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DJI Mini 3 vs. DJI Mini 2 (All You Need to Know)

10 mins
Drone Blog
Table of Contents

Just when we thought DJI was done with mini drones after releasing the ultimate mini drone, the DJI Mini 3 Pro, DJI released yet another mini drone, the DJI Mini 3.

The DJI Mini 3 has its fair share of improvements, but how does it compare to the older DJI Mini 2?

The DJI Mini 3 is, in many ways, the better drone than the DJI Mini 2. It has an improved camera and better battery performance and is compatible with the DJI RC.

Please keep reading to learn more about these two drones and which one you should get.

Before we look at the main features of these two drones, below is a table that summarizes their similarities and differences:

FeaturesDJI Mini 3DJI Mini 2****Weight249 grams249 gramsBattery Life38 Minutes (or 51 Minutes)31 MinutesPhoto resolution12 MP12 MPVideo Resolution4K 30fps 2.7K at 60fps 1080p at 120 fps4K 30fps 2.7K at 60fps 1080p at 120 fpsSensor size1/1.31/2.3Dimensions148x90x62 mm138x81x58 mmVideo transmissionDJI O2, 10km, 720p/30p,DJI O2, 10km, 720p/30p

Design and weight #

The DJI Mini 3 and the DJI Mini 2 each weigh 249 grams, making them the perfect drones for beginners or people who don’t want to register their drones.

However, the DJI Mini 3 does appear larger, though they both feature folding arms and a minimalistic design that’s great for moving around with.

Camera features and resolution #

One reason I’d want to upgrade from the DJI Mini 2 to the Mini 3 is because of the camera features. Not because the DJI Mini 2 was that bad, I loved it and have used it for a long time.

But the DJI Mini 3 has a larger sensor (1/1.3 inch) compared to the DJI Mini 2’s 1/2.3 inch sensor. A larger sensor will let in more light, making it a better option when you shoot in low-light conditions.

Secondly, the DJI Mini 3 has a larger aperture (f1.7) compared to DJI Mini 2’s f2.8. A larger aperture also helps with low-light filming and also helps achieve a shallower depth of field where it focuses more on the main subject.

DJI also added HDR to the DJI Mini 3, which gives you better footage from the drone without much editing, a feature lacking in the Mini 2.

However, DJI didn’t change the video and photo resolution. Both the DJI Mini 3 and Mini 2 can shoot in 4K at 30fps, and you would have to shift to 2.7K if you want to film at 60fps. Both drones also take still shots in 12MP.

But other than that, when you consider all the other improvements the DJI Mini 3 has, you have a better chance of getting better photos and videos from the DJI Mini 3 than you would from the DJI Mini 2.

Vertical shooting #

The DJI Mini 3 has a fascinating vertical shooting feature where you can record portraits without having to crop. Considering the DJI Mini 2’s gimbal’s limitations, this is a huge plus.

The vertical shooting comes in handy when creating content for social media, such as reels and shorts. But with a regular drone camera, like the one on the Mini 2, you would have to take the shots and crop them before posting them.


When the DJI Mini 3 Pro was released, it came with a DJI RC controller with an inbuilt screen.

This controller eliminates the need for a smartphone since it can handle apps, has a longer battery life than a standard smartphone, and is not prone to interference.

I hoped they would make the DJI RC compatible with the DJI Mini 2. Instead, they released the DJI Mini 3, which also comes with the DJI RC.

So, if you want to enjoy the benefits a controller with a screen offers, you will have to get the DJI Mini 3.

The good thing is that the DJI RC is compatible with the DJI Air 2S and could be compatible with future drones, so it’s a worthy addition and a reason to get the DJI Mini 3 over the Mini 2.

SDK availability #

As much as the DJI Mini 3 has some attractive features, there’s one main reason one would still want to keep the DJI Mini 2 – the SDK. This feature allows DJI drones to work with third-party apps like DroneLink or Litchi.

As a result, you can use the DJI Mini 2 to create basic maps, make it follow you, or even pre-program waypoints, even though these features were not officially available when DJI released the drone.

The DJI Mini 3 was just released, so we can’t say it will never get an SDK, but the Mini 3 Pro has been around for some months now, and they are yet to release an SDK.

Battery life #

One thing I love about the DJI Mini drone series drones is the flight time. The DJI Mini 2 could give you up to 30 minutes of flight time, but the DJI Mini 3 goes above and beyond.

You get two battery options, one that can last up to 38 minutes and another that can last up to 51 minutes.

That’s one of the longest battery life you will experience on a mini consumer drone.

Even the more powerful Mini 3 Pro only achieves 34 minutes with the standard battery and 47 minutes with the extra-large battery.

It’s important to note that many factors affect how long a drone can last in flight, such as wind, weight, speed, and the battery’s condition.

So the drone may not always last as long as indicated. But having an allowance of 38 or 51 minutes means the battery will have a longer actual flight time compared to the Mini 2 or Mini 3 Pro.

 However, the 51-minute battery makes the drone weigh more than 250 grams, and you will need to register it, but that’s not an issue since drone registration isn’t that expensive.

The only issue is that this battery is unavailable in some regions, such as the UK.

Obstacle avoidance #

The lack of obstacle avoidance in the DJI Mini 2 was a bummer, so DJI decided to include it in the DJI Mini 3 Pro. Unfortunately, they still omitted this feature in the new Mini 3. All you get are downward sensors which only help when landing.

Due to a lack of obstacle avoidance and detection, the DJI Mini 3 also lacks Active Track.

So you can’t use it to follow you, and as I mentioned earlier, you can’t use third-party apps like Litchi, which would have helped unlock this missing feature.

This is another slight win for the DJI Mini 2 since, thanks to Litchi and an SDK, Follow Me mode is possible.

Intelligent flight modes #

Both drones feature Quickshots, a feature that allows you to select a subject of interest. The drone will automatically film it in pre-programmed patterns such as:

  • Dronie
  • Helix
  • Circle
  • Boomerang
  • Rocket

In Dronie mode, the drone will fly backward and upward while tracking a subject, creating a dramatic aerial shot.

In Helix mode, the drone will fly upward and outward in a spiral pattern, also tracking a subject.

In Rocket mode, the drone will fly straight up into the air with the camera pointing downward.

In Circle mode, the drone will fly in a circular pattern around a subject.

However, the DJI Mini 3 has an added advantage since you can take all these shots with a vertical view and tilt the camera even further (more on this later).

Transmission #

Both the DJI Mini 3 and Mini 2 feature DJI’s OcuSync 2.0. While it may not be as upgraded as the OcuSync 3 or 3+, the OcuSync 2.0 is one of the best transmission systems you will find in a drone.

It supports a range of up to 6 miles, which assures you of a strong connection when flying VLOS.

It also gives a 720p at 30fps live video transmission, allowing you to see the world clearly through the controller’s or smartphone’s screen.

Noise #

If you’ve not flown the DJI Mini 2, you might not notice this, but the DJI Mini 3 is quieter than the Mini 2. So, if you want to fly without causing too much disturbance, the DJI Mini 3 would be the safer choice.

However, I wouldn’t say any of the DJI Mini drones are that noisy, so that wouldn’t be a deal breaker if one wanted to stick with the DJI Mini 2.

Camera tilt #

In addition to vertical shots, the DJI Mini 3’s gimbal is designed to tilt further (-90 degrees to +60 degrees) than the DJI Mini 2 (-90 degrees to +20 degrees), allowing you to take very low-angle shots.

Price #

The DJI Mini 3 costs more than the DJI Mini 2. But if you already have the DJI RCN1, you only have to pay $469 to get the DJI Mini 3 without the controller.

This would be a good deal for anyone who wants to upgrade from a Mini 2 or one who has a drone that uses the DJI RCN1.

To get the DJI Mini 3 with an RCN1 controller, you would have to pay $559, and $699 to get it with the DJI RC with a screen.

On the other hand, the DJI Mini 2 costs $449 for the standard package and $599 for the Fly More combo, where you get the drone, three batteries, a bag, and many other accessories.

To get the DJI Mini as a Fly More Combo, you have to pay $858, which is relatively high.

Is the DJI Mini 3 worth the upgrade? #

Yes, I believe it is. Having used the DJI Mini 2, I recommend the upgrade to the DJI Mini 3 for the camera, battery, and DJI RC compatibility.

However, due to the SDK capability, I would not discard the DJI Mini 2, but keep it around for certain uses.

If you don’t want to spend that much, you can omit the DJI RC and pay $469 for the drone. If you are looking for your first drone, the DJI Mini 3 just replaced the DJI Mini 2 from that spot.

I always loved the Mini 2 as a beginner drone since it costs less than $500 and has a bunch of cool features, but the DJI Mini 3 starts at $559, and the extra features make it worth that much.

Which DJI Mini is the best? #

While the DJI Mini 3 is a perfect upgrade to the DJI Mini 2, it’s still not the best DJI Mini drone in terms of features.

That title currently goes to the DJI Mini 3 Pro, which has more features such as obstacle avoidance, 4K at 60fps resolution, ActiveTrack, and better transmission thanks to the OcuSync 3.0.

However, it’s also quite expensive compared to the other Mini drones. The DJI Mini 3, however, strikes a good balance between all the features you need in a Mini drone and affordability.

Is DJI Mini 3 battery the same as the Mini 2? #

No, it’s not. It would have been a really fantastic addition if you could swap the batteries, considering those of the DJI Mini 3 last longer, but they feature a different design.

They can’t fit in the DJI Mini 2’s battery compartment.

Which app does the DJI Mini 3 use? #

The DJI Mini 3 uses the DJI Fly App, the same as the DJ Mini 2 and the other DJI Mini drones.


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