new mini drone DJI Mini 3 – also suitable for surveying tasks?

//new mini drone DJI Mini 3 – also suitable for surveying tasks?

new mini drone DJI Mini 3 – also suitable for surveying tasks?

More and more miniature drones are coming onto the market. Is DJI still the market leader and pioneer here? We have the latest micro drone of the DJI family, equipped with a powerful camera, good flight values ​​and easy handling. And so far it has been convincing in our first tests. This article is not a review but an overview focusing on photogrammetry. So how good is the Mini 3 Pro for photogrammetry?
DJI doesn't disappoint with the hardware. The drone weighs 249 grams, falling under regulations requiring a pilot's license in many countries, but what can it do in

photogrammetric?Despite the weight and size, the small drone is solid. Although compromises have been made to make the drone as light as possible, the overall build quality is more than adequate. Everything is made of thin, high-quality plastic, metal and glass parts were only used on screws, motors and cameras.

In contrast to its predecessors, the Mini 3 Pro offers numerous sensors. The drone has forward, backward and downward obstacle detection, the minimum required for safe flight for beginners. The main camera packs a 1,3-inch sensor with a bright f1.7 aperture. These are good specs for such a small camera and we've come to expect good image quality from this package.


  • light, small, compact
  • Forward, backward and downward obstacle detection
  • Good flight time (25 minutes in the practical test)
  • Good speed and flight stability
  • Good camera quality
  • Propeller arms fold out in any order
  • Photos in portrait format (Instagram) possible
  • Possibility to tilt the camera +60° upwards


  • high entry price compared to the previous models
  • Slight overheating when stationary
  • Propeller removable only with a screwdriver
  • No LEDs on the rear arms
  • No adjustable aperture on the camera
  • No LEDs on the battery

Is the Mini 3 sufficient for photogrammetry?

When it comes to photogrammetry, a good camera package is the most important requirement. The Mini 3 Pro has a good camera, especially for photos. In practice, the bright aperture means that the lens throws a fair amount of light onto the sensor, which means that the images are significantly less noisy. The actual 12 megapixel resolution is sufficient. The camera is mounted on a gimbal and is therefore stable, like all other DJI drones. The drone has GPS and the location data is embedded in the metadata of the photos. The Mini 3 Pro thus meets the minimum requirements for photogrammetry with GPCs.


Missing flight planning or suffering with the SDK:

Currently, it looks like there will be no way to install third-party apps on the DJI RC controller. It is operated with an Android-based operating system. This is only designed to operate the drone.
When it comes to powering your own smartphone with the RC-N1, everything here depends on DJI. The SDK (software development kit) for the Mavic 3 has still not been released and our hope is fading that it will ever be available. No SDK release by DJI means no third party apps and no flight planning for photogrammetry. We have no reason to believe the Mini 3 will be any different. Perhaps the days of freely available SDKs for consumer drones are over and DJI is shifting flight planning exclusively towards the enterprise segment. Let's hope the best.

Just because third-party apps aren't supported doesn't mean you can't use the Mini 3 Pro for photogrammetry. Manual scanning is possible, albeit more complex and error-prone.

CADdy Geomatics has developed an extensive workflow with videogrammetry, 3D survey, etc., which also gives you good results in this drone category.

Do you want to use the Mini 3 for photogrammetry? We are happy to advise you and offer training courses and seminars to achieve good results even with the smallest UAS: +49 (0)89 427422-22