DJI launched its new micro-drone called the Mavic Mini. The drone has been made available since November 1, 2019. The Mavic Mini is being termed as an affordable videography and photography tool. The drone weighs just 249 grams and boasts a flight time of 30 minutes. The nifty UAV can fly at a top speed of 30 MPH (48.3 KPH) and easily fit in the palm of your hand. The good thing about it is that it can be flown without approval in most jurisdictions around the world. In India, where drone laws are relatively new and controlled, this drone can take flight without any registration. The Mavic Mini can fly up to 50 feet in enclosed surroundings and since it falls under the micro drone segment, it does not need to be NPNT compliant.
Image Quality On The Mavic Mini
The micro drone has a 12MP 1/2.3” sensor. This enables it to shoot video footage at a max resolution of 2.7K at 30fps. However, DJI has kept the aperture at f/2.8 to improve the depth of the images shot on the drone. The camera is held stable by a 3-axis mechanically stabilized gimbal. Thus, this drone also acts as a floating gimbal. It is the most affordable and lightest Mavic drone in the series. Earlier, the lightest Mavic was the Mavic Air weighing in at 430 grams. With the small size and weight, this drone sure does compromise on a few things. For instance, it lacks 4K 60fps, 180-degree camera tilt, or object tracking.
Nevertheless, the Mavic Mini comes with a manual mode that allows the user to tweak the camera settings to an extent. To achieve higher frame rates, one will have to drop the resolution to 1080p to get 60fps. Also, there is an option to keep the shutter open for 4 seconds and ramp the ISO to a whopping 3200 for creative shots. However, when the image settings are manually controlled, the resolution and quality may take a hit. The Mavic Mini is not even a close contender to the larger Mavic series. Its current specifications do come with a few compromises but keeping in mind its price tag of $399 (Rs.28,300) and the size constraints, it seems absolutely justifiable.
Design and Performance
The Mavic Mini is extremely compact. Design-wise, it looks just like its larger counterparts but much smaller. Sporting a light-grey finish with dark grey propellers, it has pivoting arms that retract and fold with ease. The drone can supposedly even fit in your pocket to put its size into perspective.
The drone has one micro SD card and a micro USB port at the back. This convenient arrangement of ports makes charging and mounting the SD card hassle-free. However, drone enthusiasts did expect a type-C USB port for charging. Type-C being much faster and efficient is the norm in every new electronic device. The Mavic Mini comprises a 2400 mAh battery which keeps it airborne for a solid 30 minutes. The camera is guarded by a plastic shield and there are two LED battery indicators alongside the power button.
The drone ships with a standard DJI controller which has to be paired with the user’s smartphone via the DJI GO Lite app. A Lightning, micro USB, and a type-C cable come along with the drone. However, DJI will make a Fly More bundle available which will provide the user with two additional batteries and a charging dock which doubles as a power bank. This bonus battery combo is said to further extend the drone’s flight time to 90 minutes.
This drone is likely a perfect, affordable, yet a premium solution for an amateur or even a pro-filmmaker. More importantly, it takes an experienced eye to notably tell the difference between a 4K and 2.7K stream. 4K outputs are sure sharper but not all devices can handle such intense video data. From an average hobbyist’s standpoint, the resolution seems fairly sufficient to capture semi-professional work.
The Mavic Mini’s first appearances are of a flagship model in the micro-drone category. With this DJI has surely raised the bar for sub 250 g drones.