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Mavic 3 confession

Joined
Apr 23, 2020
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Location
Salt Lake City, UT
As some of you may know I am an Inspire 2 pilot and Inspire 1 before that. I didn’t think the Mavic 3 would be for me because I like the pro features of the I2 such as raw recording, interchangeable lenses, Cendence RC with lots of customizable buttons, etc.

However, I was just on trip to shoot a gig for the Jacksonville Jaguars and didn’t bring a drone because we didn’t think we’d need one but the opportunity came for some drone shots so I went to a Best Buy and bought a Mavic 3 Classic so we could get some footage.

The Mavic 3 is missing the previously mentioned pro features, the main lens has limitations, it lacks the speed I love from the I2, and DJI Fly seems so much less robust than Go 4, however, it does have a lot going for it and on some key points it out classes the I2.

The video quality is frankly better than I would like to admit and has more latitude than I would have thought. While the lens lacks the premium look of the X7 lenses and of course is a boring focal length, I’d say it’s good enough for most purposes short of cinema. Plenty good for documentary type footage. With the weight savings, far superior video signal link, battery life and portability it’s a pretty great machine.

For these reasons I must confess to you that I will be flying my Mavic 3 for now on and will be retiring the I2 except for the jobs that absolutely require it. When an Inspire 3 comes out that adds better video link, 360 sensors, and perhaps cuts down the weight I will be back in the Inspire game.
 
I've thought you acquired a Mavic 3 previously... you've had great input on the M3 forum.

Agree with you, it's a great craft... the M3Classic seems like a great choice now too... I have a early M3Cine. I'm interested in the 2 Enterprise models.

My 2x Inspire 2 sit more now... but the X5S and X7 are still great in my opinion. I still favor the ability to upload a mission on some projects.

I'm looking forward to seeing the Inspire 3 when released. As projections go... it may be out of my justified price range with new smaller crafts being released frequently. It'll still be on my list, but delayed.
 
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M3 cine is a great machine in many ways and a good compliment to I2. But it for sure has issues, like noise. Exposure has to be dead on, which is made all the more difficult because of the well documented zebra/histo exposure bugs in D-Log. Even with optimal exposure many shots require de-noise in post.
 
I've thought you acquired a Mavic 3 previously... you've had great input on the M3 forum.

Agree with you, it's a great craft... the M3Classic seems like a great choice now too... I have a early M3Cine. I'm interested in the 2 Enterprise models.

My 2x Inspire 2 sit more now... but the X5S and X7 are still great in my opinion. I still favor the ability to upload a mission on some projects.

I'm looking forward to seeing the Inspire 3 when released. As projections go... it may be out of my justified price range with new smaller crafts being released frequently. It'll still be on my list, but delayed.
I have other Mavics including a Mavic Pro Platinum and Mini 2 but I only use those for fun or when I needed to fly below the radar so I’m not new to the Mavic world I’m just new to the Mavic 3 world.

Don’t get me wrong the I2 takes better video no question. I’m just at the point where the M3 takes good enough video that it’s no longer worth hauling the I2 around and dealing with less than rock solid video feed for what I do. I also do like the side and back sensors too.
 
This kind of thing keeps me flying the I2

View attachment 33196
I just took a wild trip down memory lane. These photos just reminded me of way back to my early days of flying in the mountains with my trusty old Mavic Pro OG when I was just starting to get interested in making videos. Totally forgot about this old footage on this old YouTube channel and just went back and rewatched it.

At this point in my life I was broke, out of a job and my dream was to be good enough to make money flying a drone so I could afford to buy an I2. I would have done anything for one. Kinda makes me sad about the end of the I2 era 🥺 but also makes me realize that I really did fulfill one of my dreams and life goals.

 
Last edited:
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As some of you may know I am an Inspire 2 pilot and Inspire 1 before that. I didn’t think the Mavic 3 would be for me because I like the pro features of the I2 such as raw recording, interchangeable lenses, Cendence RC with lots of customizable buttons, etc.

However, I was just on trip to shoot a gig for the Jacksonville Jaguars and didn’t bring a drone because we didn’t think we’d need one but the opportunity came for some drone shots so I went to a Best Buy and bought a Mavic 3 Classic so we could get some footage.

The Mavic 3 is missing the previously mentioned pro features, the main lens has limitations, it lacks the speed I love from the I2, and DJI Fly seems so much less robust than Go 4, however, it does have a lot going for it and on some key points it out classes the I2.

The video quality is frankly better than I would like to admit and has more latitude than I would have thought. While the lens lacks the premium look of the X7 lenses and of course is a boring focal length, I’d say it’s good enough for most purposes short of cinema. Plenty good for documentary type footage. With the weight savings, far superior video signal link, battery life and portability it’s a pretty great machine.

For these reasons I must confess to you that I will be flying my Mavic 3 for now on and will be retiring the I2 except for the jobs that absolutely require it. When an Inspire 3 comes out that adds better video link, 360 sensors, and perhaps cuts down the weight I will be back in the Inspire game.
Unless of course you need to use an app.
It sounds like they’ll never be an SDK..
 
Unless of course you need to use an app.
It sounds like they’ll never be an SDK..
Very true and I would say this goes to my previous observation that the Mavic 3 lacks many of the professional features of the Inspire series which is already factored into my decision.

For me personally, while I really like the idea of having SDk support and would prefer to have it vs not having it, in reality it’s not something I personally ever use.
 
Was doing a little daylight prep flights for an evening Xmas Lighting event in Crown Plaza, Kansas City, MO.
Brought the M3C and Mini3Pro.
This is a 6 block length Shopping street that angles 2 blocks into flight.
To avoid crowds, flying above buildings (2-3 stories) to capture all the lights.

The ability to yaw M3C and smoothly fly forward isn't a nice control vs the I2 and yawing camera while flying along a forward path.

On the M2P, not as big of a challenge... using Lithci can set a flight line and yaw craft as needed.

So both methods I use for these type of flights not available on the M3C.
Like the M3C sensor and fast save with 1TB on-board... but it's limited.

In similar environments, the I2 can be nerve racking to fly... radio stability, distance from RC, etc. So it has it's limitations too. The I3 may resolve many I2 limitations.

Also noticed, hadn't used Fly App Quick shots yet on M3C. On Circle around a subject, if you attempt to alter speed, radius of circle it cancels the orbit around Subject. I'd have to revisit Air2S, but I thought those controls allowed small adjustments.
 
I just took a wild trip down memory lane. These photos just reminded me of way back to my early days of flying in the mountains with my trusty old Mavic Pro OG when I was just starting to get interested in making videos. Totally forgot about this old footage on this old YouTube channel and just went back and rewatched it.

At this point in my life I was broke, out of a job and my dream was to be good enough to make money flying a drone so I could afford to buy an I2. I would have done anything for one. Kinda makes me sad about the end of the I2 era 🥺 but also makes me realize that I really did fulfill one of my dreams and life goals.

This is actually the best time to buy an I2 and fulfill that dream. There are tons of great deals on used I2 packages right now because it's now 6 years old and the I3 is on the horizon. The I2 is an awesome value drone with professional codecs and larger sensor camera with interchangeable lenses. It may be 6 years old, but it still holds it own today and is far superior to the Mavic 3 when it comes to true cinematography capabilities. Yes, the signal strength sucks and it's not so stable, but that X5S or X7 with ProRes/CinemaDNG and long focal length lenses just gives you so much more reach and different shots that you just can't get with the Mavic 3.
 
Brett, did you tried to compare the 10bit DLOG footage of M3 classic to the cDNG RAW files of the inspire against the sunrise or sunset, do they have similar dynamic range?
 
Brett, did you tried to compare the 10bit DLOG footage of M3 classic to the cDNG RAW files of the inspire against the sunrise or sunset, do they have similar dynamic range?
cDNG is much more pliable in post but the M3 has pretty good dynamic range. There’s no question the I2 takes better video but M3 is good enough in most cases
 

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