Help with 1st drone purchase

I currently am limited to a wheelchair but hope to start using a walker/roller soon. With the being said, I am looking at purchasing a drone so I can continue taking photographs. To let you know a little about my camera background, my current camera setup is Panasonic G95 with a standard lens and a telephoto lens. I also have a point and shoot Panasonic DC-ZS80.

My priorities are::
Ease of use
Image Quality
Flight time

Some choices I have looked at are:
DJI Mini 3 with DJI RC Remote
Autel Robotics EVO Lite+ Drone with Remote
DJI Air 2S Drone with Remote
DJI Mavic 3 Classic with RC-N1 Remote

Having used my Panasonic point and shoot for several years, I am leaning away from the small sensor on the DJI Mini3; which leads to another question. How hard is getting a drone registered?

I really want to be able to take nice pictures. Landscapes, river scenes, city shots, night scenes etc. But I am a amateur and not expecting to be the next Ansel Adams lol.

Any input/suggestions on these or other drones is greatly appreciated.

1 Like

Just love my DJI Mini 3 with DJI RC Remote - and takes great pictures :grinning:


Going for something under 250g ( e.g. the Mini 3 ) gives a LOT more flexibility where you can fly it


Look at the pictures displayed on this site.

If you go to the challenges category and click on any of the RTF competitions you will see a broad sample of pictures with details of the aircraft used. Clicking on an individual picture will enlarge it, you can further click to original size or download to view at your leisure.

All of the aircraft you mention as potential are both capable and have decent flight times. “Registering an aircraft” is actually registering yourself with both a flyer and and operator id via a simple online test and an annual £10.33 fee

1 Like

Hi and welcome from another newbie. I beleive you come from the states (ohio). Its possible that what appies in Uk is different in USA. Please stay with us but I would also join The Drone Pilots forum that is mainly in USA so possibly you could get more knowlegable responses.

1 Like

I registered with the Drone Pilots site but most of their model specific info is about the bigger drones. I think I am narrowing my choices down to a DJI Mini 3 Pro or a Autel Evo Nano. I would like to know which has the bigger sensor or are they the same size?

I am going to the under 250 because I want to be able to shoot almost anywhere.

The DJI Mini 3 Pro (in my opinion) currently has the best camera in it’s sub 250g class as far as off-the-shelf drones go. Be aware it has a tiny sensor and is comparable to a good quality phone camera: it has a deep DOF - meaning everything is in focus from approx 10ft to infinity, which is great for general landscapes but optically-shallow DOF is not possible unless the subject is literally within 2-3 feet away. It has a fixed, fast f1.7 lens but no physical aperture so light control is done via shutter speed - which is not a problem for stills - In really bright light you might benefit from using NDs. The FoV is equivalent to a 24mm lens on a full frame camera and there is no optical zoom, only digital zoom, which is sort of pointless for photos as you can do a better job in post. The inclusion of RAW format stills is good (I think the colour depth of raw is 12 bit? but I can’t find a definitive answer on that), anyway the dynamic range is very good in video and photo mode.
The drone itself is a pleasure to use and pretty much flies itself, giving you more time to concentrate on the photos!


I am a newbie to drone flying so not as qualified to answer as many on this site, however what I can tell you is I am vey happy with my DJI mini 3 pro with the RC Remote.
both in the way that the drone flies and the images it captures it far exceeds my expectations.
I’m still learning and hope I become a more experienced pilot and photographer but straight out of the box it brings excellent results.

1 Like

If i was you go for the mini 3pro it has anti collision sensors were the mini 3 hasn’t it takes brilliant photos

hi as you live in the US then at the very least no matter which drone you decide upon you will need to do the Trust test ,and anything over 250g will need to be registered,reading your post it seems that your main priority for having a drone is the camera ,so to that end the Mavic 3 would be the best recreational drone for you the mini 3 pro would also be a good choice for portability ,and the fact it has less restrictions on where it can be flown ,it seems at the moment that in the US there is a big push to get flyers to take their part 107 training and they are being encouraged to do so, this allows for more scope in where you can fly do go on the FAA site and see what you need to do to get airborne

1 Like

I took a night shot tonight of the moon with my Lumix ZS80 point and shoot zoom ( 1/2.3 sensor (6.17 x 4.55 mm )’ I shot it at 125MM and F6.4. No post processing done yet but it looks usable in the camera.

I have Topaz Gigapixel which I bought specifically for this small camera. I also use DXO Raw 2 and Affinity Version 1 for post processing. I just might be able to work with the easier to fly sub 250 gram unit.

I have to admit the Autel is tempting with its burst mode and closer focusing distance. Two important features for taking pictures of flowers and the occasional insect that may happen into the frame. If the DFI Mini 3 Pro had the same features, I would have bought it today.

I am going to keep reading up and I appreciate your input on the Mavic 3. I love my 4/3 G95 but even it has become a chore to lug around.

Hi James

Regarding the Autel, their repair service is supposed to be atrocious at the best and none existent at the worst. With DJI, you’ve got Care Refresh system, you break it, send it back, you get a new (refurbed) one back a couple of days later.
If you’ve got mobility issues, then the Mavic 3, although a v. good drone, weighs in at 895 g, which is the weight of an Air 2S and a Mini 3 Pro together, making it a bit of a weight to haul around with you. This weight is just the drone and battery, no controller, spare batteries etc. The picture quality may be better, and the movies may be Hollywood quality (nearly) but unless you’re a pro, you’re probably not going to notice the difference (blow a shot up to 60 inches across and you might (might) see the difference, but normally you won’t. It’s also about £600 more than an Air 2S (for a Mavic 3 Classic) that’s over $700 that you could spend on something else.
When you started with photography, did you buy the most expensive camera, or did you buy a cheap one to learn with (I’ve got Lumix cameras, but I bought a G3 and a GF5 cheap because I’ve got M43 lenses off my Inspire). Same with drones, learn to fly with a cheap small one first, you’ll definitely crash and break it. You’ll see the people on ebay who have crashed drones and given up “For sale, controller, batteries bag etc, no drone”. Learn first, we’ll help, it’s difficult from the other side of the Atlantic, but ask questions, that’s what we’re here for.

Hi John/Hotrodspike,
My first good camera was a Pentax crop sensor. A solid camera but no where near a best in class. I think you just convinced me the Mini 3 Pro is the way to go. I’ve read bad things about disconnects and return to home issues with the Autel. That would be a nightmare in my current situation.

I will be looking at getting the Mini 3 Pro. I need to shop for the best deal; if there are any.

1 Like

If you can’t find a cheapo Mini 3 Pro, get a Mini 2, they’re still a pretty good drone and available (in UK at least) for about £300 - £350 (used) for a Fly More setup with extra batteries/bag etc. If you go down that route, make sure the seller removes it from his DJI account, or you won’t be able to register it on your account.

How long does the charge on the DJI RC Remote last? I am thinking of buying the Drone, Remote, and one extra battery.

I think it’s about 4 hours or so, I’ve got 3 batteries and I haven’t gone past the 3 lights on the RC when I’ve used all the batts.


I’m in a similar position and I’d completely echo those comments! DJI Mini 3 Pro seems like the perfect drone to start out with and use for a long time to come!

1 Like

Just got a link to this in my mail. It’s a US based pilot who claims to know what he is talking about. Covers the aircraft you are interested in so may be of use.

PS - if you are buying DJI don’t get one extra battery - buy the FlyMore kit which gives you a total of 3 batteries, dedicated charger and a few other useful accessories. You can never have too many batteries!


I just bought the DJI Mini 3 Pro. I also got some ND Filters and san disk card. Picked up the one year warranty from DJI. I will order more batteries, cards, and/or the fly more kit soon.

I have been researching applications as all of mine are for photos. I’m going with the free ones for now. Video and 3D has peaked my interest. Gimp/Blender and the free version of DaVinci Resolve are the ones I have read the most about. If there are any others, I am happy to take a look.

1 Like