DJI introduced its latest personal camera drone with the Air 3. With its release date nearing, the Air 3 is slated to provide aerial photography enthusiasts a new drone that brings more powerful cameras to a midclass tier drone.
Showcasing dual primary cameras, this latest addition to DJI’s superb lineup of Air Series drones boasts one wide angle camera and one 3x medium tele camera. This enables the drone pilot to have a better feel for each shot while enhancing the medium focal length which is more suited for aerial photography. The Air 3 DJI drone offers flagship specs more in line with pro drones giving incredible 48MP photos and HDR 4K video at 60fps from both cameras. Furthermore, the Air 3 gives you 46 min of flight time (which is 15 minutes greater than the previous model DJI Air 2s), omnidirectional obstacle sensing, and the DJI O4 HD video transmission system of 20km, 1080p/60fps. These are superb specifications for outstanding flight performance, smooth response time, and high quality results.
Drone pilots will be ecstatic with the performance of the Air 3. From its friendly user interface, extended flight times, flagship feature set, and of course 2 top notch HD cameras, The Air 3 will exceed the expectations of what to look for in a drone with many extra modes and features that will make your flight times more efficient.
This fact alone makes this a terrific drone for ariel photography and is also the first Air Series drone to feature dual primary cameras. Sure, there are many gimmicks out there, especially when it comes to marketing products. But there is no gimmick here.
The DJI Air 3 features a 1/1.3-inch CMOS wide-angle camera and a 1/1.3-inch CMOS 3x medium tele camera. The two cameras have the same sensor size but different focal lengths, which diversifies the camera language and offers more consistent results in the image quality. The wide-angle camera offering 2.4um pixel size, 24mm format equivalent and a F1.7 aperture is for capturing landscapes. The wide field of view of the wide-angle camera works best to include the whole landscape within your composition.
When you need to highlight a subject, the 3x Medium Telephoto Camera offers 2.4um pixel size, 70mm format equivalent and a F2.8 aperture along with 3x optical zoom will support every up close or portrait shot. Using the 3x medium tele camera, will capture the subject as a bold focal point, highlighting the subject but with the foreground and background within view.
Both cameras offer 48MP photos which produces true-to-life color and details, but also to enable post-cropping for alternative compositions. When combined, it helps create a strong sense of spatial compression allowing for more flexibility and options when shooting aerial scenes with a diverse subject set (i.e. people, buildings, scenery).
The DJI Air 3 has two 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensors that support dual native ISO for direct output of 4K/60fps HDR video at high frame rates and up to 4K/100fps. Both cameras support 10-bit D-Log M and 10-bit HLG color modes. 10-bit D-Log M mode can retain more highlight and shadow details for more flexible post-production.
Even though some rumors are saying otherwise, the DJI Air 3 is in fact the first drone of the Air Series supporting 2.7K vertical video shooting (enabled by both 4:3 aspect ratio CMOS sensors). This is a big deal for content creators and social media influencers for the ability to easily produce content that is meant to be viewed on a smartphone. The DJI mini 3 pro and mini 2 shoots vertically and Mavic Air 2 also has a vertical shooting mode of sorts, but vertical shooting with the Air 3 can produce even better vertical recording because of its more powerful cameras.
With a longer battery life, the Air 3 lets you stay flying longer, meaning you have more time to achieve the perfect capture or recording. More time also alleviates some pressure to get the job done before your drones battery dies.
Giving 15 minutes more battery than the Air 2s and up to 48% more flight time than other Air Series models, the Air 3 gets up to 46 minutes of flight. Additionally, the intelligent flight battery charging hub features a power accumulation function which lets you transfer the remaining power from multiple batteries to the battery with the highest remaining power. This is an incredible benefit when in situations with charging restrictions (i.e. outdoors, away from power sources, or no charger) and need to conserve and manage your drones power consumption.
The omnidirectional binocular vision system DJI included in the Air 3 is phenomenal and another first for the Air Series. This keeps your drone safe from potential obstacles, crashes, and other disasters. Beginners can feel confident in practicing their skills because the environmental awareness system is detecting obstacles in all directions. In the front and at the back the drone is equipped with a pair of fisheye lenses to achieve forward, backward, left, right and upward sensing, while the bottom is equipped with binocular lenses and a 3D TOF, achieving powerful omnidirectional obstacle avoidance. APAS 5.0 actively avoids and smoothly bypass obstacles when detected. This is not only for safety of the drone, but also creates a smoother more polished and professional recording. When you need to recall your drone for any reason, the ActiveTrack function advanced “Return To Home” allows your drone to fully automatic pilot itself “hands free” and “worry free” Return-(itself)-To-Home.
Featuring DJI’s next generation O4 video transmission system for uncompromised performance. This not only increases the transmission range to up to 20 km, but also improves transmission stability to avoid stuttered live view for safer flight. It also supports up to 1080p/60fps live feeds, and its higher frame rate provides a smooth, seamless, and responsive actions.
The Air 3 features amazing shooting modes supported by its incrediblly powerful hardware and specs. Here are some highlights.
FocusTrack Feature for Both Cameras - Via sub-modes like Spotlight 2.0, ActiveTrack 5.0, and Point of Interest 3.0, the FocusTrack feature centers your subject within the frame. This is helpful in difficult routes and the perfect assistant for beginner pilots. Coupled with the flexibility of using a telephoto 3x camera, you have more options to capture your subjects under the perfect conditions.
QuickShots - Creates aerial movements such as Rocket, Dronie, Circle, Helix, Boomerang, and Asteroid to capture stunningly unique and immersive recordings.
2.7K Vertical Shooting - Dual Camera 2.7K vertical shooting that can be immediately shared on social media.
MasterShots - Includes automated camera movements, shoots multiple clips, edits clips, and can add music for when you want to get your content to your viewers quickly.
Night Mode - Noise reduction algos let the cameras capture 4K/30FPS in low light.
Hyperlapse - Includes four sub-modes; Free, Circle, Course Lock, and Waypoint to shoot up to 4K horizontal or 2.7K vertical timelapse footage.
Slow Motion - From 4K/100FPS or 1080p/100FPS to directly record a 4x slow motion video.
SmartPhoto 3.0 - This is the default setting for the Air 3’s single shot mode. This automatically selects among HDR, hyperlight, and scene recognition according to the scenario for better imaging results. In HDR DNG format, the camera can record a larger dynamic range with built-in contrast enhancement. The image file can achieve JPG-level quality in post-editing software, minimizing post-production time and efforts.
QuickTransfer - Wirelessly transfer files from the Air 3 right to your Apple or Android smartphone via DJI fly app.
LightCut - LightCut is a smartphone app for intelligent recognition of highlight moments and one-tap editing. “One Tap Edit” identifies the composition and flight path, selects clips with delicate composition and stable camera movements, automatically matches the best template and sound effects, and then generates a cinematic video effortlessly. “Tilt Shift Effects” gives you awesome visual effects with just one tap. This works really great when shooting with the 3x medium tele camera for closer up views.
Waypoint Flight - Another feature that is available on the Air Series for the first time. Waypoint plans flight routes and shooting actions for the DJI Air 3 in advance and then executes its actions to achieve the designated waypoint. You can also save a flight routes, making it easy to repeat the exact path and record long-duration timelapse videos that capture transitions within an environment.
Being more portable than its counterparts of personal drones, the Air 3 is foldable weighing 720g at takeoff weight (always refer to FAA regulations prior to flying drones). Dimensions when folded (without propellers) is 207x100.5x91.1mm (LxWxH) so it easily can store in compact spaces. Max ascent and descent speeds are 10m/s with a top speed of 21m/s when flying horizontally. Max altitude is 6000m with a max distance of 32km. With 8GB of internal storage, you have more than enough space to record a couple batteries worth of flight time. Two Hasselblad imaging sensors, one Wide angle 1/1.3 inch CMOS with 1-3x digital zoom, and a medium tele 1/1.3 CMOS sensor with 3-9x zoom, both with effective 48MP. Both cameras offer a variety of HD and FHD video resolutions. The Air 3 also uses a 3 axis mechanical gimbal that tilts, rolls, and pans. Forward, backwards, lateral, upward, downward omnidirectional binocular vision system with a supplemented infrared sensor at the bottom keeps your drone safe and your recordings smooth. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.2 supported.
This is the newer remote controller for DJI drones and supports DJI’s next-gen O4 video transmission which increases the max range to 20 km. Featuring a new powerful processor, the remote ensures quick response time with evnhanced stability, and a 1080p/60fps max-quality live feed to ensure ultra-smooth viewing. Additionally, the DJI RC 2 features a 5.5-inch 1920×1080 built-in FHD screen capable of maintaining 700 nits of high brightness. It also has a new 2T4R antenna, greater storage capacity, and weighs only 420 grams plus features an active cooling design for a comfortable grip. With firmware updates, the Air 3 can be used with other DJI remotes like the DJI RC pro, DJI RC-N1, and RC-N2, they use older transmission systems.
Other accessories that will be offered (possibly included in fly more combos) are the DJI Air 3 ND filters Set (includes ND8/16/32/64 filters), the DJI 100W USB-C power adapter (powers battery and remote ate one time), and the DJI 65W Car Charger.
The Air 3 is going to be one of the best drones of 2023. From its inspiring camera systems and flight modes to its safety feature set and compact size, you will fall in love from first flight. It’s moderately priced especially when you factor in all its bells and whistles.