DJI, the global front-runner in civilian drone and aerial imaging technology, is renowned for its innovative product range. The company’s Mini series, in particular, has gained immense popularity among drone enthusiasts for its compactness, affordability, and advanced features. The DJI Mini 3 Pro, launched in May 2022, further elevated the reputation of the series with impressive features such as a large 1/1.3-inch image sensor, 4K HDR video recording capability, 34 minutes of flight time, intelligent flight modes, and obstacle avoidance technology. Given the success and demand for these small yet powerful drones, the upcoming DJI Mini 4 release date is eagerly awaited.

DJI Mini 4 Release Date

When Will The DJI Mini 4 Be Released? There is much anticipation and speculation about the release date of the DJI Mini 4. Although some hope for a launch later this year, the absence of any leaked images or design concepts, usually seen a few months before a DJI drone release, makes it unlikely. DJI’s release schedule is unpredictable; the DJI Air 2S was launched in April 2021, with the Air 3 potentially launching two years later.

Similarly, the Inspire 2 was released in 2016, and the DJI Inspire 3 was just recently released, nearly 7 years later. As for the Phantom series, the future remains uncertain since the Phantom 4’s release seven years ago. However, considering the DJI Mini series’ popularity, it is highly probable that the Mini 4 is in the works and could be released in early to mid-2024.

DJI Mini 4 – Expected Upgrades

The Mini 4 will undoubtedly showcase a number of enhancements over the already impressive Mini 3 Pro. Some of the expected upgrades include:

Enhanced Camera Capabilities

The camera system of the DJI Mini 4 is anticipated to carry significant improvements over its predecessor, potentially changing the landscape for lightweight consumer drones. While the Mini 3 Pro was equipped with a 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, the Mini 4 is speculated to host a larger 1-inch sensor. The implications of this upgrade are substantial, with improved image quality, superior low-light performance, and potentially even high-resolution video recording capabilities.

The larger 1-inch sensor would enable the Mini 4 to capture more light and detail, resulting in superior image and video quality. In addition to the better imaging capability, the Mini 4 might come equipped with an adjustable or larger aperture. This would allow photographers more control over depth of field, enhancing the ability to achieve professional-grade results in various lighting conditions.

In terms of video recording capabilities, the potential inclusion of a 1-inch sensor could pave the way for 5K video recording at 30fps. This would be a significant step up from the 4K video capabilities of the Mini 3 Pro, offering users a chance to capture more detailed and cinematic footage.

Furthermore, there is speculation that the Mini 4 might come with a 10-bit colour profile. This would allow for a higher dynamic range and better colour reproduction, allowing videographers to capture true-to-life colours and exceptional details in their footage.

However, fitting a 1-inch sensor onto a sub-250g drone presents considerable engineering challenges, particularly when it comes to maintaining balance and power efficiency. This type of upgrade could require a redesign of the drone’s architecture while also needing advances in heat management and battery efficiency to accommodate the power-hungry larger sensor.

Yet, if any company is up to the task, it is DJI. Their proven track record in technological innovation and their ability to push the boundaries of what’s possible in drone technology mean that this potential upgrade cannot be ruled out. Despite the challenges, it is conceivable that DJI could develop a compact drone with a 1-inch sensor, continuing to revolutionise the drone market.

In summary, the DJI Mini 4’s potential camera upgrades offer tantalising possibilities for consumer drones. If these predictions hold true, the Mini 4 could allow even amateur drone users to capture professional-grade, high-resolution images and videos in a range of lighting conditions and settings. This would set a new benchmark for what is achievable in the realm of lightweight, consumer-friendly drones.

DJI Mini 4 – Improved Image Transmission Range

A key area of improvement is set to be the drone’s transmission range. The Mini 3 Pro already boasts an impressive range of 12km, courtesy of DJI’s OcuSync 3.0 transmission technology. However, the Mini 4 is likely to exceed this benchmark by several km. Reports suggest that the next-gen drone may feature the upgraded OcuSync 3.0+ technology or potentially even the rumoured OcuSync 4.0. Such enhancements in the transmission technology will not only extend the drone’s operational range but also improve its reliability, enabling drone enthusiasts and professionals to undertake more adventurous and challenging aerial missions with greater confidence and precision.

Advanced Obstacle Avoidance System

A key area of enhancement for the DJI Mini 4 lies within its obstacle avoidance system. The Mini 4 is expected to elevate its navigational safety features beyond the capabilities of the Mini 3 Pro, offering either wider binocular vision sensors or an increased number of sensors for expanded coverage and range.

The Mini 3 Pro’s three-way obstacle avoidance system was a breakthrough for sub-250g drones, but DJI is expected to go a step further with the Mini 4.

It is speculated that the Mini 4 will incorporate multi-directional sensors, enhancing protection from four directions instead of the Mini 3 Pro’s three. These upgrades may encompass front, back, bottom, and lateral coverage for the first time in DJI’s Mini series.

This incorporation of side sensors would significantly improve the drone’s situational awareness, providing a safer flying experience, especially when navigating tight or complex environments. Wider sensors could also provide coverage on top, offering full 360-degree obstacle detection and avoidance, a feature usually seen only in high-end professional drone models.

An enhanced obstacle avoidance system not only increases the safety of drone operation but also expands the drone’s ability to execute more complex flight paths and automated filming modes. Whether flying manually or using the advanced autonomous modes, users would be able to capture their desired shots with greater confidence, knowing that their drone is equipped to avoid potential hazards from all directions.

Improved Transmission Range and Flight Time Using OcuSync 3.0, the Mini 3 Pro can transmit over a range of 12km. However, the Mini 4 might come with OcuSync 3.0+, extending the range to approximately 15km. This would allow for longer and more ambitious flights while maintaining clear image transmission.

DJI Mini  4 Intelligent Flight Modes

The DJI Mini 4 is anticipated to continue and enhance the legacy of its predecessor’s intelligent flight modes. Building upon the capabilities of the Mini 3 Pro, the Mini 4 is expected to deliver upgraded versions of Active Track, Point of Interest, Spotlight, and Return to Home functions, providing users with the ability to create even more engaging and dynamic aerial footage.

The Active Track feature, which allows the drone to follow and film a moving subject automatically, may see improvements in terms of tracking accuracy and response speed. These advancements allow users to capture smooth and cinematic footage of fast-moving subjects more easily and precisely.

Similarly, the Point of Interest mode, which automates flight paths around a specific subject, could be enhanced to offer more intricate and diverse flight patterns. This would enable users to create stunning, professional-grade panoramic videos without needing expert piloting skills.

The Spotlight function, designed to keep the camera focused on a subject while the drone flies freely, is another feature likely to see an upgrade. With enhanced object recognition and tracking algorithms, the Mini 4 could provide more reliable and consistent focus on the subject, resulting in smoother and more professional-looking footage.

Finally, the Return to Home function, which automatically guides the drone back to its takeoff point, may see improvements in navigation accuracy and obstacle avoidance, providing users with an added layer of safety.

With the DJI Mini 4, users can expect a host of improved intelligent flight modes. These upgrades promise to not only simplify the flying experience but also to expand creative possibilities for capturing dynamic aerial videos.

How Much Will The DJI Mini 4 Cost?

Considering the anticipated improvements, the Mini 4 may be priced slightly higher than its predecessor. The Mini 3 Pro sells for around $759 for the standard package. Given the expected upgrades, the Mini 4 might be priced around $850-$950 for the standard package, increasing for packages that include a more advanced controller and additional accessories.

Final Thoughts

The DJI Mini 4, if it follows DJI’s trend of innovative improvements, will further raise the bar in the consumer drone market. With the potential for an upgraded camera, improved obstacle avoidance system, extended transmission range, enhanced flight modes, and longer flight time, it is sure to be a huge hit when it is released.

However, as we have discussed in this article, the DJI Mini 4 will most likely be released early or in mid-2024, which is disappointing, but if you are looking to purchase a high-quality mini drone, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is the best in its class. It’s a fantastic drone that is suitable for beginners and photographers, you can read my full review of the DJI Mini 3 Pro here.

DJI Mini 3 Pro