Technology

DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. DJI Mini 2: The duel of the mini drones

DJI introduced a new mini drone in May 2022: The DJI Mini 3 Pro follows the Mini 2 and is the most powerful DJI drone in the Mini series to date. So you might be asking yourself the question: Is the upgrade worth it? Our comparison could provide an answer.

DJI Mini 2 vs. Mini 3 Pro: dimensions and weight

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Both the Mini 3 Pro …

Bild: © DJI 2022

… as well as the Mini 2 fall into the lightest drone class.

Bild: © DJI 2020

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Both the Mini 3 Pro ...

dji mini 2 drone

The most important thing first: Both the DJI Mini 2 as well as the new Mini 3 Pro weigh less than 250 grams and are therefore in the safest drone class. This lowest drone category is particularly regulation-friendly in many countries, you do not need an EU drone license to fly in this case.

 

Although both mini drones weigh 249 grams, the dimensions of both models are different. The new Mini 3 Pro is both folded (145 x 90 x 62 millimeters) and unfolded with propellers (251 x 362 x 70 millimeters) slightly larger than its predecessor which was 138 x 81 x 58 millimeters folded and 245 x 289 x unfolded ready to fly Measures 56 millimeters. The fact that the Mini 3 Pro is slightly larger is not only a disadvantage. The larger propellers allow for something more efficient and quieter flying.

 

Cameras: Sensor Size, Resolution & Aperture

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The Mini 3 Pro has the edge in terms of image quality.

Image: © Twitter / DJIGlobal 2022

In terms of camera technology, the new Mini 3 Pro comes with some upgrades compared to the Mini 2. Starting with the larger sensor, which has grown from 1/2.3 inch to 1/1.3 inch. The new mini drone has a maximum resolution of 48 megapixels, while the Mini 2 has a resolution of 12 megapixels. Both models have a lens with a fixed focal length of 24 millimeters. However, the Mini 3 Pro comes with a larger aperture: With its f/1.7 aperture, the new drone camera should be significantly faster than the Mini 2’s camera with an f/2.8 aperture.

Videos can be recorded with the Mini 3 Pro at a maximum of 4K resolution with 60 frames per second, the predecessor only manages this with 30 fps (frames per second). In Full HD, the Mini 2 records up to 60 fps, the new mini drone even up to 120 fps. So you film the more impressive slow motion with the Mini 3 Pro. Also new is the ability to record HDR videos at up to 30 fps. The Mini 2 cannot do that. Both models can only zoom digitally: 2x for 4K, 3x for 2.7K, and 4x for Full HD.

Gimbals: tilt, roll, pan

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The gimbal of the new Mini 3 Pro can be rotated 90 degrees – for portrait videos.

Bild: © DJI 2022

DJI also worked on the gimbal system. The biggest innovation is the ability to rotate the camera mount by 90 degrees so that the drone camera is aligned vertically. This allows you to record upright videos suitable for social media formats such as stories or reels. In addition, the gimbal of the Mini 3 Pro can be tilted, rolled, and panned further overall. Above all, the new drone can film further up, so that videos from a frog’s perspective are possible.

Obstacle Detection: DJI Mini 3 Pro only

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The Mini 3 Pro flies around obstacles automatically.

Bild: © DJI 2022

Good news for drone beginners: The DJI Mini 3 Pro now comes with full obstacle detection. The predecessor only has a camera on the underside for optical positioning, there are no sensors on the front and rear of the Mini 2. The new mini drone has front, rear, and bottom vision sensors and can automatically avoid obstacles thanks to the advanced pilot assistance system (APAS) 4.0. With these new sensors, the Mini 3 Pro is the first drone in the DJI Mini series that can also track objects: With FocusTrack, the selected subject remains in the center of the image while the drone flies a safe flight route automatically.

Automatic flight modes: copied from the big ones

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The Mini 2 also has automatic flight modes for drones and more.

Both DJI mini models have several automatic flight and film modes that make life easier, especially for beginners: the so-called QuickShots. The Mini 2 has the following options on board:

  • Drones: Drone flies up and backward, always keeping the subject in focus
  • Helix: Drone rises and orbits subject
  • Rocket: The drone rises, the camera is pointing down
  • circles: Drone circles the subject
  • Boomerang: The drone flies in an oval orbit around the subject, rising when flying away, falling when coming back

The Mini 3 Pro adds the following automatic flight modes, which it has inherited from the larger models in the Mavic and Air series:

  • Asteroid: Recording starts as a sphere panorama high above the subject and ends close to it
  • MasterShots: The subject always remains in the center of the picture, and the drone performs various flight maneuvers one after the other
  • Hyperlapse: Dynamic time-lapse where the drone flies a set course around the subject

Battery life: Maximum flight times at eye level

Although the DJI Mini 3 Pro brings new sensors and new functions, you don’t have to sacrifice battery life. At 2,453 mph, the battery of the new mini drone is slightly larger than the 2,250 mAh energy store of the Mini 2. The flight times are on par: According to the manufacturer, the Mini 2 stays in the air for a maximum of 31 minutes, and the Mini 3 Pro manages up to 34 minutes. The top speed of 57.6 km/h is identical for both.

Remote Control: New drone with new options

The Mini 3 Pro is optionally available with the new RC remote control with display ...

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The Mini 3 Pro is optionally available with the new RC remote control with a display …

Bild: © DJI 2022

... or available with the well-known RC-N1 without a display.

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… or available with the well-known RC-N1 without a display.
Bild: © DJI 2022

The Mini 3 Pro is optionally available with the new RC remote control with display ...

... or available with the well-known RC-N1 without a display.

While the DJI Mini 2 always comes with the RC-N1 remote control, you have a choice with the new Mini 3 Pro: you can use the mini drone either with the RC-N1 remote control, or the new DJI RC remote control or without it at all Buy if you already have one. The RC-N1 remote control works in conjunction with your smartphone, which you have to connect to the controller. The new RC remote control, on the other hand, has an integrated 5.5-inch HD display and can be used independently of the smartphone.

Conclusion: Is the upgrade to the DJI Mini 3 Pro worth it?

However, the new functions come at a price. So the new model, even in the cheapest version without remote control, is even more expensive than its predecessor in the extensively equipped Fly More Combo. So if you are particularly price-conscious on the go, the Mini 2 is a good choice. Even if you already own a Mini 2 and are satisfied with the video quality, the switch is not necessarily worth it.

If you don’t have to look so much at the price, need more help with flying, or want to benefit from the best image quality in the mini drone sector, you can go for the Mini 3 Pro. It is the better drone in direct comparison. That doesn’t mean the Mini 2 is a bad drone, though.

As a decision-making aid, here are the most important details at a glance:

DJI Mini 3 Pro DJI Mini 2
Dimensions (mm) folded out: 251 x 362 x 70
folded: 145 x 90 x 62
folded out: 245 x 289 x 56
folded: 138 x 81 x 58
Weight 249 g 249 g
Camera sensor Size: 1/1.3 inch
Resolution: 48 megapixels
Size: 1/2.3 inch
Resolution: 12 megapixels
cover f/1,7 f/2,8
Max. Framerate bei 4K 60 fps
30 fps at HDR
30 fps
Max. Framerate bei Full HD 120 fps 60 fps
Obstacles
identifier
in 3 directions (sensors front, rear, below) – (positioning via camera on the underside)
top speed 57.6 km / h 57.6 km / h
Max flight time 34 Min. 31 Min.

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