Key Features – DJI Mini 2
- 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with 24mm lens & 83° FOV
- Fixed f/2.8 aperture
- 12MP still images
- 4×Digital Zoom
- HDR support for images
- Multiple photography modes
- Records videos in 4k at 30fps, 2.7k at 30fps & 1089p at 60fps
- 31 minutes of flight time
- OcuSync 2.0 technology
- 720p live video streaming
- 5 Cinematic Quickshots
- No Intelligent Flight modes
- No obstacle avoidance system
Key Features – DJI Mavic Air 2
- 1/2- inch CMOS sensor with 24mm lens & 84° FOV
- Fixed f/2.8 aperture
- 12MP & 48MP still images
- No digital zoom functions
- HDR support for images & videos
- Multiple photography modes
- Records videos in 4k at 60fps, 2.7k at 60fps & 1080p at 240fps
- 34 minutes of flight time
- OcuSync 2.0 technology
- 1080p/720p live video streaming
- 6 Cinematic quickshots
- FocusTrack (Intelligent flight modes)
- Obstacle avoidance technology
DJI Mini 2 vs Mavic Air 2, which drone should you get? If it was purely a decision based on your budget, then I would recommend the DJI Mini 2. It’s much cheaper and comes with many of DJI’s innovative features, however, The Mavic Air 2 is a fantastic drone and comes with a few more features and a better camera.
If you are looking for a good drone for photography, both of these drones will make an excellent choice. DJI are without a doubt the leading consumer drone company and their Mavic series is probably the most popular drone brand on the market.
So, which drone is suitable for you? Check out the comparison below and make your own choice
DJI Mini 2 vs Mavic Air 2
I like to start these comparisons with the camera which is the main feature of any drone that is used for photography. The DJI Mavic Air is the clear winner in this area, it comes with a larger image sensor, more megapixels, better quality images and 8-bit colour depth for its videos.
The DJI Mini 2 comes with a huge upgrade to the original Mavic Mini, it now comes with a camera that records HD video footage in 4k at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps. It has a recording speed of 100Mbps and is stabilised by a 3-axis motorised gimbal that will make your videos and images free from any kind of distortion. The camera has a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor that can capture images in 12MP and shoots in both RAW and JPEG. The camera has 2* digital zoom capabilities at 4k and 2.7k plus it has a 2* lossless digital zoom capability at 1080.
The Mavic Air 2 also comes with a 4k camera, it has a bigger image sensor which will please professional photographers and it comes with more advanced features. The camera uses Quad Bayer technology that allows it to capture sharper images with better colour details, and it captures images in both JPEG and DNG RAW formats. The camera shoots images in 12MP and 48MP and comes with multiple photography modes. It records video footage in 4k at 60fps at a speed of 120Mbps and records in both MP4/MOV. Other advanced features of the camera include recording 8k time-lapse videos, capturing different types of Panorama photography and it has a SmartPhoto mode that uses advanced algorithms to produce the perfect photo with little effort.
DJI Mini 2 vs Mavic Air 2 – Design
The DJI Mini 2 has similar design elements to its predecessor, it’s small and very lightweight which makes it very compact and easy to travel with. The drone’s weight is significant because it weighs less than 250g, this means you will not have to register the drone if you live in the UK, Canada or the USA. Unless of course, you plan on using any of these drones for commercial purposes in which case you will need to register and get a drone license. It is quite remarkable how technologically advanced this drone is despite its miniature size, even having a 3-axis gimbal on such a small drone is an impressive engineering feat. The other aspect of this drone I like is its controller, it’s pretty much the same as the Mavic Air 2 controller, it has a nice ergonomic design and you can attach a pretty large smartphone or even a tablet on the top. It uses DJI’s OcuSync 2.0 transmission technology and is powered by an internal battery.
The Mavic Air 2 is a little larger than the Mini 2 and weighs just over 500g, so not very heavy, especially when compared to DJI’s flagship drones like the Mavic 2 and Phantom 4 Pro. Before the releases of the Mavic Mini series, the Mavic Air drones were DJI’s smallest and lightest drones. Its size and weight along with its foldable structure make it the perfect drone for travel photographers. It comes with a nice small shoulder bag (as does the Mini 2), which can fit most of its accessories and saves you money from having to purchase a drone carry case separately.
Flight Features & Performance
The DJI Mini 2 comes with some exceptional features, especially for its size. It has a very good flight time of 31 minutes and has a GPS module that can connect with satellites from three global satellites systems (GPS, GLONASS & GALILEO). This allows you to track the drone with more precision and provides it with better flight stability. For a small drone, it has a pretty decent wind-resistant rating, however, I would only advise people to fly in harsh weather conditions if they are an experienced drone pilot. The Mini 2 comes with 3 flight modes (same as the Mavic Air 2), they are Normal, Sports and Cinematic. In sports mode that drone can reach its maximum speed of 57 km/h, while in the cinematic mode, the speed is limited so that you can take smooth video footage.
There is an optical flow and infrared sensor on the bottom of the drone, these allow the drone to hover more accurately and allow you to fly the drone in areas where there is a weak GPS signal. The Mini 2 does not come with any intelligent flight modes, which is disappointing but it does come with several pre-programmed flight modes called QuickShots, these will allow you to capture short cinematic videos completely hands-free, the Mavic Air 2 has the Quickshot feature as well.
The Mavic Air 2 comes with many of the same features as the Mini 2 plus some additional ones. It has a superior flight time of around 34 minutes, which is on with many of DJI’s more expensive drones. It has a dual GPS module, unlike the Mini 2, it cannot connect with the GALILEO satellite system, which is not really a deal-breaker. Like the Mini 2, the Air 2 also has a good wind resistant rating and has a top speed of 68 km/h. As the drone uses DJI’s innovative OcuSycn 2.0 transmission system, it can transmit live video feed from 10km (in perfect conditions) in 1080p at 30fps.
The Mavic Air 2 comes with a 3-way obstacle avoidance system and comes with DJI’s advanced pilot assistant system (APAS 3.0). This will allow you to fly the drone more safely by minimising the risks of crashing. The APAS 3.0 is especially useful for flying the drone autonomously via its intelligent flight modes.
The Mavic Air 2 has 3 intelligent flight modes include ActiveTrack, Point of interest and Spotlight. These smart flight modes will allow you to track objects from multiple angles and in the case of point of interest, orbit moving or static objects from a height and distance of your choosing.
Both the DJI Mini 2 and Mavic Air 2 come with an automatic return to home feature which is activated whenever you lose connection with the drone or the battery gets low on charge.
Both drones use the DJI Fly app for FPV purposes and to access some of the major features of the drone. Th DJI Fly app is easy to use and has been developed for beginners in mind. It comes with some nice tutorials and comes with many useful features like a simple video editing suite and video templates that you can use to enhance your won videos.
As for flight performance, both of these drones are a joy to fly, their technology makes it very easy for anyone to operate and you take some exceptional videos and photos pretty easily. Both the Mini 2 and Mavic Air 2 can be flown in windy conditions and the live video feed is good quality thanks to the OcuSync 2.0 technology that both of these drones use. The Air 2 is safer to fly because of APAS 3.0 and its obstacle avoidance technology plus the intelligent flight modes make it easier and more fun to fly.
Which drone should you choose? It really depends on your budget, both the Mini 2 and Mavic Air 2 are exceptional drones and are suitable for professional drone photography. The Air 2 does come with a few more features like SmartPhoto mode, intelligent flight modes and obstacle avoidance system but it is also a lot more expensive. The DJI Mini 2 is one of the best drones in its price range and comes with a very good camera and an excellent flight time, especially for its price. If you have a budget of around $1000, I would choose the Mavic Air 2, otherwise, the Mini 2 is a good cheaper alternative. If you want more choices, check out my article for the best drones for photography