DJI Mini 4 Pro vs DJI Mavic 3 Pro

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
I am getting close to upgrading from my Mini 2. I have been happy with it. The image quality has been adequate, and I love that it's under 250 grams, so I don't need to take the tougher test in order to fly it.

I was totally set on getting the Mini 4 Pro as it has an updated sensor, it has avoidance sensors finally, and I wanted the controller with the brighter built in screen.


But Alan and the rest of you with the Mavic 3 Pro do make me jealous and cause me to drool over the 3 cameras on it. That would really be nice. And I looked, it's actually just a little over $1,000 more then the Mini 4 Pro.

So I am trying to think out loud. If price isn't a factor, here are the things holding me back from the Mavic 3 Pro.

1. Larger size, no longer in the toy category. It also would take more space to carry around, though I am not sure how much more.

2. The extra testing. While I am sure I could study and pass It, for whatever reason I feel like I am beyond having to take some intensive 2 hour test, just to fly a drone. Seems crazy to me.

That's it I think. Any thoughts, suggestions or ideas?
 

AlanLichty

Moderator
To start at the top - the license for the Mavic 3 Pro is the same TRUST test as for any other drone less than 55 lbs. It's almost impossible to fail. You do not need a Part 107 to fly it.

For me having the 3 lens choices is everything since you don't have to fly right up to something to get an image of it. This makes aerial photography a lot more fun IMHO. It is a larger drone and I posted a shot of mine in my new backpack in December with a DSLR for scale in the image. Worth noting - this is with 4 batteries (one inside the drone and 3 in the case). The most I have seen from a single battery flight is 37 minutes.

NewGarage1.jpg
 

AlanLichty

Moderator
Let me try to clarify the licensing response a bit. Sub 250gm drones are exempted from needing to be registered with the FAA or from broadcasting RID as long as the flight falls under the exemptions for 49 USC 44809 recreational use. For up to 55lb drones TRUST is the only test to pass and that's almost a no-fail quiz.

The part that confuses most folks lies in the fact that ALL drone flights are technically subject to the rules for 14 CFR §107 UNLESS you meet ALL of the eligibility criteria for the recreational exemption for that flight and that includes sub-250gm drones. One of those criteria is the intent of the flight and FAA rules (Congress actually wrote them) require that the intent is purely recreational. As an example if you have a monetized youTube site and go out to grab some neat footage to post on your channel the intent of your flight no longer qualifies for the 44809 exemption and you are required to hold a part 107 certification and your drone must be registered with the FAA as part 107. The weight of the drone is not relevant under part 107 unless you are dealing with operations over people but that's a whole other set of rules entirely.

Lots of gray area around the 44809 exemptions so this can be a subject all to itself. For instance if you flew for fun and got some neat pictures or footage and at a later date someone says they want to buy a copy of your image or footage this still falls under 44809 since the intent of the flight at the time was recreational. What happens to the images/footage later on is not relevant to the FAA.
 

Jameel Hyder

Moderator
Staff member
There is a third option - Air 3. Much cheaper than the Mavic 3 Pro. It has 2 lenses 24 and 70mm equivalent. Checks all the boxes except the 166mm lens.
 

AlanLichty

Moderator
There is a third option - Air 3. Much cheaper than the Mavic 3 Pro. It has 2 lenses 24 and 70mm equivalent. Checks all the boxes except the 166mm lens.
True - and both cameras on the Air 3 are the same sensor as the 70mm on the Mavic 3 Pro. The 70mm lens hits a sweet spot for my own work and it gets more use than the 24mm Hasselblad in spite of better IQ as its a question of where I can fly vs. what can I see to shoot. Up in the Gorge there are places I cannot legally fly but I can shoot from a legal hovering point with the longer lenses. 70mm turned out to be almost perfect for the Gorge falls.
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
Let me try to clarify the licensing response a bit. Sub 250gm drones are exempted from needing to be registered with the FAA or from broadcasting RID as long as the flight falls under the exemptions for 49 USC 44809 recreational use. For up to 55lb drones TRUST is the only test to pass and that's almost a no-fail quiz.

The part that confuses most folks lies in the fact that ALL drone flights are technically subject to the rules for 14 CFR §107 UNLESS you meet ALL of the eligibility criteria for the recreational exemption for that flight and that includes sub-250gm drones. One of those criteria is the intent of the flight and FAA rules (Congress actually wrote them) require that the intent is purely recreational. As an example if you have a monetized youTube site and go out to grab some neat footage to post on your channel the intent of your flight no longer qualifies for the 44809 exemption and you are required to hold a part 107 certification and your drone must be registered with the FAA as part 107. The weight of the drone is not relevant under part 107 unless you are dealing with operations over people but that's a whole other set of rules entirely.

Lots of gray area around the 44809 exemptions so this can be a subject all to itself. For instance if you flew for fun and got some neat pictures or footage and at a later date someone says they want to buy a copy of your image or footage this still falls under 44809 since the intent of the flight at the time was recreational. What happens to the images/footage later on is not relevant to the FAA.
That's helpful Alan thanks!
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
There is a third option - Air 3. Much cheaper than the Mavic 3 Pro. It has 2 lenses 24 and 70mm equivalent. Checks all the boxes except the 166mm lens.
That is an option, but if I am going to upgrade I don't want to go halfway and feel like I am missing a lense. The price isn't the issue, it was licensing which Alan answered and then the physical size of it compared to a mini 4.

Alan has made me too jealous of that 166mm lens. So the choice for me is the Mini 4 Pro or the Mavic 3 Pro.

I had thought the Mavic 3 Pro would be more expensive then it is. So I am really leaning in that direction.

Any rumors of an update to the Mavic 3 Pro on the horizon?
 

Jeffrey

Well-Known Member
Jim, it's simple. Get the Mavic 3. It has the best sensor of any DJI prosumer drones. Largest file size. Most stable, and perhaps better performance in low light.
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
Jim, it's simple. Get the Mavic 3. It has the best sensor of any DJI prosumer drones. Largest file size. Most stable, and perhaps better performance in low light.
Except I want the 3 lenses. Just thinking about the Mavic 3 makes me feel like it's missing something. I think the only reason one would choose the Mavic 3 over the Mavic 3 Pro would be cost? Cost isn't an issue.

It's kind of like I either want to go small, or go big. I don't want to go in between. :)
 

AlanLichty

Moderator
Yeah - if you are going to go the Mavic 3 route do get the 3 Pro. The telephoto lens on my older Mavic 3 has some serious IQ issues that DJI fixed quite well with the 3 Pro version. I still dread processing the older telephoto shots given how much work it takes to make them presentable.
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
Yeah - if you are going to go the Mavic 3 route do get the 3 Pro. The telephoto lens on my older Mavic 3 has some serious IQ issues that DJI fixed quite well with the 3 Pro version. I still dread processing the older telephoto shots given how much work it takes to make them presentable.
I do recall that now that you mention it with the Mavic 3.

For me there are 2 options, go as light as possible with a single wide angle lens or go to the (reasonable) max with the 3 lenses and cameras.
 

Kyle Jones

Moderator
I have grown to really dislike drones. That said, if you need permission to get the one you really want, I demand that you get the 3 Pro.

:)
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
I have grown to really dislike drones. That said, if you need permission to get the one you really want, I demand that you get the 3 Pro.

:)

Ha ha... I hated drones, in fact despised drones for years... but thanks to Alan, Jeffrey and others I have come to finally like them.
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
Go with the Mavic 3 Pro. Looks like you are already pretty much decided anyway.
I decided it was either the Mini 4 Pro or the Mavic 3 Pro. I have followed drones enough to know that those are my two choices. But I haven't decided for sure which way I want to go. My Mini 2 works. Initially I thought getting the Mini 4 Pro would make a great Christmas present. But I never pulled the trigger as I am in the middle of assuming my daughters house loan, I didn't want any large expenditures.

For me even the Mini 4 Pro is a nice chunk of change to spend. I tend to really evaluate all of my purchases, I don't want to regret later what I had bought. So this is something I will chew on for a while.

I do appreciate everyone's thoughts as I think through this.
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
Alan, what's the difference between the RC and the RC Pro? Besides about another $1000. Which do you have?
 

AlanLichty

Moderator
I have the RC Pro. Considerably more substantial than the RC and has more programmable buttons which I find very useful. If weight on a trail is a concern the RC is much lighter in weight.

I got an RC along with the Mavic 3 Pro. I purchased the RC Pro after I lost my first Mavic 3 and got it replaced under my insurance policy. The insurance company insisted that the whole Fly More kit was covered and handed me a check for the Fly More kit in spite of the fact that I only lost the drone (truly heartbreaking - honest). I bought a bare Mavic 3 with an RC-N1 controller and used the rest for an RC Pro controller. Once I bought the Mavic 3 Pro I immediately set up the RC Pro for the new drone and used the RC for my Mavic 3 which is now my backup drone. I have only flown with the RC a couple of times and found myself wanting my buttons back almost immediately.

That said if I were buying into the Mavic 3 family from scratch I could easily live with the RC for a while before busting my piggy bank for the RC Pro. The RC Pro is very nice but not critical for flying the drone.
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
What's the difference between the 2 besides programmable buttons? Is the display brighter with the Pro?
 

AlanLichty

Moderator
Yes - the Pro controller claims 1000 nits of brightness and the RC is listed as 700 nits.

One other difference is in the antennae - the RC Pro has two sector antennae that can be aimed at the drone for greater distance/signal strength while the RC antennae are internal. While we will never really test out the full long range capabilities of either controller its also the case the the external antennae will help when there is signal interference such as you might see in an urban environment. Especially true in the suburbs where just about every household has WiFi that is using the same radio frequencies as our drones.
 
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