How Far Can a Drone Fly? Everything You Need to Know About the DJI Mini 3

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How far can a drone fly from the controller and still maintain a usable signal is called the drone's range. Each drone model has an advertised flight range that may or may not work in real life, but it's a good idea of ​​what to expect. But the physical limitations of a drone's range must override the legal requirement to keep the drone in sight at all times during the flight.

How far can a drone fly? 

A toy drone can have a range of about 20-100 yards, while a high-end consumer drone can have a range of about 2.5-4.5 miles (4-8 kilometers). Mid-range consumer drones typically have a range of about 0.25 to 1.5 miles (400 meters to 3 kilometers).

The exact range of the drone depends on the signal strength of the controller and the type of transmission technology used. Not surprisingly, more expensive drones tend to offer more range. However, in most cases for fun, you'll have a hard time reaching the limits of the controller's signal without first getting out of the line of sight, which is a big no-no according to FAA regulations. However, there are other good reasons to choose a stronger controller signal.

The Controller Range

When you say drone, it's not a generic term. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and therefore vary greatly in terms of distance from the controller and hold to speak. You can't expect to fly very far with a toy drone, certainly no more than a football field and probably much less.

Mid-range consumer drones will give you more range as price and controller signal strength improve. If the drone costs between $150 and $500, you can fly it a quarter to a mile and a half away from you before it starts losing the signal.

High-end drones that start at consumer price levels and quality can give you some serious long-range features. For $800 to $1,500, you can buy a drone that can maintain a signal from the controller from 2.5 to nearly 5 miles away. In most cases, this is probably far beyond what you can do to keep a good image on your drone.

The Visual Line of Sight Limitation

Even if your drone can communicate with its controller from 4 miles away, it's doubtful that you'll still be able to see it clearly enough to know if it's responding properly to your controls. Why is this important? On the one hand, it is a matter of security. If you can't physically see your drone (ie, it's not in your line of sight), you won't be able to easily tell if it's hitting something or going left when you tell it to go right. Uncontrolled drones pose a threat to people, buildings, vehicles, and themselves.

For this reason, FAA guidelines for safe recreational drone operation require you to keep the drone within your line of sight. The distance at which you can clearly see the drone depends on the terrain, nearby obstacles, and air conditions. But in reality, you can only see your drone clearly from 1500-2000 feet away in a wide field of view. It is less than half a mile. At that distance, you'll have a hard time distinguishing your drone from the birds. So if you have to keep the drone a mile or less away to get a good view, what's the point of a drone further than that? There are several good reasons.

Long-Range Drones

Long-range drones that can travel 3-4 miles from the controller and operator have very real applications in a variety of industries. Because there is a commercial need for drones to fly further than the pilot can actually see, licensed drone pilots can apply to the FAA for an exemption from BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) operations.

Know About the DJI Mini 3

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is one of DJI's latest releases. It's small, lightweight, and packed with all the features any drone enthusiast will appreciate. So friends what are the main features of the DJI Mini 3 Pro?

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The DJI Mini 3 Pro records in 4K at 60fps, but you can choose to use 2.7K or 1080p resolution. Other features include a flight time of 34 minutes, three-way obstacle detection, and a range of 12 km. As with most DJI drones, you also get Smart Flight Mode.

Be sure to read on to learn more about the key features of the DJI Mini 3 Pro and how to get the most out of them!

Let's take a closer look at the various features of the DJI Mini 3 Pro.

Gimbal Design + Vertical Shooting

One of the most exciting features of the Mini 3 Pro is the gimbal design.

It has a pivoting system and a notch on the top that holds the gimbal even when the drone accelerates quickly. This is different from the Mini 2, which, while it has a nice gimbal design, sometimes has a tendency to point upwards when raised.

With the Mini 3 Pro, the gimbal keeps the camera balanced even when flying in sport mode. A notch at the top allows you to shoot vertically as well.

Unlike other Mini drones, you can actually change the camera from a horizontal position to a vertical position for portrait shots. If you like to post videos and pictures on social media, you know that you may need to crop some frames. Thanks to this feature, you don't have to.

Size, Weight, and Design

Although the Mini 3 Pro has many more features than other Mini drones, it still comes in a small and stylish package that weighs less than 250 grams.

It might look a little bigger than the Mini 2 when unfolded, but it's much smaller than the Air 2S or Mavic 3, and the foldable design makes it the perfect travel drone. You can easily put it in your pocket and take it with you, you will never feel its weight in your backpack.

However, the Mini 3 Pro comes with two sets of batteries. Standard batteries weigh less than 250 grams, while larger capacity, longer-lasting but heavier batteries weigh more than 250 grams.

If you don't want to register your drone with the FAA, use lighter batteries.

Camera sensor

The DJI Mini 3 Pro has a 1/1.3 sensor, which is slightly larger than the Mini 2, but not as large as the Air 2S.

Coupled with a fixed f/1.7 aperture, the Mini 3 Pro produces some of the best images out there. Why?

A wider aperture means more light can pass through, while a larger sensor provides a wider tonal range, produces more blur, and performs better in low light. To make it even better, the DJI Mini 3 Pro added an 82-degree FOV and an equivalent 24mm lens.

Color profile

A great addition to the Mini 3 Pro is the two different color profiles, Normal and D-Cinelike. Normal provides stock footage that you can adjust in your editing software, while D-Cinelike offers a flatter color profile that gives you more room for editing.

In general, the Mini 3 Pro records in HDR mode. Unlike other drones where you can choose to go in and out of HDR, the Mini 3 Pro has no such switch, and all your videos will be in HDR.

Flight duration

I have to give it to them. DJI understands batteries well.

As mentioned above, the Mini 3 Pro comes with two batteries, a 34-minute battery, and a 40-minute battery. That's quite a long flight time for a mini drone, longer than the Air 2S and other Mavic drones.

Obstacle Detection and Avoidance

finally! If you've used other Mini drones, you know that one of the most frustrating issues is their lack of obstacle avoidance.

Our feelings grew even stronger when the SDK that built Follow-Me into these drones was released because you wouldn't be able to fully experience the feature without obstacle detection. DJI's excuse is that they had to leave out the obstacle avoidance sensor among other sensors to keep the drone under 250 grams.

It seems they heard our "cries" and now the Mini 3 Pro has three-way obstacle detection as part of APAS (Advanced Pilot Assistance System). The system isn't as comprehensive as other, more expensive drones, but it works pretty well. Three-way sensors mean that these sensors can only detect obstacles in front, behind, and below.

Range of  DJI Mini 3

This is another area where DJI excels.

DJI uses an advanced transmission system called OcuSync that allows the drone to switch between 5.8 and 2.4 GHz.

Equipped with the latest version of OcuSync 3.0, the Mini 3 Pro has a range of up to 12 kilometers (7.4 miles). Of course, you don't need a drone that far as it won't be allowed in most areas, and neither will the battery power, but for short-range flights, you can enjoy some of the most powerful transmissions available.

Intelligent Flight Modes

The DJI Mini 3 Pro camera has a variety of shooting modes that you can easily use to create cinematic images. These include MasterShots, Hyperlapse, QuickShots, and Panoramas. Here's what you can do with each. 

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Master shots

MasterShots allows you to automatically capture objects with different movements such as circles, and angles, and fly forward.

These modes are useful if you want to take pictures of yourself, landmarks, buildings, or any other landscape. Taking these photos manually can be hectic and difficult, but MasterShots uses AI to do it efficiently and even provides templates to edit the video directly in the DJI app.


These are time-lapse aerial shots of the drone flying slowly while taking pictures when you first start it up. You can then compile the footage into a shorter video in seconds, where everything happens quickly. You set a predetermined route that the Mini 3 Pro will follow and activate the function.

A good example of hyper-lapse is when you see vehicles moving fast on the highway, the movement of the clouds and the direction of the shadows indicate that the video was captured over a longer period and then compressed into a shorter period.

Hyperlapse can be used in four ways:

  • Trajectory Lock: The drone flies in a predetermined direction when fired.
  • Circle: This allows the drone to create a hyperloop as it circles an object. 
  • Free: the drone flies in all orders.
  • Waypoints: Here you can choose a path from about five points that the drone will follow.

Panoramic Mode

This mode allows you to take multiple photos of an area and stitch them together to create one large image, which is not possible with standard drone camera lenses.

As mentioned, the DJI Mini 3 pro has an 82-degree FOV and a 24MM lens, which can be quite small for some lenses.


QuickShots is a simplified version of MasterShots.

As mentioned above, MasterShots will capture multiple action objects simultaneously. But if you want to capture your subject one action at a time, use QuickShots.

Actions like Helix, Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Boomerang, and Asteroid are done separately.

Video Resolution

Mini 3 Pro's best video resolution is 4K 60fps, which is all you need.

If you need to record in slow motion, you can switch to 1080 at 120 fps. If you want to slow down your video later, 4K 60fps is the way to go.

I think 4K is incredible because most devices still support 4K, including streaming platforms like YouTube. Second, shooting at a higher frame rate will reduce the light entering the camera and help capture more detail, but you can still test at a lower fps and measure the results.

Photo Resolution

When shooting with the Mini 3 Pro, you can also get 12MP and 48MP resolution images, which are great.

Currently, this drone's camera is a 12MP camera, but with Quad Bayer technology, you can now capture images at four times the original resolution. So which one should you use? There is no clear answer to this. In some cases, 48MP allows you to keep a lower ISO, while 12MP may require you to use a higher ISO than necessary.

In other cases, 48MP can introduce some noise into your footage. Remember that Quad Bayer 48MP is not exactly 48MP. It's slightly less than 12MP, but overall it'll give you a better picture than 12MP.


The DJI Mini 3 Pro lets you choose between two controllers.

There's the RC-N1, a controller similar to the one included with the Mini 2 or Air 2S, and the DJI RC, a smart controller with a built-in screen. The RC-N1 is cheaper and you don't need to buy a new controller if you have a DJI Mini 2.

If you don't want to use your smartphone, you can purchase the DJI RC for an additional fee. Other than the screen, all other features are very similar.

The two main features you'll enjoy using are the dials on top. The one on the left allows you to pan the camera up and down, while the one on the right allows you to zoom in and out.


If you want to capture objects that are a little further away or want to add parallax to your photos, you'll love the zoom feature.

You can use 2x zoom in 4K resolution. At 2.7K you get 3x zoom. At 1080p you get 4x zoom.

Internal Storage

Unfortunately, the Mini 3 Pro lacks internal storage. You only have about 1GB of storage and it will run out quickly. It's not a deal breaker, as you can always get a third-party SD card, but if you ever forget your SD card, it's handy to have at least 8GB of internal storage.

This drone is the perfect first drone. If you're considering the DJI Mini 2 as an entry-level drone, I'd recommend paying the extra and getting the Mini 3 Pro. Even if you have an Air 2S or Mavic 3, the Mini 3 Pro is a great choice for a small travel drone.

Read more: What Are the Benefits of Mobile Development and Consulting?

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