Professional drone flying?

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Drones are getting more and more features. If you want to start flying a drone professionally, there are several professional drones that suit this purpose. In this article, we will tell you what the difference is between thermal, multispectral and enterprise devices and which of these devices best suits your operations.

Drone with a multispectral camera

A drone with a multi spectral can be used to analyse (early) crop problems. A multi spectral camera sees Near-infraread (NIR). Green crop reflects light. The more NIR is reflected back, the healthier the leaf is.


• Crop analysis
• Inspecting (green) crops

DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral

DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral

If you want to get started with crop analysis, we recommend the DJI Mavic 3 Mulitsectral. The DJI Mavic 3 Mulitspectral has two cameras:

• An RGB camera with a 4/3-inch CMOS and 20 Mega Pixels image sensor
• A Multi spectral camera with four lenses (Near-infrared (NIR))

The RGB camera has a mechanical shutter. The maximum shutter speed is 1/2000. This enables continuous shooting. Thanks to this speed, it is possible to gather image information quickly, significantly improving the efficiency of operations in the field.

Drone with a thermal camera

A drone with a thermal camera can detect heat. A drone with a thermal camera can be used to detect and analyse heat sources from above. Heat sources can be people and animals, but you can also think of fire, leaks or solar panels.


• Detecting/analysing people and animals
• Detection/analysis of leaks
• Fire detection/analysis
• Inspecting solar panels

DJI Mavic 3 Thermal

DJI Mavic 3 Thermal

If you want to get started with a drone with a thermal camera, we recommend the DJI Mavic 3 Thermal. The DJI Mavic 3 Thermal has two cameras.

• 1/2" CMOS Wide camera (48 Mega Pixels)
• 12 Mega Pixels Zoom camera (8x digital; 56x hybrid zoom)

The DJI Mavic 3 Thermal lets you take normal photo shots in 48 Mega Pixels. The thermal camera has a 640 x 512 resolution and supports point and area temperature measurements, high-temperature alerts, colour palettes and isotherms. The drone features a simultaneous split screen, allowing the thermal image to be compared with the normal camera image.

Please notice that the DJI Mavic 3 Thermal also has a zoom lens, but without a mechanical shutter. For 2D and 3D mapping, this device is therefore not the best choice.

All these drones have an option to determine their position very accurately.

Detached RTK module

Thanks to RTK, positioning via GPS, for example, becomes a lot more accurate. This is because the RTK module supports RTK networks. This means an extra reference point for the drone, in addition to the GPS signal. For the very best accuracy, DJI has its own RTK mobile station. This is a dedicated GNSS receiver that provides real-time corrections with centimetre-level positioning data for improved relative accuracy.


• Highly accurate 2D and 3D mapping
• Highly accurate measurements of buildings and areas
• Inspections of roofs and wind turbines

Of course, you can decide for yourself whether you need this RTK module. 
Drone with a custom camera for mapping.

For inspecting large areas, it is nice if high quality photos can be shot quickly by the device. The best standard camera is the DJI Mavic 3 Enteprise. This device actually has a mechanical shutter.

DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise + separate RTK module

DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise

If you want to get a handle on mapping, measurements and inspections, we recommend the DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise. The Mavic 3 Enterprice features two cameras:

• 4/3" CMOS Wide camera (20 Mega Pixels)
• 12 Mega Pixels Zoom camera (8x digital; 56x hybrid zoom)

The RTK Module can be attached to the drone. This makes measurements up to 3 cm accurate. The DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise is mainly deployed in hard-to-reach locations, think tall buildings, windmills and rooftops. Deploying DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise can make performing an inspection a lot more efficient.

Comparison table

The table below compares all professional drones. Each drone has different cameras and are suitable for different applications.





DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral

20 MP RGB camera

Multispectral camera

RTK Module

Green/ crop analysis

DJI Mavic 3 Thermal

1/2" CMOS Wide camera

Thermal camera


RTK Module

D-RTK 2 mobile station

Analysing and detecting heat sources

DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise

4/3" CMOS Wide camera

12 MP Zoom camera


RTK Module

D-RTK 2 mobile station

2D and 3D mapping

Sem van Geffen

Co-owner Drone Class B.V.

About the author

Sem is an experienced trainer/developer, with drones as his main interest. He holds the Dutch RPA-L license and the EASA STS theory certificate. His specialism is EU aviation law and he enjoys flying the DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise.

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