DJI posted a teaser for a new product on November 2, 2022 at 9am ET with the caption Explore Vivid. It appears to be a teaser for the drone, which is expected to be the Mavic 3 Classic. Should you buy it?
The teaser shows a lens with a distinct pentagonal shape that resembles the lens of the DJI Mavic 3 (reviewed here). However, unlike the Mavic 3, the lens shown in the teaser does not appear to have the Mavic 3’s telephoto lens above it.
The new drone, which is rumored to be called the Mavic 3 Classic, is expected to have a lower price than the original Mavic 3. Should you buy it? I’ve been impressed with the image quality from my Mavic 3 and have used it for aerial 360 photos. Here’s an edited sample (note: I patched the zenith).
As for the telephoto lens, I was hoping it could be used to take 360 photos automatically but it can’t. It is possible to use it to take a 360 photo manually, rotating the drone and tilting the camera yourself, but you will need too many shots to be practical in my opinion. A third party app such as Litchi could theoretically add that capability but it appears that DJI hasn’t released the API to Litchi or other 3rd parties. Thus far, I’ve never had to use the telephoto lens other than for testing.
For aerial 360 photos, the primary competitor to the Mavic 3 Classic at the moment would be the Mini 3 Pro, which has a smaller sensor but can take almost fully spherical 360 photos with only a very small gap in the zenith, thanks to a camera that can rotate to portrait orientation. You’ll have to decide whether to prioritize image quality (Mavic 3 Classic) or the convenience of having almost no gap in the zenith (Mini 3 Pro). The answer in turn may depend on whether you have time and/or skill to patch the Mavic 3’s zenith.