DJI Mini 3 Pro vs Air 2S – A Detailed Comparison

After reading the announced features, I was afraid that the Mini 3 Pro could take the place of the Air 2S, but DJI has managed to keep a place on the market for both models

The Mini 3 Pro

The Mini 3 is a lightweight drone with plenty of functionalities. It outclasses the Mini 2 and is an excellent choice for beginners. Vertical video and a good ready-to-use mode make it the tool of choice for social media. Professionals who own a Mavic 3, might adopt it as a second unit for urban shooting, hiking, or social media

The Air 2s

The design of the Air 2S DJI was not limited by weight constraints. The sensor, lens, and processors are optimized for top-quality footage and photo. The difference in price compared to the Mini 3 Pro is moderate and I recommend it to users who need the best possible quality or live in windy areas

If You Prefer To Watch This As a Video

DJI Mini 3 Pro vs Air 2s Features and Specs

Mini 3 ProAir 2s
Weight249 grams595 grams
Max speed16 meters/second19 meters/second
Flight time34 minutes31minutes
Obstacle sensorsForward, backward, downwardForward, backward, downward, upward
Sensor size1/1.3″1″
Field of view82.1° (24 mm)88° (22 mm)
Aperturef 1.7f 2.8
Video resolution4k at 60fps5.4k at 30 fps, 4k at 60fps
Max video bitrate150 Mbps150 Mbps
Color modesNormal, D CinelikeNormal, D Log, HLS
Photo resolution12 MP (48MP mode available)20 MP
Mini 3 Pro vs Air 2s specs compared

When I saw the specs of the upcoming Mini 3 Pro I thought that the new model might spell the end of the Air 2S. But the two models have features that make them appealing to two different segments of users

Top-down footage taken with the Mini 3 Pro

I waited a couple of months to make this comparison to leave time for the Mini 3 to enter the phase of maturity after a few firmware updates ironing out minor initial issues

The first obvious difference is the weight. The Mini 3 is under the threshold of 250 grams and this place it under more relaxed regulations, especially for urban flying

Both models have obstacle detection sensors at the front, back and sides, but the Air 2S has an upward pair of sensors that protects from obstacles above. So, a slight advantage for the Air 2S, although it is not suggested to use any of the two models for close-range tracking, as there are some blind spots, especially when flying laterally. The only model of the DJI line that can safely track at close distance is the Mavic 3

Focus Track and Hyperlapse

The two models feature the same flying modes, most notably the excellent Focus Track, with the three modes Active Track, Spotlight, and Point of Interest, plus Master Shots, Quick Shots, Hyperlapses, and Panorama photography. So no major differences

Here are my analysis of

Active Track, Spotlight and Point of Interest with the Air 2s

Intelligent flight modes of Focus Track with the Mini 3 Pro

Hyperlapses with the Mini 3 Pro and with the Air 2s

Panorama with the Mini 3 Pro and with the Air 2s

Mastershots with the Mini 3 Pro and with the Air 2s

The Mini 3 Pro can shoot vertical video

The new Mini 3 Pro can shoot vertical video and photos, and this is a very important feature for users active on social media platforms

Both models can be purchased with the new RC controller with a built-in screen. I find it extremely useful, as I show in my in-depth analysis

The Mini 3 Pro can be purchased on its own, without any controller at 750 Euros and this is a nice move for users who already own another DJI model. The price with the traditional RC N1 controller is 840 euros, while with the new RC controller it costs just above 1000 euros. The Fly More kit with two extra batteries, a charging hub, and a shoulder bag can be purchased separately for less than 200 euros.
The Air 2S sells for 1030 euros with the traditional RC N1 controller, or at 1330 euros with the Fly more combo  

DJI Mini 3 Pro vs Air 2s In-Flight Performance

Mini 3 Pro vs Air 2s noise level

This is the noise level of each model, recorded with the same microphone at the same distance. The Mini 3 Pro is incredibly quiet, the lowest noise I have ever heard in any drone, and this is very useful to avoid attracting unwanted attention

The Air 2S is built with premium material and feels very solid, it gives the impression of being able to withstand a few knocks without problems. The Mini 3 feels much more fragile, but this is the price to pay for remaining under 250 grams in spite of all the technology squeezed in

The Mini 3 in flight responds very well to the controls and is very agile. But the Air 2S feels much more powerful. The maximum horizontal speed for the Air 2S is 19 m/s vs 15 for the Mini 2, it does make a big difference when shooting footage. With the Mini 3, I often speed up the footage in post-processing, while with the Air 2S I can obtain most moves in real-time. There is even more difference in speed when we combine horizontal and vertical moves

The announced wind resistance is level 5 for both, but I trust the Air 2S much more in medium to strong wind. Even though the Mini 3 behaves remarkably well in medium winds, it does move quite a bit and I would certainly not recommend it to someone living in Iceland

The long battery life of the Mini 3 is excellent for hyperlapses

The battery life of the Mini 3 Pro is around 30 minutes in average conditions, while with the Air 2S a bit less, around 28 minutes. I shoot a lot of hyperlapses and for this purpose, the extra time allowed by the Mini is a big plus. For the Mini 3 Pro, a special battery is available with an announced time of well over 40 minutes. It makes the Mini 3 an ideal tool for hyperlapses, but sadly it is not available for sale here in old Europe

The signal transmission with the Air 2S is excellent, I have never experienced any issues, although I tend to stay within line of sight, and only occasionally in very rural areas do I reach 1 KM, which is about 3300 feet

Signal transmission is the only major weakness of the Mini 3 Pro. In my experience, the signal is decent in rural areas, while in locations with interference I often lose connection below 400 meters, something I have not experienced with any other DJI drone. This is very annoying for a model particularly suitable for urban flying.

DJI Mini 3 Pro vs Air 2s Video Quality

Let’s quickly compare the video specs of the two models. The Mini 3 has a 0.77” sensor, much bigger than the one of the Mini 2, but a bit smaller than the 1” one of the Air 2S. The aperture of the Mini 3 is a huge f1.7 which should allow more light to enter the sensor for better results in low light, while the Air 2s has a more traditional aperture of f2.8

The higher resolution of the Air 2s is very useful for reframing and adding extra movement

The video resolution of the Mini 3 is 4k at a maximum frame rate of 60fps, while the Air 2S can shoot video at a resolution of 5.4k at up to 30 fps and 4k at up to 60fps. Many users overlook the utility of the 5.4k resolution, but I find it extremely useful, not only to get more detail when encoding at 4k, but even more to zoom in, reframe and add movement without any loss of resolution

The field of view of the Mini 3 is equivalent to 24mm, while the Air 2S has a slightly wider one of 22mm.
The Mini 3 has two color modes: the ready-to-use Normal and the flat profile D Cinelike, while the Air 2S beside Normal has 2 true 10-bit profiles, D Log and HLG

I have already done two specific comparisons of the two models for video and for photo quality, please refer to them to know more about it

Normal mode in the Mini 3 Pro and Air 2s

Let’s have a quick look at Normal mode. The images are excellent with both models. I always liked the footage of the Air 2S and I find the colors richer, I also see a touch of extra detail, especially in the shadows

Air 2s D Log vs Mini 3 Pro D Cinelike

Moving to the flat profiles, the 10-bit modes of the Air  2S are sensational, the colors are a thing of beauty, with plenty of detail in the shadows, and the added bonus of the extra resolution to slightly modify the scene without loss of resolution if needed. They respond so well to post-processing that I can easily adapt them to any color scheme with ease. Here is my analysis of the color modes of the Air 2s

D Cinelike in the Mini 3 was at first an 8-bit mode, therefore with limited color space. After a firmware update, it was turned into a 10-bit mode. It works quite well now, but in my opinion, the two modes of the Air 2S are a big step above

DJI Mini 3 Pro vs Air 2s Photo Quality

The mini 3 Pro performs well with photos in easy light conditions but has little detail in the shadows. Due to the wide aperture it surprisingly outclasses the Air 2s in low light. The quality of photos in vertical mode is excellent. The Air 2S is a step above with astonishing colors, excellent dynamic range, and great detail in the shadows

Landscape with the Mini 3 Pro

The Mini 3 has a real photo resolution of 12MP against 20MP for the Air 2S. The Mini 3 has also a 48MP mode. The sensor of the Mini 3 has the ability to split each pixel into four smaller ones, but I find it a bit misleading to call it 48 MP, as users might think that it is superior to the 20MP of the Air 2S or the Mavic 3. It is not even remotely the case. Here is my analysis of the 48MP photo mode of the Mini 3 Pro

Mini 3 Pro 48 MP vs 12 MP mode

The 48 MP mode of the Mini 3 has some benefits compared to regular photos in easy light, with a tiny bit of extra detail, but it does not perform well in low light or high dynamic range situations, due to the tiny size of each pixel

Mini 3 Pro vertical photo
Excellent colors and detail with the Air 2s

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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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