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What DJI’s new Pocket 3 camera might tell us about the next Mini drone

What DJI’s new Pocket 3 camera might tell us about the next Mini drone


DJI announced its next-generation pocket-size gimbal camera, the Osmo Pocket 3. It brings great new upgrades to those looking for an on-the-go camera, and it might just tell us what we’ll see coming to a DJI Mini 5 drone – key word is might.

Everything you need to know about the Pocket 3

DJI’s Osmo Pocket 3 is a pretty awesome upgrade to what last came out in 2020, now featuring a 1-inch camera sensor and a pump to support up to 4K/120FPS slow-motion video. In a trade-off to getting the larger sensor, the camera lens’ aperture has decreased to F2 versus F1.8 on the Pocket 2. However, I think a 1-inch sensor will for sure make up for the reduced aperture in that area.

While the overall design of the Pocket 3 has not changed from the Pocket 2’s small form factor, there is a big addition in screen size. DJI added a 2-inch rotatable screen to the top of the gimbal hand, allowing a much easier view of what the camera sees. In its vertical format, the screen is flush with the handle, but when you flip it horizontally, it overhangs a little but gives you a great view to line up your shot.

It looks like the Pocket 3 will take a card out of the Air 3’s playbook and support vertical video shooting but cropped down rather than rotate the camera to capture true-vertical video. That’s where the rotatable screen comes in, to allow you to frame up your video properly for posts to social media.

DJI Mic 2 and other accessories

The Pocket 3 also comes with an upgraded Mic 2 module. Right now, this is only for the Pocket 3, but it could mean a second-generation DJI Mic set is coming in the near future. The Mic 2 offers better battery life and is slightly larger. However, it serves the same job: to capture your audio and less of the surrounding environment or when the camera is not in your hands.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a DJI product if there weren’t loads of accessories like a battery grip extension, mini tripod, a mist filter, wide-angle lens, and ND filters (16, 64, 256). Of course, these are all out of stock on the DJI website unless you purchase the Pocket 3 Creator Combo for $669, but that doesn’t come with everything.

The Pocket 3 by itself comes in at $519.

DJI Pocket 3 with Creator Combo.

What does this mean for drones?

Ah, yes, the question I asked in the beginning. Sorry, I wanted to give you the backstory before explaining my theory on this.

If you look back on the Pocket series, there’s been a correlation between its camera and the camera that gets released on the next Mini-series drone. In 2018, when the original Pocket was released, it sported a 12MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS camera, the same camera that came in the Mavic Mini and Mini 2 drones. The Pocket 2, Mini 3, and Mini 4 drones had not the same but similar size cameras, Pocket 2 at 1/1.7-inch and the Minis at 1/1.3-inch.

Now, with the Pocket 3 being able to support a 1-inch sensor in a compact format, does that mean a 1-inch camera is coming to the Mini 5 or whatever is next? I don’t see why not.

I haven’t been able to physically hold the Pocket 3 yet, but based on the dimensions, the Pocket 3 is slightly larger than the Pocket 2. So I would assume that the 1-inch camera assembly is also slightly larger.

That extra size and weight could cause a problem, but if DJI continues on its trend of cutting weight from its Mini lineups to add better features, they could make the room. Everything is a numbers game with the Mini series – how much can they pack in there and keep it at 249 grams? Where can we save weight to increase weight elsewhere?

This is what we saw between the Mini 3 Pro and Mini 4 Pro. Overall, it’s the same drone, except they reduced enough weight somewhere to add upgraded obstacle avoidance sensors. The Mini 5 could easily be a Mini 4 Pro but with a 1-inch camera sensor.

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