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DJI’s new Mavic 3 has longer flight time, obstacle sensing

November 8, 2021  - By

DJI Mavic 3 has better sensor, dual-camera system, omnidirectional obstacle sensing, smarter flight modes and longer flight times

Mavic 3 drone. (Image: DJI)

Mavic 3 drone. (Image: DJI)

The new DJI Mavic 3 is an update of the company’s folding camera drone, providing comprehensive improvement and boosting performance for aerial photography.

The Mavic 3 has improved navigation and obstacle sensing systems. A powerful positioning algorithm improves hovering precision with signals from GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou satellites. This enables Mavic 3 to lock onto multiple satellite signals faster. The increased positioning precision also makes the drone less likely to drift in the air and more stable when shooting long exposures and time lapses.

For its obstacle sensing system, Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) 5.0 combines inputs from six fish-eye vision sensors and two wide-angle sensors, which seamlessly and continuously sense obstacles in all directions and plan safe flight routes to avoid them, even in complicated environments.

The obstacle-sensing system also enables more intuitive subject tracking with the upgraded ActiveTrack 5.0. Previous iterations of ActiveTrack enabled the camera to follow a subject as it moved directly toward and away from the drone while remaining largely stationary as well as fly alongside a moving subject. ActiveTrack 5.0 allows Mavic 3 to move with the subject as it moves forward, backward, left, right and diagonally, and fly alongside as well as around a moving subject.

If the subject moves too fast and temporarily goes out of frame, visual sensors on the aircraft will continue to track and frame the subject intelligently and pick it back up when it reappears. These new directions enable much more fluid and diverse drone and camera movement while using ActiveTrack.

Other safety features include geofencing, which alerts drone pilots when they fly near sensitive locations; altitude limits to ensure pilots are aware of altitude restrictions; and the AeroScope Remote ID system that allows authorities to identify and monitor airborne drones in sensitive locations.

Mavic 3’s integrated AirSense system, first widely introduced in DJI Air 2S, warns drone pilots of nearby airplanes and helicopters transmitting ADS-B signals, so they can quickly fly to a safer location.

Hasselblad camera

Mavic 3 has a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera and 28x hybrid zoom camera. Omnidirectional obstacle sensors have a 200-meter range, and redesigned batteries provide up to 46 minutes of flight time.

Upgraded hardware and software can process 5.1K video at 50 frames per second and support 4K/120 fps for high-quality results for slow-motion footage. An enhanced Mavic 3 Cine edition offers Apple ProRes 422 HQ encoding for richer video processing, with an internal 1TB SSD onboard for high-speed data storage.

DJI Mavic 3’s customized L2D-20c aerial camera embeds a professional-grade 4/3 CMOS sensor with a 24 mm prime lens in a sleek and compact form. Rigorous Hasselblad standards for hardware performance and software algorithms allow it to shoot 20-MP still images in 12-bit RAW format and videos in 5.1 K at 50 fps and 4 K at 120 fps. The higher video definition creates smoother footage and more generous cropping possibilities and allows for slow-motion video at 120 fps.

The larger image sensor gives Mavic 3 higher video resolution and dynamic range and more effectively suppresses noise in low-light environments. A native dynamic range of 12.8 stops helps retain more details in highlights and shadows, preserving rich visual information with a greater sense of depth and elevating imagery to a professional level. An adjustable aperture of f/2.8-f/11 is available to meet the needs of aerial photographers in a wide variety of lighting scenarios to get sharper and clearer images.

About the Author:


Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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