DJI may be about to upend the world of aerial photography yet again — by introducing a drone with drastically improved battery life and two cameras instead of one. DroneDJ and leaker Jasper Ellens are both independently reporting that the Mavic 3 Pro is real, coming this November, and it sounds like it’ll have some significant improvements over the three-year-old Mavic 2 Pro and even the Mavic Air 2S introduced earlier this year.
While DJI’s standard-sized drones have typically topped out at just half an hour in the air before requiring a battery swap or recharge, DroneDJ’s source says we’re now looking at up to 46 minutes of flight time. And that’s despite the additional hardware on board: an entire second camera (with its own sensor and lens) so you can have telephoto and wide angle capabilities in the same drone.
In 2018, you had to pick between the Mavic 2 Pro with its 1-inch sensor and adjustable aperture or the Mavic 2 Zoom with a 24mm-48mm telephoto lens, but the Mavic 3 Pro will apparently be the best of both worlds. First, it’s got an even larger Four Thirds sensor behind its 24mm f/2.8-f/11 camera, and second, the telephoto lens in front of its new 1/2” secondary sensor stretches out to 160mm for a 15-degree field of view. (The telephoto lens doesn’t zoom in and out by itself itself, but we’re effectively talking about a 6x zoom if you switch between the two cameras.)
The sensors are 20-megapixel and 12-megapixel respectively, if you’re talking stills, and appear to offer 5.2K video.
It also seems the drone can charge directly from a USB-C cable, like DJI’s Mini drones, instead of having to pop out the battery first. Weight wise, we’re apparently only looking at a slight increase from 907g (Mavic 2 Pro) to 920g for the new Mavic 3 models.
Yes, models, because like 2018’s Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom, it appears there’ll be two of them again — a Mavic 3 which currently also appears to go by the name Mavic 3 Pro, and a “Cine” model which will reportedly feature a built-in SSD and comes with both a “1Gbps Lightspeed Data Cable” (presumably to get that footage off the internal drive) and a new version of DJI’s Smart Controller (the one with the integrated screen) with upgraded OcuSync video transmission for 15km (over 9 miles) of maximum range — up from 10km on the Mavic 2 Pro and 12km on the Air 2S.
Both sources say the Mavic 3 Pro should start at $1,600, the same price the Mavic 2 Pro costs today, but could easily cost another $1,000 for the Cine package. Today, the existing DJI Smart Controller costs $750 all by itself.
Ellens says these drones are coming on November 15th.