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Why a course about drone photography?
After I created my first online course (“Filming with Drones“), which generated plenty of professional drone filmmakers, I received more and more requests from interested fellows asking me to create a course about drone photography next.
So I sat down – and started researching.
It seems to be a mystery how to take engaging drone photographs to plenty. General knowledge about photography and specific knowledge on how to make use of the aerial perspective seem to be missing. Not always, but often.
Many put a lot of money into purchasing one new and “better” drone model after another.
Yet, that doesn’t really seem to make a change.
And I get it: it’s frustrating when ones aerial shots don’t evoke much emotion from viewers and when likes fail to turn up. Especially when you’ve put a lot of money and time into your hobby.
Being in the professional drone industry myself for years and having grown up with cameras (both videography and photography), I thought I’d finally pack my knowledge into a compact online course!
Alright. Another day, another drone. But this time, we’re talking big news. In the following article, I will go through the major pros and cons of the new DJI Mini 3 Pro drone. The tiny drone that feels much larger inside. I will unveil who should (and who shouldn’t) buy this new piece of electronics.
The new miniature drone weighs less than 250 grams. That’s not only nice because it means that you can relax your muscles and won’t have to carry a lot, but it’s especially relevant, as having drones weighing less than 250 grams means getting around certain regulatory limitations (f.e. a drone license in Europe).
Well, the Mini 3 Pro drone by DJI isn’t the first drone to weigh less than 250 grams. There are plenty of cheap 30$ drones that are also lightweight (spoiler alert: they crash into the walls faster than you can replace them).
But how about the unofficial predecessor model, the DJI Mini 2 drone? It has the same weight and almost similar dimensions.
Okay, let’s start with the big news, the major upgrades that make the DJI Mini 3 Pro drone the first miniature drone to deserve the term “Pro.”
It is major news that a miniature drone features a functional obstacle avoidance system. The system (camera-based) makes sure the drone doesn’t bump into walls, trees, et cetera. It scans the surroundings and does a neat job. It “looks” to the front, the bottom, and backward.
Especially for those relying on the tracking mode of the drone (people running in the woods, surfing, riding their bicycle), the obstacle avoidance system comes in handy: it makes sure the drone stays safe.
Because, yes, plenty of drones can track an object in motion, but none (of the small drones) can detect and avoid obstacles. Even when flying backward.
Let’s talk about flight specs.
Or rather not.
Drone specs are always over-exaggerated. When a manufacturer tells you the drone can fly for 6 miles, it can probably flies half of the distance under realistic (and not ideal) conditions. When it comes to the flight time, you can usually cut the official time by a third.
The drone stays airborne for roundabout 25 minutes. That’s definitely a reasonable flight time, but not a new record. No drone I have flown actually beats the half-hour mark (though many models advertise superb flight times). Getting yourself a pack of spare batteries is never wrong. By the way, when ordering the fly more kit, you get not only two extra batteries but also the multiple charger. It allows you to charge your battery on the go using a standard power bank.
The flight time – I know. It’s a hot topic. Though I never understood why. Flying out of sight is not only illegal in most places but also not helpful for creating amazing aerials. Therefore, I didn’t go for an extreme range test. Instead, I tested the drone under normal circumstances. And yes, the signal is super strong. I received glitches only rarely, and the screen never fully blacked out.
I am thrilled with the signal strength of the new drone.
Fun fact: the sometimes annoying remote controller antenna has magically disappeared. Take a look.
Unfortunately, I can’t provide you with a photo of the front of the controller (though you can check it out in-depth in my video review on YouTube; See the link at the bottom of the article). But let me tell you that the screen rocks: not having to attach a smartphone is so very comfortable. No more forgetting about or bringing cables, no more dying smartphone batteries, no more mindless social media distractions.
The display is bright, though not as bright as the display that you find in some of the more expensive controllers for the high-end drones. But even in bright sunlight, I never had any trouble seeing the screen and setting things up properly.
Okay, I know why you’re here. You want to learn more about the miniature drone’s camera. Let me enlighten you quickly.
In three simple words: the camera rocks.
I know that some will now be crying out loud, “Oh, he’s a fanboy. He’s only promoting the drone because they pay him.” Well, to be honest, I wish they were. Unfortunately, they’re not.
And the bitrate is also impressive: up to 150 mbit/s save tons of details that would otherwise be lost. It is also big news that the DJI Mini 3 Pro drone is the first-in-class drone to feature a professional color profile (D-Cinelike). Feel free to use your magic fingers to color correct and not write senseless, mean (but actually irrelevant) comments on social media (I’m so sorry if you’re not one of these trolls that I feel like talking to at the moment, I’ll try to change tone now).
Also, when it comes to taking photos, the drone is miles ahead of its competition. Let me mention one fact only: 48MP photos. RAW 48MP photos. Let’s take a look at a few of the images I recorded with the small 24mm camera.
The tiny miniature camera does indeed take great photos. I didn’t expect the images to be that reach in detail when I first opened the box.
Obviously, everything also has a downside. In this case, I can list three cons that I ran into while testing the new drone.
1) The remote controller doesn’t feature an HDMI output. To some users, this might be an issue.
2) To check the battery level of the batteries, you need to either insert them into the drone or into the multiple charger – the batteries themselves don’t have any buttons or LEDs to display the voltage level.
3) The drone’s low weight also has its downside: the drone’s body feels less sturdy than the larger models – but obviously, this is how the manufacturer (DJI) made the drone stay below 250 grams.
Alright, I will. How about watching my review on YouTube? It’s worth it for sure.
If you want to learn how to take outstanding aerials (videos and photos) with your drone, enroll in one of my online courses. I’ll teach you everything that you need to know. That way, you can combine both: great tech (your drone) with creative skills. Click here to take a look at the courses.
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