DJI Mini 2: The Ultimate Upgrade To DJI Mavic Mini

DJI has launched the Mini 2, which is the successor to the popular DJI Mavic Mini that was launched in October 2019. Despite dropping the Mavic moniker, the DJI Mini 2 is a significant upgrade that has already created a lot of excitement in drone circles. This drone is particularly appealing because it weighs only 242g, which means it comes under the CAA’s 250g threshold for the UK Drone Registration scheme.

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DJI Mini 2
DJI Mini 2, Source: DJI

Let’s dive into the features that make the DJI Mini 2 the ultimate upgrade to its predecessor:

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Improved Controller in DJI Mini 2

DJI Mini 2
DJI Mini 2 Controller, Source: DJI

One of the most significant upgrades of the Mini 2 is the improved controller. DJI has supplied the Mini 2 with the same RC231 unit as comes with the Mavic Air 2. This controller is more robust and has an easier-to-fit smartphone clamp with storage for connection cables.

The controller features a switch to select the flight mode (Cine, Normal, or Sport), a dial to adjust the vertical angle of the gimbal, and a shutter/record button on the front right. There is also a button next to the right control stick that lets you switch quickly between stills and video shooting while an Fn button next to the left stick can be customized to recenter the gimbal or toggle the phone screen between the map and live view with a single or double-tap. All these features are well-positioned and useful in-flight.

Easy Set-Up and Take-Off

It is advisable to complete the initial set-up of the Mini 2 at home or any place with a decent Wi-Fi signal, as usual. You need to install the free DJI Fly app on your phone, create a DJI account, and download any required firmware upgrades. Once you have set everything up, you can insert a microSD card into the drone’s card slot and proceed to your take-off location.

After placing your smartphone in the controller clamp, connecting it, and powering everything up, the DJI Fly app will typically open automatically. The app can guide you through some preflight checks, but you can choose to ignore them if you have confidence in your abilities. Then, you should push both control sticks diagonally down and together to start the motors before pushing the left stick up to take off.

Excellent Camera Quality

The Mini 2 features a 12MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, a sensitivity range of ISO 100-3200, a fixed aperture of f/2.8, and a shutter speed range of 4-1/8000sec. The wide aperture means that neutral density filters are usually required to keep the shutter speed down to the recommended 2x the video frame rate. Plus, it can now record raw files as well as JPEGs, giving greater scope for post-capture adjustment and resulting in more natural-looking images.

Although the Mini 2 has the same size and resolution sensor as the Mavic Mini, it’s capable of recording 4K footage (the Mini maxes out at 2.7K), and the quality is excellent. However, it’s essential to keep an eye on the angle of the sun as flare can be problematic. Sometimes, flare can be attractive in the video, but it can also cause hot spots, low-contrast areas, and color casts.

Battery Life and Quick Shot Modes

The Mini 2’s battery life is quoted at 31 minutes by DJI, but realistically, it’s closer to 23-26 minutes in a slight breeze. That’s why the Fly More Combo, which includes two additional batteries and a triple-charger, is a more appealing option than the single battery kit.

Other Notable Features in DJI Mini 2

DJI Mini 2
DJI Mini 2 Compactness, Source: DJI

Other notable features of the Mini 2 include folding arms for easy transportation, user-replaceable propellers that come in two halves, a gimbal at the front of the drone that holds the camera and a cover for protection during transportation, and a slot to accept a UHS-I microSD card.

Finally, the Mini 2 comes with Quick Shot modes, including Dronie, Helix, Rocket, Circle, and Boomerang. While experienced pilots may find them unnecessary, they’re great for creating smooth, automatic footage without the need to move the sticks. Just set the subject of the film with a tap on the smartphone screen, and the Mini 2 will fly around in a prescribed pattern before returning to its starting point.

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Final Remarks on DJI Mini 2

The DJI Mini 2 has made a significant leap forward compared to its predecessor, the DJI Mavic Mini. This drone has captured the attention of drone enthusiasts for a good reason. It’s lightweight, has an improved controller, and boasts an exceptional camera quality that is perfect for both amateur and professional photographers and videographers alike.

The Mini 2’s superior stability and resilience against wind make for smooth and detailed footage, showing every nuance with remarkable clarity. Moreover, the enhanced transmission technology ensures a dependable connection between the controller and the drone. With easy handling, it is a great addition for anyone looking for their first drone or a compact and portable alternative.

Although to get the best-quality video, a set of magnetic ND filters is a must-have accessory. With the release of the DJI Mini 3 Pro, the DJI Mini 2 offers an excellent alternative, especially if you are on a budget and looking for an excellent value-for-money option.

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