DJI Mini 3 Pro vs Air 2s Photo Quality

For users focused on photography, the Mini 3 Pro is a big step up compared to the Mini 2. But there is a noticeable gap in image quality compared to the Air 2s, which remains a legendary model for photography with its large 1″ sensor with a resolution of 20MP and a beautiful rendition of colors 

Here you will find my analysis of photography with the Mini 3 Pro and of photography with the Air 2s

If You Prefer To Watch This As a Video

Specs for Photography

Air 2SMini 3 Pro
ApertureF 2.8F 1.7
Field of View88° (22mm)82.1° (24mm)
Resolution20MP12MP (48MP Mode available)
Vertical PhotoNoYes
Photo ModesSingle Shot
Burst Shooting
AEB (3 or 5 photos)
Timed Photos
Single Shot
Burst Shooting
AEB (3 or 5 photos)
Timed Photos
Specs of the two models for photography
Frontal view of the DJI Mini 3 Pro and Air 2S. Photo taken with a Nikon D850 by Vic videopic
Frontal view of the Mini 3 Pro and Air 2s

The Air 2S has a bigger sensor, but the very wide aperture of F 1.7 of the Mini 3 Pro should help in low light and high dynamic range situations

The real photo resolution is 20MP, versus 12MP for the smaller model, but the Mini 3 has a 48MP mode, useful in certain conditions

The Mini 3 Pro can take vertical photos

The village of Aci Trezza in Sicily. Vertical photo taken with a DJI Mini 3 Pro by Vicvideopic
Portrait format with the Mini 3 Pro

The vertical format is meant mainly for footage to be posted on social media platforms

It also adds extra creativity to photography and can be useful for full panoramas using vertical images

There is some confusion about the 48 MP mode of the Mini 3 Pro

The QuadBeyer sensor is capable of splitting each pixel into four smaller ones, therefore creating a sort of 48 MP resolution which adds extra detail in easy light conditions, but the size of each pixel is very small, therefore it is not very effective in high dynamic range and low light conditions

It is a useful feature in certain situations, but to state that the Mini 3 Pro has a photo resolution of 48MP is misleading

I have done an in-depth analysis of the 48MP of the Mini 3 Pro

Image Quality in Easy Light

Let’s start by watching some images shot in easy light conditions

For editing and color grading all the images I have used the excellent Luminar Neo, the tool I use for editing and managing all my photos

You will find info about Luminar Neo together with a coupon for a 10% discount by entering the code “vicvideopic” using the button below

Air 2S

The Air 2s was a big step forward compared to previous models, both for video and photos quality

The colors are a thing of beauty and there is plenty of detail available, without looking oversharpened

The files respond very well to post-processing and the colors can easily be tweaked to reach any possible shade. In my opinion, the Air 2S belongs to the same category as the Mavic 3, at the very top of the DJI prosumer line

Mini 3 Pro

The new Mini 3 Pro performs well with still images with pleasant colors and good contrast. With the first version of the firmware, there was an area of higher luminosity above the middle of the image, especially with the sky in the frame, with a tendency to a magenta cast. But things have improved since

The 12MP files don’t respond as well as the 20MP ones of the Air 2s to post-production, and I cannot get the exact shades of colors that I am after

The detail cannot match the one of the Air 2S

Easy light conditions

In these side-by-side images, we notice a better rendition of the elements far away and the vegetation for the bigger model

Easy light conditions

Top-Down Photo Quality

Let’s turn the camera down to take the sky out of the equation and concentrate on detail and color rendition

Air 2S vs Mini 3 Pro top-down photos

The performance of both models is excellent, but once again the Air 2s has the edge over the Mini 3 Pro in terms of detail and color rendition

DJI Air 2s vs Mini 3 Pro Photo Quality Against the Sun

Mini 3 Pro against the sun at sunrise
Air 2S at sunset

In images containing the sky, the Mini 3 Pro performs quite well: there are no nasty flares around the sun and the structure of the sky is good. The shadows have limited detail and some chromatic noise

The Air 2S is in a different league with plenty of detail in the shadows and no noise. One single photo is enough, merging is not needed

Mini 3 Pro 5 AEB photos merged

With the Mini 3 Pro, in high dynamic range situations, much better results are obtained by merging five Automatic Exposure Bracketing photos to HDR. Here is an analysis of Automatic Exposure Bracketing with the Mini 3 Pro

DJI Air 2s vs Mini 3 Pro Photo Quality in low light

Mini 3 Pro at night
Air 2s at night

In low light conditions, the Mini 3 Pro puts up its best performance with good detail in the shadows and nice colors

The extremely wide F 1.7 aperture of its lens certainly plays a big part

The Air 2S is an excellent performer in low light, but in this area, it is now behind the smaller model

My in-depth analysis of night photography with the Mini 3 Pro

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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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