How New Drones, Like DJI's Mavic 3 Pro, Can Make You a Better Photographer

More cameras mean more options

  • DJI has released a new drone, the Mavic 3 Pro, with three cameras. 
  • Drones are becoming sophisticated tools for photographers. 
  • Experts say a little planning goes a long way when taking drone pictures.
The DJI Mavic 3 Pro drone in flight over a desert location with an amateur photographer in the distant background.


Drones are getting smarter and better at taking pictures, opening up new vistas for photographers looking to up their game. 

DJI's new Mavic 3 Pro top-of-the-line drone is getting a refreshed pro version with three cameras instead of two. It's a sign of how drones are becoming a serious tool for amateur shutterbugs, experts say. 

"Photography is an art that requires various perspectives and angles to add variety and create captivating viewpoints that help tell a story through your photos," Desiree Rodriguez, a photographer who uses drones in her work, told Lifewire in an email interview. "Drones offer a cost-effective solution for achieving these perspectives. In the past, capturing aerial shots of buildings or mountains would require renting a helicopter, which was both expensive and time-consuming."

DJI's Mavic 3 Pro Lets You Get the Long Shot

The $2199 Mavic 3 Pro soars above scenes with three cameras using different focal lengths. The drone contains the renowned Hasselblad camera system with two telephoto cameras and a 43-minute maximum flight time. 

"The Mavic 3 Pro's triple camera combination gives users the ability to switch between shot composition with just one tap, allowing content creators a wider variety of shots in less time than ever before," Ferdinand Wolf, Creative Director at DJI, said in a news release

Drones like the new DJI Mavic 3 Pro have democratized aerial photography, making it more accessible to amateurs who don't have access to multi-million dollar budgets, Rodriguez said. 

"These smaller creatives can now offer the same quality shots to their clients just as larger production houses do," she added. "Drones are lightweight, portable, and fit into your bag, making it easier to travel and capture remote locations or subjects that are otherwise out of reach."

Drone cameras are constantly improving, with each new release offering higher quality footage and more filmmaking settings, Rodriguez noted. The latest drone models allow photographers to capture 4K and 5.1K video just like you would with a larger, more traditional camera, but in a much smaller, more portable package with wings. For example, the new DJI Mavic 3 Pro drone features three cameras in one, making it easy to get shots from different focal lengths without flying the drone too close to your subject and risking crashing it.

One of the most helpful features in drone photography is enhanced video transmission, which allows you to see what the drone's camera sees in real-time, Rodriguez said.  

Drones are lightweight, portable, and fit into your bag, making it easier to travel and capture remote locations or subjects that are otherwise out of reach.

"This feature makes it easier to adjust the camera angle and settings as you fly and helps you capture more compelling footage," she added. "With every update, you can fly farther away and still have a smooth connection with the drone."

Another significant advancement in drone photography is longer battery life.

"My first drone had a battery with a 15-minute flight time which meant I couldn't waste time figuring out what kind of shot I was going to capture," Rodriguez said. "I had to know which shots I needed to get before I took off. Now with the DJI Mavic 3 Pro, I can fly it for 43 minutes, but I won't push it to that limit and still recommend planning out your shots beforehand."

Great Drone Photography Is About Planning

Simple adjustments can make a big difference in drone photography. To get the best drone images, it's critical to plan ahead, adventure photographer Justin Choquette said in an email.

"Before taking off, plan your shots and think about the types of footage you want to capture," he added. "This will help you fly the drone more purposefully and ensure you get the shots you need."

A drone flying against a blue sky backdrop.

Paolo Longo / EyeEm / Getty Images

When using a drone with a camera, it's best to shoot in manual mode to have greater control over the camera settings, Choquette said. This will help you adjust the exposure, shutter speed, and other settings to achieve the look you want.

"Drones are incredibly versatile and can easily maneuver in ways that traditional photography equipment cannot," he added. "For example, they can fly over buildings or other obstacles, capture footage from hard-to-reach angles when climbing mountains, and hover in place to capture time-lapse shots or panoramic views you would normally never be able to capture."

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