DJI Mini 4 Pro vs. Mini 3 Pro vs. Mini 3: Which drone is best?

When DJI announced that their newest drone — the DJI Mini 4 Pro — would feature omnidirectional obstacle sensing, it quickly became one of the best (and safest) drones for most people.

The DJI Mini 4 drone was launched in September 2023 as the next edition of the DJI Mini line, a line that frequents Drone Girl’s ‘best of’ list quite often (see follow me drones and best photography drone).

The DJI Mini 3 Pro and the Mini 3 launched before the Mini 4 Pro, so they’re unsurprisingly cheaper given their stance as an older model. But upon factoring price into the equation, in a battle between Mini 4 Pro vs. Mini 3 Pro vs. Mini 3, which is better? 

The Mini 3 is the cheapest of the three, starting at $469. The Mini 3 Pro starts at $669 and the Mini 4 Pro starts at $759. Of course, the newest Mini drone to hit the market–DJI Mini 4 Pro is the “best” drone. But is it worth the additional cost? If you already have a DJI Mini 3 or Mini 3 Pro drone, should you upgrade? 

This guide to the DJI Mini 4 Pro vs. Mini 3 Pro vs. Mini 3 illuminates what exactly has been improved in this newest Mini model — and should help you decide if you should upgrade to the DJI Mini 4 Pro.

DJI Mini 4 Pro

Comparing price and key specs: DJI Mini 4 Pro vs. Mini 3 Pro vs. Mini 3

Here’s a rundown of how the DJI Mini 4 Pro vs. Mini 3 Pro vs. Mini 3 breakdown by specs: 

DJI Mini 4 Pro DJI Mini 3 Pro DJI Mini 3 
Takeoff Weight 249g 249g 249g
Wide Angle Camera 1/1.3 inch CMOS, 48 MP, 24mm, f1.7 1/1.3 inch CMOS, 48 MP, 24mm, f1.7 1/1.3 inch CMOS, 48 MP, 24mm, f1.7
Video Resolution  4K/100fps  4K/60fps  4K/30fps 
Transmission System O4 O3 O2
Max Transmission Distance  20 km  12 km 10 km 
Obstacle Avoidance Tech APAS 5.0 APAS 4.0 N/A
Obstacle Sensors  Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing Tri-Directional Obstance Sensing  Downward Vision Sensing 
Max Flight Time (standard battery) 34 minutes 34 minutes 38 minutes
Max Fight Time (Intelligent battery) 45 minutes 47 minutes 51 minutes

So what do all these DJI drone specs mean in actuality? Here is a deeper dive into the DJI Mini 4 Pro vs. DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. DJI Mini 3 drones: 

DJI Mini 4 Pro vs. Mini 3 Pro vs. Mini 3: the Mini 4 is by far the safest drone 

For anyone purchasing their first drone, or frankly anyone looking to purchase a drone, a primary question you should ask is: how safe is this drone? 

The DJI Mini 4 Pro drone features Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing — a first for the Mini line. With four-way directional obstacle sensors, the Mini 4 Pro no longer has any blindspots — and although DJI won’t market it as crashproof — it is safe to say it practically is. 

If you are a first-time pilot or someone looking to use their drone as a follow-me drone, then this safety feature upgrade is major. 

The Mini 3 Pro features Tri-Directional Obstacle Avoidance Sensing, which allows the drone to have forward, backward, and downward vision. Meanwhile, the Mini 3 has Downward Vision Sensing which is basically only enough to land safely — but won’t stop the drone from flying right into a tree.

The DJI Mini 3

DJI Mini 4 Pro vs. Mini 3 Pro vs. Mini 3 video: Mini 4 stands out with O4 Transmission 

The DJI Mini 4 Pro offers O4 video transmission that entails a maximum transmission distance of 20 km (assuming low interference, such as flying at most beaches). Previous iterations of the Mini line had notably lesser capabilities. The DJI Mini 3 has O2 transmission, offering a live feed of 720p/30fps within a range of merely 10 km. This DJI Mini 3 Pro improved upon this by integrating the upgraded O3 transmission. 

Having the O4 technology elevates the Mini 4 Pro close to the higher-end drones like the Air line, giving videographers the ability to shoot from far ranges. 

Additionally, the DJI Mini 4 Pro offers 4k video shooting up to 100 fps. The Mini 3 Pro offers 4k video shooting at 60 fps and the Mini 3 at 30 fps. The differences between the Mini 4 Pro and the Mini 3 Pro are important if you are a videographer looking to film in slow motion. That said, the frame rate likely won’t make a huge difference in other types of videography. 

The DJI Mini 4 Pro

DJI Mini 4 Pro vs. Mini 3 Pro vs. Mini 3: comparing other specs 

Camera Specs: Here’s one area where these three drones have the exact same specs. The wide-angle camera has a 1/1.3 inch CMOS with photos in 48 MP. 

Annoyingly for many though, all three drones leave you stuck with a fixed aperture. Given that, more serious photographers should look to the Mavic or Air lines for the best camera drones.

Battery Life: Here the Mini 3 wins out with 38 minute flight time. The Mini 3 Pro and Mini 4 Pro have a flight time of 34 minutes. It’s not much of a difference, but that additional 4 minutes might be what stands between you and the perfect shot. 

Additionally, all three drones have two separate flight times. DJI has built a completely separate battery that it calls the “Intelligent Flight Battery Plus”. This battery comes with an additional cost but offers an increase of 13 minutes with the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro and 9 minutes with the Mini 4 Pro. 

Weight & Size: DJI has stuck below 250 grams for the Mini line (and for many good reasons), which is critical as drones under 250 grams do not need to be registered with the FAA for recreational operations and do not need to be Remote ID compliant

The size, shape, and overall design of all three drones are virtually the same. They are all portable, travel-friendly drones. 

New Shooting Modes: While this shouldn’t weigh too heavily on your decision of which drone to go with, the Mini 4 Pro does offer some new shooting modes including an upgrade to the focus track suite. If anything, this just makes the Mini 4 Pro a slightly safer and better follow-me drone. 

What drone is best for most people?

Given all the new specs (and only a marginally higher price point) the DJI Mini 4 Pro is the best drone for most people.

Despite the price difference, the DJI Mini 4 Pro comes out the winner primarily due to one major factor: omnidirectional obstacle sensing. Beyond that, you are also getting better video transmission, slow motion, and smart shooting upgrades. 

For me, the peace of mind of knowing my drone is protected and (basically) crash-proof is worth the nominal price difference, especially if you are a beginner drone pilot or looking for a budget-friendly follow-me drone. 

Purchase the DJI Mini 4 Pro: 

Then again, if price is the most important factor, go with the DJI Mini 3. It’s a solid drone if you are mostly taking drone videos for fun and planning to post on outlets like social media, and if you’re willing to accept the risks of minimal obstacle sensors (and you’re confident you can fly without crashing even without them), then the DJI Mini 3 is an excellent avenue to get your hands on a DJI drone for less than $500.

Purchase the DJI Mini 3 Pro:

Purchase the DJI Mini 3:

Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro: should you upgrade to the Mini 4 Pro? 

If you already own a Mini 3 or Mini 3 Pro and it is working just fine for you, I wouldn’t rush to purchase a DJI Mini 4 Pro. You still have a quality drone, with some impressive specs. And chances are, if you already own the drone, you feel pretty confident in flying without crashing 
The photos taken on all three drones will appear the same, so you are not losing in that regard. If you are looking to take higher-quality photos, then consider the DJI Mavic Pro 3 rather than a drone in the Mini line. Find a more detailed look in this guide to the best drones for photographers.

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