Given the ever-growing power of drone cameras and the huge volume of data they produce as a result, it’s rational to wonder if some form of external storage would be included. Especially considering how small the internal storage of the standard Mavic 3 model is, it’s a legitimate request.
Unfortunately, Mavic 3 does not come with an SD card. Both models — the standard and the Cine Premium Combo — are equipped with memory card slots for external memory storage. It seems like it is an industry-standard to expect the owner of the drone to get their own external storage.
In the following article, we will explore a range of topics, including what actually comes in the Mavic 3 box, its internal storage, the storage of other drones, what to look for when picking good microSD cards, etc. to explain the question on a deeper level.
What comes in the Mavic 3 box?
Mavic 3 is a pricey purchase, and luckily, the conscious aesthetic and functional design decisions by DJI show immediately from the first glance at the case. Packed in the case are all of the parts you would need to fully utilize the Mavic 3.
The DJI Mavic 3 drone itself is the largest component. The DJI RC-N1 is the remote controller it comes with. There are better controllers that DJI produces, too, though. The two control sticks come separated from the RC. Three cables come with the RC: USB Type-C, Standard Micro-USB, and Lighting connectors.
The Mavic 3 Intelligent Flight Battery is also included. With it comes a 65W portable charger. Apart from these, a few accessories are present – three pairs of low-noise propellers, a storage cover for the drone, and one Type-C cable.
If anything else is needed, an external purchase is required.
What is the internal storage of Mavic 3?
The standard Mavic 3 model has 8 GB built-in internal storage, of which only 7.2 GB is available for video and photo storage. On the other hand, the Cine Premium Combo model has 1 TB SSD, of which approximately 934.8 GB is available.
For most, the 1 TB offered with the Cine model is enough (although there are a lot who use microSD cards with it). However, because the price of the Cine is far higher than the standard model, which is already pricey to begin with, a lot more people would prefer to buy the standard. At the level of quality, the camera produces footage, the 7 GBs hold a maximum of about ten minutes of video.
This makes the purchase of an external microSD card almost necessary.
Are there any DJI drones that come with an SD card?
So far, all the main manufacturers do not include external SD cards with the drones they sell. In fact, the size of most of the commercially available drones’ internal memory is very limited; Mavic 3 is by no means an exception.
This means that preparing a properly compatible microSD card is an essential part of the drone experience.
How to pick the best microSD card
On the official website, DJI has included a set of recommended microSD cards. The simplest option is to get one of the many listed SD cards. The list can be found here (https://www.dji.com/mavic-3/specs).
If you choose to get a microSD card that is not on the list, it is highly recommended that you’re certain that the microSD card you’ve bought is compatible with the drone. The consequences of using a microSD card that is not compatible with Mavic 3’s storage system range from annoyances like slowdowns, low-quality videos, and glitching videos, to more serious results like corrupted files, data loss, and even boot issues.
While it can be a little overwhelming at first when trying to find a way to navigate the abundance of microSD card choices that are available, just by knowing a little about how to read the symbols on the microSD cards, the right selection could be reached.
The association known as SD Association was created partly for the purpose of standardizing and simplifying the language for the users’ ease. Generally speaking, five main things determine which microSD card to get: storage capacity, type of card, UHS speed class, video speed class, and the application performance class.
We know. Seems pretty daunting at first. But let’s briefly see what each indicates.
Storage capacity refers to the total size of the card. This is mainly dependent on how much money you’re willing to spend because larger capacities cost more.
As Mavic 3 is not compatible with older MicroSD cards, you will not be able to get anything less than 32 GB of storage, and it is inadvisable to go upwards of 256 GB.
Type of Card
There are three main types of cards: the SD (Secure Digital), SDHC (Secure Digital Standard-Capacity), and SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity). SD cards have a maximum storage of 2 GB; SDHC cards have a maximum storage of 32 GB; SDXC cards have a maximum storage of up to 2 TB.
Because all of the microSD cards listed by DJI are SDXC-type cards, the card you get should also be likewise.
UHS Speed Class
The speed class of the microSD cards refers to how fast information can be transferred between the device and the card. microSD cards whose speed can be categorized into the UHS class can be of two types: UHS-I and UHS-II. UHS-I microSD cards can transfer data at a minimum rate of 10 MB/s (although some can get up to 100 MB/s), and UHS-II cards can transfer data at a minimum rate of 30 MB/s. Mavic 3 is only compatible with UHS-II (U3) cards.
Video Speed Class
The video speed class refers to the minimum stable speed at which data could be written on the card by the device into which the card is inserted. The card’s video speed class is marked as a ‘V’ with a number indicating its speed next to it. There are five-speed classes: V6, V10, V30, V60, and V90.
It’s better to use V30 for 1080p and lower video recording. V60 is ideal for 4K footage and V90, in addition to still doing well with 4K, is best reserved for anything higher.
Application Performance Class
There are two figures this can take: Application Performance Class 1 (A1) and Application Performance Class 2 (A2). MicroSD cards with A1 marking on them possess the ability to work with randomly given input efficiently. Those cards with an A2 marking do the same using a completely different methodology, giving them access to even better performance power.
SD Card Recommendations
SanDisk Extreme Pro
- Offered in a variety of storage options
- Very reliable, durable, and enduring
- DJI approved
- Offers higher-than-standard read/write speeds
Lexar Professional 1800x (and above)
- Lifetime warranty from the manufacturer
- Employs UHS-II technology, allowing read/write speeds that are really high
- Because of its high capacities, it is excellent for those who work with intense video volumes
Samsung Evo Plus
- Comparatively fairer price
- Very secure
- Ten years warranty
- Reaches good read/write speeds (though not advertised speeds as those seem to be reserved for when using it with Samsung devices)