The DJI drones have made their popularity over the recent years. More and more drone operators conisder this brand as their choice for aerial products. The DJI Mini 2 is an improved version of the first generation Mavic Mini , which was characterized above all by an incredibly low weight - only 259 grams. Unfortunately, its biggest drawback was the poor coverage and the lack of 4K resolution.
Therefore, in the Mini 2, the situation has improved significantly which makes it harder to decide which drone to choose. A large number of customers are looking for a drone that will no longer be a toy, but a tool for work, such as in the photography, videograhy, construction or other fields.
Currently, the manufacturer offers two models of such drones from 2020: DJI Mini 2 and a slightly larger DJI Mavic Air 2. So, what exactly are the differences between those 2?
In both DJI Mini 2 and DJI Mavic Air 2, the manufacturer has used the proprietary DJI Ocusync 2.0 transmission system. This essentially means that both drones are much less susceptible to various types of interference, for example due to WiFi network interference close to the place of flight. The mentioned transmission system can be found in many more expensive drones from the DJI Mavic 2 Pro / Zoom series
The difference between the 2 drones sits primarily in the camera - In both drones we find high-quality cameras with a resolution of 12MP, which will enable recording in a maximum resolution of 4K . Air 2 will have the ability to record in 4K 60FPS and in 1080p up to 240FPS.
In the case of photos we have two options - pictures in 12MP resolution or photos in 48MP resolution , which are created by automatically combining several photos.
In DJI Mini 2, we will record material in a maximum of 4K 30FPS , and in 1080p - in a maximum of 60FPS . In the case of pictures, we have no choice here - 12MP . Both Air 2 and Mini 2 will take pictures for us in DNG (RAW) format .
We mentioned the maximum number of frames in low resolution because we know from experience that some people are interested in slow motion recordings. In the case of recording in 1080p at 240FPS with the Mavic Air 2 drone, we can slow down the material up to 8 times, while still maintaining smoothness. In the case of the cheaper model in 1080p at 60FPS, we will slow down the up to 2 times.
This is quite a difference, which for some people may be crucial when choosing material a drone.
Of course, in both cases, the cameras are suspended on 3-axis gimbals , which will provide us with incredible stability of the recordings. No matter if the drone turns, flies straight, backwards or to the side, our recording will always be stable and the horizon will be straight.
As we can see, DJI is moving towards standardizing the appearance of its drones, so when we look at any Mavic, we know that we are dealing with a Chinese giant's drone. It is no different in this case - the new Mini 2 has practically the same structure and arm folding system as in the DJI Mavic Air 2. Both drones are very compact when folded, they fit in most backpacks and bags. The Mini 2, however, still has a method of installing the battery, as it was in the first generation - on the back of the drone we find a flap that opens upwards, which will reveal the compartment into which we insert the battery. In the case of DJI Mavic Air 2, this process is a little easier - you just need to place the battery from the top in the place intended for it.
The sensors are a very important difference. Air has front and rear sensors, and the newest DJI baby does not have any. This means that the more expensive model is able to offer the recipients a very useful tracking function where we can choose any object for the device to follow. In the Mini 2, due to the lack of sensors, the use of such an option would be very risky, which would have a good chance of crashing the drone.
Both drones still weigh less than 600 grams . DJI Mini 2 <249g , and DJI Mavic Air 2 570g . This means that in Poland we can fly these drones in the city (of course, if the air zone allows it) without additional permissions. The situation becomes more complicated with heavier multirotors. We can fly them without additional permissions, only maintaining appropriate distances from buildings (100m horizontally) and distance from outsiders (30m horizontally). In the case of drones that weigh below the key 600g, the operator decides what distance is safe during the flight. Of course, if an accident occurs, the operator is also responsible.
At the first glance, we can immediately see that the colour of the LEDs that indicate the battery level in the controller has changed - it is white in the Air 2, and green in the Mini 2. What is also a cosmetic change is the addition of a pause symbol on the RTH button and the change of the flight mode name - instead of Tripod, in DJI Mini 2 we have the Cine mode.
The controller in both Air 2 and Mini 2 is very ergonomic, comfortable, comfortable in the hands and access to all buttons is perfect, so we do not have to wonder what to click to trigger a specific function.
From my personal feelings, I can mention that the mechanism in the Mini 2 that holds the phone looks nicer, easier to walk than in the Aira.
Of course, both controllers have detachable sticks that can be easily hidden from the bottom of the controller.