DJI Mini SE Now Available in the U.S. for Under $300

DJI Mini SE Now Available in the U.S. for Under $300

Here's a high-quality but low-price entry-level drone from DJI, the Mini SE. Originally, DJI said the drone wouldn't come to the U.S. or Europe, but today, it's hit the databases of major retailers like B&H Photo.

At $299, it's a great place for photographers to jump in without a big expenditure. Specs are good, but not pro level. There's a 12-megapixel sensor on board, a three-axis gimbal camera mount, and up to 2.7K video. It allows up to 30 minutes of flight time and comes with a basic controller that uses your smartphone (iOS or Android) to run the software and let you monitor the live video from the drone. DJI claims up to a 2.5-mile range, and it supports microSD cards up to 256 GB.

DJI has a range of drones above this new low-cost model, but fence-sitters who were waiting to jump in may have a good reason to at this price. It's not a 4K bird, and the lower cost reflects that, but for real estate photography, landscapes, and outdoor activities it should do nicely. 

In addition to the above features, the Mini SE offers some pre-programmed flight plans called QuickShot Modes: Dronie, Rocket, Circle, and Helix. These features can let you select an object or person and fly in a circular path while changing altitude or maintaining it. A Dronie is a zoom out and back while gaining altitude and returning to the original position.

Many photographers are avid drone users. I have a couple myself to support my landscape photography, because it can get me to places I could not readily access or climb to.

Despite DJI's original reluctance to offer this drone in the U.S. and Europe, I think it will become a major seller for photographers and hobbyists. Photographers wanting more will want to look further up the DJI line at drones like the Air 2S and the Mavic 2 Pro variants.

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