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DJI Mavic 3 Classic Active Track Sports Review: Highspeed Versus a Tree

Just a quick note that I’ve published a fun long-form, basically unedited, cycling test ride video with the newly announced DJI Mavic 3 Classic and its autonomous follow-me Active Track mode, up on YouTube. After the first 2-3 minutes of explaining some pro tips on setting up Active Track and such, I begin cycling. First, I start easy in more open areas, before taking it through some tree tunnels and more complex terrain, then I kick it up a notch and try and outrun…errr…outride, the drone. All of which (temporarily) ends when the drone tries to inspect a tree at high-speed, without stopping.

This video is a bit different than some of my other Active Track ones, mainly because I’ve left it almost entirely unedited from start to finish. You’re along for the ride with me as I live-narrate what’s happening in real-time, why it’s happening, and my also-unedited thoughts on it. I thought it was fun, ideally you will too.

Simply hit the play button above to watch the full video. Alternatively, if you want even more entertainment, here’s my 70KPH wind video with it, shot earlier that same day, you’ll find that below. The winds were the most epic winds I’ve ever dared to fly a drone in.

I’ll have a full in-depth review/video written up sometimes soonish, that covers all the features more broadly. Just a wee bit backlogged lately. Though the TLDR version is simply that it’s just like the previous Mavic 3 units, minus the telephoto lens. For the price, it’s arguably the best all-around drone you can buy, but isn’t the best from a sports standpoint. For that, it’d be either the Skydio 2+, or the DJI Mini 3 Pro, depending on what exactly you value. Heck, I’ve even got a video on that here.

With that, thanks for watching!

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  1. David Walker

    This is awesome! I’m here mostly for the GPS watch reviews, but clearly your best work is pushing the limits of the drones & cameras to their limits. Yeah there are other reviewers that will smash an Apple Watch Ultra w a hammer for entertainment purposes but that’s just not realistic real world use. You accomplish all that with all the entertainment value, like hiking in the Alps for 14+ hours, or running along the tallest buildings in NYC. I think your best video this year was your GoPro Hero 11 Black v iPhone 14 Pro Action Mode. Just keep sending it.

  2. Neil Jones

    Nice tree-scaling skills. At least you were somewhere quiet and didn’t have dozens of people driving and walking past you thinking “why is that guy in lycra climbing that tree?”

    • Thanks Neil!

      Yeah, I discovered this ‘new testing ground’ last spring sometime, I think while testing out the GoPro Bones camera on some FPV stuff. It’s nice in that there’s very little water to drop a drone into (versus my other testing locales). I still use those other spots, but this is generally a very quiet/desolate place, especially if I’m there before 5PM or so (when people after work go for a wander).

      Thanks for being a supporter!

  3. Don


    Why did the video keep switching from 4K to low-res? It happened many, many times.

    • Hi Don!

      I’m switching between the recorded 4K video (from the drone), to the low-res controller feed (recorded live, but at roughly 800p). When on the controller feed, you can see how it’s tracking me and stats related to that.


  4. Greg Golly


  5. Claus Jacobsen

    Not related to the DJI review. I just agree with “the Girl” – just put that “old look at a pizzaoven” out! :-)

  6. Eugene

    Looks like it went sideways into the tree, can it only ovoid collisions when the camera is facing?

    • While it tracks objects (following) using the camera portion, there are sensors on all sides such that it shouldn’t run into anything.

      Certainly, thin branches in the winter, in low-light can be a problem (as I saw last year). But this was a bright green tree in bright sunny early afternoon conditions. It definitely shouldn’t have hit this.

      DJI engineering has all the log files and is investigating. The last few times I’ve killed a Mavic 3, they’ve been able to find the root cause, and usually improve it for the next firmware update. Perhaps they should come for a week in Amsterdam with a pallet of Mavic 3’s. :)