DJI rumors hint at a whole new product line, but how credible is the chatter?

Leaked image of possible DJI drone by @DroneNG
(Image credit: @DroneNG)

There are already rumors circulating about a possible new compact drone from market leader DJI, expected at DJI's "Mini to the Max Event" on the 25th, but many professionals might be more interested in the M3D, or Matrice 3D, which appears to be a new Mavic 3-sized variant of the pro brand with (if the leaked images are to be believed) fixed arms.

• Take a look at the best DJI drones in our guide.

There are a couple of reasons why fixed arms might be a logical choice for a quadcopter. Firstly they can be tapered without concern for hinges to make them more aerodynamic – suggesting speed is a serious concern in the design.

Secondly, a hingeless design can also minimise the flex, which can be used to improve positioning technologies like RTK (which definitely seems to be at least an option judging by that dome). The Skydio 2 also went to a good deal of effort to retain a rigid frame to keep the cameras – on which that drone's AI depended – as reliable as possible. That, however, seems unlikely to be a factor here since the equivalent cameras appear to be positioned on the fuselage, as on other DJI designs like the DJI Mavic 3 and DJI Air 3.

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It's also worth noting that the aircraft in the leaked image appears to be comfortably resting in what appears to be an automated dock (or 'automated drone hangar') – presumably a different design to the one for the Matrice 30. 

This area is one really hotting up at the moment – we're expecting a big announcement at the Skydio Ascend event since that firm decided to concentrate on the commercial market; Skydio – likely a major competitor for this drone, should it turn out to exist – has already revealed an automated docking system for their drones.

So, to answer the question posed at the start, this all looks very credible indeed. The leaked images come from NGDrones, a leaker with a track record, and the packaging looks convincing, but perhaps more than that, this is clearly a hot piece of the market that DJI would want to hold onto.

If you're interested in drones for work, check our guide to the best thermal drones while pure photographers should look at our best camera drones guide

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook