The DJI Mavic 3 has received a brilliant new upgrade, and — even if you got your hands on a Mavic 3 drone early on — you don’t actually need to buy a new one. Thanks to a firmware update released at the end of January 2022, the drone can now use some of the drone’s best features, including QuickShots and QuickTransfer.
The DJI Mavic 3 is the Chinese drone maker’s newest product, and it’s pretty epic. With an Infrared Sensing System, and vision systems on all sides, the drone is designed to be able to avoid obstacles in all directions (making it an excellent follow-me drone). It’s also an incredible camera drone, with a dual camera system that uses both a 4/3-inch CMOS sensor Hasselblad camera capable of shooting 20MP photos as well as a 28x zoom camera. And the firmware update truly enables that tech to live up to its fullest potential. QuickShots are now safer with the far-improved obstacle avoidance, and the high-quality videos look even better with color assistance, among other upgrades.
To access the new Mavic 3 firmware, you’ll need to download the latest version of the DJI Fly App (v1.5.8). From there, you’ll need to install Aircraft Firmware v01.00.0500 to access the new features. And with that, here are some of the best and biggest changes you’ll get from the new DJI Mavic 3 firmware update:
QuickShots is the all-encompassing term for six individual shooting modes that generate epic, short videos that tend to be well-suited for TikTok or Instagram sharing. Rather than perfectly time your flying to get an incredible shot, the software does it for you. Simply tap a button, and the drone takes a shot from a unique angle. The six QuickShots modes are:
- Dronie: For the ultimate selfie video, your drone flies back and up, with the camera pointed at you.
- Rocket: The aircraft flies straight up as the camera points straight down.
- Circle: The drone flies a circle around you (or your subject of choice).
- Helix: The drone flies upwards and then in a circle, in a sort of upwards funnel motion.
- Boomerang: The drone flies away from you and right back. This mode requires a radius of at least 30 meters around the drone and 10 meters above.
- Asteroid: With this, the drone flies back and up, and then back down, generating an epic panorama video. This mode needs even more space than Boomerang mode, requiring at least 40 meters behind the drone and 50 meters above.
To use QuickShots, there’s some pretty high tech involved too. You can certainly keep things simple by tapping the shooting mode icon in the DJI Fly app, selecting QuickShots and just following the prompts (such as selecting the target subject and picking out your specific QuickShots mode). But there’s something even niftier: gesture control. You can trigger QuickShots by doing a nifty arm motion — waving your hand and your elbow above your shoulder. It’s not sorcery, it’s drone tech!
What’s especially neat about QuickShots within the DJI Mavic 3 is that you get the luxury of true collision avoidance. Your drone is flying upwards, backwards and in wild spirals — and the DJI Mavic 3 provides additional security that it won’t hit something when flying in those motions. If an obstacle is detected mid-flight, your Mavic 3 theoretically will brake and hover in place.
That said, DJI still recommends you conduct these modes in open spaces, and away from buildings or other places where the GNSS signal is weak. There should definitely not be living things or obstacles in the flight path.
DJI also recommends flying in situations such as low or high light, when the subject is blocked for an extended period or more than 50 meters away from the drone, or if the drone is similarly colored/patterned to its background (thus preventing the drone from being able to see it).
QuickTransfer is a huge improvement in the way you’re able to download your drone’s photos and videos to your smartphone. Not only do you not need a RC-N1 remote controller, but QuickTransfer mode enables faster downloads thanks to a transmission rate of up to 80 MB/s.
At launch, the DJI Mavic 3 was capable of Low Battery Return to Home and Failsafe Return to Home. But with this firmware update comes Smart Return to Home, which really steps up the efficiencies of your drone’s flight (and eliminate work on your end to fly it home).
The coolest sub-setting of Smart RTH is called Advanced RTH. Assuming the lighting is sufficient and your drone’s vision systems can function, the drone will automatically plan the best (meaning the shortest distance) RTH path to make its journey home, all the while adjusting on the fly based on the environment.
If lighting conditions or poor or other environmental factors impede the drone’s vision systems, then your other option within Smart RTH is called Straight Line RTH.
This feature only works on the upgraded DJI Mavic 3 Cine drone, but with it comes the potential to have access to footage even if aircraft power is low.
With USB mode enabled, you can turn on your drone and connect it to a computer, allowing you to access the internal storage on the drone. The use case here feels pretty limited — especially because the Mavic 3’s battery life is so long anyway. But, it could help you out in a pinch when you need to access footage right away, but your drone batteries are dead.
Have you gotten to fly a DJI Mavic 3 yet? What did you think?
If you’re thinking about getting one but aren’t sure, check out my DJI Mavic 3 unboxing video to find out more about it!