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Through the use of firmware updates, the Mavic 3 has become more and more impressive with every update that has been released.
The most recent firmware update not only fixes some bugs but also brings new options and features to the craft itself.
One could say the Mavic 3 is starting to really come into its own, especially with additions such as Pro settings and RAW photo capture for the zoom camera and HLG support for the primary camera.
Many felt that several of these features should have been in place prior to DJI releasing the Mavic 3 and were disappointed that the aircraft didn’t have these options when it was released in Nov of 2021.
DJI, however, was up front on that level and stated that many of these features would become available down the road through firmware updates.
And DJI has worked hard to come through on that statement and has succeeded in making the Mavic 3 a drone system that is worthy of being the flagship system for their company.
With the latest Firmware Update, the Mavic 3 can now soar with a full complement of features so you can get that perfect shot.
What is firmware? #
Firmware is the software or programming embedded in a piece of hardware.
This bit of programming provides the necessary instructions for how the device communicates with the multiple components found within the hardware and how to operate.
A device’s firmware is typically found stored on the Flash ROM located within the hardware.
Flash ROMs are a little different than ROM or Read Only Memory.
The basic difference is the fact that it can be rewritten and erased, due to actually being a type of Flash Memory, hence Flash ROM.
It’s for this very reason that when uploading a Firmware update you allow it to complete or finish, as it is actually overwriting what was already present and replacing it with new.
Updating the Mavic 3 firmware #
Prior to updating the Mavic 3, always be sure the battery level is at least 20% or higher.
As with many DJI products, there are two ways that you are able to update the Mavic 3.
The first and easiest of course is right through the Fly App upon startup.
Updating through the Fly App #
For this method, an internet connection is required.
- Start by powering on the aircraft and the controller.
- Once the two devices are on and linked, the Fly App will automatically check for any firmware updates for the aircraft and controller.
- If an update is available a notification will appear on the screen.
- Tap Update.
- The update will initiate.
- The aircraft will automatically restart once the update is complete.
That’s it, simple right?!
Updating through DJI Assistant 2 #
The second method that can be used to update the Mavic 3 is by using a computer or similar device and DJI’s Assistant 2 program.
- Here you would start by powering on the aircraft.
- Use a USB cable to connect it to a computer.
- Launch the Assistant 2 application and log into your DJI account.
- Select the aircraft that has been connected.
- Here you should see a button for “Firmware Update“.
- Click on it and the Assistant 2 app will refresh the firmware list.
- Select the firmware version you’re looking to upload and click. This will begin the update.
- As whenever you’re doing a firmware update, ensure the device remains powered on during the updating process.
- Once that update has been completed, exit the Assistant 2 app and disconnect the aircraft from the computer.
- Here the drone should automatically restart indicating the update is complete.
This same method and process can be used to update the controller.
Unlike the method that uses the Fly App which does the process mostly autonomously and will check for both the controller and the aircraft, the Assistant 2 app requires the controller and aircraft the be updated individually.
This means that in order for the controller to be updated, you would need to repeat the method above for the controller as well.
It is always best practice to make sure your aircraft and controller are running on the most current version of the firmware.
Why should I update the Firmware? #
Updating the firmware is important to your aircraft’s health and functionality. Firmware updates serve two purposes.
One is to introduce a new feature or function.
The second is to fix any known bugs in the programming.
Let’s take a closer look at the most recent update.
DJI Mavic 3 May 2022 firmware update #
Adds switch to the Tele Camera in photo mode, including single shot, AEB, burst, and timed shot, supports JPEG, RAW, JPEG+RAW photo format, and ISO and shutter speed settings.
Adds switch to the Tele Camera in video mode, supporting 4K@25/30/50fps, 1080p@25/30/50fps format, and ISO and shutter speed settings.
Adds HLG for the Hasselblad camera.
Adds 1080p/200fps to Slow Motion when using the Hasselblad camera.
Adds HLG and D-Log to shoot MasterShots and QuickShots (not including Asteroid).
Digital zoom reaches up to 3x in normal video mode when using the Hasselblad camera.
Adds support to FocusTrack, QuickShots (not including Asteroid), MasterShots, and Hyperlapse for the aircraft when the Wide-Angle Lens is mounted.
Adds ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 LT format to the Hasselblad camera of Mavic 3 Cine.
Adds one-second option to interval time setting when using Hyperlapse on Mavic 3 Cine.
Adds DJI Mavic 3 D-Log to Rec.709 vivid LUT, providing a more vivid color effect. You can download the LUT via the DJI support website.
Adds a new nifty option for bypassing when using APAS 5.0. The option comes into play if dynamic footage is your priority. It’ll allow you to bypass obstacles much closer than previous options while offering a smooth trajectory.
Adds Reset All Settings and Clear All Data options (refer to the Mavic 3 User Manual v1.6 for details).
Adds support for Japanese RID requirements.
Increases Home Point refresh rate.
Optimizes the focus performance when recording with the Tele Camera.
Optimizes the stability of the aircraft when shooting a Hyperlapse.
Fixes the issue where pilots were unable to use Hyperlapse when flying near a Flight Altitude Limit Zone.
As we can see from the above, this update was more about adding new functions and features to the aircraft.
Even though there are some bug fixes present in this update, this update was more about adding those missing features and making it so that these new functions work properly.
Now with this update, you will not only need to update the aircraft itself, but you will also need to update the controller and the Fly App in order to see all of the new features.
If using the RC-N1 controller, the firmware should be v04.13.0600 and if using the RC Pro controller, the firmware should be v03.01.0700.
The Fly App version should be v1.6.4 for either iOS or Android.
Even though this is a relatively new drone system, released on November 20, 2021, we have already seen updates that took care of some of the issues pilots were experiencing.
For example, firmware update V01.00.0800 was mainly for the purpose of fixing the IMU calibration issue.
An important fix for sure, since it’s the IMU or Inertial Measurement Unit that allows for stable flight.
An IMU is a device that combines inertial sensors – gyroscopes and accelerometers – to produce acceleration and orientation data that can be used to compute location and velocity.
That got really technical, really fast. In short, the IMU keeps your drone level and flying normally, and typically it is not something that needs frequent recalibration.
However, if your aircraft flies erratically, or shows a warning in the DJI Fly App, it may need an IMU recalibration.
What to do if the Firmware Update fails? #
In the event that you lost power or your internet connection while doing a firmware update or the update fails for some other reason (it happens!), simply repeat the process above and retry the upload until successful.
What can we expect in future updates? #
DJI has really made the Mavic 3 into a world-class multiple-use drone, and we’re all still working out all the uses.
It’s hard to say what may be next for the Mavic 3, what with its phenomenal 46 min flight time and a dual-camera system that features the Hasselblad 20mp L2D-20c and the 28x Hybrid Zoom 162mm Tele Camera.
With the addition of High-speed QuickTransfer, Mastershots, Quickshots, Hyperlapses, and Panoramas, the Mavic 3 sort of has it all now.
It is a drone system that can and will lead the way for future generations of drones to come.
Once again DJI has set the course, showing the way for other manufacturers to follow.
Where the future in the firmware goes – well as far as the coding can take it! The focus now will most likely be on bug fixes for the foreseeable future.
It’s not uncommon for a large Firmware update like May’s to lead to smaller updates to fix glitches and bugs found after such a large update.
Whether we’ll see much in the way of additional functions and features, well DJI does like to surprise us every now and again so who knows. We’ll see!
Fly Safe, Fly Always, Always Fly Safe!