DJI announced an update to its smallest drone, and it’s a big one. Removing the Mavic name from “Mavic Mini,” the new DJI Mini 2 brings upgrades like 4K video at 100 Mbps, a properly sized remote with the famed OcuSync 2.0 for more reliable connections up to 10 km away, upgraded motors, and more — all still at a size and weight that keeps it free from FAA registration requirements.
With an unchanged 1/2.3” sensor size, the 12 MP camera still adds the ability to shoot 4K at 30 fps and 100 Mbps, which is an improvement from the 2.7K at 40 Mbps limit of the Mavic Mini. Additionally, 2x lossless zoom while shooting 1080p (4x lossy if you need more) further adds creative control. That may not sound like much, but for quick shots, a little zoom can easily add extra movement and interest to any shot. For faster frame rates, 1080p at 60 fps and 2.7K at 30 fps are also still available.
Other improvements make the Mini 2 the micro offering it should have always been by adding confidence for the hobbyist and prosumer owners that would likely need it the most. Flight time stays nearly the same with a one-minute improvement to 31 minutes total, but the new motors allow for faster accelerations and more stable flight in up to 24 mph winds (up from just 14 mph previously). OcuSync 2.0 means not only further transmission, but also more reliable transmission of both controller and image signals at up to 10 km away. Perhaps the best part of this is that the Mini 2 comes with a “real” controller nearly identical to that of the newest Mavic series. It fits much better in the hand, has an improved smartphone attachment mechanism, and a larger battery. Finally, faster wireless image transmission means data can be offloaded from the Mini 2 at 20 MB/s for much more reasonable card transfer times (a new feature even lets you trim footage before downloading to save time from having to download unnecessary setup footage).
Various shooting modes with which we’re now quite familiar also come standard through the DJI app and Mini 2:
QuickShots: Pre-programmed movements and image capture modes.
- Dronie: DJI Mini 2 flies backward and upward, with the camera tracking your subject. Set a height limit of 40, 60, 80, 100, or 120 ft.
- Helix: DJI Mini 2 flies upward and away, spiraling around your subject. Set a height limit of 40, 60, 80, 100, or 120 ft.
- Rocket: DJI Mini 2 flies straight up into the air with the camera pointing downward following your subject. Set a height limit of 40, 60, 80, 100, or 120 ft.
- Circle: DJI Mini 2 will circle around your subject at a constant altitude and distance.
- Boomerang: DJI Mini 2 flies a boomerang-like oval flight path around your subject, starting and stopping video in the same place.
Panoramas: Capture a wider perspective with select pano modes.
- Sphere: DJI Mini 2 automatically captures twenty-six images and stitches them together for a crystal-clear image.
- 180°: Captures seven photos for sweeping landscape images.
- Wide-Angle: Captures a wide 3x3 image consisting of nine images.
Image modes: Different photo modes for different scenarios.
- AEB Triple Shot: Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) takes three images of varying exposure and merges them for a vivid image. This can be edited further to bring out a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image in post-processing.
- Timed Shots: Give yourself a few extra seconds before taking that photo with timed shots.
Finally, all these features come in a package that still weighs just 249 grams with the battery, meaning you do not have to register the Mini 2 with the FAA for non-commercial use scenarios. Moms and dads can launch this drone from their backyards without needing to worry about more complicated registration rules (although, for those wondering, they are really quite easy and simple to register). However, adding any accessories such as the drones propeller guards (not included) will certainly push this weight total over the 250-gram limit for lightweight drones in this class. But there are several other accessories you can also grab for the Mini 2:
- 360° Propeller Guards: Make the DJI Mini 2 even safer with propeller guards that completely cover the full propellers.
- DJI Mini Bag +: Colorful and fashionable, the new carrying bag adds flair to your outfit.
- Charging Display Case: Show off your DJI Mini 2 in an illuminated clear, bell jar.
- DIY Creative Kit: Personalize your Mini 2 with custom stickers or blank stickers to create your own artwork.
- Snap Adapter: An adapter that snaps on to the top of the Mini 2 that allows for the attachment of a small LED screen that messages can be written on.
The DJI Mini 2 is available to order today for $449 or $599 for the Fly More Combo that includes additional batteries and several other accessories, which is a slight premium over the $399 and $499 for the respective Mavic Mini kits, which still remain available. About half the price of the bigger and more capable Mavic Air 2, the Mini 2 presents itself as a reasonable contender for those that don’t need every last ounce of image quality, but still don’t want to sacrifice on that 4K resolution and other comforts that features such as OcuSync 2.0 and more powerful motors provide. The size difference, which makes a big difference, too, makes the Mini 2 an easier compromise even for some that may have otherwise gone for its bigger brother.