Which Drone? Beginner or Upgrading – Specs & Buying Guide for 2021 – Air 2, 2S, Mini 2
These three models that i’m being asked the most questions on, and these questions are normally going along, the lines of which is best, which is good enough uh and, as i said more recently, should i actually just be waiting for the three pro. So what i want to do today is just go through some of the main elements that may be important to you, as, of course, there is no single straightforward answer, but look first off. I wanted to start with the air2s, as this has got the most features and the highest specs, but, as mentioned it’s, not necessarily the best model in all cases, it is true that the air2s has now brought the air range line of models. If you like, up to almost matching dji’s flagship model, the mavic 2 pro it’s bought a wealth of top end specs that, to be honest, far exceed most users. Actual requirements. It’S brought the huge new one inch 20 megapixel sensor and 10 bit color to produce simply stunning still pictures uh in both jpeg and raw output. It’S also bought the new ultra high definition. Video resolution of 5.4 k utilizing all 20 million pixels and i’ve got to admit, whilst that’s nice uh, with the absence of most monitors or tvs that can actually handle 5.4k. I do kind of wonder how much benefit that is other than the ability to have a bit of lossless cropping if you like, but of course it has other resolutions of 4k, 2.
7 and 1080p and, to be honest, they’re a bit more useful for everyday filming uh. It can shoot slow mo right down to 120 frames per second at 1080p and it can also shoot video the bitrate at 150 megabits per second, which is a new high in video recording bitrate. So in short, the 2s is an absolutely stunning top spec camera. It only falls short from the 2 pro camera by the lack of variable, aperture, otherwise it’s as good or better in every other aspect than the the two pro drone itself has got a wealth of other functions and features, including obstacle avoidance in four directions: uh giving Truly amazing uh obstacle avoidance uh. I did my best to try and crash it and and failed uh, as you could see in another video it’s got a pass to assist and steer the drone around obstacles and it’s got the full suite of quick shots. Giving you orbit rocket and and all the others, but it also introduced a new master, shot feature that combines multiple, quick shots, giving you a mini movie, centered around a central subject that is shot completely autonomously and without the need for you to be holding the remote, Which, i think is quite an impressive little feature. Other specs that uh pop out to me are the new ocusync 3 transmission system using dji’s new standard, remote control, of course, and promising signal range of uh. Far beyond really of what you’d be flying every day, 12 kilometers seven miles uh uh slightly lower if you’re on the ce or european countries, but either way what that means is you’re going to be suffering.
Fewer signal. Dropouts it’s got a faster ascent, speed and faster descent speed, and it appears to me to be the best of all the models in handling very strong wind, it’s, 595 grams, so it’s a little bit larger and in europe. That means that it’s kind of relegated to open countryside, uh countryside flying um unless you’ve got the a2 cfc. When you can then fly inside congested areas, but of course, you’ve still got to maintain that 50 meter horizontal distance from uninvolved people, but in short, look as of today, this is pretty much dji’s top spec model in their folding drone range, even beating the 2 pro. In many cases, so next up, i wanted to take a look at the older version of the the older version: the air 2.. This was itself an enormous upgrade from the original mavic air and is still a stunning model. Its main difference from the air 2s is, of course, the camera it’s got the smaller sensor, uh only around half an inch producing only 12 megapixel stills and up shooting video up to 4k at up to 120 megabits per second bitrate. Interestingly, if you are after super super slow mo, then it’s actually the original air 2. That is the better model, as it shoots up to 240 frames per second at 1080, whereas the a2s can only handle 120 frames per second. Smaller camera and smaller gimbal also reduces the weight slightly down to 575 grams, but crucially, that also extends the spec max flight time up to 34 minutes three minutes more than the air 2s, but look in practice you’re only going to get a probably around 25 26 Minutes of usable flight time before the old return to home uh starts kicking in, but um yeah, like i said, a slightly longer flight time with the air 2s range is also slightly less than the air 2s it’s using ocusync 2, but it is still way beyond Anything that um still way beyond anything that you’re going to be flying on a regular basis and, as i said, what it normally means is, it will suffer far fewer signal.
Dropouts flight, wise it’s got a slower, ascent and descent speed than the air 2s, and also than the mini 2, which i found a little bit surprising, but with the same maximum overall speed as the air 2s, it is easily going to handle very strong wind. Pretty much just as well as the air 2s. So to me the bottom line is the original air 2 is almost identical as the air 2s. Apart from the camera and some of the camera functions, it is still a great bit of kit, but unless 240 frames per second is your thing: uh there’s! No doubt the air 2s is a far superior model because it has a far superior camera there. For me, for me that’s very much: the atres is very much the better of the two models and then finally, we have the mini two look. When the original mini came out, it was an absolute game. Changer, for the first time, you had a sub 249 gram model that was providing gimbal stabilized high definition, video, but the mini one did have its shortcomings, though notably a lower maximum video resolution, no raw picture file, output and, of course, it’s a poorer wi fi transmission System, along with a slight tendency to sometimes be overcome by strong wind, the new mini 2 seemed to fix all of those issues for starter. The mini 2 has got a similar camera to the original air 2, namely a 12 megapixel uh stills in both jpeg and wall and full 4k video.
Its maximum bitrate for video is slightly lower 100 megabits per second, but that is still a mighty fine value for video bitrate. The slow mo isn’t, quite as slow, either 60 frames per second, is as slow as you’re going to get with the mini 2. But look, as i said, let’s not forget its size and its price. You are getting a 12 megapixel steals 4k video on a 3 axis gimbal that for most will give you absolutely super smooth ultra high definition. Video key point, though, is the lack of obstacle avoidance and also active track or follow me on the mini 2. But i guess you can’t have everything can you but it does have ocusync 2 transmission and it is controlled as well by the new style, remote control. So it’s got pretty much the same range as the air 2 and almost the same flight time 31 minutes. Its max speed is a little bit slower than the air 2 and the air 2s, but it can still handle strong wind far better than you might think. Just last week i was hiking in north wales and at the extremely windy mountain top, the mini 2 handled itself, absolutely perfectly producing what i thought was simply stunning pictures and videos, and that is where i think the mini 2’s biggest advantage comes in because it’s, the Ultimate travel drone being light enough to put in your backpack and you’ll, barely notice it, and if you’re camping, you can actually recharge all the batteries from any power bank without needing a mains charger.
Likewise, if you’re in the car, then you can make use of any car mobile phone usbc phone charger, so the mini 2 really is the perfect, perfect travel drone its size and weight also helps you fly in more places as well, certainly in europe and the uk Being under 250 grams means you can fly in almost all towns and cities as long as you’re, not in restrict airspace or over crowds, but you can fly right over uninvolved people without that 50 meter. Minimum distance horizontal distance requirement that the larger models have so again. This makes it a top contender for commercial work too, meaning it’s minimizing the permissions that you’re going to need in actually trying to do your job. So that is why, for me, despite not having all of the top specs, i still think the mini 2 is the most amazing model that dji produced today, it’s, not necessarily the best, but it is easily the most amazing. In my opinion, you get almost all the features of a top spec drone with the freedom to fly anywhere and pack it away in the smallest of backpacks. For me, that makes it a real winner, but this is, as i said where i have to end up saying it is not straightforward and there is no simple answer. The air2s is probably the best camera you can get on folding drone today, apart from the lack of a variable aperture, the air 2s is every bit as good as the old mavic 2 pro and the larger autel evo 2 pro.
In fact, i brought the the two pros along to actually show you today how, whilst these are clearly flagship, top spec models, i actually don’t consider either of the two pros to be worthy purchases today, the mavic 2 pro is due to be replaced this year by The three pro, but do you wait a month? Do you wait six months who knows, and likewise the auto evo ii pro is a perfectly built and built and fantastically engineered uh model sporting, almost identical specs as the mavic 2 pro and the air 2s, and it actually has the longest flight time of any of The models here at a full 40 minutes, but the plain truth is newer: models have come along and the dji mavic 2 pro and the auto evo 2 pro are both older models that are extremely large and expensive in comparison to the air 2s. And that is why, to me it comes down to the air 2s if you want absolute top quality picture and video a vast array of useful, intelligent functions and and truly amazing obstacle avoidance, but the mini 2 is also a fantastic model that is perfect for travel. It’S easy to charge and lets you fly in way, more places and that’s. Why, for me now, i now consider these two models: the air 2s and the mini 2. As my two top models and the ones that i use most often so look there, we go uh awful lot of facts and specs there, coupled with some uh subjective thoughts at the end.
But hopefully that will help those of you considering an upgrade or first venture into the world of drone photography and videography uh. Everybody is useful. Give me a little thumbs up, always helps cause and obviously hit something the dong to get notified. When i put something new out also got a couple of channel membership options too now letting you get a little bit more behind the scenes and to get in touch directly with me if you’ve got any drone issues, but look either way.