Is the DJI Mavic 3’s 28x Hybrid Zoom dual camera setup really any good? Maybe

Nov 8, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Is the DJI Mavic 3’s 28x Hybrid Zoom dual camera setup really any good? Maybe

Nov 8, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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With the recent announcement of the new DJI Mavic 3, one of the big selling points was that new dual-camera system. The main camera is a 20-megapixel 4/3 CMOS sensor with a variable f/2.8-11 aperture and a 24mm equivalent focal length. The secondary camera is a 12-megapixel 1/2″ CMOS sensor with a 162mm equivalent lens and a fixed f/4.4 aperture.

DJI combines these two cameras allowing for a hybrid zoom system. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Especially when that second camera only shoots jpg and not RAW or DNG? Well, the folks at DroneXL posted a video that shows how it really looks to zoom on the DJI Mavic 3. And, it’s not amazing, but it’s pretty impressive.

YouTube video

To create the hybrid zoom, the drone essentially uses digital zoom on the wide 24mm equivalent camera to scale up the view until it approximately matches the native field of view of the secondary camera. Then it switches to the secondary camera and digital zoom is used to scale that up, too. You can see the obvious artifacting of a scaled-up digital image in the video example above, but it does seem to be quite good.

With products like Topaz Gigapixel AI on the market, though, if you’re not in a rush and you have the time to resize it in post, you might be better off doing that than trying to do it in-camera for the best final result.

Set to their native resolutions without any zooming, though, the footage looks very impressive. I can’t wait to see what kinds of things people shoot with the Mavic 3 once it becomes available!

[via DroneXL]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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