Just over a year ago, DJI unveiled the Mavic Mini. Its most notable feature was a take-off weight that dropped below the 250g (0.55lb) threshold. Now DJI is back with the Mini 2, which responds to the most important user requests and still registers at 249g. In the process, the Mavic brand kicked off a shorter name: DJI mini 2.
The original Mini was feature-packed and easy to use; the DJI Fly app was introduced at the same time with a sleek, wall-down and intuitive interface. But the drone also came with limitations that frustrated users, including erratic transmission and the ability to capture only JPEG files.
The Mini 2 addresses these concerns and more. Users will pay a little more for a drone with a superior quality camera that can record up to 4K/30p of videos, capture Raw + JPEG files, and introduce DJI’s robust OcuSync 2.0 streaming technology instead of relying on Wi-Fi.
Not much has changed when it comes to the overall design of the DJI Mini 2. Its body is compact, its propellers need to be screwed, the legs are foldable, the battery and MicroSD slots are located in the back, and the vision positioning sensors are placed at the bottom of the aircraft. If it were not for the letters “4K” printed on the camera and a “Mini 2″ logo on the upper left arm of the vehicle, it would be difficult to distinguish them.
The Mini 2 has a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor with a 12MP camera, just like the Original Mini and Mavic Pro. The camera has a 24 mm fixed aperture F2.8 lens (equiv.) with 83o FOV and an ISO range of 100-3200. What many buyers will appreciate this time is the ability to capture Raw images in addition to JPEG.A useful feature that experienced photographers will surely use is automatic exhibition support (AEB); the Mini 2 can take three shots, one underexposed, one normal and one overexposed. While DJI says the shots are automatically joined, I found that all three appeared separately on my memory card. Either way, they can be combined into post-processing for an HDR image.
The original Mavic Mini could only capture up to 2.7K/30p of 40Mbps images. The Mini 2 now allows you to record at resolutions up to 4K/30p, 2.7K/30p and 1080p/60p at 100Mbps. You can also zoom in on themes during recording. Both 4K and 2.7K allow zoom up to 2X, and 1080p resolution allows you to refine a theme up to 4 times, even if the quality remains lossless only in 2X zoom.
There are three different options to create a panorama. “Sphere”, which resembles a small planet, captures twenty-six images. “180o” captures seven images for a landscape perspective, while wide captures a 3×3 tile consisting of nine images. Unlike the Mavic Air 2, there is no option to create a vertical panorama.
The Mavic Mini 2 is an excellent drone for both amateurs and beginners. One particular line that resonates is that it’s “a drone growing with you.” The original Mini had its limits with JPEG-only images, 2.7K video footage, and a Wi-Fi signal. DJI has taken the next logical steps to ensure that anyone who buys the Mini 2 can achieve much more with their investment.
One last thing I found strange for beginner drones is that images taken for panoramas are not stitched together, or synthesized, on the plane. This is something that the Mavic 2 and Mavic Air 2 series work automatically. While you can extract a full version of your pano from the media library in your Fly app and share it instantly on social channels, the quality is lower than the images on the memory card, which stores images from each panorama in a separate folder. This seems to me to be a strange move by DJI as most beginners may not be ready or willing to do the extra work in post-processing. Photo:DJI
DJI took an excellent initial concept for a beginner-level drone, listened to community feedback, and made some significant improvements. Despite some minor issues, the Mini 2 is a small versatile machine that is easy and convenient to carry and packs a number of sophisticated features into a small package. Mavic Mini owners definitely recommend you upgrade and for those first-time buyers, it’s worth spending another $100.
( + )
4K camera with zooming
Capturing raw photos
Transmission OccuSync 2.0
Quieter engines than its predecessor
( – )
No obstacle prevention sensors
The quality of the panoramas processed by the DJI Fly app could be better
No MOV files
Gimbal can be jerky if seen directly down
- 249g total weight
- OcuSync 2.0 transmission
- 1/2.3″ CMOS image sensor
- 24mm equivalent lens (84º FOV)
- F2.8 aperture (fixed)
- 12MP photo resolution
- JPEG + RAW images
- 4K/30p and 1080/60p video (100 Mbps bit rate)
- Up to 4X (2X lossless) zoom
- 31-minute flight time
|Mavic Mini||Mini 2|
|Flight time||30 minutes||31 minutes|
|Drone size (Folded)||140x81x57 mm||131x81x58 mm|
|Camera Sensor||1/2.3-inch CMOS, 12MP||1/2.3-inch CMOS, 12MP|
|Max. Video Resolution||2.7K/30p @ 40 Mbps||4K/30p @ 100 Mbps|
|Lens||F2.8, FOV 83º, 35mm equivalent at 24mm||F2.8, FOV 83º, 35mm equivalent at 24mm|
|Photo File Type||JPEG||JPEG + RAW|
|Video File Type||.MP4||.MP4|
|Zoom Capabilities||None||2X @ 4K, 2X @ 2.7K, 4X @ 1080p|
|Image Modes||Timed Shots||AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) Triple Shot, Timed Shots|