DJI Air 3 Leak, Rumors, and New Features

When released in April 2021, the Air 2s was a big step forward for the DJI prosumer line. An excellent drone in terms of video and photo quality. A new version, named Air 3, was expected after more than two years, as the technology in prosumer drones has been moving very fast recently

The DJI Air 3 has a lot to offer: a dual-lens system, more power and wind resistance, a groundbreaking signal transmission, an outstanding battery life, omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, and the coveted Waypoint mode. The only downside is the size of the sensor, smaller than the 1” one of the Air 2s

The release date should be very close as the usual reliable leakers have already published plenty of details and photos. The new model has already been registered in the FCC database with two new remote controllers, the RC 2 and RC N2

Mini 3 Pro and Mavic 3
Mini 3 Pro and Mavic 3

The new Air 3 will have to fit between the Mini 3 Pro and the Mavic 3, two excellent drones, so it has to offer features that make it more interesting than the Mini 3 Pro for some users, without stepping too much into the territory of the flagship model

I have made a comparison of the three current models of the DJI prosumer line: the Mini 3 Pro, the Air 2s, and the Mavic 3

If You Prefer ToWatch This As a Video

Air 3 Battery Life

The Air 2s had only one major flaw: the very short battery life of 28 minutes. This was a serious limitation, especially for users who are into hyper lapses

DJI seems to have addressed this issue, as the Air 3 will be equipped with a 4241mAh battery, 30% more powerful than the one of the Air 2s. According to the latest rumors, the announced maximum flight time will be 46 minutes, which is more or less on par with the Mavic 3 and a huge improvement compared to the Air 2s

Air 3 Dual-Lens System

The big new feature is something I did not see coming. The new model will be equipped with a dual-lens system and this is a major functionality that will attract many potential buyers

I remember that in my early days with drones I used to think that the main limitation compared to traditional DLRS cameras was the lack of interchangeable lenses. The multi-lens system was introduced in DJI prosumer line with the first version of the Mavic 3, equipped with two lenses, and then upgraded with the three lenses of the Mavic 3 Pro

More details and footage in my article about the telephoto lens of the Mavic 3

Air 3 dual-lens system (source Dealsdrone)

According to a leak with a photo by Jasper Ellens, there will be a wide-angle 24mm equivalent with an aperture of f1.7 together with a 70mm lens with an aperture of f 2.8, with a zoom factor of three times. The focal lengths are the same as the two shortest ones of the Mavic 3 Pro which also sports an extra long 166mm equivalent length

Air 3 Camera

In terms of video and photo quality, the Air 2s outclasses the Mini 3 Pro, with the excellent 1” sensor with 5.4k video resolution and true 20MP for photos

From reliable leakers, both lenses of the new model will have a 1/1.3” sensor with a 4k video resolution and a real photo resolution of 12MP, and a 48MP mode. Video and photo specs should be almost identical to the Mini 3 Pro

For many potential buyers, this would be a major disappointment and possibly a deal breaker. Maybe it is a move to pave the way for a premium Air 3s with 1” sensor to be released later on

The two lenses of the Air 3 (source: Jasper Ellens)

Some leaked photos of the Air 3 show the same ultra-wide f1.7 aperture as the Mini 3 Pro which translates into astonishing performances in low light

The HLG 10-bit color mode of the Air 3

The new Air 3 will offer the two excellent 10-bit color modes of the Air 2s, D-Log and HLG, together with the 8-bit Normal

Air 3 New Controllers

The Air 3 will be sold with a choice between two new controllers, the RC 2 and the RC N2 and this is an unexpected move. These are updated versions of the two currently available for the DJI prosumer line, the RC controller with a built-in screen and the RC N1

The new RC2 controller with antennas

The only visible difference from the images shown is the presence of a pair of antennas in the new RC2

We don’t know yet if the Air 3 will be compatible with the current controllers, but it seems unlikely, as it will not be possible to purchase the standalone drone without a controller
More details about the RC controller of the current DJI line are in my dedicated article

Air 3 Signal Transmission

DJI has been addressing the only real weak point of the Mini 3 Pro, signal transmission

The Air 3 will have a choice of three different frequencies, including a new one at 5.2Ghz with 200Mw, more powerful than the two traditional frequencies, 2.4Ghz at 100Mw and 5.8Ghz at 25Mw. The new band will also have considerably less traffic than the existing ones and should optimize signal transmission, at least in Europe

There are also rumors of a new OcuSync 4 transmission system which together with the third band would explain the need for the new controllers

The Mini 3 Pro does not have feet at the end of the wings, therefore the antennas are housed inside the wing in a horizontal position. This is one of the culprits of the average transmission of this model

The Air 3 will have feet at the end of the wings (source: QuadroNews)

In the following Mini 3, the feet were added to the design to house the antennas in the classic vertical position. The Air 3 will also have feet at the end of the wings for the same reasons

Other Features

Compared to the Mini 3 Pro the Air 3 will certainly be much more powerful and have better wind resistance, so it is the one suggested to users living in windy areas

The Air 3 has sensors at the front, back, and bottom

According to several leaks, the Air 3 might have an omnidirectional obstacle avoidance system. From all the images we have seen, it has sensors at the front, back, and bottom. The front and back sensors seem to be capable of covering some area to the sides and above

We have not heard about the availability of variable aperture in the new model, but it seems very unlikely

The Air 3 will be able to shoot videos and photos in vertical format. But, unlike the Mini 3 and 3 Pro, the lenses will not be able to rotate, so the footage will be cropped at a maximum resolution of 2.7k

The charging hub of the Air 3

We have seen photos of a new charging hub working in parallel rather than in series, in other words, the three batteries will be charged all at the same time instead of one after the other

There are rumors about the availability of the very useful Waypoints mode, a feature that has been so far reserved for the flagship model of the DJI Prosumer line

We don’t know yet the exact prices in the different currencies, but from the leaks, they appear to be very similar to the ones of the Air 2s. Price wise the Air 3 should fit nicely between the Mini 3 Pro and the Mavic 3

Reasons to Purchase the Air 3

The Air 2s is already an excellent drone. The Air 3 solves the main issue, battery life, and adds a state-of-the-art transmission system

But the crucial new feature is the unexpected dual lens system that opens up huge possibilities when shooting subjects we cannot get close to, like wildlife or some urban scenes. The new 70mm lens will also be extremely useful for portraits and to add compression to scenes with parallax

The Air 3 looks already like a big winner and fits perfectly in the middle of the current DJI line, although it remains to be seen if it can match the excellent video and photo quality of the legendary 1” sensor of the Air 2s  

But even if the video and photo quality should be the same as the Mini 3 Pro, the new Air 3 has still the huge advantage of the dual lens system, more power and wind resistance, plus a groundbreaking signal transmission, and an outstanding battery life

These are arguments that will attract plenty of potential buyers, and other goodies are Waypoint mode and the improved obstacle avoidance system

More Info and Examples in This Video


I am Vittorio Caramazza, aka Vicvideopic, the founder of this website and author of all the posts. I am a videographer and photographer contributing to several stock agencies. I am an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and Lightroom. I have 10 years of experience with dron videography and photography. I was struck by drone syndrome in 2013. I have owned and tested in depth the following drones: Phantom 3, Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic Mini, Mini 2, Air 2, Air 2s, Autel Evo Nano Plus, Mavic 3, Mini 3 Pro, Mini 3. My home has turned into a breeding ground for drones. I am the owner of two YouTube channels specializing in Videography and Photography, with a focus on drones My main channel is VicVideopic (in English): My other channel is Drone Mitico, the Italian version.: I am currently based in Sicily (Southern Italy), but I tend to move quite often. After all, this is one of the main benefits of being a digital nomad…

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