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Possible to get better camera/zoom on mini 3?

alexjo55

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one of the things i was most dissapointed with the mini 3 is the zoom.
2x zoom in 4k is worthless and low quality.

is it possible to have some adapter/add on lens or even change camera completley?
 
Changing the camera is almost certainly NOT possible. I can't comment on adding a lens but the weight of glass might prove troublesome for the gimbal.
 
You are better off cropping in post as the zoom on the Mini 3 is just digital zoom.

As far as adding some sort of telephoto adapter, there are none available that I know of probably because it is either not cost effective to make one or the quality would not be great. In addition, you would have to land each time to remove it when you didn't want it on any more which make its use impractical.

Changing the camera - not possible.

My hope is that sometime in the near future the next iteration of the Mini line will have a two camera system with a wide angle lens and a telephoto lens but keeping the drone under 250g is the challenge DJI will face. Right now, the Mini 4 has pretty much maxed out what a Mini drone can do. I feel any future innovations would have to be to the camera system. Some phones have wide-angle lenses and separate telephoto lenses so I think it is just a matter of time before that tech gets into the Mini line of drones.

Chris
 
one of the things i was most dissapointed with the mini 3 is the zoom.
2x zoom in 4k is worthless and low quality.

is it possible to have some adapter/add on lens or even change camera completley?
I did an extensive search about a year ago looking for any type of zoom lenses for any type of drone, more so DJI. I couldn't find a single solitary thing over a full 12 hours of searching the web.

I think zoom lenses would require glass or thick plastic, which would be too heavy for the gimbals. The gimbals are made to such specs that they barely can move the camera they are designed for. Really thin lenses with light plastic work fine, but anything heavier, it's not gonna work. Zoom lenses are inherently heavy. They just will weigh too much for the gimbal.
 
I did an extensive search about a year ago looking for any type of zoom lenses for any type of drone, more so DJI. I couldn't find a single solitary thing over a full 12 hours of searching the web.

I think zoom lenses would require glass or thick plastic, which would be too heavy for the gimbals. The gimbals are made to such specs that they barely can move the camera they are designed for. Really thin lenses with light plastic work fine, but anything heavier, it's not gonna work. Zoom lenses are inherently heavy. They just will weigh too much for the gimbal.
i think it would definelty work to make a 2-5x zoom camera, just look at this phone, and its 6 years old:
 
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I'm guessing when many people say "zoom" they are really referring to a telephoto fixed focal length lens. True optical zoom lenses are extremely rare in phones and similar compact electronics. Instead, fixed focus lenses are used along with digital zoom (ie cropping).

The challenge with incorporating a longer focal length lens into a sub250g drone is not so much its weight, but more its physical size - see 1:12 in the video in post #5, and compare the size of the 2 cameras. A longer focal length drives a physically bigger lens arrangement. The gimbal needs to be more substantial as it has to deal with the much higher moment forces. Adding a teleconverter is a less weight-efficient way of achieving a longer focal length than using a bespoke lens, and also brings a bigger imbalance in weight around the gimbal pivots.

I'm quite sure it would be possible to equip a sub 250g drone with a gimbal stabilised tele lens, but I'm also quite sure the DJI mini lineup of drones isn't the best place to start. The hardware and firmware is all bespoke and difficult to modify. DIY would be the better route, and some severe compromises in other areas of drone performance would be needed. You'd also need to be very knowledgable in electronics and miniature electomechanical construction.

Drone technology is evolving at a very fast pace, so there could well be zoom/tele equipped lightweight drones in the near future. We already have the Mavic 3 Pro and the Air 3
 

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