DJI Mini 2
Weight: 249g | Dimensions (folded): 38×81×58mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K 30fps (1080P@60fps) | Camera resolution: 12MP | Battery life: 31 minutes (2250mAh) | Max Range: 10km / 6.2 miles | Max Speed: 57kph / 35.7mph
With the Mavic in 2016, DJI established compact quality camera drones as something that could appeal to and be understood by regular consumers, but pricing and, more recently, weight constraints kept some consumers away. Drones above 250 g (or in most countries) now need registration and a nominal charge. The Mavic Mini solved the problem of weight in 2019, but the new Mini 2 took the wonderful design and revved it up so that it can now also attract more committed users.
The airframe is really light, but it also serves via a charger (through the USB-C port on the back), so that’s one less thing to pack and make your luggage light. It has a solid feel, and the camera is placed on a 3-axis gimbal that absorbs nearly all twists and turns in flight and allows for seamless tilting. Control is straightforward, thanks to the great new remote – range is no longer an issue (unlike the predecessor), and the controller’s battery can even charge your phone.
Video is excellent at 4K and 100Mbps, but 1080P vloggers may be more interested in the helpful (but lossy) digital zoom. The automated ‘QuickShots’ (the drone keeps the camera on you and performs a cool pre-planned swoop) are also incredibly useful; even inexperienced pilots can look like great pilots and obtain dramatic video. Still photographs are decent for the price, however they can be a little noisy in less-than-ideal lighting. The ability to process in Raw, shoot Auto Exposure Bracketed images, and create automatic panoramas all bring this drone one step closer to a heavier drone. The DJI Fly App includes good safety features and is simple and easy to understand without being too intrusive. It’s also great for sharing, with useful image processing abilities – with a 12-megapixel camera and 4K video, your creations will easily blend in with those from a high-end smartphone (but add a more interesting perspective).