Tech

Here’s your first look at the DJI Mavic 3

2020 was supposed to be a big year for DJI, with several new drones slated to launch. What actually happened was we got a second-gen Mavic Air but not the expected the third-gen Mavic Pro.

Then, the company launched an update of the Mavic Air 2, called the Air 2S, in the spring of 2021 but remained tight-lipped about its more professional range of ‘prosumer’ drones.

Fast-forward more than 18 months to August 2021 and a Brazilian YouTube channel, Dronemodelismo, claimed to have leaked specs and images of the upcoming drone, which you can see further down this article.

Then at the end of September, clear photos of the Mavic 3 leaked showing that previous rumours and sketches (plus the heavily filtered images seen in the Dronemodelismo video) were spot on.

So, courtesy of someone in China breaking their NDA and posting photos on Chinese social media, here’s your first good look at the Mavic 3 (via @OsitaLV and @JasperEllens on Twitter):

What’s clear from the image above is that images shown in the Dronemodelismo video were correct: the large camera  module has two lenses and the Hasselblad logo. The specs still aren’t confirmed beyond doubt, though.

Leaked image of DJI Mavic 3

Here are the highlights of the ‘leaked’ specs:

  • Upgraded obstacle avoidance with wide-angle sensors moved to the corners of the drone
  • New camera module with two lenses, one with a 7x Zoom – another collaboration with Hasselblad
  • The other lens is a 24mm with f2.8 aperture (with 16mm adapter ring)
  • Shoots 5.7K video, possibly in Apple ProRes
  • 40-minute flight time thanks to larger-capacity battery
  • Same radio as Air 2S
  • Battery will be inserted from back, like Mini 2S
  • 1TB or 2TB of storage
  • Originally intended to launch October 2021

Other rumours from Twitter say that there could be two different models in the works – perhaps one Pro and one Zoom (as in the Mavic 2 range) – and that the camera system may not use two separate sensors, instead having an internal mirror that allows a single sensor to be used for two different lenses. It might support 8K recording.

Some think that the new avoidance system will allow autonomous flight, and many thought that DJI would drop the Mavic branding, just as it has for the Mini and Air. However, as you can see from the first photo above, it will be called the Mavic 3. The 3 is slightly obscured by the factory sticker, but you can make it out.

The appearance of the photos suggest an official announcement isn’t far away, but DroneDJ now reckons the launch might delayed until January 2022 (at the earliest) because it’s just not ready yet, and their source says there will not be a zoom model. 

If you can’t wait and need to buy something right now, check out our recommendations of the best drones.

When is the DJI Mavic 3 release date?

  • Expected – any time from October 2021 until early 2022.

Given the three-year gap between the Mavic 2 drones, it’s certainly high time that DJI released a successor (or two).

As above, DroneDJ’s source claims various factors are causing delays, including a ‘major chip shortage for a new smart controller’ and development problems ‘on the Hasselblad side’.

Originally, rumours had pegged the Mavic 3 for a January 2020 announcement but, according to DroneDJ, a couple of significant rivals – the Autel EVO II 8K ($1495) and the Skydio 2 ($999) – had taken DJI by surprise and the company might have delayed releasing the Mavic 3 in order to make it more competitive.

What is the Mavic 3 price?

That’s a question which simply cannot be answered yet. If the rumoured specs are correct, and using the Mavic 2 Pro as a guide, then we can estimate a range of between $999 and $1500. Which is likely to be the same in the UK, so £999 to £1500.

The Mavic 2 Pro costs £1349, so you can safely assume its replacement won’t be any cheaper, especially if it has significant upgrades.

As and when any new rumours (or new leaks) surface, we’ll update this article.


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