Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

Drone is a way to get super footage - DJI Mini 3 Pro review


A few years back I got my first drone from DJI Mavic series - Mavic Air - and while it was a fun novelty, it didn’t get me to fly a drone much. However last year I upgraded to Mini 3 Pro drone and this one got me hooked. Here’s my short review of this drone: why I love it so much, why even my family likes it when I fly it and how I use it.

Drone is a way to get super footage - DJI Mini 3 Pro review

DJI Mini 3 Pro - a perfect drone under 250g weight!

Here are things that I love about this drone:

Drone is a way to get super footage - DJI Mini 3 Pro review pouch

Drawbacks? If I have to point out something, I’d like this drone to fly longer than 30 minutes, have side sensors so that it really makes sure it doesn’t hit anything and the videos would automagically edit themselves and add to my Photos library. The first two issues I believe are solved by the new Mini 4 Pro, but it’s not enough to force me to upgrade it just yet.

I bought this drone with just the controller. Later I bought an additional battery so I can fly more, a protector for the controller, protector for the propellers and this small Patagonia pouch which fits the whole thing perfectly. When it’s all packed, it’s smaller than my iPad and fits all of my backpacks easily:

Drone is a way to get super footage - DJI Mini 3 Pro review packed

It’s so small, that when I was entering one of the museums, the security guard while going through my backpack ignored the drone because he saw this pouch and thought it was cosmetics or something 😜

How I fly the drone

Whenever I’m in a place that’s perfect for a drone shot, I search for a spot a little hidden from other people. In the city centers I usually go to a small alley. When I’m in nature I go a few meters away from the main trail. Then I unpack the drone, start it off and directly go up to reach an altitude of 30 meters or more and then I hit record and start flying.

I learned a lot from YouTube as there are many videos showing how you can fly a drone. This was one of my favorites:

Very often I try to use the “active track” mode - so I find a spot, select it on the screen of my controller and fly around it or from it backwards. When you fly it’s important not to change course abruptly but to learn to make the motions as smooth as possible.

How I edit the footage

After I fly I usually take out the SD card and pop it to my iPad using an SD card reader which I always have in my travel pouch.

Then I copy the footage to a local “UserMedia” folder in Luma Fusion app. Then I open this app, start a new project and right away add the footage there and start editing.

Editing usually comes down to choosing the best shots and manipulating the speed between 2X - 5X.

Drone is a way to get super footage - DJI Mini 3 Pro review edit

I like editing to music, so I usually think of a song that goes with the footage and get it from YouTube. If I want to publish the video, I use un-copyrighted music but if I want to edit a video just for my family, I use any song I like.

Pro tip on getting music from YouTube: When I want to use music from YouTube - I open Chrome on the iPad, find the official video clip on YouTube, start screen recording and it records both the screen and the music. Later I add this clip to my music track in the Luma Fusion project. This is not piracy, I use this copyrighted music as “fair use” only for my private videos. If I need copyright-free music I just search for NCS - Copyright Free Music. It’s annoying that I cannot just use tracks from Apple Music for my private use.

Once the video is edited, I export it directly to my Photos and add the video to a “Drone” album. This way I have a video ready to show off to my friends, family or co-workers.

Is it fun flying the drone?

Yes it is! I love it. Thanks to its tiny size I take it with me for most of my trips because I never know if I’ll be filming something.

To me this particular drone symbolizes effortless situation - it’s so small that it’s a no-brainer to pack it, it’s under 250g so I can fly it almost anywhere, it takes around 30 seconds from unpacking to liftoff and it flies for more than 30 minutes on one battery. The only drawback is the editing which always takes some time. I wish AI would edit the videos the way I like them for me 🤓 - that would be totally effortless!

Friday, April 12, 2024 /drone/