DJI Mavic Pro 4 in 2024? The missing link from DJI’s pro-sumer drone lineup

Nobody would argue that DJI’s current lineup of pro-sumer drones is anything less than exceptional. But the aircraft sitting at the top of the pile, the Mavic Pro 3 is probably due for a refresh because of a set of features that are now standard on its little siblings, the DJI Air 3 and the DJI Mini 4 Pro.

Stacked sensors — what’s that all about?

Both the Air 3 and Mini Pro 3 use stacked sensor technology and understanding the benefits of this can illuminate the advancements in digital imaging technology.

Stacked sensors, a product of innovative engineering, offer several advantages over traditional sensors. Firstly, their stacked design integrates various components, such as the pixel layer, processing circuitry, and memory, vertically within the sensor.

This arrangement enhances data transfer speeds and reduces power consumption, leading to improved overall performance in capturing images and videos.

Additionally, stacked sensors enable higher resolution and faster frame rates, crucial for applications like high-speed photography and video recording.

Moreover, the stacked sensor’s architecture facilitates the incorporation of specialised features like on-chip phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and advanced image processing capabilities.

These enhancements result in sharper focus, reduced noise levels, and enhanced dynamic range, contributing to superior image quality across diverse shooting conditions.

Furthermore, stacked sensors empower camera manufacturers to explore new functionalities and creative possibilities, fostering innovation in the realm of digital photography and videography.

With their compact size and increased efficiency, stacked sensors represent a significant evolution in sensor technology, promising enhanced performance and versatility for photographers and videographers alike.

20km signal range

DJI’s next-generation O4-HD video transmission system is used on the Air 3 and Mini Pro 4 drones and it dramatically enhances transmission performance. It provides a max range of 20 km with increased stability, and a 1080p/60fps max-quality live feed to ensure ultra-smooth viewing and operating.

As we all know, 20 km is far more than hobbyist, and even commercial users need without breaking VLOS rules, but this technology isn’t backwards compatible with the Mavic 3 Pro which means if you’re commercial operator with a range of drones for different types of work, you can’t just take one controller with you.

And this is where DJI are the masters of extracting extra cash out of tech-hungry drone fans.

Upshot’s prediction for a refresh…

Around 12 months ago, I had an equipment purge — I got rid of some older drones and brought in some newer technology, partly so I could work from a single, high-quality controller — the DJI RC Pro.

However, within a few weeks DJI had released new drones which wouldn’t work with that handset.

This doesn’t render my tool kit obsolete, by any means of the imagination, but it does mean that there’s space at the top of DJI’s pro-sumer tree to release a Mavic Pro 4 and a DJI RC Pro 2 — the high-end drone and controller with the same high-end comms used by DJI’s lower-end aircraft.

It could turn out to be an expensive year 🙂