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The DJI Mini 3 Pro is a small, lightweight drone designed for beginners and experienced pilots alike.
In this guide, we will go through the basics of how to fly the Mini 3 Pro, including how to set it up, how to use the controller, and some tips for flying safely and effectively.
Setting up the DJI Mini 3 Pro #
Setting up the Mini 3 Pro is fairly easy. Before flying your new drone, you need to do the following:
1. Charge the batteries #
The Mini 3 Pro comes with two batteries, one for the drone and one for the controller. The batteries must be properly charged before the flight so they won’t shut down mid-flight.
The battery for the drone takes about 45 minutes to charge, while the battery for the controller takes about two hours.
2. Download the DJI Fly app #
The DJI Fly app is available for free on the App Store or Google Play Store. Download it and create a DJI account if you don’t already have one.
Once you open the app, select your drone type ( DJI Mini 3 Pro), and you will have access to the drone’s features within the app.
3. Connect the drone and controller #
Turn on the drone and controller, then connect them by following the instructions in the DJI Fly app.
This usually involves pressing a button on the drone and then pressing a button on the controller. This only takes about a few seconds.
4. Calibrate the compass #
Before taking off, calibrate the compass on your Mini 3 Pro. This ensures the drone knows its orientation and can fly accurately.
Flying the DJI Mini 3 Pro #
Once you set up the Mini 3 Pro, you can use the controller to fly it. Here are the basics.
1. Takeoff #
To take off, tap the takeoff arrow to the left of your screen in the DJI Fly app and then hold the takeoff button, which will pop up in the middle of your screen until the green ring is formed.
After this, your drone will automatically take off at an altitude of 1.2m and then hover in place.
You can also take off manually by pushing both sticks on the controller inward and downward simultaneously, holding until the propellers start up, then releasing both sticks at once.
You can then lift up using the left stick by pushing it upward.
2. Hover #
Once your drone is in the air, you can test your controls and adjust your settings.
Some key settings to adjust which will make the flying experience (as well as image capturing and recording) a lot more enjoyable are your gimbal settings, such as the pitch speed, pitch smoothness, yaw rotation speed, and smoothness.
Pitch speed refers to how quickly the gimbal pitches up and down (rotates about its axis up and down), while smoothness refers to the responsiveness and braking sensitivity before and after pitching the gimbal.
As a rule of thumb, I recommend setting a low pitch speed and high smoothness.
This helps reduce the jerking motion/effect, which can be noticeable when you stop pitching, and give a smoother transition and feel when switching between pitching motions and when you stop pitching.
I’d advise following the same principle and setting a low yaw speed with a high smoothness for the yaw rotation speed and smoothness settings.
Aside from the gimbal settings, you can adjust the drone’s sensitivity settings under the main controller’s advanced settings.
Attitude sensitivity refers to how quickly your Mini 3 Pro responds to your controller’s input. Play around with it and test how the drone responds while you hover.
I recommend setting a high attitude sensitivity and reducing EXP sensitivity settings.
Brake sensitivity is how quickly the drone stops after you release the control sticks. Decrease the brake sensitivity for more smoothness, especially when trying to achieve more cinematic shots.
This will ensure that your drone comes to a gradual halt and prevents the jerky camera motion which ruins the smoothness of our shots. Use caution when adjusting brake sensitivity.
The yaw movement limit refers to how quickly your drone will rotate(yaw) left or rotate right. This directly affects the panning movements in the camera.
You basically want a slower yaw movement limit for slower pans and more shots.
However, there may be times when you need quicker yaw movements to track moving objects, so depending on your mission, you can play around with the settings and adjust to what feels best.
To fly the drone, test the different stick modes to see which suits your flying, or create a custom one. The conventional mode is Mode 2.
- Mode 1 (left: forward/backward; turn left/right | right: up/down; sideways left/right)
- Mode 2 (left: up/down; turn left/right | right: forward/backward; sideways left/right)
- Mode 3 (left: forward/backward; sideways left/right | right: up/down; turn left/right)
3. Fly #
Now it’s time to fly your drone. The controls described below are in the Mode 2 stick mode, but the terms are universal regardless of your mode.
The left control stick allows the drone to climb and descend and rotates the drone on its left and right axis. The official aviation terms for these controls are “yaw” and “throttle.”
- Yaw rotates the drone around its center either clockwise or counterclockwise.
- Throttle controls how much lift your drone creates, allowing it to ascend and descend.
The right control stick moves the drone forward and backward and also moves the drone left and right. The official aviation terms for these controls are “roll” and “pitch.”
- Roll controls your drone’s right and left movement (almost like a barrel roll).
- Pitch controls your drone’s forward and backward movement (like pitching a baseball).
4. Return to Home #
If you lose control of your drone or run low on battery, you can use the Return to Home feature to bring it back to you.
Press the RTH button on the controller or use the DJI Fly app to activate this feature.
To set the RTH, Go to Settings > Update Home Point and then choose one of the following options:
- Set Home Point to aircraft
- Set Home Point to Remote Controller
Drag and drop the Home Point location on the map for manual Home Point adjustment.
For more on setting the RTH, check out this article here.
Using the controller for the first time might take getting used to, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time. The more you fly, the more you adjust!
Flying the DJI Mini 3 Pro safely and responsibly #
Flying a drone can be fun and rewarding, but doing it safely and responsibly is important. Here are some tips to help.
1. Check the weather #
Before you fly the Mini 3 Pro, check the weather forecast. Avoid flying in strong wind, rain, or fog.
Flying in inclement weather may lead to a crash, which can damage your drone. You also don’t want to get your drone wet, as moisture can damage the major components of the Mini 3 Pro.
2. Choose a safe flight location #
Find an open area with plenty of space to fly your drone. Avoid operating near people, buildings, or other obstacles. Always ensure a clear path of flight.
3. Follow regulations #
Make sure you follow all local regulations for flying drones. This may include registering your drone with the FAA, obtaining a pilot certification, or following specific flight restrictions.
Before flying the Mini 3 Pro, you might also need to check with your local authorities.
4. Inspect the drone #
Before you fly, inspect your drone to make sure it’s in good condition. Check the battery, propellers, and camera for any damage or wear.
5. Calibrate your compass #
As discussed earlier, calibrate the Mini 3 Pro’s compass before you take off.
6. Use a pre-flight checklist #
Create a pre-flight checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything important before taking off.
This should include checking the battery level, GPS signal, camera settings, SD card with enough storage space, etc.
7. Maintain a clear line of sight #
Keep the Mini 3 Pro in your line of sight at all times.
This will help you avoid collisions and ensure you can see any obstacles or hazards before risking collision.
8. Fly slowly and smoothly #
Fly the Mini 3 Pro slowly and smoothly to avoid crashes and ensure you capture stable footage. Gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with flying.
9. Avoid flying at night #
Flying at night can be dangerous and is often prohibited by regulations. If you must fly at night, ensure your drone has proper lighting and follow all regulations.
10. Respect privacy #
Avoid flying over private property or taking photos or videos of people without their consent. Respect other people’s privacy and avoid causing any disruptions or disturbances.
Overall, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is a great drone for beginners. It’s easy to set up, and the DJI Fly app interface is neat and easy to understand.
With adequate practice and patience, you’ll master the art of flying like a pro.