Still, if you’re only here for the aerial camera, there’s a lot to like. All of the automated shooting modes from the previous model – Dronie, Circle, Helix, and Rocket – are still there, along with a new one called Boomerang. As the name suggests, the Mini 2 does a flyover then rolls back.
The new 1 / 2.3-inch CMOS sensor is capable of outputting 12-megapixel images and videos up to 4K at 30 frames per second, both of which look great. There is also support for DJI’s smart panorama modes such as sphere, 180 degree view, and wide angle, as well as my favorite feature, sliced download. It allows you to split clips before transfer them to your phone for editing. I don’t use the DJI Fly app for editing very often, but when I do it’s almost always for short clips that I want to share quickly. Trimmed Download is perfect for this, saving time and storage space on your phone.
Along with the best camera, the Mini 2 includes OcuSync 2.0, DJI’s enhanced video transmission technology. OcuSync is DJI’s marketing name for an intelligent automatic frequency switching tool. This means you get better video quality over greater distances. The Mini 2 can transmit very clear video for up to about 6 miles, according to DJI. Suffice to say, you can fly the Mini 2 way beyond visual range – which, friendly reminder, you should never do – and still get a video feed.
The controller is unchanged from the previous model, and it’s still my favorite DJI controller. It’s simple, lightweight, and it has always worked for me. There’s a big back home button that’s great for newcomers, and the trigger buttons make it easy to take photos and start recording videos without ever looking down to see where your fingers are. .
The question to be answered here is: should you buy this or the more expensive Mavic Air? The Air has three compelling features, especially for beginners. The biggest is obstacle avoidance – the Mini 2 doesn’t. This could be the number one reason for spending extra money on the airwaves. The Mini 2 also lacks DJI’s ActiveTrack and Point of Interest automated flight modes, which really help you capture better video with less hassle. The larger camera sensor in the Air also means you can get sharper 48-megapixel images and 4K videos at 60 frames per second.
That said, if you have flying experience, don’t need a better quality sensor, and just want a very portable drone that is really fun to fly, the Mini 2 is my top pick.