So after a long wait (and much speculation), DJI has finally released the much-awaited DJI Mini 3 drone.
If you’ve read my previous article reviewing the Mini 3, then you know that I personally think buying the DJI Mini 3 makes more sense than buying the Mini 2 right now.
But that’s only if you don’t have a drone yet. If you already own the DJI Mini 2 or Mini 2 SE, should you upgrade to the Mini 3 and is it worth it?
That’s exactly what we’ll be covering in this article with a detailed comparison – let’s get to it!
|DJI Mini 3||DJI Mini 2|
|Max flight time||38 mins51 mins w. Plus Battery||31 mins|
|Max speed||57 KM/h||57 KM/h|
|Max video range||OcuSync 2.0||OcuSync 2.0|
|Max video range||10 KM||10 KM|
|Photo Performance||12MP Raw||12MP Raw|
Judging from the table above, DJI Mini 3 is the clear winner, especially since they’re both at the same price point. But let’s take a deeper look and compare each feature individually, starting with the battery (and flight time).
Both the Mini 2 & Mini 3 use the same LiPo Intelligent Battery, it’s just the one on the Mini 3 is a little bit more advanced.
This is something to be expected as the DJI Mini 2 was released three years ago — with the DJI Mini 3 being released only recently.
The new 2,453mAh Intelligent Flight Battery on the DJI Mini 3 weighs just 80.5g, and is claimed to provide a flight time of up to 38 minutes.
You can also allow your DJI Mini 3 to fly for up to 51 minutes which is staggering for such a small drone! The Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, featuring a 3,850mAh capacity, is also available for the Mini 3.
Compare that to the 31 minutes flight time of the Mini 2 and the Mini 3 is the clear winner here.
Let’s talk about cameras, as that’s the most important part of the drone for most drone pilots.
Sporting a 1/2.3” sensor, the DJI Mini 2 delivers incredible 4K footage with easy to use controls and camera settings. Despite the small size, the DJI Mini 2 camera still produces gorgeous 12MP RAW images that can still be used in a semi-professional capacity.
With a smaller sensor, the DJI Mini 2 doesn’t produce the detail-rich HDR images of the Mini 3. But still provides photos that are perfect for sharing on social media.
The DJI Mini 3 with its 1/1.3 sensor however is a clear winner here in my opinion.
When it comes to actual end photo quality, there isn’t a huge difference between the DJI Mini 2 and the DJI Mini 3. In fact, to the eyes of a non professional, there may not be a difference at all.
DJI has made big changes to both the camera and gimbal system in the Mini 3. And as I’ve said above, in terms of camera tech, the DJI Mini 3 has the Mini 2 beat.
The larger Mini 3 sensor and wider lens aperture gives it better native light sensitivity than the Mini 2.
Furthermore, the DJI Mini 3 Pro version has an even better camera that makes for even better footage. For instance, it has the “true vertical shooting ” feature. This means the camera can shoot in the same portrait aspect ratio you’re likely to use for certain social media posts.
To get that portrait look in a DJI Mini 2 however, you’d have to dramatically crop into the footage in the edit.
Now that you have an idea, let’s talk specs…
DJI Mini 2
Sensor Size: 1/2.3” CMOS | Photo: 12 MP | Photo Formats: RAW, JPG
Video: 4K/30fps, 1080p/60fps
DJI Mini 3
Sensor Size: 1/1.3” CMOS | Photo: 12 MP | Photo Formats: RAW, JPG
Video: 4K/60fps, 1080p/120fps | HDR | Vertical Shooting
Personally I’m just going to wrap this section up as the Mini 3’s clear win. Though the DJI Mini 2 doesn’t fall that far behind.
So here’s the quick rundown if you don’t enjoy reading that much:
If you wanna go deeper however…
We talked about batteries in the section above, but DJI has made significant improvements to the DJI Mini 3’s battery. They've managed to extend flight time by a whopping 22% compared to the Mini 2! Now, you can enjoy more time in the sky capturing those amazing aerial shots.
Although the battery capacity may only be 9% higher, don't let that fool you – because DJI has made some serious improvements in other areas, making your flying experience more efficient and less battery consuming.
BUT, this doesn’t translate to faster flight. Flight speed is the same as the DJI Mini 2, and honestly that’s sort of understandable.
The people who’ll need faster speed are probably looking for an FPV or racing drone instead of a Mini after all.
The two drones also share the same O2 wireless transmission system, which can communicate with the controller at distances of up to 10km.
There’s also no boost to the smarts of the sensory system, except if you’re buying the DJI Mini 3 Pro. So heads up about the sensors on the DJI Mini 2 and Mini 3.
Unlike the Mini 3 Pro, these two models only have downward-facing sensors. This means that there are some limitations when it comes to automation.
Also, the Mini 2 and Mini 3 don't have the cool MasterShots modes that you'll find on the Pro version. These modes let you create stunning, professional-looking automated programs.
So this is a cool question, because even though spec-wise the Mini 3 is better than the Mini 3, that doesn’t mean you need to upgrade.
Before we answer that question we should look at who this type of drone is for, both the Mini 3 & 2.
If I had to describe the DJI Mini 3, I’d say it is a modernized entry-level drone.
The Mini 3 is suited for people who want a contemporary sub-250g drone that can capture decent photos and video clips. While it’s an entry level drone, it packs more than enough tech for even pros to find it useful to their day-to-day flights.
Also, even if you decide that you’ll eventually need to upgrade to the DJI Mini 3 Pro (which I discuss in this article), what’s cool about the Mini 3 is that its batteries are interchangeable with the Mini 3 pro.
So with that in mind, is the Mini 3 any better than the Mini 2 for people who need an entry level yet performant drone? Nope, not at all.
If however you don’t like missing out on the newest stuff, then the Mini 3 is just the drone for you. Just be sure that the slightly better specs are worth the added price for you.
|DJI Mini 3||DJI Mini 2||DJI Mini SE|
|Max flight time||38 mins51 mins w. Plus Battery||31 mins||30 minutes|
|Max speed||57 KM/h||57 KM/h||46.6 Km/h|
|Camera Sensor||1/1.3"||1/2.3"||1/2.3” CMOS|
|Max video range||OcuSync 2.0||OcuSync 2.0||Enhanced Wi-Fi|
|Max video range||10 KM||10 KM||10 KM|
|Photo Performance||12MP Raw||12MP Raw||12MP Raw|
The DJI Mini SE, which is a mix between a less capable version of the Mini 2 and some of the earlier Mavics is also a good contender for the title of “best 249g drone” and for good reason.
For the price, it does provide more than enough specs and features for those trying to dip their toes in the drone world. But is it better than the DJI Mini 2 & DJI Mini 3? Let’s look at the specs first…
The DJI Mini 2 SE is a powerful little drone. It's got a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor camera that can shoot some amazing 2.7K video or 12MP still images. And, of course, the camera is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal to keep your footage steady and smooth.
Now, while you'll need to keep the Mini 2 SE within your line of sight while flying, it's still got some serious range. You can transmit HD video up to 10 km away. Plus, with a flight time of up to 31 minutes, you'll have plenty of time to capture all the footage you want.
DJI has made it easy for you to get creative with your shots. The Mini 2 SE has QuickShots and Panorama modes, so you can make your videos and stills look amazing. And if you're shooting HD video, you can even use the 4x digital zoom feature.
Last but not least, the Mini 2 SE is built to handle tough conditions. DJI says it has Level 5 wind resistance, which means it can hover steadily in winds up to 10.7 m/s. So, no matter what Mother Nature throws your way, you can still get those perfect shots.
So how does it compare to the DJI Mini 2 & DJI Mini 3?
Actually… pretty well! Especially for the price of only $380. If you’re tight on budget and only want to dip your toes in the drone world, the DJI Mini SE is perfect for you.
We’ve gone over all the features and upgrades of the DJI Mini 3, as well as its starting price (within the U.S.), so the question remains – is it worth buying, or should you just settle for good ol’ Mini 2?
The DJI Mini 3 is definitely worth it, especially since its price is similar to that of the DJI Mini 2, so it makes more sense to buy the upgrade if you haven’t bought a drone yet.
Also, knowing DJI, the Mini 2 will probably soon be pulled out of the market and you’ll only be able to get it second hand.
While considering buying the DJI Mini 3 though, you may come across the Mini 3 pro, so what is it and how does it compare to the Mini 3?
Check out my in-depth article about the DJI Mini 3 Pro to see if you’re better off adding those extra $200 and getting it instead!