DJI Mavic 3 Classic launch summary: The cheapest flagship drone has landed


(Image credit: DJI)

It’s the day after the DJI Mavic 3 Classic landed, so I had a little time to sum up my early thoughts.

Overall, DJI’s new drone looks like a very good new option for anyone who gives image quality above portability. It’s much cheaper than the standard Mavic 3, and offers pretty much all the same features that a telephoto lens prevent.

DJI also offers the Mavic 3 Classic in a much more diverse range of its flagship drone, which will surely change soon now that the DJI RC controller (which has a built-in screen, which doesn’t hijack your phone) is now compatible with the original Mavic 3.

I still think it’s hard to get the best value and convenience for a DJI Mini 3 Pro (RC Controller) bundle, but the Mavic 3 Classic’s Four Thirds camera is a huge leap from this model and is now available for a much lower price than the DJI Mavic 3.

DJI Drones Price Comparison
DJI Mavic 3 Classic DJI Mavic 3 DJI Air 2S DJI Mini 3 Pro
body only $1,469 / £1,309 / $2,299 Unavailable Unavailable $699 / £639 / AU$989
With DJI RC-N1 Controller $1,599 / £1,399 / $2,399 $2,049 / £1,729 / AU$2,899 $999 / £899 / AU$1,699 $759 / £709 / $1,119
With DJI RC Controller $1,749 / £1,529 / $2,599 Unavailable Unavailable $909 / £859 / AU$1299

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A good point JasperEllens (above) has made for drone fans in Europe – the DJI Mavic 3 Classic has the all-important CE C1 marking, which means it’s future-proofed for new drone laws that will take effect from December 31, 2023.

CE Class certifications are part of some of the new European certifications for drones that actually started in December 2020, but their standards were not confirmed until this year. This has left most of the new drones in limbo. But in August, the original DJI Mavic 3 was awarded its first “C1” certification, which it received via a firmware update — and the new Mavic 3 Classic has been branded on its arm.

What does that mean in practice? If you’re in Europe or the UK and are considering buying the Mavic 3 Classic, this means that from 2024 onwards you’ll be able to continue flying in the so-called A1 Open Category, rather than slipping into the A3 Open category. The latter would have restricted you to flying in areas without people and at least 150 meters from the properties.

Not exactly exciting stuff (especially if you live outside the EU), but worth knowing if you’re a fan of drones in Europe.

DJi Mavic 3 Classic Drone

(Image credit: DJI)

DJi Mavic 3 Classic Drone

(Image credit: DJI)

As before, the Mavic 3 Classic’s Four Thirds camera can shoot 5.1K/50p, 4K/60p, and 1080p/60p video. There are also slow modes in the form of 4K/120p and 1080p/200p options. For atmospheric exposure adjustment, the 24mm equivalent focal length lens also has an adjustable aperture that can switch from f/2.8 to f/11.

DJi Mavic 3 Classic Drone

(Image credit: DJI)

It’s official: the DJI Mavic 3 Classic is here. And as the rumors have predicted, it has the same 20MP CMOS camera, 46-minute flight time, and O3+ transmission system as the original Mavic 3 drone – it doesn’t have the drone’s telephoto lens.

One minute go…

Well, if you’re not really ready and ready for DJI’s big launch, you have about sixty seconds to open the above livestream on your work PC and settle down.

It’s time to find out if the DJI Mavic 3 Classic rumors are accurate, and how much we’ll get in eBay sales next month to put up with…

The front camera of the DJI Mavic 3 drone on a green background

(Image credit: Future)

20 minutes to go…

Based on these DJI Mavic 3 Classic leaks, the big question for most people is how likely you are to miss this telephoto lens. It’s tricky, because there is no doubt that the current Mavic 3’s 162mm lens is far inferior to the main camera, in terms of frank image quality.

However, the effect you can get from this unique zoom — including the dramatic “parallax effect” that makes the background appear to be moving quickly behind your subject — has been behind some of the most interesting videos I’ve seen on YouTube and elsewhere.

However, in these tough financial times, the extra cost of the standard Mavic 3 is significant, and the Mavic 3 Classic could offer good value if this leaked pricing is correct. The Micro Four Thirds camera is still flying, after all.

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DJI Mavic 3 Classic – Leaks so far

Based on leaks from JasperEllens (above) and WinFuture (Opens in a new tab)It seems very likely that we’ll see a DJI Mavic 3 Classic drone land in just over an hour. But what specifications may it contain?

WinFuture claims that “the DJI Mavic 3 Classic is essentially 100 percent identical to the regular DJI Mavic 3”, apart from one key detail – the removal of the telephoto camera of the current drone.

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This appears to have been done for cost reasons, allowing DJI to sell the Mavic 3 Classic at a lower price (see the “Is this the price?” post?” below). If true, this is how this DJI drone would shape up in terms of specs:

camera: 20MP quad-thirds sensor
Video Quality: 5.1K up to 50fps / 4K up to 120fps / FHD up to 200fps
Video transmission range: Up to 9 miles
storage: 8GB expandable via microSD card
battery: Flying time up to 46 minutes
Weight: 895 grams
Dimensions (unfolded): 347.5 x 283 x 107.7 mm
Dimensions (folded): 221 x 96.3 x 90.3 mm

The view from the Mavic 3

Looking for a taste of the video quality you might be able to expect from the rumored DJI Mavic 3 Classic? The image above collects some test shots of our DJI Mavic 3 review.

If the Mavic 3 Classic had the same sensor (just without the telephoto lens of the drone), it would probably give us a pretty good idea of ​​what to expect.

Our review said that “the image quality from the main camera for still photos and video is generally nothing short of excellent,” and there is still no other drone in the Mavic 3’s weight class that matches the 20MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor.

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Is this the price?

How much does the rumored DJI Mavic 3 Classic cost? This is something that the rumors and leaks were not clear about, until earlier this week.

The above tweet from regular DJI leaker @JasperEllens on Twitter seems pretty confident that prices will start at €1,499 (for the drone only), with a package that includes a new DJI RC controller that costs €1,749.

Based on current DJI pricing, that should come out to around $1,499 / £1,349 / AU$2,399 for the drone alone, or roughly $1,749/£1,599 / AU$2,799 for a package DJI RC controller. It’s not cheap, but it does offer a decent saving on the DJI Mavic 3’s $2,199 / £1,879/AU$3,099 launch price (which included the old RC-N1 remote control).

House on a hill in the Lake District

(Image credit: Future)

decisions decisions…

As someone who bought a DJI Mini 3 Pro earlier this year, I recently wrote about it Why do I end up regretting this decision If the DJI Mavic 3 Classic rumors are accurate.

Not that I’m at all unhappy with the Mini 3 Pro – it’s a great little drone that proved to be a great companion on a recent visit to the Lake District in the UK (where the photo was taken above).

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But the Mavic 3’s larger body is more stable in windy conditions, and getting a Four Thirds sensor for less money than the current model would make it a tempting alternative, especially if you fly a lot in bleak conditions.

DJI Mavic 3 drone flying in front of some trees

(Image credit: Future)

DJI Drones: A Primer

If you’re new to DJI drones, here’s a quick introduction to their current lineup. Despite some new competition from the likes of Autel, DJI remains the largest maker of consumer drone cameras – and its range is now divided into four sub-brands.

DJI’s mini entry-level drone is the “Mini” series headed by DJI Mini 3 Pro. Right above them is the mid-range ‘Air’ series, which despite its name is slightly larger and has cameras with larger sensors (like the 1-inch DJI Air 2S, which previously topped our guide to The best drones you can buy).

But above both is the ‘Mavic’ series, which started in 2016 with the DJI Mavic Pro. The DJI Mavic 3, which packs a large four-thirds sensor into its foldable body, is the spiritual successor to this archetype. But at $2,199 / £1,879 / AU$3,099, it’s not exactly cheap – hence the rumors of a DJI Mavic 3 Classic launching today.

Roaming parallel to these three main types of DJI drones is a new FPV model called DJI Avata. It’s a very fun introduction to FPV flying, but it’s a bit more specialized than we’d expect to see today.

How to watch the launch of DJI

How do you tune in today’s DJI launch? There is now a placeholder on DJI’s official YouTube channel above, with an announcement to be made today at 9AM ET/1PM GMT. If you’re in Australia, it will be at 12am EST on November 3.

That means we’re now less than five hours away from official launch, giving us plenty of time to dig into these Mavic 3 Classic rumors and see if it all adds up to a compelling potential Christmas gift. As someone who bought a DJI Mini 3 Pro earlier this year, I have a few thoughts on that.

Hi, I’m Mark (Editor of TechRadar Cameras) and I’m going to be your assistant on today’s big DJI launch. I’ve been covering and testing DJI drones for years all the way back to the original DJI Spark in 2017, so I look forward to seeing exactly what arrives today.

The event’s ‘Explore Vivid’ doesn’t give much away, but the Hasselblad camera in the teaser points out a new drone, like the rumored DJI Mavic 3 Classic. So if you’re in the market for a new flight camera (or just curious about where they’re going next), pull up your seat and join us as we count down to take off.

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