The DJI Mavic 3 design has appeared to leak in the latest round of DJI patents uploaded to the Chinese patent office, featuring a new larger camera, updated battery, and new sensor locations. While we aren’t 100% that this is the Mavic 3 it looks likely that it is.
The patent has a simple title of “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle” with an application date of January 22nd and a publication date of May 28th. This exact patent has been on the database for a little while, but an image was never attached before. Today the image has been made public.
While digging around in the patent we found that we were unable to open the full text and documents.
Taking a look at the drawing attached to the patent we are able to see a few new design choices which lead us to believe that this is a new drone.
Let’s start with the camera, taking a look at the camera we can see a boxier design with sharper gimbal arms than found on the Mavic 2. The camera lens has also gotten a new circular shape, hopefully it supports ND filters directly, like the Mavic Air 2 does.
Looking at the battery, we can see the usual power button with the battery indicator light forming a ring around it. Looking further back we are able to see four dots which appear to be indicator lights for displaying battery power level. The battery also appears to have new indents on either side of the power button.
One of the first things I noticed when looking at this image, is the position of the upward-facing obstacle avoidance sensor (Item 10). This would obviously protect the drone from colliding with something above it. There is what appears to be a rear sensor seen in Item 420.
Mavic 3 release date
We had originally thought the Mavic 3 would release this summer. But COVID-19 – which shut down Shenzhen earlier this year and saw DJI employees working remotely – caused substantial delays in production. The release date now points toward late Q3 or early Q4. It’s also important to remember that some of the products in these patents are early ideas and sometimes do not even make it to the production stage. Given that the Mavic is already an established line – and the clear Mavic lines of the diagram – we believe this is likely the real deal.
Commercial features in a portable Mavic 3 Pro?
As a commercial drone pilot, I’d love to see the Mavic 3 offer a longer flight time, hotswappable camera payloads. Drone pilots would also love to see the mavic have a better camera sensor and shutter. If DJI would just remove the linear rolling shutter from the mavic line and provide a higher end shutter. With a “global shutter,” (a vague term used to describe an electronic or mechanical shutter) that reads all of the “light” at one time. These global shutters allow for faster acquisition and processing of drone maps.
For commercial drone mappers, this feature not only saves time on acquiring images for drone mapping. But it also saves time for processing of these same orthomosaics and drone maps.
Expected leaded features of the Mavic 3 Pro?
Thanks to our friend on twitter, our expectations continue to rise from DJI. We never saw the launch of watch feature or other various features with the Mavic Air 2. Thus we expect to see these features released with the Mavic 3 this summer.
Mavic 3 Features Leaked:
- DJI Watch: similar to Skydio’s Wand control system, the watch looks like it will use GPS to allow drones to “refollow” the user once the user has been lost with visual avoidance.
2. Active Track 4.0: Using the watch, once the drone is lost from the user, it will regain tracking with APAS. We expect this active track to be able to avoid objects at a speed we have never seen before. While speed isn’t everything, it sure is important when mountain biking or wakesurfing. Also we expect this system to smoothly correct its flight movements much like the Skydio drone.
3. Variable Zoom 1″ Hasseblad Camera? While the variable zoom would be an awesome feature, it would eliminate the drone mapping potential. We hope the Mavic comes in two models, one with a fixed lens for drone mapping. One model that serves the creative crowd with a variable zoom lens. Or lets have some fun DJI and make the Mavic 3 have hot-swappable camera payloads. Since the release of the Autel Evo 2, we expect DJI to rise to the occasion.
Camera features and specifications expected from DJI
When DJI launched the 48mp DJI Mavic Air 2, we expect to see the same pixel doubling feature on the Mavic 3 pro. Matched with a larger Hasselblad sensor, drone pilots could see a serious upgrade. What if DJI launched a sensor that offered 43 Mp from a larger sensor? Recently leaked, this newer sensor from Sony would be a powerhouse drone pilots could only dream of. Why?
- 43Mp Sensor with Global Shutter for drone mapping
- True 8k Video with large array of frame rates
- Larger color gamut and bit rates
- Potential Variable zoom (hopefully this would be a secondary model… again you can’t map with variable zoom lens.
Enterprise Features Drone Pilots would Love.
DJI would be doing the world a favor if they continue to offer the enterprise crowd with a small foldable drone. The DJI Mavic 3 pro could offer some serious improvements to aid in delivering more bang for the buck. The list of features below showcases how the DJI mavic could potentially overtake a phantom.
- DUAL IMU: Drone pilots always need a backup sensor. Like other enterprise drones, this should be standard. Didn’t we learn our lesson from Boeing and the 737 Max?
- DUAL Compasses or RTK Compass: True RTK, meaning a drone that can gather NTRIP corrections in real time. And then paste that information to the EXIF portion of the image. With true RTK, not only can we fly more precisely, we can also map more precisely. A small foldable drone with RTK capability would unlock mapping in many parts of the world.
- Attitude Mode: Commercial drone pilots need a drone that will allow the pilot to be in total control. With magnetic interference, or wifi, or multi-path interference… flight can go hay wire, and rather quickly. Drone pilots need DJI to implement attitude mode, a true sensor deprived flight mode. Why? Well don’t you want to stop a flyaway?
- Local Only Mode: Drone that doesn’t connect to the internet.
Expect to see Remote ID (Not the good kind) Built-in to the Mavic 3
The FAA has supposedly read 53,000 comments, thought critically and rejected most information proposed by practical drone pilots. We expect the rabit hole to extend deeper with the release of this drone. While we expect to see ADS-B into the Mavic 3, we also expect this drone to have cellular RID.
Of course, Drone U is not supporting cellular based or “network” remote ID. The government is worried about Chinese drones and parts. Most security experts know, if the drone is controlled without an internet enabled device, the security issue is solved.
So why does the FAA want to connect all drones to the internet?
Why does the FAA push for Network ID when most of our Drones already comply with broadcast ID?
IDK, i rest my case….