DJI Mini 2 assessment: Similar compact measurement, extra confidence flying
“Do not let its small measurement idiot you as a result of the DJI Mini 2 flies confidently and options 4K video recording.”
- Correct 4K video seize
- Handles windy circumstances
- Steady reference to OcuSync 2.0
- Ridiculously compact measurement
- Lacks impediment avoidance sensors
- Horrible low-light efficiency
I assumed DJI was accomplished with bulletins for the 12 months. After the launch of the DJI Mavic Air 2 and Pocket 2, it appeared unlikely that we might hear the rest from the drone maker for 2020, but it surely seems that it has one final thrilling product for customers earlier than the vacations. And sure, it’s one other drone!
Drones don’t usually obtain yearly refreshes, which is strictly why the DJI Mini 2’s announcement comes as a shock. The light-weight drone continues to fly beneath the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) radar due to its 249-gram weight, making it preferrred for first timers as a result of it doesn’t require registration. Extra importantly, although, it squarely addresses among the shortcomings of its predecessor.
Extra elbow room with 4K video
In an age the place 4K video recording is normal amongst smartphones and cameras, it was a little bit of a letdown that final 12 months’s Mavic Mini topped out at 2.7K decision. Effectively, that’s the primary merchandise on the record addressed by the Mini 2, which boasts correct 4K video seize. Whereas the body fee at 4K tops out at 30 frames per second (FPS), DJI has bumped up the bit fee from 40 Mbps on the Mavic Mini to 100 Mbps for the Mini 2.
What does all of it imply? I’m notably happy with the additional decision, because it presents some extra wiggle room in publish for me — resembling with the ability to crop out and in of a scene once I export it in 1080p. In the meantime, for individuals who are watching movies and clips on 4K screens, the 4K decision signifies that there’s no upscaling mandatory this time round.
Particulars are expectedly plentiful and crisp, however the most effective outcomes are discovered in the course of the daytime and afternoon when lighting is plentiful. Colours have a good, impartial tone to them — by no means too saturated to work with in publish. Nevertheless, its efficiency crumbles as quickly because the solar goes down, usually showing murky, darkish, and unusable until there are sturdy sources of sunshine within the scene. That’s partly as a result of there’s no change with the sensor, a 12-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor perched on a 3-axis gimbal.
Dynamic vary efficiency isn’t near the extent I obtained with the Mavic Air 2, however some tweaking in publish can draw out particulars which are in any other case misplaced within the shadows. Photographers will respect the Mini 2’s still-capture efficiency, however similar to video, it struggles beneath low gentle and dynamic vary.
OcuSync 2.0 supplies assurance
In case you’ve ever piloted the Mavic Mini, you know the way video transmission could be prone to interference. It’s annoying for positive, but additionally scary if it’s extended. Fortunately, the DJI Mini 2 eases considerations due to DJI’s OcuSync 2.0 transmission expertise. The controller is a precise facsimile of the Mavic Air 2’s. It’s bigger in measurement, however I like how my smartphone is gripped on prime of the controller — versus the underside with the Mavic Mini’s controller.
There’s extra reliability with the connectivity between the drone and controller.
With OcuSync 2.0, there’s extra reliability with the connectivity between the drone and controller. Dwell video, actually, hardly ever stuttered throughout my flights. And whereas I did handle to push its distance to over 1,000 toes from my location, DJI says that it’s able to reaching a ten kilometer vary (6.2 miles). There’s nothing worse than latency points at any time when I’m piloting a drone, so it’s assuring that OcuSync 2.0 supplies me with extra responsive controls on the Mini 2.
One in every of my greatest fears about flying the Mavic Mini is pushing its vary farther away due to the potential of interference with its video transmission. There’s none of that right here with the Mini 2.
Flying towards the wind
Flying beneath windy circumstances is at all times dangerous, but it surely’s extra profound while you’re coping with a light-weight drone just like the Mavic Mini. I can’t let you know what number of instances I’ve aborted flying it due to windy circumstances. There are additionally a number of movies on-line of homeowners reacting to it floating away from their location due to sturdy winds. Despite the fact that I’m nonetheless cautious, the DJI Mini 2 handles the wind quite a bit higher.
On the primary day of flying the Mini 2, the Jersey Shore was being blasted by 17 mph winds. Fortunately, DJI upgraded the motors within the Mini 2 to higher face up to winds as much as 24 mph. I’ve at all times aborted flights with the Mavic Mini prior to now at any time when winds reached 12 mph. Within the air, it’s clear that the Mini 2 was working arduous to keep up stability, and whereas it regarded prefer it was rattling round, the video footage remained buttery clean.
In actually testing out its efficiency, I made a decision to see the way it handles flying towards the wind. Shockingly sufficient, it carried out like a champ — even in regular mode. Switching over to sport mode will increase the facility, which allowed it to chop by means of the wind with ease. Its prime velocity nonetheless peaks at about 14 mph, however the acceleration from a hovering place is obvious that the motors are stronger.
Are you anxious that these upgraded motors will yield a shorter flight time? You don’t want to fret as a result of its battery life has been elevated to 31 minutes, which is a minute higher than its predecessor. Sadly, the Mini 2 makes use of a special type of battery, so that you gained’t be capable of use present packs you’ll have from the Mavic Mini.
Some issues that may very well be higher
I’ve to admit that I’ve been spoiled by the Mavic Air 2, particularly its enhanced HDR seize, 4K 60 FPS seize, 8K hyperlapse, and asteroid quickshot mode. To be truthful, the Mini 2 does provide some neat cinematic photographs that autonomously pilots the drone for me — like dronie, boomerang, and circle quickshot modes. Nevertheless, the only space that’s nonetheless drastically missing with the Mini 2 is impediment avoidance. The Mavic Air 2 options varied sensors on its physique to detect obstacles, so it may cease midflight and attempt to keep away from them. You get none of that with the Mini 2, which signifies that I should be cognizant of my environment always — plus that required line of sight distance.
It’s the perfect starter drone.
There’s additionally no computerized monitoring mode that will enable the Mini 2 to comply with me, so handbook piloting with the controller remains to be the principle means of capturing footage. It’s not a horrible factor, however while you’ve been spoiled by the Mavic Air 2’s Lively Observe 3.0 system, it’s one thing I wouldn’t thoughts having to comply with me whereas biking round a lake, with out that concern of it colliding with one thing.
Additionally, there have been a few instances when the DJI Fly app crashed on me whereas flying the drone. I believe it’s as a result of it’s not remaining software program, however fortunately I restarted it and obtained again to the place I left off.
There are a lot of causes to choose up the DJI Mini 2, particularly if you happen to’re a first-time drone flyer or an fanatic. Sporting a price ticket of $449, it’s a straightforward suggestion over the $400 Mavic Mini. I’d suggest choosing up the $599 Fly Extra Combo as an alternative as a result of it comes with a couple of goodies that make it a sound package deal.
Not solely does it include three batteries, a charging hub, and additional propellers, however I choose it over the Fly Extra Combo that included final 12 months’s Mavic Mini as a result of it comes with a correct carrying case (shoulder strap included) and a propeller guard that wraps across the drone.
Is the Mini 2 good? Not fairly, but it surely’s nonetheless an incredible, tiny drone that doesn’t require FAA registration due to its 249-gram weight. The addition of 4K recording makes it a reliable participant within the area, however what actually makes this providing considerably superior to its predecessor is the boldness instilled in flying it — due to OcuSync 2.0 and the upgraded motors. Flying with confidence is at all times factor, and the Mini 2 assures me of that with its responsiveness.
How lengthy will it final?
The identical all-plastic development remains to be evident right here, which actually makes it really feel a bit on the delicate aspect. I don’t count on it to deal with crashes all that effectively, so flying cautiously is crucial. You’ll additionally wish to be further cautious packing it up for journey due to its fragile really feel.
You should buy a DJI Care Refresh with the Mini 2 at a cos. It supplies as much as two alternative models inside one 12 months as a result of water injury and collisions.
Is there a greater different?
At this value level? Probably not. However, if you happen to’re prepared to spend extra, the DJI Mavic Air 2 is the all-around drone for all ranges due to its security options, superior picture/video efficiency, and superior monitoring system. However you’re paying practically double at $799 to choose it up.
Must you purchase it?
Sure. It’s a downright discount given how simple it’s to pilot, in addition to the 4K video recording, cinematic quickshot choices, and compact measurement. Not like earlier than, I’ve extra confidence flying it due to OcuSync 2.0 and its upgraded motors. It’s the perfect starter drone for these seeking to step up their sport past flying for enjoyable.