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DJI Mini 3 vs Mini 3 Pro (2023): Comparing Top-Rated Sub-250g Drones

As its name suggests, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is the premium version of the DJI Mini 3, but interestingly enough, the latter is the more recent drone of the two. In other words, DJI rolled out a stripped-down and, by the same token, cheaper version of its top-of-the-line sub-250g drone.

The question then is, is the more affordable variant a worthy alternative? While the answer is likely a resounding yes from the budget conscious, it might not be the case for folks who can afford to spend a couple of bucks more. After all, the brand had to cut corners here and there to keep the price down.

DJI Mini 3 vs Mini 3 Pro Comparison Chart

ModelDJI Mini 3DJI Mini 3 Pro
 DJI Mini 3 vs Mini 3 ProDJI Mini 3 vs Mini 3 Pro
PriceCheck Price at DJI.comCheck Price at DJI.com
Camera1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, f/1.7 aperture, 12MP1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, f/1.7 aperture, 48MP
Max Image Resolution4000 x 30008064 x 6048
ISOUp to 3200Up to 6400
Max Flight TimeUp to 38 minutesUp to 34 minutes
Sensing SystemDownwardDownward, backward, forward
Max Speed16 m/s16 m/s
TransmissionOcuSync 2.0, 10km max range (FCC)OcuSync 3.0, 12km max range (FCC)
WeightLess than 249gLess than 249g

Design and Build

Both the DJI Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro are portable sub-250g drones.

DJI Mini 3 vs Mini 3 Pro Design and Build
The DJI Mini 3 (left) and the Mini 3 Pro (right) folded.

Living up to their names, the DJI Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro are small-sized drones that weigh under 250g. The Mini 3 measures 148mm in length, 90mm in width and 62mm in height when folded without propellers and 251mm, 362mm and 72mm, respectively, when unfolded with propellers. Meanwhile, the Mini 3 Pro is 145mm in length, 90mm in width and 62mm in height when folded, and it measures 251mm, 362mm and 70mm, respectively, when unfolded. In short, these are perfect for content creation on-the-go, as they’re easy to stow away in a bag and bring along almost anywhere. Particularly, they are useful for travel content creators. 

Besides portability, coming in below 250g paves the way for a lot of advantages. For starters, lighter drones simply won’t cause as much damage as heavier counterparts in the event of a collision or fall. More importantly, they are exempt from several regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States, which make them more beginner-friendly to boot.

Click here for our comparison between the DJI Mini 3 and Mavic 3.

Camera Performance

The DJI Mini 3 Pro has a better camera than the Mini 3.

DJI Mini 3 vs Mini 3 Pro Camera Performance
The cameras of the DJI Mini 3 (left) and Mini 3 Pro (right) may seem the same at first, but the latter’s is more robust.

Regarding their cameras and related features, they share a lot of similarities. First off, both are equipped with a 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor and an f/1.7 aperture. Moreover, they have the same set of QuickShots modes: Dronie, Helix, Rocket, Circle and Boomerang.

However, the Mini 3 Pro has a few advantages on this front. Namely, its sensor boasts 48MP of effective pixels, which is four times more than the Mini 3’s 12MP. To no one’s surprise, it has a maximum image size of 8064 x 6048, whereas the latter tops out at 4000 x 3000. In addition, it has an ISO range of 6400, which is twice as much as its cheaper sibling’s maximum of 3200. This is especially useful for those who film in low-light conditions, as this will result in shots with less noise.

Video Recording and Other Features

Now the Mini 3 is likely more than enough for casual drone pilots, especially if they’re mostly after clips and photos to post on social media sites. It can record in 4K at 30 fps, though the Pro variant can do it one a little better in 4K at 60 fps. Both do feature True Vertical Shooting. For the uninitiated, this rotates their cameras 90 degrees for shooting in a portrait orientation. This is just the thing for pictures and videos to post on, say, Facebook or Instagram.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that only the Mini 3 Pro has features such as FocusTrack, MasterShots and Hyperlapse. Sure, the Mini 3 has QuickShots and most folks can get a lot out of the included modes, but for die-hard drone videography enthusiasts, it may be lacking.

Flight Performance

The DJI Mini 3 can fly longer than the Mini 3 Pro.

DJI Mini 3 vs Mini 3 Pro Flight Performance
The DJI Mini 3 (in photo) can keep flying for up to 38 minutes with its default battery.

Thanks to their relatively smaller size, the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro are easier to fly. Even then, they’re impressive performers. Both drones can keep going for long periods, but on an interesting note, this is where the Mini 3 beats its Pro sibling. On a single charge, it’s good for up to 38 minutes, outperforming the Mini 3 Pro’s 34-minute flight time. 

Elsewhere, they’re pretty much on par with each other. Both have a maximum speed of 16 m/s, which is about 35 mph. What’s more, they can withstand wind speeds of up to 10.7 m/s, which is around 24 mph and equivalent to a Level 5 fresh breeze based on the Beaufort scale. Neither one has an IP rating, though, so they run the risk of short-circuiting in rainy weather.

Safety and Transmission Range

As for safety features, the Mini 3 Pro has the upper hand. While the Mini 3 only has a downward vision system, the Pro variant’s obstacle avoidance system consists of downward, forward and backward sensing. Put simply, it’s safer and easier to fly, which is a huge plus for beginners. On top of that, it features APAS 4.0 and the aforementioned FocusTrack suite that includes ActiveTrack 4.0, all of which aren’t available on the Mini 3. Both do have Return to Home functionality, so there’s that.

In terms of transmission range, the Mini 3 Pro uses OcuSync 3.0, whereas the Mini 3 uses the older OcuSync 2.0. Owing to this new version, it has a maximum distance of 12km (FCC) as opposed to 10km (FCC) and allows for 1080p at 30 fps as compared to 720p at 30 fps. Last but not least, it offers a lower latency of 120ms, outshining the Mini 3’s 200ms.

Verdict

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is simply the superior drone, but the Mini 3 is still worth considering because of its lower price tag.

DJI Mini 3

Best lightweight drone on a budget

DJI Mini 3 vs Mini 3 Pro

DJI Mini 3 Pro

Best sub-250g drone

DJI Mini 3 vs Mini 3 Pro

All things considered, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is the better drone here. It has a longer transmission range, lower latency and better live view quality, as well as an obstacle avoidance system and tracking capabilities. Also, it has the better camera, recording at up to 4K in 60 fps and taking photos at up to 8064 x 6048.

The DJI Mini 3 still has its charm, however. To begin with, it’s a lot more affordable, making it easier to get into drone flying for first-timers. Not to mention that it has a longer maximum flight time of 38 minutes.

FAQs

📌 Does the DJI Mini 3 Pro have obstacle avoidance?

Yes, the DJI Mini 3 Pro uses a forward, backward and downward vision system, allowing it to avoid obstacles upon detection.

📌 Does the DJI Mini 3 have ActiveTrack?

The DJI Mini 3 doesn’t feature a collision avoidance system, and thus it doesn’t support ActiveTrack.

📌 Do the DJI Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro use the same battery?

Yes, the batteries of the DJI Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro are exactly the same, but since the former uses relatively less advanced tech, it can stay longer in the air at a time.

📌 Is the DJI Mini 3 Pro good for beginners?

Yes, the DJI Mini 3 Pro ticks all the right boxes for first-time flyers, including obstacle avoidance and a lower weight for easier maneuverability. However, though it lacks collision avoidance, the Mini 3 is also worth considering because it can fly longer, and it’s easier on the budget.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.