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DJI Mini 3 Pro vs Mavic 2 Pro: Comparison With Price, Specs, and More

DJI has been a leader in drone technology for years, and the Mini 3 Pro and Mavic 2 Pro are two of their most popular prosumer models. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll compare everything from price and portability to camera specs and flight performance. Read on to find out which flagship DJI drone best meets your aerial photography and videography needs.

Key Differences At A Glance

Mini 3 Pro

  • $699 regular price
  • Weighs 249g
  • 1/2.3" CMOS 48MP camera
  • 4K/60fps video
  • 34min max flight time

Mavic 2 Pro

  • $1,699 regular price
  • Weighs 907g
  • 1" CMOS 20MP Hasselblad camera
  • 4K/30fps video
  • 31min max flight time

Price and Value

The most obvious difference is price. At the time of writing, the Mavic Mini 3 Pro retails for $699 without the remote controller or $759 with the basic RC-N1 controller. That‘s nearly $1,000 cheaper than the Mavic 2 Pro, which has an MSRP of $1,729. For most hobbyists and casual aerial photographers, the far lower price of the Mini 3 is likely the better choice.

However, the Mavic 2 Pro goes on sale periodically, dropping it closer to $1,500 or $1,400 during promotions. At those prices, it can be tempting for enthusiasts who want higher quality camera specs and pro features. From an investment standpoint, spending more on the robust Mavic 2 platform may pay off down the road if you take drone photography seriously.

Size, Weight, and Portability

The "Mini" name says it all here. The DJI Mini 3 Pro is extremely compact and lightweight thanks to folding rotor arms and small overall dimensions. At 249 grams takeoff weight, it squeaks in under most countries‘ 250g drone registration requirements.

So if you prioritize traveling light and want a drone that can fit in your backpack or the backseat of your car without hassle, the MINI 3 Pro has a major edge. Its slim body is easy to pack in carry-on bags and takes up minimal storage space at home between flights.

The Mavic 2 Pro, while still portable to some degree thanks to folding arms, is significantly bulkier at 907g takeoff weight. You‘ll need a large backpack or case to carry and store this drone. It‘s still compact enough for travel but not nearly as convenient as the ultra-light Mini 3 Pro platform when it comes to packing it along.

Camera Specs and Performance

Here‘s where the Mavic 2 Pro flexes its superiority for professional aerial photography/videography use. It features a 1-inch CMOS sensor manufactured in partnership with legendary Swedish camera company Hasselblad. The custom sensor allows the Mavic 2 Pro to capture 20MP still images with stunning clarity and vibrant color. For video, you get crisp and clean 4K resolution at 30fps.

The Mini 3 Pro is no slouch, improving photo resolutions to 48MP over previous Mini models. Video is captured in fluid 4K at speeds up to 60fps for slow motion. However, its smaller 1/2.3" sensor means image quality can‘t match what the Mavic 2 Pro is capable of, especially in low light or high contrast scenarios. Still, for most hobbyist use, its camera delivers fantastic results.

Adjustable Aperture

As another big advantage for serious photographers, the Mavic 2 Pro‘s custom Hasselblad camera has an adjustable aperture from f/2.8 up to f/11. This gives you greater creative control and more flexibility for long exposure shots. Unfortunately the Mini 3 Pro drone does not offer an adjustable aperture, sticking to a fixed f/1.7 instead.

Speed and Handling

If racing drones or filming fast moving subjects is your goal, the Mavic 2 Pro has a noticeable edge here as well. In Sport mode, it can hit speeds up to 44.7mph or 20m/s. This allows you to better keep up with bikes, cars, people running, and more. It also gives you more control over shots where the drone is swiftly moving past static objects.

The Mini 3 Pro is respectably quick in its own right, but can‘t quite reach the Mavic 2 Pro‘s pace. Top speed in Sport mode is 16m/s or around 36mph. For many users this is perfectly adequate, but serious racers, sports videographers, or anyone who wants more high speed maneuverability should lean towards the Mavic 2.

Flight Time

Surprisingly, the diminutive Mini 3 Pro actually exceeds the Mavic 2 Pro when it comes to max flight time per battery charge. You can keep the Mini 3 Pro airborne for an impressive 34 minutes before needing to swap batteries. The Mavic 2 Pro averages around 31 minutes per charge.

This seems counterintuitive given the smaller size and lower weight class of the Mini platform. But DJI has packed sophisticated software and power management features into the Mini 3 to eke out every last bit of juice for longer flights. For most users, gaining an extra few minutes in the air is a nice benefit.

Obstacle Detection and Safety

With four sensors on all sides plus two downward infrared sensors, the Mavic 2 Pro currently has the best obstacle avoidance capabilities among DJI‘s consumer drone lineup. This gives you much greater confidence when maneuvering in tight spaces, trees, buildings and more.

The Mini 3 adds rear and lower sensors to the previous front-only setup on past Mini iterations. So it can at least spot objects behind and below, which reduces crash risk somewhat. But the Mavic 2 definitely provides superior safety with 360 degrees of coverage plus redundant downward sensors. For beginners still honing their navigation skills, this could be a key factor influencing drone choice.

QuickTransfer and D-Cinelike

The Mini 3 Pro gains a couple other bonuses over its pricier sibling when it comes to DJI‘s proprietary tech. First is compatibility with DJI‘s blazing fast QuickTransfer protocol—letting you offload full resolution still images and video to your phone over OcuSync WiFi at speeds up to 30Mbps. This allows on-the-go editing and sharing shortly after your Mini 3 Pro lands.

You also get DJI‘s coveted D-Cinelike color profile on the Mini 3 Pro. This gives footage more dynamic range to work with in post-production, allowing pros to pull out shadow details or recover highlights if needed. The similar D-Log color space is exclusive though to the Mavic 2 series.

Which Is Better For You?

For most hobbyists and aerial photography newbies, the DJI Mini 3 Pro makes the most sense if buying from scratch today. You get fantastic image quality for all manner of fun and creative shots at under half the price of the Mavic 2 Pro. The tiny form factor and low weight are also big advantages that bolster the Mini 3 Pro‘s case.

However, the Mavic 2 Pro remains an enticing option for serious photographers/videographers who can afford the higher price tag. If you value RAW image quality for printing/framing, need adjustable aperture control, want 60fps 4K video, or do commercial drone work like real estate filming, inspection services etc, then the Mavic 2 Pro easily justifies its cost. Its sturdier build and 360 degree obstacle detection also give valuable peace of mind.

In summary, while the Mini 3 Pro punches impressively above its size and cost class, the legendary imaging prowess and pro feature set of the Mavic 2 Pro keep it atop DJI‘s drone hierarchy for those with high demands and bigger budgets.