DJI Mavic Mini 2 Drone Review | Still Relevant Today?
By Marc Bergreen
As an avid drone pilot, I love the evolution of drones that are small, lightweight, affordable, and yet highly capable.
The DJI Mavic Mini 2 is all of those things and more.
You might be wondering why I’m reviewing the DJI Mavic Mini 2 when the DJI Mini 3 Pro is the latest model.
Well, I find that when the latest version of a piece of gear is released, the older version goes on sale and is even better value for money!
In my opinion, the DJI Mavic Mini II is amazing value in 2023.
Sure, the latest version has all the coolest bells and whistles, but just before it was released, the DJI Mavic Mini 2 was the latest version, right?!
I have been flying DJI drones for several years now, and as they get smaller and more powerful, the types of things you can capture only increase.
Continue reading to find out why I think the DJI Mini 2 is perfect for amateurs and professional photographers/videographers who want to change their perspective.
Plus, drones are just plain fun – it’s like playing a real-life video game.
DJI Mavic Mini II Review | Specs
- Raw Files
- Excellent range and connectivity
- Excellent battery life
- Very low noise
- No obstacle avoidance sensors
- Limited wind resistance
- No active track
- Weight: 8.8 oz / 249 g
- Folded Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.2 x 2.3″ / 138.0 x 81.0 x 58.0 mm (L×W×H)
- Unfolded: 9.6 x 11.4 x 2.2″ / 245.0 x 289.0 x 56.0 mm (L×W×H)
- Max Speed: 16 m/s, 36mph (S Mode)
- Max Service Flying Height: 2.5 Miles / 4000 m
- Max Range: 6.2 Miles / 10 km
- Max Flight Time: 31 minutes
Build & Appearance
My first impressions of the DJI Mini 2 were very good. It’s like a miniaturized version of my larger DJI Mavic Pro 2.
Coming in at 249 grams, it is under the weight limit in most countries that requires registration with the government.
Flying professionally typically still requires registration, but casual hobbyist drone pilots will not have to register their drones with the government.
I strongly encourage you to obey all laws and regulations, but I do appreciate that the small size of the DJI Mini 2 gets around some of the red tape involved with flying drones.
Aside from the government restrictions, having a super lightweight and compact drone is just plain cool.
It allows you to bring it to places where larger drones would be cumbersome.
The DJI Mavic Mini 2 is so compact that I never hesitate to throw it in my bag if I think there might be an opportunity to fly.
Despite its nimble physique, the DJI Mavic Mini 2 is very well-built. It feels sturdy enough to survive a mild crash (just avoid dunking it in water) and rugged enough to last years of use.
This drone mimics the typical folding design of previous DJI drones yet has a new cover/harness to keep all the props neatly tucked away. When folded, it fits in the palm of my hand and weighs about as much as an apple.
On the front, you’ll see the small gimbal/lens that shoots smooth 4k 30fps video as well as 12-megapixel still images.
The battery on the DJI Mini 2 tucks neatly into the back of the drone and locks into place. I also love how the battery pack/charger charges the batteries sequentially via USB-C and doubles as a battery pack in case you need to charge the controller or anything else while out traveling.
In addition to the drone and battery pack, the controller is well-designed to offer a comfortable grip and easy phone screen viewing.
My only complaint is that the face is a little large compared with the compactness of the rest of the kit.
Despite this, everything fits neatly into a shoulder bag carrying case. I love the slim design of the case because it feels like the whole kit can easily travel inside another bag and stand alone when you just want to go out and fly.
Overall, the build quality of the DJI Mavic Mini 2 is excellent, especially for the price.
DJI Fly App
The DJI Fly app interface was designed to be simplified and intuitive. Parameters like signal strength, flying mode, altitude, distance, and battery level are easily visible during flight, so you always have access to the latest information.
With a sleek and efficient interface, DJI Fly provides an expanded view for composition and shooting. Users can easily adjust camera parameters with a single tap, quickly switch between shooting modes, and adjust the gimbal angle on the screen.
Shooting, editing, and sharing can all be done in-app. Users can also easily manage storage, with the ability to export or delete footage directly in the app.
Multiple templates, music options, special effects, and more are available for quick and convenient editing. With intuitive timelines, you can edit footage flexibly and precisely.
The new editor also supports switching between portrait and landscape orientation, allowing you to shoot and edit the way you prefer.
Ergonomics & Handling
Handling and controls are essential when it comes to flying a drone. The last thing you want is to lack confidence in your ability to navigate your drone around obstacles.
The DJI Mini 2 feels very intuitive when it comes to ergonomics. It is clearly the result of years of design refinement. The drone itself is easy to set up: just unsnap the prop cover, take off the gimbal cover, and unfold the arms.
The controller securely holds your phone above the remote, making it easy to see. At your fingertips, you have plenty of controls, including my favorite, the flight mode switch.
I love that DJI is now offering a simple “cine” mode that makes it so simple to capture smooth video. If you want to move quickly, flip it to “sport” mode to get maximum speed.
Other controls and functions are pretty straightforward to use and very familiar if you have used a DJI drone before. The simple design of the controller makes it easy to enjoy flying the drone.
Inside the DJI app, you will find all the controls you need to customize all the features the drone offers. I recommend spending some time getting familiar with the settings if this is your first time using a DJI drone.
There are a number of things that you will likely want to customize depending on your style of flying. One example is increasing the Return to Home altitude.
The last thing you want is your drone flying into power lines or a tree after losing connection with the remote.
The Mini 2 offers Occusync 2.0, which gives the drone/controller a rock-steady connection. DJI will claim 10km of video transmission, but the reality is that it just stays a little better connected when obstructions like trees get between you and the drone.
One other note is that this drone does not offer any obstacle avoidance sensors. Sensors can help you avoid crashes but are not foolproof, and I think it’s smart to encourage new pilots to fly cautiously, especially when they are first learning.
Overall, the ergonomics and handling of the DJI Mini 2 are very well-designed. This drone is the legacy of many iterations, and I think you will really enjoy flying it.
When it comes to flight performance, the DJI Mini 2 really shines. It offers an impressive 31 minutes of flight time and up to around 30mph (48kph) of flight speed.
In practice, I found the drone to be very responsive and quick. In Cine mode, it flies very smoothly and avoids the jerky motions that can be distracting while filming.
You likely won’t get a full 31 minutes of flight time, but the DJI Mini 2 does give you the confidence to fly further distances and land with plenty of battery left. I usually aim for 20% battery left as a safety margin in case there are any issues.
The gimbal has a good range of motion and keeps the camera steady even in windy environments or when flying forward at top speed.
Previous DJI drones often struggled to have enough gimbal range of motion to fly forward at top speed without getting the props in the field of view or having the gimbal snap down.
With the solid controller/drone connection that Occusync 2.0 offers, you likely won’t have any issues with transmission unless you push the distance limits of the drone.
One thing to consider is that this is a smaller drone that can’t fight strong wind. Wind can be stronger as you get higher in the air, so it’s worth noting that this drone won’t be able to overcome winds greater than about 25mph. If you fly in windy areas, be aware and anticipate what you will do in case of a strong gust of wind.
Lastly, I was very impressed with how quiet this drone is. It was substantially quieter than my DJI Mavic Pro 2, which tends to sound like a hive of bees.
Once the DJI Mini 2 is a couple of hundred feet in the air, you almost can’t hear it at all.
Overall, I was very impressed with the flight performance of the DJI Mini 2, especially considering its size.
Low Light Performance
Low light is not a strong suit of the DJI Mini 2. The fixed aperture f/2.8 lens on this drone is best for daytime and golden hour.
I would not recommend shooting above ISO 400 because the 1 / 2.3in sensor starts to produce more noise than I would like.
Similar to other small sensor cameras, you just can’t expect much when it comes to capturing images in dark environments.
That said, most interesting drone footage is captured around sunrise and sunset when this drone can easily shoot at ISO 100. At that level, the images look great and are very crisp.
Given that the aperture is fixed, you may want to consider getting some ND filters if you intend to shoot in very bright sun. This can help you expose things properly and also get the motion blur effects that make your video look more natural.
If you want the best in low light performance from a moderately sized drone, definitely check out the DJI Mavic 3. If compact size is more important, I would stick with the DJI Mini 2.
Image & Video Quality
When considering how compact the DJI Mini 2 is, the images are quite good.
I found the 12mp stills to be very sharp with good dynamic range and contrast. The DNG raw files have a lot of room for editing if you use professional software like Adobe Lightroom.
If you prefer to keep things very simple, the JPEG files look great straight out of camera. The fixed focus and fixed aperture allow you to capture images without worrying about whether the focus is locked on the subject.
In terms of video quality, this tiny drone can shoot up to 4k 30fps. I was impressed with how good the footage looked in terms of color, sharpness, and dynamic range.
This compact drone packs a punch when it comes to image and video quality. As always, you are making some sacrifices as things get smaller/lighter, but I was very impressed with the performance of the DJI Mini 2.
DJI Mini 2 Sample Images
Below is a sample of images taken in various conditions with the DJI Mini 2.
Other Useful Features
The compactness of the DJI Mini 2 is likely the most impressive and useful feature it offers.
There are times when you have to slim down your camera kit, and having a super compact drone makes it that much easier to bring along.
When I do bring my drone, I’m always glad I did because the aerial perspective is just so cool. The shots I capture feel so unique, and it often unlocks the ability to shoot from a spot that would otherwise be out of reach.
As I mentioned before, the battery charging hub can also be used as a charger for other items like your phone. When traveling, it always seems like something needs some juice, so it’s nice that this battery pack can serve dual purposes.
Lastly, I was very impressed with how quiet this drone is. People often get wary of photographers flying drones, and it often attracts unwanted attention.
Being able to quietly capture photos and video makes this drone easier to use in busy places where other people might start asking questions and distracting you from your focus.
Value for Money
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the main draw to the DJI Mavic Mini II is the value. With the release of the Mavic Mini 3, this drone is likely to see a price drop making it even more affordable.
At around $600 for the fly more combo (includes extra batteries and charging hub), this drone is excellent value.
It offers some professional-level features like 4k 30fps video in an ultra-compact and lightweight package.
If you’re just getting into flying drones, the DJI Mavic Mini II is an excellent starting point because it is relatively affordable for the features it offers.
If you’re a professional photographer or videographer interested in a drone, this is a good drone to consider.
I will warn you that if you start with the DJI Mavic Mini II, you’ll likely love flying drones so much that you’ll want to upgrade to the more powerful and expensive options that allow you to fly faster/farther/etc.
DJI Mavic Mini II | Conclusion
As a professional drone pilot, the DJI Mavic Mini II felt a little like a toy when I first unboxed it, but after taking several flights, I love the compact size.
I never hesitate to bring this tiny drone with me and will likely be keeping it in my bag. It also makes a great backup drone if you’re flying professionally with the DJI Mavic 3.
Additionally, because of the lightweight design, this is a great travel drone for countries that restrict larger drones (be sure to always check local regulations to ensure you stay within the legal limits).
If you’re in the market for a starter drone with professional features, I highly recommend checking out the DJI Mavic Mini II.
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