DJI Mavic 3 Classic review: is cheaper better?

If you’re honest, will you even know the Mavic 3's hybrid zoom isn’t there on the simplified DJI Mavic 3 Classic?

DJI Mavic 3 Classic review
(Image: © Adam Juniper / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Nearly a year from the original’s launch the Mavic 3 Classic remains a fantastic aircraft, more so, in a way, because all the features promised at launch are now here, and (nearly) live up to expectations. The drone still isn’t cheap, but we think this represents great bang-for-buck for photographers and videographers who will likely never miss a hybrid zoom.


  • +

    Significant price cut on Mavic 3

  • +

    5.1K video

  • +

    1, 2x and 3x digital zoom enough for most

  • +

    Sharp Four-Thirds sensor

  • +

    HLG and D-Log options for post-processing

  • +

    Good AI tracking and avoidance


  • -

    Still quite pricey

  • -

    Closes the door on the hybrid’s potential

  • -

    5.1K limited to 50fps (as on Mavic 3)

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

DJI’s Mavic Pro was launched way back in 2016, and in those Phantom-dominated times not everyone was convinced by the folding upstart. Times have changed, and the 2021 Mavic 3 came along as the obvious choice for serious creators. It also came with a price tag over more than double the original’s $999. Even allowing for inflation, that’s about an $850 hike.

That price buys you a lot more drone, and realistically the Air 2S more than does the original’s job, but DJI aren’t the only source of pressure on their prices; the Autel EVO Lite+ especially (see our review) offers an alternative which had many potential Mavic 3 customers questioning the cost.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

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