DJI Air 3 review: Unveiling Its Creative Potential with Zoom Features

DJI Air 3 review: Unveiling Its Creative Potential with Zoom Features

DJI, a leader in gadget technology, continuously expands the capabilities of drones. Dual primary cameras, their most recent feature, are found on the mid-sized Air 3 camera drone. The telephoto camera of the Air 3 is upgraded to match the primary camera’s standards, in contrast to its predecessor, the Mavic 3, which had a telephoto camera with lower specifications. This innovation gives pilots two strong options for getting cinematic shots.

Compared to the Air 2 and Air 2S versions, the Air 3 offers substantial advancements. It dramatically increases its range by utilizing DJI’s cutting-edge O4 transmission mechanism. The Air 3 is also the first aircraft in the Air series to include the Waypoint feature, which enables pilots to map out accurate flight trajectories. Additionally, it offers longer battery life and quieter operation. Along with these improvements, it is feature-for-feature compatible with the Mavic 3 Pro, including obstacle detection, focus tracking, hyperlapse, and more.

The Air 3’s overall performance is remarkable, even though some customers might consider the 1/1.3-inch sensors to be a step down from the 1-inch sensor on the Air 2S. Compared to the Air 2S, Mavic 3 Pro, and Mini 3 Pro models, how does it measure up? I took the Air 3 for a test flight in the beautiful Loire valley with a buddy who is a drone pilot in order to find out.

Design and performance:

The Air 3, which drops the Mavic moniker and adopts the Mavic 3’s design, is more comparable to its high-end sister than the Air 2 and Air 2S. Similar to the Mavic 3, which it shares a dual-camera module with up front, the Air 3 folds up neatly into a small package that is ideal for convenient travel. The Air 3 has exceptional obstacle recognition abilities and is outfitted with omnidirectional sensors all around.

The bigger propellers, which effectively reduce flying noise to only 81 dB, are one noticeable feature taken from the Mini 3 Pro. The Air 3 blends into the background when flying at altitudes more than 100 feet thanks to its almost silent operation. The improved aerodynamics also improve forward flight range and greater wind handling, giving the flight experience a little more steadiness.

The new 4,241 mAh batteries are primarily responsible for the Air 3’s heavier weight of 720 grams as opposed to the Air 2S’s 595 grams. The Air 3’s flying time is significantly increased, going from 34 minutes on the Air 2S to an amazing 46 minutes thanks to these batteries, which add 267 grams to the overall weight of the Mini 3 Pro.

Real-world tests showed flight times of about 35 minutes, enabling enough flight time for three fully charged batteries to last an entire day. Through the revised battery hub, DJI has added a new charging feature that enables power transfer from two less powerful batteries to the most charged one with only a touch. This clever feature is useful for lengthy trips in isolated areas where charging might not be easily accessible. It’s important to remember that the larger-capacity batteries charge at somewhat modest rates.

The Air 3’s next-generation O4 video transmission system extends the range from 15 to 20 kilometers (9.3 to 12.4 miles), a significant improvement. This improvement solves the drone range restrictions placed on operators by European regulations, which considerably reduce transmission power when compared to US regulations. To address this issue, DJI launched a new 5.1GHz frequency in Europe. This frequency has shown to be quite successful in increasing the drone’s range and lowering transmission dropouts, especially in difficult terrain.

The Air 3 balances the steadiness of the Mavic 3 Pro and the agility of the Mini 3 Pro in terms of maneuverability and speed. Its agility makes it perfect for pursuing moving objects like autos and mountain bikers, and it maintains its stability even in strong breezes. The addition of APAS 5.0 obstacle avoidance guarantees great safety and reduces the possibility of crashes, particularly while traveling through regions with lots of trees.

Active Track, Master Shots, Quickshots, and Timelapse, four of DJI’s distinctive flying modes, are all included with the Air 3, and they all work flawlessly with both cameras. While Active Track on both cameras typically works well, it may occasionally lag while following moving objects quickly through dense foliage. With the tele camera, quickshots like Dronie and Rocket have additional allure by providing a singular viewpoint with increased intimacy and drama. In these flying modes, the obstacle detection capability is very useful because it ensures that the drone aborts the flight in the event of a potential collision.

For the first time, DJI has ported the Mavic 3’s Waypoint flight mode to the Air series, enabling pilots to plan and carry out exact flight paths and camera motions. This brings up fascinating artistic opportunities, such as smoothly fusing Timelapse videos shot during the day and night. The constant and amazing outcomes make Waypoint flying mode a valuable feature for creative content creators, even though mastering it could take some learning and setup time.

The new RC-2, DJI’s third screen controller, which offers a well-balanced compromise between the entry-level RC and the top-of-the-line RC Pro, comes with the Air 3. The RC-2, which costs less than the $1,200 RC Pro, has a brighter screen, a more durable construction, and more precise controls. It is available both alone and as part of the Air 3 Fly More kit. Additionally, DJI unveiled the RC-N2, an updated version of the RC-N1 with the new O4 transmission technology integrated as its main benefit.

The DJI Air 3 camera drone proves to be a remarkable marvel of ingenuity with its svelte form, dual primary cameras, prolonged flight time, and cutting-edge functionality. The Air 3 finds the ideal mix between the agility of the Mini 3 Pro and the Mavic 3 Pro, giving it a versatile and competent aerial partner. Aerial photographers and videographers may now take their work to new heights thanks to the Waypoint flight mode’s integration and improved obstacle recognition. With the DJI Air 3, drone fans seeking unmatched performance and creative freedom are no longer restricted by the sky.

Cameras:

The Air 3’s dual primary cameras, which both give the same excellent quality, are one of its main selling points. A 70mm f/2.8 telephoto lens and a 24mm (35mm equivalent) 1/1.3-inch primary camera are used in the configuration. The sensor size matches that of the Mini 3 Pro and the tele camera on the Mavic 3 Pro, and these focal lengths closely match those of the primary cameras on the Mavic 3 Pro.

For action or hero photos, the 70mm lens proves to be a treasure, adding excitement and a genuine viewpoint to the images. With its optimum portrait focal length, you can get beautiful people photographs at occasions like weddings. Additionally, it enables you to crop images with subjects closer together while keeping a safe spacing between them. With identical sensors, the main wide camera is adaptable and may be used for establishing shots, overhead views, follows, and more. Similar sensors provide the advantage of allowing for flawless footage matching during the editing process.

The dual native ISO capability on both cameras improves light sensitivity and allows for the capture of stunning 4K 60p in HDR or 4K at up to 100 fps with slo-mo playback. Also conceivable is filming 1080p at 200 frames per second with slow-motion playback. Taking dynamic pictures is made easier by the camera module’s tiltable range, which extends from 90 degrees downward to 60 degrees upward. Noteworthy is the fact that the Air 3 is the first model in the Air line to support 2.7K vertical 9:16 video.

The 10-bit 4:2:0 D-Log M and HLG HDR features on both cameras enable increased dynamic range and decreased banding. It’s important to note that the DJI Air 3 does not support the usual D-Log mode, which provides significantly more dynamic range. Additionally, because the Mavic 3 has a variable aperture, the optional ND filter kit (included in the Fly More combo), which enables smoother footage by altering shutter speeds, is a useful addition for flying on sunny days.

The Air 3’s image quality is comparable to, if not superior than, that of the Air 2S, which has a bigger sensor. The Air 3’s increased resolution aids in its amazing performance despite the tiny size difference. Especially in difficult contrasty shooting settings, the Air 3 outperforms the Mini 3 Pro because to enhancements in D-Log M that deliver better dynamic range. Additionally, it has somewhat superior low-light performance, which reduces noise, for example, while photographing cityscapes at night.

Given the excellent photographic capabilities of the Air 3, speculation regarding a future Air 3S with a bigger sensor has piqued. We eagerly anticipate the next installment in DJI’s quest to achieve even greater heights in aerial photography and cinematography as they continue to innovate and push the envelope. Unquestionably, the DJI Air 3 represents a significant advancement, with its improved camera quality exciting both amateurs and experts.

Wrap-up:

Thanks to the impressive dual cameras on the Air 3, DJI has succeeded once more. It opens up intriguing new opportunities for cinematic images by giving the telescopic camera the same weight as the primary camera. Professionals in the event and wedding industries who don’t mind spending a bit more than they would for the Mini 3 Pro are sure to love this feature. They receive improved stability and security along with more creative alternatives and a drone.

While some pros may not be satisfied with the Air 3’s image quality, especially when compared to the more expensive $2,200 Mavic 3 Pro, its advantages more than make up for it. The Air 3 is available for $1,100, which is a significantly lower price while maintaining superb mobility. The same outstanding features are available, such as Waypoints and excellent obstacle protection. In terms of image quality, it surpasses the Mini 3 Pro thanks to its D-Log M option.

The DJI Air 3 costs $1,100 with the non-screen RC-N2 controller, which is a $330 premium over the DJI Mini 3 Pro. A similar package for the Mini 3 Pro costs $1,253, while the RC 2 Fly More kit raises the price to $1,550. The Air 3 is up against the Mini 3 Pro and Autel’s 6K EVO Lite+ in this pricing bracket. However, the Air 3 proves to be a fantastic option for drone aficionados seeking the benefits of two primary cameras without the Mavic 3 Pro’s higher pricing.

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