First user video of DJI Mini 3 Pro in flight goes live

After the appearance Friday of the first unboxing video of DJI’s yet-to-be-unveiled Mini 3 Pro, it was inevitable a film of the new drone in flight would soon drop. That thumping sound (accompanied by distinctive whirring) is the predestined footage entering, stage right.

That video of the Mini 3 Pro being put through the moves was uploaded just hours after – not illogically – the same content creator posted unboxing shots of the craft. English drone pilot Darren McHardy posted the film on his YouTube channel, and flagged it to the world using his @DMPRODUCTIONS twitter account. The clicks began accumulating from there.

McHardy’s intent in the demo film is very obviously to give viewers who’ve been titillated and tormented by months of rumors ahead of the Mini 3 Pro’s expected launch on May 10th a fast but loving peek of the drone and built-in screen controller. As such, it features more beautiful imagery of the craft in flight over a beach in England at sundown than it does tech details. 

That latter point is rather mooted, however, by previous leaks having provided the world all the spec details about the drone it needs to know.

McHardy does note a few interesting tech points, though. Despite recent complaints by users of DJI Mavic 3 drones about prolonged delays for GPS connections – some extending beyond 10 minutes – McHardy says the Mini 3 Pro linked up with one of the 25 satellites it had found inside 10 seconds.

He also reveals that while many of rumored features are already operable on his prematurely obtained drone, neither the tracking nor obstacle avoidance capabilities were activated. DJI will probably remedy those absences with a firmware tweak once existence of the craft has been (officially) acknowledged.

The video of DJI’s newest drone in action, however, seems to contain another element of the inevitable – or at least very likely. To wit, that McHardy’s post yesterday of unboxing footage he claimed came from a leaker was actually shot on his lonesome. 

Apart from the manicure of hands visible in both films being uncannily similar, DroneDJ writer Ishveena Singh noted that in response to yesterday’s unpacking vid, “eagle-eyed drone enthusiasts contend the box seen in the video comes from the inventory of UK retailer Agros, who accidentally made their product listing public last weekend.” Though it’s a big country (and world), McHardy’s origins (is that accent Manchester?) make that England connection seem more than coincidental.

Perhaps more compelling, meanwhile, is that if McHardy didn’t already have a Mini 3 Pro to unbox all by himself, how did he get his hands on one to film flight footage the same day? Why would a leaker hog the lesser joy of ripping the packaging, and hand over the prize inside for the bigger deal?

McHardy may eventually answer those questions himself, but for now – in the wake of his most recent work featuring the Mini 3 Pro aloft – most viewers now want to know something else: How on earth he managed to get the drone days before DJI is expected to introduce it?


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