DJI Mavic 3: What we know so far…

DJI Mavic 3
(Image credit: Jasper Elllens / @JasperEllens)

The DJI Mavic 3 remains the hottest topic within the drone world, particularly as we move toward the fall sales season. 

Since the DJI Mavic 2 models were launched back in summer 2018, two smaller folding drones have arrived and been refreshed – but the larger device, much loved by professionals, has almost taken a back seat. The refreshed DJI Mavis 3 seemed inevitable and rumors have finally started to coalesce around a time and a spec.

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Jasper Ellens Has circulated a leaked image that appears to show a new Mavic drone. This definitely is a different airframe, though we can see a lot of DJI touches; there are image sensors at the top and scoops at the back, a little like the DJI Mavic Air 2

The camera and gimbal are markedly different, though, with two lenses, one much bigger than the other.

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DJI Mavic 3 rumors

The rumored spec is for a device with a telephoto camera with a half-inch, 12MP sensor and a 84˚ wide-angle camera before a Micro Four Thirds 20MP sensor. 

That would be 160mm and 24mm effective focal length, again, according to leaked spec tables – which can at least be attributed to the same source as the image you can see above.

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That would effectively combine the benefits of the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and DJI 2 Pro in one, and a good bit more if sensor size is a key issue for you. 

To get a Micro Four Thirds sensor aloft using an existing DJI drone you must turn to the DJI Inspire 2, which will set you back in the order of $5,299 / £4,999 (approximately AU$7,299) with the Zenmuse X5S camera (yes, cameras are extra on the Inspire). 

The rumored prices for the DJI Mavic 3 start in the order of $2,700 / £2,000 / AU$3,700, which seems a big jump from the Mavic 2 Pro but in that context seem more reasonable. What will raise eyebrows is another model – or kit – doing the rumor rounds: The DJI Mavic 3 Cine.

It’s not entirely clear whether this is a next step up from the ‘Fly More’ package, or a distinctly different device with a built-in SSD for recording Cine grade video like the Inspire 2 – perhaps even a DJI CineSSD card? No slot for one of DJI’s CineSSDs cards – which can record up to 4.2Gbps, a throughput fast enough even for professional filmmaking – appeared on illustrations we’ve seen, however.

The CinemaDNG and Apple ProRes licenses had to be acquired at significant additional cost by Inspire users, though, and drone geeks scouring rumor sites weren’t too shocked to see a Mavic 3 Cine version touted as being priced at $5,700 / £4,100 / $AU 7,750. 

It appears that extra cash includes the smart controller, a ‘Lightspeed data cable’ and even more ND filters than the Fly More SKU. The standout difference, however, was that the drone itself has a different name – Mavic 3 Cine. (Which doesn’t clear up the internal SSD debate, as there just as easily could be a different illustration for a differently named unit).

The already seen mock-ups on DealsDrone don’t seem far away from the photos seen more recently, with its text saying "supports SSD" 1TB rather than 'includes'.

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DJI Mavic 3 features

We’ve mentioned the camera already; according to DealsDrone the two cameras amount to a 28x hybrid zoom, which is pretty exciting. Assuming the pictures doing the rounds are correct, then once again the camera is Hasselblad-branded (since DJI owns the firm, and this was true on previous models).

Leaked illustrations suggest that a single battery will be replaced through the back door, and it will provide an impressive 46 minutes of flight time. This almost sounds like wishful thinking compared to the Inspire 2, which it nearly doubles, but then a weight of 920g is being discussed – which leaves plenty for battery.

Gratifyingly, DJI is retaining its handy 4-light charge indicator, so it appears that the process will be the one DJI users are familiar with. The photos do appear to show all-round distance sensors, too, using upward sensors at the rear. It would be unlikely to see anything less, given that the Air 2S offers this.

We’re also expecting to see a new OccuSync 3 version of the Smart Controller V2 included at least with the Cine version, bringing a range of up to 9.3 miles radio and a built-in 1080p screen. This slightly edges out the 7.5 miles of the Air 2S.

According to several sources, mid November is when we’ll hear official confirmation of the new drone from DJI.

Can we be sure?

Fake news? Not every DJI Mavic 3 rumor circulating is true; at least one video out there has been shown to be a simulated projection of a probably fake box design onto a 3D shape – just because this sort of thing can be done, and it gets clicks. That’s how much people want social media attention.

It is wise to be a little cautious right now. DJI’s competitor Autel Robotics has also had an almost suspicious number of leaks (as well as two actual launches) this week, so clearly the big firms are all doing their best to stay in the limelight and capture the biggest share of the roughly $3 billion that the industry brings to Chinese manufactures every year…

Read more: 

Best camera drones
DJI Mavic Air 2 review
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom review
DJI 2 Pro review

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