How To Take Superb Pictures With The DJI Mini 3 (and 4) PRO

Dji Mini Pro Photography Guide by Albert Dros

It’s been some time since my final article on drone images (2019 to be exact). Since then I’ve used a lot of DJI drones. Earlier this 12 months I purchased a Mini 3 Professional to see if this might doubtlessly change larger drones for my travels. And I’ve to be trustworthy: I didn’t prefer it at first. The 48MP perform was so sluggish and restricted. It was a trouble to make use of and the drone simply was not as secure as the larger DJI drones when flying with stronger winds. I used to be fairly disenchanted and even returned the drone.

Quick ahead a number of months later, my larger drone crashed in Thailand and I used to be form of compelled to purchase the Mini 3 Professional to nonetheless be capable of preserve taking pictures aerials on my journey. Issues modified right here: I realized to understand its portability and how you can cope with its ‘flaws’ and really shot some lovely photographs with that little factor. I slowly began to fall in love with it and I’m nonetheless utilizing it on each journey till this present day. I don’t even really feel the necessity to convey a (a lot) heavier drone just like the Air 3 or Mavic 3 Professional as a result of I’m assured in myself in creating one of the best photographs with the Mini. Every time I submit aerial photographs individuals are usually shocked once I inform them they’ve been taken with the Mini 3 Professional.

On this article I’ll clarify you all about how I shoot one of the best images with the DJI Mini 3 Professional.

Please observe that DJI simply introduced the Mini 4 Professional. Taking pictures settings with this drone will probably be just like the strategies on this article.

If you wish to see this text in video, test it out on YouTube:

RAW & Handbook

First issues first: make certain to have your drone set to avoid wasting information in RAW (DNG). This fashion we maximise our dynamic vary. Set your drone to PRO (backside proper on controller) and ensure it’s not set to AUTO. Activate the Histogram on the display screen if it isn’t. You are able to do that an the digital camera tab within the menu:

DJI controller

The 48 MP mode

Now that is in fact why many photographers choose to purchase the Mini 3 Professional. DJI markets these drones with ‘48mp’ sensors. However that is extra a advertising and marketing gimmick, and it’s one thing we now have to simply accept. The Mini 3 Professional has a 1/1.3 inch sensor. In logical considering: You may’t produce a decently dynamic vary RAW file in 48mp from such a small sensor. That’s merely not attainable. DJI makes use of related strategies than an iPhone and outputs 12 megapixel RAW information in regular mode, with first rate dynamic vary.

However in fact, we do need to have these 48mp information, and so they do come at a price. By realizing the constraints and how you can use 48mp information, you will get some first rate to nice outcomes:

tulip field in The Netherlands

Tulip fields within the Netherlands shot at 48mp with the DJI Mini 3 Professional.

  • Make sure that to make use of a quick shutter velocity. Utilizing sluggish shutter speeds (slower than 1/50) has the potential for unsharp photographs in 48MP mode, particularly when it’s windy. So watch out with that.

  • Understand that the 48mp ‘RAW’ information should not actually RAW. They’ve the dynamic vary of a JPG and don’t go away an excessive amount of room for enhancing. So you must expose completely:

  • Use the histogram to reveal ‘excellent’. Don’t shoot too darkish, don’t shoot too brilliant. Don’t clip any a part of the picture.

Thailand fishing village

On this instance we see a ‘excellent histogram’ The histogram doesn’t clip on both aspect, the scene isn’t too contrasty and I may edit this shot completely with only one 48mp file.

  • Handbook A number of Exposures: In larger distinction scenes, shoot 1 body for the darker elements (foreground) and shoot 1 or 2 extra for the brighter elements (sky). There’s no computerized choice to take a number of exposures so you’ll have to do it manually. It takes a while, however the end result will probably be price it ultimately.

church and tulips in The Netherlands

On this instance the distinction of the scene was too large due to taking pictures into the intense solar. Subsequently I made a brighter publicity and a darker one, and mixed them to get a correctly uncovered scene.

Should you comply with all these ‘guidelines’, you’ll be capable of take photographs in 48mp which might be ‘price it’. The sharpness is sort of first rate and the information are of excessive decision. Be very cautious with enhancing the information, as they rapidly get noisy. So once more, it’s vital to take excellent exposures, and take extra photographs for the scene if essential to have an even bigger dynamic vary to work with. These are best with daylight photographs, however get extra difficult with sunsets.


You may shoot guide panoramas in 48mp mode. I usually {photograph} vertical panoramas. It’s tremendous good which you can rotate the Mini 3 Professional digital camera 90 levels to {photograph} vertical compositions. A trick I usually use is rotate the digital camera, see how a body seems in vertical, then rotate the digital camera again and shoot the identical picture in a vertical panorama (of horizontal frames). To do that you merely shoot 1 photograph, level the drone a bit extra down, shoot one other photograph, and so on. Right here’s an instance:

Thailand fishing village

A guide vertical pano at 48 mp with a decision of 15500 pixels in peak. Now in fact the sharpness it not wonderful at 100%, however it’s nonetheless spectacular in case you scale down this picture.

Alternatively: in case you shoot horizontal panoramas in 48mp, flip the digital camera in vertical place and {photograph} the panorama this fashion. This makes issues a lot simpler!

Iceland highlands by drone

A guide panorama of the highlands in Iceland with the Mini 3 Professional in vertical 48MP mode.

This takes time however will be actually price it for daytime photographs. You find yourself with an enormous decision to work with!

Computerized Panoramas

The Mini 3 Professional has nice computerized panorama features. The one you’ll need to use is the ‘Extensive Angle’ panorama perform, not the ‘180 diploma’. You get there by urgent the conventional shot perform, scroll down on the best to ‘panorama’ and choose ‘broad angle’. This perform simulates a large angle shot by making a grid of 9 photographs.

Dji controller

And the wonderful thing about photographing panoramas is clearly: You might have extra decision. Understand that the drone shoots photographs of 12 megapixel on this mode, so with a grid of 9 photographs you get a a lot larger decision output. Recommendations on photographing a great panorama with the Mini 3 Professional:

  • Shoot in PRO mode with full guide settings, not AUTO

  • Your digital camera view with be the middle of the panorama. So that you usually need to intention a bit down with not a lot sky, as a result of there will probably be a row on high of your ‘major digital camera view’ which is able to embody the sky. It takes some practise to grasp this, however when you shot some panoramas you’ll get the grasp of it.

  • Use the histogram to reveal correctly: The 12 mp information have first rate dynamic vary. If nothing clips, you’ll be okay for postprocessing. When you have a brilliant sky and a darkish foreground, merely take 2 precisely the identical panoramas: one with a lighter publicity, and one with a darker publicity.

  • Be sure you setup save RAW for panorama. Even in case you have your drone set as much as save information in RAW, the panorama doesn’t routinely do that. You need to set this up within the menu.

  • Verify your pano throughout your flight! That is one thing that I realized from my pal Daniel Kordan and didn’t realise earlier than: You may merely verify the output of your panoramas throughout your flight. Merely go to your library (press the little play button on the best on the controller display screen) and also you’ll discover a low res preview of the JPG there exhibiting the panorama you shot, already stitched by DJI. This can be a nice strategy to see your precise composition of your full pano. If it’s not precisely the way you anticipated it to be, merely transfer or angle the drone a bit, and shoot one other one. Then verify once more, till you could have the specified end result!

drone controller

Instance of a stitched broad angle pano within the library of the controller.

Panoramas are an effective way to get larger decision photographs with the DJI Mini 3 Professional. I take advantage of them on a regular basis to beat the low quantity of megapixels.

Phang Nga bay in Thailand

A large angle panorama in Thailand

Regular (12 MP) Taking pictures

Typically I merely don’t have any alternative however to shoot in Regular 12mp mode. Consider heavy winds the place the 48mp merely doesn’t get sharp photographs for instance. I attempt to use the ‘regular’ mode solely when I’ve no alternative. Listed here are some tricks to get one of the best outcomes out of regular photographs with the Mini 3 Professional:

  • PRO mode: As all the time, use full guide PRO mode.

  • Use AEB (5 photographs) for extra dynamic vary throughout excessive contrasty scenes. Should you shoot right into a brilliant sundown, make certain your major publicity is already fairly darkish.

  • Shoot 5-7 photographs in BULB mode for further sharpness. These information will probably be precisely the identical. However you possibly can overlay these in postprocessing with a technique referred to as ‘noise stacking’ (it’s in my course, or try how I take advantage of this in one in every of my movies on YouTube). This fashion you get a sharper end result with much less noise.

  • Final however not least: These days there’s some nice upscale software program. Consider Luminar Upscale AI, Adobe’s Improve features and so on, which might be getting higher and higher. You may upscale these drone photographs for higher outcomes, particularly after already making use of noise stacking.

Finish Phrase

By accepting the Mini 3 Professional’s flaws and limitations, it’s really a terrific drone to take anyplace. It’s tremendous mild and also you simply throw it into your digital camera bag. With the above strategies and a few practise, it’s attainable to take some nice images. A fast abstract of how I take advantage of mine:

  • I shoot in 48mp at any time when attainable. This implies with not a lot wind. If the scene has an excessive amount of distinction, I shoot darker and brighter photographs manually. I later mix these (the sky and the foreground) manually in submit.

  • If I need to shoot wider, I take advantage of the automated pano. Make sure that to set it to RAW and use the ‘Extensive Angle’ perform (not the 180). If I rapidly need to see how my pano seems, I rapidly go into the library of my DJI controller and verify the stitched jpg of the pano.

  • I solely shoot in ‘regular’ 12mp mode when I’ve no alternative. Once I do, I usually use AEB 5 photographs with larger contrasty scenes, or BULB mode (5 or 7 photographs) to later apply noise stacking for higher sharpness and fewer noise.

ljotipollur crater in Iceland

The Icelandic highlands by drone. Right here the Mini 3 Professional will be difficult as a result of it’s usually windy. For this shot I used to be form of on the sting relating to the winds.

Now lastly, it is crucial that this drone can change larger drones for many half, however not with every little thing. A very powerful issue is wind. Whereas the DJI Mini 3 Professional is comparatively first rate when there are some winds, you possibly can undoubtedly not fly it in storms. Whereas the larger Mavics are literally very first rate in tremendous robust winds. I’ve flown Mavic 2 and three confidently in fairly robust winds, however I wouldn’t strive it with the mini. So in case you’re visiting windy places, you may not be capable of get the shot with the Mini 3 Professional. And that’s at the moment the most important ‘flaw’ of this drone that you just can’t do something about. Apart from wait till the winds die down 🙂


in fact, the entire photographs on this article had been submit processed. If you wish to learn the way I do my postprocessing, try my Full Course on Panorama Pictures, which covers all of my strategies from newbie to superior.

That’s all! I hope you discovered this text helpful 🙂



Gear used on this article:

DJI Mini 3 Professional

PS: Listed here are some extra drone photographs with the Mini 3 Professional:

windmill in The Netherlands
zig zag river in thailand
Iceland highlands from drone
ice fjord and red sails in disko bay greenland
phang NGA bay Thailand
created in Iceland
crater in Iceland
tulips in The Netherlands
Disko bay Greenland

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