DJI Mini 2 review. Still worth it despite the new Mini 3 Pro?
… You know what I mean. Smaller size, cheaper price and easier operation, make them more appealing to common folks, just like point and shoots to non camera people back in the days.. But how about us photographers Well to be honest, besides being a fun toy to play with getting some shots with new perspective and angles have always been of a great interest to photographers and Im. No exception. Ive owned quite a few drones over the past five years and now Im a happy owner of DJI Mini 2.. Today. Well talk a bit about my experience with other drones and why I think Mini 2 might be just good enough to stick with me. Much longer than any other drone, including the newly introduced Mini 3 Pro. Lets, go Aaand welcome back its Aperture Value with yet another review, and this time its my tiny and gorgeous DJI Mini 2.. It was quite a journey, though, until I got it, but before telling you my story, I would like to thank the ones who supported me on Buy Me A Coffee. I really appreciate it If youd like to support me as well and get me a cup or two just follow the link in the description or in the end of this video. Now back to drones. I got my first one about 5 years ago and it was a legendary DJI Phantom 3 Pro., Unlike other variations of third Phantom Pro version, had capability of shooting 4K video, which well wasnt that impressive anyway.
. The drone itself was bulky. It had heavy batteries non foldable, props and a huge brick of a controller.. I did manage to travel with it once or twice, but carrying it alongside my heavy Sony gear at the time took all the fun out of it. Im, not even talking about extra attention. You would definitely get at the airports and border controls … Purely because of size and weight. I ditched it and got another legendary DJI drone Mavic Pro., Although the camera specs stayed basically the same. The main advantage was the portable foldable design of both the drone and the controller, as well as a new proprietary connection called OcuSync.. For those who dont know, drones normally rely on Wi Fi signal to connect to controller, but since modern world is literally cluttered with Wi Fi and other signals everywhere, this type of connection is weak and unreliable for UAVs.. Djis OcuSync is the main feature that differentiates it from competition until these days, but more on that later.. After some time I swapped DJI Mavic Pro for a French Parrot Anafi, which offered super light and even more portable design, as well as higher megapixel camera. That also had a 90 degree upwards tilt reminds you of something That really promised some interesting shots, but unfortunately not long after the purchase. I lost it due to you guessed it poor, Wi, Fi connection, … and a strong wind, since the lightweight body in the air is not nearly the same as a heavy and sturdy Phantom or Mavic Pro.
. Since that time, I promised to myself no more non DJI drones with Wi Fi screw it.. My next drone was a great Mavic 2 Zoom, which I absolutely loved. I made some nice shots with it and I really hated that they called it a drone for video, whereas Mavic 2 Pro with one inch sensor, was supposed to be a photographers drone. Bullsh.. As a photographer, I would better go for zoom lens rather than a bigger sensor. Anyway. The supposedly Hasselblad lens in front of that sensor had shy performance, …, Mavic, 2, Zoom wasnt too light or too cheap, but that zoom really justified all the inconveniences. Ive used it constantly.. Unfortunately, when Covid 19 hit and no traveling occurred in months, I had to make a tough decision to sell it off because its better to have a stacked fridge instead of a cool drone during fg lockdowns …. And since that time I would just rent a drone for traveling. I would always use DJI Spark. It was small and inexpensive, so no worries over losing it. It was almost perfect for me, but it did not fold real time. Battery life was sh, it shot only JPEGs and relied on Wi Fi connection.. All of it changed with the introduction of DJI Mini 2.. So what did really change? Basically everything negative I mentioned before about Spark.. I wont go too much into details and specs Mini 2 came out a while ago, and there are plenty of reviews out there.
To sum all up it shoots. Raw now has a great OcuSync, 2.0 new remote, a super light, foldable construction with a 30 minute battery life, which is insane for such a small drone.. All of it makes Mini 2 a great option for photographers. For what its capable of it is really portable and efficient power. Wise.. I talk more about carrying my drone around in my Everyday. Carry video follow the link in the upper right corner to check it out. If you want. At first, I was skeptical about the size and weight of controller paired with the sub 250 grams drone. It looked quite ridiculous. I would rather prefer smaller foldable remote of Mavic 2 series, but after some time I accepted this little drawback. Anyway. Both drone and controller are small enough to carry around with your main camera., And you dont need to worry about charging that much the remote lasts for quite a long time, 6 7 hours to be more exact plus it also charges your phone while connecting so you Can max out the screen brightness without any hesitations.? As for the drone itself, the battery is rated to last for half an hour per charge, which is plentiful.. I know some might find 30 minutes to be a modest period of time for a single charge, but I come from using older drones with much I mean MUCH worse battery life.. Thanks to that experience. For me, one charge is enough to find compose and shoot the pictures I want as well as to do a few quick 4K clips.
. As for the video Im, using drone for photography so cannot comment much about video capabilities, but still adding 4K and more so called smart. Quick shots is appreciated of course.. As for the photos, RAW support is a game changer for this kind of small drone. I missed it most while flying original DJI Spark.. Would I like to have a bigger sensor, Fk yeah, but the truth is I better keep a lighter drone with smaller sensor, instead of getting something like Mavic, 2 Pro or Mavic 3, which both feature a much bigger sensor., The OcuSync and nice wind resistance? Let me safely and accurately compose and shoot even in crowded city conditions with lots of interferences.. I never lost a connection whatsoever over the year, but dont be stupid and do your research and weather check before your flight remember that situation up there might be drastically different from what you are observing on the ground. Also be aware that in overly windy conditions, some Smart modes like pano, cannot be initiated.. Talking about that, thanks to automatic panos stitching, I can do a decent resolution. Shot out of 9 photos, all of them being RAW.. This gives enough latitude in post.. Ive made some nice shots over the past year with Mini 2, and I really cannot complain.. I like the new perspectives I can get with the drone photography and also the edit challenges that come along.. As you can imagine, drone shots are different from my Fuji X.
Pro3 shots., You have to critically compose first and then, ideally, you will make multiple shots to stitch together, later. After stitching in post. You have to carefully do the basic edit since, even though Mini 2 shoots RAW, they are coming from quite a small sensor with not very great high ISO and dynamic range performance., Not a deal. Breaker, though stitching helps a lot.. Also. The photoshop workflow is much more intense and time consuming were talking very complex distortion and perspective correction, as well as general cleanup from small distracting things that I normally do to achieve. Minimalistic look. And holy sh, so much crap gets into frame when shooting from birds perspective. Its unbelievable, But again even given that I enjoyed the process because it pushes me to learn more of the Photoshop techniques, master, my composition and editing skills. Would, I prefer any other drone over Mini 2, If youre, a casual photographer like me, youre unlikely to benefit from Other drones, Mini 2 is perfectly fine for shooting photos, especially now when it can shoot RAW has OcuSync and by the way, is quite affordable.. So all the reasons for you to go to a bigger, more expensive drone in the past are non existent. Now, with the DJI Mini 2., You might have temptation to go to a bigger, more expensive Mavic, but the increase of weight capabilities and features do not correspond to a much bigger price., Not to mention that the todays world is nothing like.
It was five years ago when you could go to any country or city and fly a big ass, Inspire drone wherever you want.. Many countries have already developed the regulations and laws that make it much harder to own and operate a drone, even as small as Mavic Air.. Some states even ban these kind of drones completely.. Nowadays, you need a pilots, license drone registration permission to fly it in specific places, and that is not the end. Every year the situation is only getting worse.. The reality is that sub 250 grams drones are really the future for people like me, and probably you unless you shoot commercials or movies. UAVs under 250 grams, are generally allowed everywhere, and you dont need to worry that youll get stopped or fined or even thrown into Jail for flying it., This is probably the most important advantage of Mini2. Now. The next gen DJI Mini 3 has been introduced recently, and it also stays at 249, grams. Im, not sure about the volume, but it definitely looks like more aerodynamic. Design makes the shape less likely to benefit the packing of the drone. The boxy shape of Mini 2 seems to take less space in your bag.. Almost everything new Mini 3 can offer, is a nice add on or gimmick, not nearly a necessity. And all of it for double the price. Sure, since its new Mini 3 is better in every aspect, especially the camera department. But although being quite dated, Mini 2 is still more attractive in price to value ratio.
. If you opt for bigger sensor and better video, you should get a Mavic drone anyway, at least with them. Youll be able to actually see the quality difference, youve cashed out, for. And Ive flown enough drones to know that improved obstacle avoidance never works in critical situations like you expected it to. So why bother really Just learn to fly a drone first before trying to take off a moving boat or something.? If you know what youre doing you wont need any sensors. Talking about that, there was an idiot on TechRadar that posted recently a whole freaking article, how he got all confused about what app to download for his Mini 2. Like there are more than one app for Different purposes for DJI drones and he had a hard time finding the right one, … FYI straight on the box and in the manual DJI, gives you the name of the right app and a direct QR code for its download. Dont, be like him. Dont expect drones to be intuitive, like most gadgets open up the manual read it carefully and practice before doing anything. Serious. Now back to Mini 3 gimmicks, the true vertical mode and an upwards tilt are the unique features but just like hand, gestures for previous entry level. Consumer DJI drones. They are nothing but a marketing move to stand out among competition.. I dont think it will be widely used or popular.. Ive had Parrot Anafi with the same 90 degree upward tilt, and let me tell you that looks very promising on paper, but in reality there arent that many scenarios where you can use it at least for photography.
The already available 30 degree upward tilt in most DJI Drones covers the most needs.. Drones are made to look from up down., not further up …. So, given all that, I absolutely recommend the DJI Mini 2 for casual use. The price the specs and portability are superior unless aerial, photography or videography is your main activity.. Yes, more expensive drones will make everything easier, especially the edit process, but personally Id better, spend extra 15 20 minutes, stitching stacking, sharpening resizing and fine tuning RAWs from Mini 2, rather than pay 2 or 3 times more for a much bulkier drone that I would absolutely Hate carrying around. And if you want to take aerial photography, more serious Mini 2, can be a great and affordable start of your learning process. Before moving on to big boys like Mavicks and Inspires.