DJI Mavic 3 test: gifted in photo and video

The main novelty of the Mavic 3 lies in the adoption of a shooting module (L2D-20C) which includes an unprecedented 4/3 CMOS sensor associated with a 12.29 mm f/2.8 lens (eq. 24 mm) supported by a second 1/2 inch sensor associated with a 29.85 mm f/4.4 lens (162 mm eq.).

Shot taken in Auto mode. 24mm f/2.8, 1/2000 sec lens.

© Romane Riesse / Digital

The module can produce 20 megapixel photos in jpeg and 12-bit raw format (12 Mpx with the 1/2 inch telephoto sensor) and videos in 5.1K at 50 fps, 4K tele or cinema up to 120 fps. The dynamic range is high (12.8 stops) with very good noise management in low light. Attractive on paper, the possibilities of zooming up to x28 are in fact only digital cropping, regardless of the lens used. To maintain optimal quality, we advise you to use both lenses at their nominal focal length (24 or 162 mm), whether in photo or video mode.

On the side of the autofocus system, the Mavic 3 is also very efficient. The integration of a new optical detection autofocus (VDAF) technology, which works with several on-board optical sensors, makes it possible to calculate the distance data and optimize the focusing speed according to the movement of the drone. Tested on TGVs launched at full speed, the AF of the Mavic 3 has not been faulted once.

In studio

We have devoted an article to the image quality of the drone’s dual module, one of which is equipped with a large 4/3 inch 20 Mpx sensor. This module offers good image quality with an appreciable level of detail, and above all good management of electronic noise. In this area, it logically outclasses drones equipped with smaller sensors. In video, the gain of the large sensor and the capture in 5.1K is not obvious and the image is easily exploitable with a (too?) good level of emphasis. The images are flattering and seem straight out of a commercial. For those who want complete control over the colorimetric rendering of videos, they can also opt for recording in Apple ProRes 422 HQ and the D-Log colorimetric profile in 10 bits. This will require a lot of post-production work, but these options allow Mavic 3 Cine videos to be integrated into a heterogeneous production workflow. An always appreciable point.

Examples in photo mode

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