Want to get your hands on a Mavic 3 drone, without the ultra-high, $2,049 price point? DJI today launched a cheaper version of the high-end camera drone called the Mavic 3 Classic.
This version is about 22% cheaper, coming in at $1,599 for the DJI Mavic 3 Classic with RC-N1 remote controller. You can also opt for a version with the shinier, newer DJI RC instead, at $1,749. And if you already have another DJI Controller, there’s an even cheaper version of the Mavic 3 Classic that costs just $1,469 — though no remote controller included.
To achieve the lower price tag in the new Mavic 3 Classic, DJI stripped out some of the features of the Mavic 3 drone — but they may not even be features you would use anyway. Most notably, the Mavic 3 Classic does not include the telephoto lens, which did offer an incredible 28x Hybrid Zoom. But while cool, the zoom likely wouldn’t be that useful for many use cases, such as landscape and nature photography. (It seemed better suited for enterprise use cases like police or search and rescue).
It’s available now from most major retailers, though expect it to be popular — and possibly sell out quickly. On DJI’s website, there’s a three unit maximum per person.
Here’s what you can expect from the Mavic 3 Classic (all of the below are the same specs found on the original Mavic 3 drone):
- 4/3 CMOS 20-megapixel camera
- 46-minute maximum flight time
- O3+ transmission system
- Hasselblad Natural Color Solution
- Advanced RTH
As far as videography in particular goes, expect:
- Up to 5.1K video at 50 fps
- 15km HD Video Transmission
- 4K video at 60 fps and 1080p video at 60 fps
- H.26x encoders
- 10-bit D-Log for video (and 12-bit RAW for photography)
- Night mode for video recording
In short, expect the Mavic 3 Classic to capture those same vivid colors, peak highlights and detail-rich shadows that you’re used to seeing in the Mavic 3 drone.
The drone hits a sweet spot right in the middle of the DJI Mavic 3 and the DJI Mini 3 Pro, which costs $759. The Mini 3 Pro is certainly great for photography with a 1/1.3″ CMOS and f/1.7. But ultimately, the Hasselblad camera on the DJI Mavic 3, coupled with other features like longer battery life (46 minutes versus 34 on the DJI Mini 3 Pro) and better, smarter sensors means that serious photographers will likely still prefer the DJI Mavic 3. The Classic edition is a happy medium by providing that “better” drone but at a price point much closer to the Mini 3 Pro.
Among the most standout perks of the Mavic 3 Classic are that Hasselblad camera. You’ll have true-to-life colors (especially noteworthy at night), thanks to Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution (HNCS).
Transmission is also a big factor for drone pilots, and most delightfully here is the continuation of O3+ Transmission, providing 15km range while still providing a smooth 1080p/60fps live feed.
Along with the new drone, DJI is also releasing some new accessories. There’s a DJI Wide-Angle lens for Mavic 3 Classic, as well as a DJI ND Filter Kit for Mavic 3 Classic, which includes ND8, ND16, ND32 and ND64 filters.
How the Mavic 3 Classic fits into the DJI ecosystem
The practice of taking an already-made DJI drone and adding (or stripping it of) features is fairly common practice at DJI. The company can save money in having to make an entirely new drone, while maximizing parts that can work across multiple drones. Rather than have three different drones with different sizes of propellers, batteries and arms, the company can have one drone with various upgrades and downgrades.
Earlier this fall, DJI launched the DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise, which — in contrast to the stripped-down Mavic 3 Classic — offers a slew of additional features that would suit enterprise use cases. There’s an even-more impressive 56x zoom camera on the DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise, plus other add-ons like a TK module for centimeter-level precision. The DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise starts at around $4,000.