The DJI Mini 3 Pro can take almost fully spherical 360 photos. Here’s how. UPDATE: a firmware update has enabled the Mini 3 Pro to take fully spherical 360 photos automatically. See here.
Most DJI drones can take 360 photos (which DJI calls Sphere Panoramas) by taking photos at various angles and rotating. However, when you look up at zenith of the 360 photo, you’ll see a gap. That’s because the body of the drone blocks the camera’s view, which limits the camera’s maximum tilt.
Enter the DJI Mini 3 Pro (previewed here), the newest drone in DJI’s lineup. The Mini 3 Pro has several capabilities, one of which is a higher maximum tilting angle thanks to a manta-like profile with a cutout above the camera. The cutout enables the Mini 3 Pro to take portrait orientation photos and videos. In addition, it also helps the DJI Mini 3 Pro take 360 photos without a gap in the zenith, except for a very small hole that is easy to patch:
The DJI Mini 3 Pro does have a built-in Sphere Panorama mode but it will not tilt the camera upward to the maximum angle. Instead, to take an almost fully spherical 360 photo, you’ll need to tilt the camera and take shots manually for the upper part of the panorama. You can then continue shooting the rest of the 360 photo using either the automatic Sphere Panorama or shooting the other photos manually.
You can check out this stunning 360 photo shot with this technique on the Mini 3 Pro by Christiaan Roest of Air View 360. Although the process is not fully automatic, it can save postprocessing time and produce a more natural-looking sky. Mini 3 Pro is available starting at $669:
- $669 Mini 3 Pro without controller
- $759 Mini 3 Pro with standard controller
- $909 Mini 3 Pro with DJI RC controller
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