Review: you can also fly with DJI Mini 3 without a license | NOW

Due to new rules, not everyone is allowed to fly a drone, but the DJI Mini 3 can be operated by unlicensed users. We have tested the new minifly.

This is an abridged version of a comprehensive review of the DJI Mini 3 on Tweakers.

The rules for flying a drone were completely revised in early 2021. Until then, each EU country had its own rules, which differed greatly from each other. Today, the same basic rules apply throughout the EU.

Simply put, drones for amateur pilots are mainly classified by weight. For drones heavier than 250 grams, a theory exam is mandatory. This exam can be taken online and costs – depending on the type of drone and the classification A1, A2 or A3 – about 50 to 200 euros. Such a drone certificate is valid for five years. Then you have to take another theory exam.

All types of dispensations apply to drones under 250 grams, which is why DJI has made its Mini-drones for exactly 249 grams. Due to the low weight, the risk of these small drones is limited: the risk of serious injury is small. You only need to register your light drone with RDW.

But it is not the case that you can do everything with a drone of less than 250 grams. For example, it is forbidden to fly the drone near airports, nor is it allowed in most Natura 2000 sites. It does not help that almost all nature reserves plus the Wadden Sea and Markermeer are classified as Natura 2000 sites.

Mini 3 Pro has a slightly different design and is more expensive than its predecessor.

Mini 3 Pro has a slightly different design and is more expensive than its predecessor.

Mini 3 Pro has a slightly different design and is more expensive than its predecessor.

Photo: DJI

DJI Mini 3 Pro almost the same size as its predecessor

The Mini 2 and Mini 3 Pro are almost the same size when folded in and out. The design has been slightly changed. When the Mini 3 Pro floats in the air, it will not fly straight. The drone flies diagonally downwards, with the buttocks downwards. This is because the rear propellers are located lower than the front ones.

If the Mini 3 Pro flies straight, it hangs approximately horizontally in the air. The characteristic landing feet in front have disappeared: From now on, he lands on his stomach.

A larger camera module

In addition, the camera module has become slightly larger. The camera sensor, on the other hand, is much larger and therefore comparable to that in Samsung’s S22 Ultra smartphone.

A larger sensor typically means greater dynamic range, sharpness and better performance in low light. Some short tests seemed to show a slight improvement, although we could not test it in low light. It is illegal to fly a drone after sunset.

Pro features without extra weight

Anyone who bought a Mini 2 to get out of the complicated rules had to miss out on some extra features that were in the more expensive DJI drones from the start. These include front and rear sensors to detect and avoid objects, as well as ActiveTrack to track objects.

Nevertheless, the manufacturer has now managed to incorporate these features without making it all heavier. It’s very nice because it gives a lot more freedom while flying. It’s nice for beginners because it prevents your brand new drone from crashing unexpectedly. But this is also a big plus for advanced users.

New version is much more expensive

The Mini 3 Pro is much more expensive than its predecessor. Where the Mini 2 is currently on sale for around 450 euros, the new version has a suggested retail price of 829 euros. DJI is artificially trying to push the price down a bit by selling the Mini 3 Pro without a controller for 749 euros.

With the new RC controller, the suggested retail price for the set is 999 euros. It has a built-in screen and OS, so a smartphone is no longer needed. If you also want the Combo set – this is a separate box with charger and two extra batteries and propeller – you have to buy it separately for 189 euros.

Particularly attractive because of the rules

With the Combo set, the price quickly exceeds 1,000 euros, which is almost twice as much as the price of a Mini 2 with Combo set. For many people, the Mini 2 will suffice. But those who want more, such as a better camera, ActiveTrack and Obstacle Avoidance, now have an interesting alternative.

It’s great that DJI has managed to cram these features in at 249 grams, but it’s primarily the rules that make the Mini 3 Pro attractive.

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