If DJI’s Mavic 3 (starting at $2,049) is too expensive and its Mini 3 Pro (starting at $669) doesn’t have enough features for you, the Mavic 3 Classic could be the Goldilocks drone.
The new compact drone, based on the Mavic 3, starts at a more affordable $1,469. By ditching the telephoto lens, DJI was able to shave off $580.
For my money, the Mavic 3’s telephoto lens is unnecessary. It’s nice to get a 28x hybrid digital zoom from a combination of the telephoto and main lenses, but it captures a specific type of shot that most people won’t use often. I quote from my Mavic 3 review:
The Mavic 3’s dual-camera system also offers a telecamera that gives you 28x zoom, but I didn’t actually find the extreme zoom that useful in the time I spent with it.
I feel confident that most people would rather save $580 than have a telephoto lens. The Mavic 3 Classic is, in opinion, a good way to attract more drone flyers with its affordability.
Instant classic — DJI recently released the Mavic 3 Enterprise and Mavic 3 Thermal, which are geared toward very specific work purposes, so it’s nice that the company is going back to round out its more consumer-focused side. The DJI Mavic 3 Classic is essentially the same drone as the Mavic 3 with a few key changes.
As mentioned earlier, there’s no 1/2-inch CMOS telephoto lens so you won’t get zoom capabilities with the Mavic 3 Classic. This shouldn’t be an issue if you can simply fly closer to whatever you’re shooting, so long as it’s not dangerous or illegal.
To add some novelty, the Mavic 3 Classic also has Cruise Control. This feature is available on other DJI drones and lets you set a constant flight speed for the drone so you don’t have to rely on precise joystick action to get steady cinematic shots.
Otherwise, the Mavic 3 Classic’s specs are the same as the Mavic 3, including the 4/3 CMOS 20-megapixel camera, up to 5.1K/50 fps and 1080p/200 fps video capabilities, and 12.8 stops of dynamic range. The lens remains the same with its 24mm focal length and adjustable aperture between f/2.8 and f/11. The Mavic 3 Classic also has the Mavic 3’s stellar obstacle detection since it retains the eight sensors and the same 46-minute maximum flight time.
Better price point — The DJI Mavic 3 Classic is available on its website. If you only want the new drone with no charger or controller, it’ll cost $1,469. If you opt for the DJI-N1 remote controller where you plug your smartphone in, the bundle will cost $1,599. If you feel like decking out your Mavic 3 Classic with the latest DJI RC with built-in display, the bundle goes up to $1,749.
As with its other drones, DJI is offering a Fly More Kit that includes two Intelligent Flight batteries, a battery charging hub, a 65W car charger, three pairs of Low-Noise Propellers, and a convertible carrying bag for $649.