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

11 mins
Drone Blog
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DJI Mini 3 and Mavic 3 are drones with astonishing performance capabilities produced by DJI, but each falls under different classifications.

What are the differences between the Mini 3 and Mavic 3?

DJI Mini 3 is a drone oriented towards beginners and pilots looking for budget drones, yet with extraordinary features. In contrast, the DJI Mavic 3 is destined for professional filming and photography with many more characteristics than the Mini 3.

Each drone has unique advantages.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about DJI Mini 3 and Mavic 3 and which may be better for you.

DJI Mini 3 and Mavic 3 – An detailed overview and comparison #

The Mini 3 and Mavic 3 were created for different types of customers, but their primary role is to fly and capture everything in an image or video format. 

**What can we say about the DJI Mavic 3? **

The Mini 3 is the more expensive drone, far more than the Mavic 3. It’s also heavier and bulkier.

The Mavic 3 is mainly targeted toward professional vloggers, businesspeople, and companies, and it has many more features than the Mini 3.

For instance, Mavic 3 has omnidirectional avoidance sensors for safer flights, advanced return-to-home features, etc.

However, the price to get started as a beginner pilot with the Mavic 3 is much higher. On top of that, there are several versions of the Mavic 3 drone.

Therefore, let’s look at some more versions of the Mavic 3.

  • DJI Mavic 3 Cine: The Mavic 3 Cine is an upgrade of the Mavic 3 with an astonishing camera performance for professional filmmakers.

  • DJI Mavic 3 Classic: The Mavic 3 Classic is a newer version of the Mavic 3. There’s not much difference between them, but each has unique advantages.

  • DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise: The Mavic 3 Enterprise is a series of commercial Mavic 3 drones for multispectral surveys, mapping, and search and rescue. They are industrial drones with unique features such as a 56x zoom camera, infrared and thermal imaging, mechanical shutter, etc.

Now let’s continue with the features and comparison between the Mini 3 and Mavic 3.

DJI Mini 3 and Mavic 3 features #

FeaturesDJI Mini 3DJI Mavic 3Takeoff Weight248 grams895 gramsBattery life38 minutes with Intelligent Battery51 minutes with Intelligent Battery Plus46 minutesCamera Sensors1/1.3 inch CMOS12MP effective pixelsHasselblad: 4/3 CMOSTele camera: 1/2 inch CMOSPhotography12 MegapixelsJPEG + RAWHasselblad: f/2.8 to f/11, 20MPTele camera: f/4.4, 12MPVideo RecordingMax: 4k 30fps or 2.7k 60fpsVideo format: MP4 (H.264)Bitrate: 100MbpsHasselblad: 5.2k at 50fps, 4k at 120fpsTele Camera: 4k at 50fpsSafety FeaturesNo avoidance sensorsTraditional Return to Home featureOmnidirectional avoidance sensorsBinocular vision systemAdvanced Return To Home featureMax Flight Speed16 m/s (35.7mph) in Sport Mode21 m/s (47mph) in Sport ModeMax Wind Speed Resistance10.7 m/s (24mph)12 m/s (27mph)Other Features O2 TransmissionO3+ Transmission28x Hybrid ZoomCore differences between the DJI Mini 3 and DJI Mavic 3

Please note that the Mavic 3 Classic, Cine, and Enterprise have different configurations than the Mavic 3, and please do not confuse the Mini 3 with the Mini 3 Pro.

The Mavic 3 is superior to the Mini 3 with higher performance and camera capabilities, but remember, it may not be for everyone. 

Let’s compare a few features of the Mini 3 and Mavic 3 and analyze them together, shall we?

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. DJI Mini 2: Which Mini is Right for You?

Photography and video recording #

The Mavic 3 has better camera capabilities for photography and filming than the Mini 3.

Mavic 3 has, in fact, two cameras: a Hasselblad fantastic for photography and filming at high resolution, and a tele camera.

The hybrid zoom from the tele camera may not be the top resolution and performance, but it will give a unique perspective for filming and photographing scenery, places, and so on at 28x.

The Mini 3 has inferior photography capabilities to Mavic 3 or the Mini 3 Pro. 

With only a 12mp photo camera, you can craft some good aerial pictures for social media, but they are inadequate for professional photography.

As for filming, Mini 3 can film to a maximum of 4k 30 frames per second. 

If you want slow motion, you have to drop the resolution to 2.7k, but generally, 4k30fps should be more than enough for regular consumers.

In the realm of camera capabilities, Mavic 3 is superior to the Mini 3.

Safety features #

Let’s start with the Mini 3. This drone does not have any avoidance sensors at all. 

The only external sensors on this drone are the downward vision system that will allow the drone to hover close to the ground and land and take off safely.

For this reason, beware that if you initiate the return-to-home function on your Mini 3 and there is no clear path between the drone and you (landing point), the Mini will likely crash into anything in its path.

To avoid such issues, please set your Mini 3 return-to-home altitude limit higher than the tallest object.

The Mavic 3 has an advanced return-to-home feature that will avoid any obstacles in front of the drone and create a new path where the drone will attempt to return home when initiated. 

Moreover, the Mavic 3 has omnidirectional sensors – what does that mean? The drone can sense any objects in any direction and, if getting too close, stop before crashing or even detour automatically. 

Regarding safety features, Mavic 3 is far superior to the Mini 3.

Weight and portability #

The Mini 3 is very lightweight, weighing only 248 grams at takeoff (with propellers).

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. Mavic Air (All You Need to Know)

This comes with a massive advantage over other drones because, in most countries, states, and territories worldwide, drones under 250 grams have more leeway.

You can fly the drone closer to people and buildings, probably inside cities, and benefit from more relaxed drone laws and regulations.

ALWAYS check your country or state drone laws, and do not assume this benefit applies everywhere.

The Mini 3 is very portable and can be folded and fit inside a large pocket or backpack. It’s an excellent drone for travelers.

What about the Mavic 3?

The Mavic 3 weighs about 900 grams at takeoff. This means the drone is pretty heavy and bulky, at least compared to the Mini 3.

It may not be as portable, but you can benefit from other features packed under a bulkier case.

**As for weight and portability, the Mini 3 is far superior to the Mavic 3. **

Battery life #

Both drones are capable of staying in the air for quite a while.

If we look back a few years, keeping a drone in the air for more than 10 or 15 minutes would be challenging.

Now, we can fly the Mavic 3 for up to 46 minutes or the Mini 3 for 38 to 51 minutes.

Indeed, Mini 3 (and Mini 3 Pro) drones benefit from two batteries:

  • The Intelligent Battery that comes with the Mini 3 but keeps it under 250 grams will allow you to fly the drone for up to 38 minutes.

  • The Intelligent Battery Plus is an addition that can be bought separately for the Mini 3. You can fly up to 51 minutes, but beware that you will exceed the 250-gram barrier (remember the drone laws?)

In this case, we have a tie of flight time between the Mini 3 and Mavic 3. 

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

Although Mini 3 can fly more with the Battery Plus, the Mavic 3 can fly longer than the Mini 3 with the standard battery.

Line of work comparison for DJI Mini 3 and Mavic 3 drones #

We all want to buy a drone for a specific reason or simply to fly recreationally. 

Next, we’ll compare using Mini 3 or Mavic 3 drones in different scenarios and determine which may suit you better.

For social media: DJI Mini 3 or Mavic 3? #

Both are perfect choices if you’re looking for a simple drone to vlog or post on social media. 

For instance, the Mavic 3, although heavy and expensive, has an extraordinary camera for professional work. If you’re an influencer, you can benefit from this drone’s capabilities and performances.

For a simple person looking to buy a drone to take some photos for social media or some recordings for YouTube, the Mini 3 should be good enough.

Just beware that the Mini 3 does not have Active Track. Therefore, you cannot use the follow-me mode for vlogging.

  • Mini 3 will be suitable for you to use for social media if you don’t want to invest too much into a drone and you’re only looking for some introductory B-roll drone videos or to fly in specific areas where you can benefit from the under-250-gram drone laws.

  • Mavic 3 will be appropriate if you’re a professional vlogger or looking for the best image and video quality for your Instagram account or YouTube channel.

For photography and filming: DJI Mini 3 or Mavic 3? #

The Mavic 3 cameras are both superior to the Mini 3 camera for photography and filming.

We can capture fantastic cinematic videos, B-rolls, and professional photographs with the Mavic 3 and benefit from unique Active Track features that will improve your workflow.

As well, as a bonus, DJI Mavic 3 has a 28x hybrid zoom from the tele camera, which can bring some unique shots to your portfolio.

The Mini 3 still has a good camera capable of some basic photography and above-average filming capabilities while remaining at a much lower price. 

  • Mini 3 will not be suitable for professional photography and filming, but it could be a great drone to start learning aerial photography and filmmaking.

  • Mavic 3 will be the most suitable drone for professional photography and filmmaking. If you’re looking for an even better drone, we recommend the Mavic 3 Cine.

For travelers: DJI Mini 3 or Mavic 3? #

If you’re simply traveling with a backpack, exploring for a couple of days, and having limited power capabilities or on the long nomad lifestyle, the Mini 3 is best.

You will have the advantage of more relaxed drone laws where you may travel and you can carry it in your backpack and won’t even notice it’s there. 

Also, if you have a portable solar panel and battery, you can recharge the drone battery several times a day without needing plugs, which is perfect for adventurers. 

All the above would be more complicated if you take your Mavic 3 drone instead. 

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 vs. DJI Air 2S (All You Need to Know)

If you travel by car or camper van without worrying about space or electric power (to charge the battery), the Mavic 3 can bring you many more features and camera capabilities.

  • We recommend the Mini 3 for lightweight travel (or Mini 3 Pro, for that matter).
  • We don’t recommend the Mavic 3 for backpack or foot travel, but it’s okay to travel by car.

For those on a budget: DJI Mini 3 or Mavic 3? #

DJI Mini 3 is a lot cheaper than the Mavic 3. Expect the Mini 3 to be less than half the price of the Mavic 3.

**When to choose DJI Mini 3 over the DJI Mavic 3 ** #

The Mini 3 was created for pilots looking for budget drones offering good performance and capabilities. 

We recommend you choose the Mini 3 over the Mavic 3 when:

  • You’re looking for a cheap drone to either start flying drones for the first time or for basic social media photography or YouTube filming. 
  • You’re looking for a simple drone to use recreationally. 
  • If you travel a lot and have limited power (e.g., portable solar panels or power banks to charge batteries).
  • If you want a drone that benefits from relaxed drone laws. 
  • You want to learn and practice flying drones and techniques, taking fewer risks than with a more expensive drone.

When to choose DJI Mavic 3 over DJI Mini 3 #

We recommend Mavic 3 over the Mini 3 when:

  • You’re looking for a drone for professional filming, from wedding videography to filmmaking, cinematic content, etc.
  • You’re already a professional YouTuber or influencer looking to produce the best content you can at an affordable price. 
  • For the commercial and industrial types of specific work (e.g., Mavic 3 Enterprise)
  • When the budget is not an issue, and you’re looking for a safe drone to learn to fly (omnidirectional avoidance system)
  • You’re looking for a specific type of drone (from photography to inspection) where you can benefit from the 28x hybrid zoom camera (beware that Mavic 3 Classic does NOT have the tele camera)


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