2020 was supposed to be a big year for DJI, with several new drones slated to launch. What actually happened was we got a second-gen Mavic Air but not the expected the third-gen Mavic Pro.
Then, the company launched an update of the Mavic Air 2, called the Air 2S, in the spring of 2021 but remained tight-lipped about its more professional range of 'prosumer' drones.
Fast-forward more than 18 months to August 2021 and a Brazilian YouTube channel, Dronemodelismo, claimed to have leaked specs and images of the upcoming drone, which you can see further down this article.
Then at the end of September, clear photos of the Mavic 3 leaked (along with pages from the user manual) showing that previous rumours and sketches (plus the heavily filtered images seen in the Dronemodelismo video) were spot on.
What's clear from the image above is that images shown in the Dronemodelismo video were correct: the large camera module has two lenses and the Hasselblad logo.
And here are the key specs - both rumoured and 'confirmed' from the Dronemodelismo video and the Jasper Ellens leaked manual pages:
- Upgraded obstacle avoidance with wide-angle sensors moved to the corners of the drone
- New camera module with two lenses, wide angle + telephoto - another collaboration with Hasselblad
- 12Mp zoom camera has a 160mm (35mm equivalent) f/4.4 lens
- 20Mp wide angle camera has a 24mm, f2.8 - f/11 aperture lens (with 16mm adapter ring)
- Shoots 5.7K video, possibly in Apple ProRes
- 46-minute flight time thanks to larger-capacity battery
- 15km range (Ocusync 3)
- Battery will be inserted from back, like Mini 2S
- 1TB or 2TB of storage (this appears to be SSD capacity)
The pages from the manual detail the camera specs, flight time and new remote controller which has Ocusync 3 and a built-in 5.5in 1080p screen:
Other rumours from Twitter say that there could be two different models which is seemingly confirmed by the L2P and L2A model numbers in the manual. Rumours that claimed camera system may not use two separate sensors and instead have an internal mirror that allows a single sensor to be used are incorrect. The manual states that the telephoto camera has a 1/2in sensor, and the wide-angle a 4/3in sensor. This
Some think that the new avoidance system will allow autonomous flight, and many thought that DJI would drop the Mavic branding, just as it has for the Mini and Air. However, as you can see from the first photo at the top of this article, it will be called the Mavic 3. The 3 is slightly obscured by the factory sticker, but you can make it out.
The appearance of the photos suggest an official announcement isn't far away, and by all accounts it looks like it will be in November.
If you can't wait and need to buy something right now, check out our recommendations of the best drones.
When is the DJI Mavic 3 release date?
- November 15 2021 (expected)
Given the three-year gap between the Mavic 2 drones, it's certainly high time that DJI released a successor (or two).
While DroneDJ's source claims various factors are causing delays, including a 'major chip shortage for a new smart controller' and development problems 'on the Hasselblad side', other people, including Jasper Ellens, claim the Mavic 3 will be announced on 15 November, leaking this poster which shows two images, one wide angle and one telephoto along with a November announcement date:
Originally, rumours had pegged the Mavic 3 for a January 2020 announcement but, according to DroneDJ, a couple of significant rivals - the Autel EVO II 8K ($1495) and the Skydio 2 ($999) - had taken DJI by surprise and the company might have delayed releasing the Mavic 3 in order to make it more competitive.
What is the Mavic 3 price?
- Mavic 3 expected to start at $1600 (approx £1400 inc VAT)
- There will also be a Fly More Combo and Cine Premium Combo
According to Ellens, there will be not two but three models (or variations) available:
As and when any new rumours (or new leaks) surface, we’ll update this article.