Disappointed? Take this as a demonstration of DJI’s commitment to providing high standards across the board, in areas such as flight stability and the smoothness of recorded footage, rather than feeling the need to compete with rivals that aren’t nearly as strong in other fundamental aspects of the business. We’ll be delighted if we’re proven incorrect, as we usually are.

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