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Flying The DJI Mavic 3

In 2021, we watched as the best drone makers took the most advanced and advanced flying payloads and reduced their capabilities to fit in our shoes “sized” drones. December 2021 is when DJI launched the much-anticipated Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Cine that took an Hasselblad 4-3/” Full Frame Sensor and putting it inside an easily foldable Mavic airframe that we’re all familiar with. Similar to thermal sensors prior to this, you needed to buy the larger drone as well as a separate camera/payload to take photos or video using the four-third” Full Frame sensor.

We were able to get the chance to test one of the very first M3 drones available to value-added resellers throughout the United States and have had the opportunity to fly several times for testing as well as commercial reasons outdoors. In the next review, I’ll do my best to give you the information both good and bad that you need to learn about this latest drone by DJI.

M3 or M3 Cine

The M3 is precisely the product that many of us have been waiting for but was not even close enough to satisfy the very few. As soon as you take it out of its packaging, you’ll notice the changes. The updated upper shell is equipped with “finger holds” that are softly engineered to mimic the aerodynamics you see in manned aircraft , making it easy to transport to or from your launch site. Weighing just under 2 pounds the DJI Mavic 3 is the lightest commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) drone to sport a 4/3″ Full Frame CMOS sensor.

The guard for gimbals that many had to fight with, replaced by an easy-to-install Gimbal protector that can slide and “snaps” into the right position. DJI has done more than safeguard the motors in the gimbal that ensure stability to take commercial photos and videos by locking the camera even when the drone is turned off.

With the improved and new Omnidirectional obstacle sensing safety system , the M3 has been fitted with upgraded cameras for detecting obstacles which will make competitors look sloppy and unstable trying to follow subjects or even keep straight and level during an inspection of assets.

Both both the M3 along with both the M3 Cine leverage the same camera and body of the aircraft. Its Mavic 3 comes with the standard remote, and external hard drive that is 8GB. Similarly. the M3 Cine has the smart controller, 1TB internal hard drive as well as the capability to record ProRes Apple format.

M3 Battery

DJI is following in the footsteps of other brands and keeping its passengers in the air longer with drones that fly for more than 30 minutes. It also advertises the possibility of up to 45 minutes of flying time as well as 40 minutes hover time even in the absence of wind, using just one battery. After multiple flights of test in The Nine Ten Drones training facility located in Fayetteville, NC we have achieved an average of a maximum flight time of 36 minutes flying , and 35 minutes hovering , even in low-wind. In all of our test flights , we reduced the M3 battery to 5percent or less, which we would not advise anyone to regularly.

35-36 minutes of flight time, contrasted with other drones currently available, is becoming standard and what drone pilots can expect from drones for business and professional use. The charging time for one battery with a regular home power supply is typically approximately 60 minutes.

The batteries that are required for M3 as well as the M3 Cine are $209.

M3 Remotes

If you’re not aware, DJI users are perturbed by the decision to launch M3 as the M3 standard and to fly using an N1 remote controller that uses Occusync 2.0 which is available in Mini 2 and Air2 drones. Mini 2 and Air2 drones but does not include cross-compatibility of DJI’s original DJI Smart Controller that uses Occusync 2.0.

DJI has introduced it’s OG Smart Controller with a idea that the single remote would work with drones for a long time to be. We purchased these Smart Controllers in order to go to our Mavic 2 Pro since we believed that it could be compatible with the Mavic/Phantom 2 Pro that was coming out and not just as a result of wanting to pair it with the Mavic junior or mini drone. This massive failure was acknowledged by users from commercial, government and recreational operators as well.

The M3 Cine package comes with DJI RC Pro Smart Controller which was first introduced along with Air 2S. Air 2S in the first second quarter of 2021. Its RC Pro boasts a 5.5″ 1080p display that has an average brightness at 1000 nits. It’s regrettable that DJI launches the model of smart controller, however it only improves the way of transmission to improve the range, which was already above the limits of what Part 107 regulations will allow.

The industry is in need of bigger and more efficient UAS remote controllers at the moment and DJI will only give us the same features while increasing the cost to $5,000.

Both remotes are an extremely ergonomic feel and perform well. However, I was expecting more from DJI as well as other companies that have also done so. DJI most likely did not have the parts for this OG Smart Controller but had an inventory surplus for the N1 remotes and was able to identify new materials for the RC Pro. ….. The “Remote Recycling Ring” The story continues.

Dual Camera M3 Specifications

Hasselblad L2D-20c

4/3″ CMOS Image Sensor
20MP Image Capture
Variable Aperture f/2.8-f/11
8 stops of dynamic range
Record as high as 5.1K Video
Vision Detection Auto Focus Technology

Tele Camera (“Explore Mode”)

1/2″ CMOS Sensor
12MP Image Capture
28x Hybrid Zoom
Fixed Aperture f/4.4

Flying the M3

Mavic 3 Mavic 3 is flown using the DJI Fly application that was first released along with Mavic Mini. Mavic Mini. The Mavic 3 certainly caused controversy as people started to ask questions about the reason DJI released an “commercial” drone on the market by an app that was designed to be small recreational drones. For the three months that I’ve been flying Mavic 3 Mavic 3 I have zero complaints regarding the performance or capability in DJI Fly. DJI Fly app.

If you’re just getting started with drones and you’re using a Mini 2, Air 2S or M3 is the first drone that you fly and you don’t know how far this field has progressed since. If you want to save yourself some time and look up you nearby Facebook Drone Club and ask one of its members pilot their Phantom 2/3 drone or Mavic Pro.

I’m not going to explore the fancy, intelligent flight modes because the majority of time , I’m operating manually except when conducting an automatic mapping project with DroneDeploy to capture precise images. Certain, the flight modes that are intelligent are fantastic for videography and are used mainly for video production or by users who are keen to showcase the incredible autonomy their drone can be capable of.

The M3 is comfortable, responsive, and operates like an automobile. In the event that you think that the Mavic 2 Pro is a Nimbus 2000 then the M3 is certainly an Firebolt and even more. When the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom met one other and “made” an entirely new drone, that drone would be called the M3.

Important to remember how in the past the drone would spot obstacles and then stop. Then, you’d have manually “find” an appropriate path which would allow you to get your drone around the obstruction? Many people would think “It would be amazing to have the drone fly around the obstruction” but they don’t have a idea of how difficult it is. Now we are at the point that drones are doing this. The drones are able to recognize obstacles and navigate over them regardless of the direction the pilots are “pushing his stick”. This can be very useful in avoiding obstacles when flying to have fun, for inspections or modeling, but can be an issue for those who produce video. There’s nothing more annoying than nailing a shot only to get Artificial Intelligence jerk you off track because it detected something that wasn’t an obstacle to collision. Professionals are turning the wheel off of their training, turning off obstacles detection, and relying on the input of the operator and their awareness to make sure they hit the shot.

Look at the M3 gliding through the North Carolina snow and notice the AI “calculating” the best route forward:

The M3 is ready to go (has the latest DJI start tone) and can fly within seconds, thanks to the enhancements in its GPS system. The capability to launch quickly the M3 is beneficial to anyone who is operating in rapid responses (Fire/Police) and those who require fast “turnarounds” during the swap of batteries (Mapping/Modeling).

Its responsiveness M3 is amazing, with no lag when remote inputs are received The aircraft rises smoothly, yaws and accelerates with no “jumps”, “skips” or delays. The M3 has 3 “flight speeds” which can be set with the remote controller with which it is paired. The three modes are Normal, Cinema and Sport. The M3 being in “Sport” mode significantly increases the sensitivity of controls and places the obstacle as well as detection and avoidance accountability on the user. The remote can be set to Cinema mode puts virtual wheels of training on your drone which regulate the speed of the drone in all directions.

Sport mode is perfect to show off and fly the drone over trees while family and family members watch, taking footage over huge landscapes or tracking speedy moving objects in the outdoors.

Cinema mode is perfect for assist inspections using an “inspection camera” or indoor flight operations and using your drone as though it were a camera mounted using a costly tripod and to improve the ability of operators to fly with precision.

The M3’s night flight is an absolute blast, and for professional entrepreneurs who run small businesses , this device will be a major improvement for your business. So, say goodbye to the night of not being able to record anything worthwhile using the Mavic 2 or Phantom 4 Pro and welcome crisp, clear footage that’s captured with the 4/3″ full-frame sensor of the M3. There is no way to be able to take over Hollywood anytime soon using the M3 by itself. As an example, I know that the GlideAerials team GlideAerials is extremely excited to replace the Mavic 2 Pro with the M3 because of the better camera, the increased flight time , and better flight efficiency, but they’re not going to be dumping their Inspire 2’s anytime soon.

Take a look at this M3 night-time flight from Harrah’s Casino Resort in Cherokee, NC:

For UAS professionals seeking the best drone to assist in asset inspection and management, the M3 is the cost-effective device for replacing your Mavic 2, Phantom 4 or other outdated drone that has helped start off. With the M3, you’ll be able to be mapping or modeling on a Monday and Thursday gathering data for GIS/Planning, and on Wednesday you will be out looking over bridges, structures, or equipment in dangerous areas.

Take a look at the M3 doing an asset inspection on an emergency communications tower for public safety.

The Mavic 3 is the smoothest commercially-flying off-the-shelf drone I’ve experienced to the present. DJI is back and delivering yet another top quality product at a reasonable price considering the performance and capabilities that it can provide.

Mapping and 3D Modeling

The photos you shoot using Mavic 3’s camera Mavic 3 can be turned into high-resolution 2D models and maps using photogrammetry programs you already use but you’ll need to manually capture the images at the moment. SkyeBrowse, DroneDeploy and/or Pix4D are all expected to integrate the Mavic 3 into their software in the next 3 to 6 months.

Mavic 3 Mavic 3 will produce a super high resolution model or map when it is 400 feet above the ground level(AGL) because of four-third” CMOS sensor that will record high-resolution details using the 20 million pixels that are effective. While it is confirmed that the Mavic 3 is available to fly using it’s “Big 3” mapping softwares, there’s nothing to talk about in the moment. Nine Ten Drones did manually record a sequence of images which we later processed into a map as well as a 3D model.

It is crucial to remember this: Mavic 3 Hasselblad camera Mavic 3 Hasselblad camera has an electronic (“rolling”) shutter that means once it is turned on, the CMOS sensor is switched “On” and the camera is turned “On”, it scans line by line in a sequential manner that results in a distortion of the shutter that is rolling. It is believed it is believed that DroneDeploy, Pix4D and SkyeBrowse all correct this distortion by making post-processing adjustments in their respective software. Based on my experience of mapping using both electronic and mechanical shutters, the effect is minimal except when you are modeling and mapping for high-precision surveying goals.

M3 Cine is worth the investment $$$?

If Apple ProRes is a requirement for your videography requirements, then you’ll need to choose Mavic 3 Cine. Mavic 3 Cine model. Alongside it being an Apple video format, the “Cine” features the built-in 1TB drive, which is required to handle the larger file size of 5.1k Apple ProRes video.

The final feature of”Cine “Cine” that will make it worth the price of $5k is the inclusion of RC Pro (V2 Smart Controller). Enterprise and professional drone users need an appropriate remote to meet the demands and requirements of their work rather than a car-like RC controller that needs a cell phone to succeed.

Be aware that Mavic 3 Cine Mavic 3 Cine is not an toy designed for leisure pleasure. It’s a tool for professionals which can earn six-figure incomes for a variety of individuals and companies around the world, and making a significant return on investment.

M3 Pricing Breakdown

Mavic 3 Standard Mavic 3 Standard $2,199.00

Mavic 3 Aircraft
Remote Controller N1
Intelligent Flight Battery
Battery Charger
Spare Propeller Pair
Cables for charging/device charging

Mavic 3 Fly Plus Combo $2,999.00

Mavic 3 Aircraft
Remote Controller N1
Intelligent Flight Battery x 3
ND Filters (4/8/16/32)
Charging Hub
Battery Charger
Spare Propeller Set x4
Cables for charging/Device Charging
Convertible Carrying Bag

Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo – $4,999.00

Mavic 3 Aircraft (1TB Internal SSD)
Remote Controller Pro (5.5″ Screen)
Intelligent Flight Battery x 3
ND Filter Set (4/8/16/32)
ND Filter Set (64,128,256,512)
Charging Hub
Battery Charger
Spare Propeller Set 4
Charger/Device Cables
10Gbps Lightspeed Data Cable
Convertible Carrying Bag

Mavic 3 Remote Controller Pro (5.5″ Screen) Mavic 3 Remote Controller Pro (5.5″ Screen) $1,199.00

Mavic 3 Intelligent Battery – $209.00

DJI Mavic 3 Review Summary

It is recommended to purchase Mavic 3 Mavic 3 if you are looking for the top “Proprise” (Professional or Enterprise) drone that is currently not equipped with features for thermal imagery. The Swiss Army knife drone can perform inspections of assets, locate people missing person(s) and suspect(s) or suspects, take photos of million-dollar property listings record an unforgettable wedding, track a difficult construction site, and many more.