The DJI Air 3 has been tipped by reliable leakers to be the next addition to the drone giant's impressive lineup – and some new pricing rumors have given us an idea of what to expect. In short, it'll likely be another powerful mid-range drone, if one that doesn't redefine the series.
The reliable Quadro_News has just shared some "approximate prices" for the DJI Air 3's accessory bundles, which DJI calls 'Fly More Combos'. This pricing also suggests that the drone will launch with two new controller options – an RC-N2 (an update to DJI's existing entry-level pad) and a pricier RC2 with a built-in screen.
According to the leak, the DJI Air 3's Fly More Combo with that new RC-N2 controller will cost about €1,127.50 (which converts to around $1,234 / £969 / AU$1,845), while the Fly More Combo with the RC2 controller will set you back €1,294.65 ($1,417 / £1,113 / AU$2,119).
Those international conversions aren't precise reflections of final pricing, so the easiest way to understand these rumors is in relation to the DJI Air 2S (which the Air 3 will likely replace) and other DJI drones. And the news here is good – the DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo (with RC-N1 controller) actually launched for US$1,299 / £1,169 / €1,299 / AUS$2,099, so slightly more than than the Air 3's equivalent bundle.
👉Time for bed, but before going to bed I'll warm up your interest about the DJI Air 3. Here are the approximate prices of the Fly More Combo. #dji #DJIAir3 pic.twitter.com/nLCkoxBwh8June 26, 2023
If that turns out to be the case – and this rumored pricing is only approximate – then we can expect the DJI Air 3's basic bundles to have similar pricing to the DJI Air 2S, too. When the latter launched in April 2021, its base price was US$999 / £899 / €999 / AUS$1,699. That offered such good value at the time that we gave the DJI Air 2S a rare five-star rating and put it at the top of our guide to the world's best drones.
But the drone world is also different now that we have the smaller DJI Mini 3 Pro. And this has led to some drone fans dreaming of a compact, mid-range drone like the DJI Air 2S, only fronted with a large Four-Thirds camera like the one on the DJI Mavic 3. Unfortunately for them, this leaked pricing suggests that's unlikely, as a pro-level camera like that would take the Air 3's price skywards, rather than down.
Still, this doesn't mean the DJI Air 3 isn't an exciting prospect for amateur aerial photographers. Previous leaks have hinted that the drone could add a zoom lens, either offering 3x or 7x magnification. If that's the case, the new drone could still be a compelling, and more versatile, alternative to the similarly priced DJI Mini 3 Pro. With a launch expected in the next few weeks, we shouldn't have to wait long to find out.
Analysis: A new DJI sweet spot?
The DJI Air 3 may not completely reinvent mid-range drones, but it also clearly won't be just a modest update. For a start, the leaks suggest it'll launch alongside two new controllers, which could make current DJI drone owners a little jealous – although quite what the DJI RC-N2 and RC2 will offer in the way of new features isn't yet clear.
The bad news from that leaked pricing is that DJI appears to be going for dual cameras with small sensors, rather than a 'mini DJI Mavic 3' approach with one great camera. That will likely disappoint those looking for outright image quality, but amateurs who are looking for a more versatile alternative to the DJI Mavic 3 Pro should certainly wait to see what the Air 3 brings.
Other improvements could include Ocusync 3.0 Plus transmission and extra high frame-rate video options. If that's all combined with a bonus telephoto lens, then the Air 3 would almost certainly become one of the best DJI drones around. If not one that's in the same image quality class as the DJI Mavic 3 or DJI Mavic 3 Classic.
All we need now is some news about the long-overdue DJI Pocket 3 camera. How about a double launch, DJI?
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Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.