PROFILM: The latest addition to the DJI Mavic 3 series, the Mavic 3 Pro, has a similar body to its predecessors, but boasts a larger and improved camera unit that is stabilized by a gimbal. The camera unit includes three cameras: a primary 24mm MFT Hasselblad camera, a medium telephoto 70mm camera, and a telephoto 166mm camera with an upgraded f/3.4 lens.
The Mavic 3 Pro weighs slightly over 900g and can stay in the air for up to 43 minutes. The drone offers new features such as the “slightly less flat” D-Log M color profile and ND filters with balanced strengths. The Cine version of the Mavic 3 Pro has 1 TB built-in SSD and can record ProRes 422 from all three cameras. The drone is available for pre-order in various kits starting from $2,199, with shipping starting in May 2023.
This release comes a year after the original Mavic 3 drone. While it no longer includes the telephoto camera and only has the main Hasselblad-branded camera, the Mavic 3 Classic has an advantage over the Mavic 3. It has reintroduced the adjustable maximum speed setting in all flying modes, which some refer to as the “new tripod mode.” This new drone is more affordable than the previous version, and its firmware updates have proven to be very useful.
Three Cameras in one Drone
The Mavic 3 Pro drone has a new and improved camera unit which now includes three cameras. The main camera, which is Hasselblad-branded, has a 20MP Micro four-thirds CMOS sensor and a lens with a focal length of 24mm and a variable aperture between f/2.8 and f/11. The other two cameras are telephoto cameras that resemble eyes, with one having a 70mm focal length and a fixed f/2.8 aperture and the other having a 166mm focal length with a fixed f/3.4 aperture. The cameras can take high-quality still photos with a dynamic range of up to 12.8 stops and shoot video in up to 5.1K 50fps or DCI 4K 120fps. The drone’s camera unit also supports features such as ActiveTrack and the new D-log M picture profile.
Video codecs – Pro versus Pro Cine
The Mavic 3 Pro drone has two video codecs available, which are H.264 and H.265, with a bitrate of 200Mbps and a wrapper of either MOV or MP4. The main camera and medium telephoto can record video in the D-Log M profile with 10-bit color depth and 4:2:0 subsampling, while the 7x telephoto can only record 8-bit 4:2:0 and does not have D-Log M. However, DJI might add D-Log M to the telephoto camera in the future through a firmware update, according to Ferdinand from DJI. The drone has 8GB internal storage and a microSD card slot to save the footage that has been recorded.
Image transmission, sensors, auto features
To ensure safe flying, the Mavic 3 Pro drone is equipped with eight wide-angle vision sensors that allow it to detect obstacles in all directions and plan a safe flight path. The DJI O3+ transmission system enables live feed transmission in 1080p 60fps up to a distance of 15km (FCC), though the drone should be flown within the pilot’s line of sight. The Mavic 3 Pro includes various intelligent modes to aid in content creation, such as FocusTrack (including ActiveTrack 5.0, Spotlight, and Point of Interest), MasterShots (for automatic video generation), QuickShots (for diverse camera movements), and Panorama (for 100MP lossless panoramas). The drone also has automated flight features like Waypoint Flight, Cruise Control, and Advanced RTH (Return To Home), which can safely fly the drone back to its home point while bypassing obstacles on the path.