The DJI Mini 3 Pro rumors are growing ahead of the drone's expected launch this month, and the latest one has delivered some potentially troubling news for those who have been hoping for a cheap, entry-level drone.
Some apparently leaked pricing, shared by regular DJI commentator Jasper Ellens (opens in new tab) on Twitter, has revealed what could be a Chinese pricing list for the Mini 3 Pro and standard Mini 3 drones.
We've done some ballpark estimations based on those numbers (below), and they're certainly starting to stretch the definition of 'entry-level'. The Mini 3 Pro, in particular, could be over twice the price of the DJI Mini 2 SE ($299 / £269 / AU$459), which is currently DJI's cheapest drone.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||USA||UK||Australia|
|DJI Mini 3 Pro||$699||£649||AU$1,299|
|DJI Mini 3 Pro (Fly More Combo)||$949||£869||AU$1,599|
|DJI Mini 3 Pro (with RC controller)||$1,249||£1,149||AU$1,999|
|DJI Mini 3||$549||£499||AU$899|
|DJI Mini 3 (Fly More Combo)||$799||£769||AU$1,499|
|DJI Mini 3 (with RC controller)||$1,099||£999||AU$1,799|
The 'Fly More Combos' above usually include two extra drone batteries, two extra pairs of propellors, a handy two-way charging hub and a shoulder bag, among other accessories. And the new RC Controller is expected to be a more basic version of the RC Pro controller that we saw arrive with the DJI Mavic 3, with the main benefit being that you don't need to use your phone as a screen while flying.
Naturally, you'd expect a drone with 'Pro' in its name to be relatively pricey and this leaked pricing strengthens our suspicions that the Mini 3 Pro will likely be a compact successor to the older, and larger, Mavic Air 2. This means it could be a mid-range offering for those who want high image quality in a small, backpack-friendly bundle.
But even the standard DJI Mini 3, which we so far haven't seen any major leaks for, would be pricier than today's DJI Mini 2, if these prices are correct. You can currently pick up the Mini 2 for $449 / £419 / AU$749, so around 20% less than these leaked Mini 3 prices.
These prices are far from concrete and the conversions could vary, but it seems possible that the budget drones in DJI's lineup will remain the DJI Mini SE and Mini 2, despite the arrival of the Mini 3 series. Hopefully, they'll both be given price drops following the Mini 3's launch, which has been tipped to take place later this month.
Analysis: A premium compact camera for the skies
Based on these leaks, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is going to be the drone equivalent of a premium compact camera like the Fujifilm X100V or Ricoh GR III. It'll be small and portable but designed for experienced shooters who need pro power in a travel-friendly bundle.
The pricing rumors about a standard Mini 3, though, are promising, given we haven't heard much about that drone yet. All of the leaks so far, including the retail packaging and a leaked video, have been for the DJI Mini 3 Pro, so those with more limited budgets will pleased to hear that a more basic, and affordable, version could be en route.
Exactly how the Mini 3 might differ from the Mini 3 Pro isn't yet clear. The Mini 3 Pro is expected to improve on the Mini 2 with a larger 1/1.3in CMOS sensor, bigger battery, and, crucially, the inclusion of obstacle-avoidance sensors, all while keeping the drone's weight below the 250g mark.
For beginners, those obstacle-avoidance sensors would arguably be the biggest upgrade, because they'd allow you to fly in autonomous modes without the worry of crashing into branches or trees. It'd make sense for the cheaper DJI Mini 3 to hang onto those sensors, but how else it plans to cut corners to achieve those lower price tags remains to be seen.