It’s been roughly five years since SZ DJI Technology Co., better known in the States as DJI, unveiled the Mavic series of consumer drones as a more-portable way to fly.
Friday, early morning Shenzhen time, DJI unveiled the latest version of the portable series, the Mavic 3, in the same folding design, now with a dual-camera system, faster motors, a 50% boost in flight time, and greater sensing capabilities.
An alternative version, the Mavic 3 Cine edition, offers Apple ProRes 422 HQ encoding for richer video processing, and a 1-terabyte solid-state hard drive.
The device is for sale starting immediately on the DJI Web site.
DJI has slimmed down the Mavic ever so slightly in this new version. The takeoff weight for the standard version is 895 grams, or 1.97 lbs, and 899 grams in the Cine version. That compares to 907 grams, or 2 lbs, in the predecessor, the Mavic 2 Pro.
Interestingly, DJI has produced a slimmer profile for the device when folded, even though its dimensions are larger when unfolded. The wheelbase has been expanded from 353 millimeters to 380 millimeters.The folded-up Mavic 3 is still about the size of a 1.8-oz water bottle.
Several functions have been enhanced. The maximum ascent speed has been boosted to 8 meters per second in “S” mode, double the Mavic 2. Flight speed tops out now at 21 meters per second, one more than the Mavic 2.
Flight time is now 46 minutes, 50% more than the 31 minutes in the Mavic 2. Hover time is now 40 minutes, again, 50% up.
The main camera, a micro-4/3 CMOS sensor, is 20 pixels like the Mavic 2’s, but now has an expanded field of view of 84 degrees, up from 77 degrees. Video resolution now goes beyond the 4K in the Mavic 2, to 5.1 K (resolution 5120 × 2700 at 24, 25, 30, 48, 50 frames per second), and DCI 4K (resolution 4096 × 2160 at 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 frames per second, with a future firmware upgrade to 120 frames per second.)
The second camera, tele-photo, uses a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor, with a 15-degree field of view, and a 162-millimeter focal length, and an aperture down to f/4.4. The tele camera is more limited in resolution. For still images, it produces 12-megapixel images in JPEG format, and video in H.264/H.265 resolution.
There have been a host of enhancements to the forward vision sensors, the gimbal, and other devices. The SD memory storage capacity now scales beyond the 128-gigabyte limit of the Mavic 2, to accommodate up to 2 terabytes, using either SDXC format or UHS-I microSD.
The Mavic 3 in the standard version starts at $2,199 up from the entry price of the Mavic 2 at $1,599. A Fly More Combo with three batteries, a battery charging hub, filters, and a nifty carrying bag, comes to $2,999.
A “Cine Premium Combo” pack includes the Mavic 3 Cine, more filters, and a DJI 10-gigabit per second data cable, for $4,999.