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.
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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.