DJI Debuts its Compact, Incredibly Robust New Mini 4 Pro Drone
DJI has finally announced the introduction of its Mini 4 Pro drone, and it comes packed with impressive video recording, photo and flight features.
The compact drone is the latest in the Mini series of these UAVs and delivers plenty of performance goodies in its very light sub-250-gram body.
For one thing, the Mini 4 is the first in the Mini series of drones to come with omnidirectional obstacle detection and avoidance technology built into it.
It also includes Waypoints navigation and True Vertical Shooting, which is designed to offer “perfect” vertical video to creators.
Partly due to its small size and through the general quality of DJI’s battery technology, the Mini 4 can also manage a constant flight time of 45 minutes per charge if you get it with an Intelligent Battery Plus.
With its standard Intelligent Battery, however, this is reduced to a still respectable 34 minutes while delivering a long flight range of several kilometers with either flight time.
The little drone’s recording specs are also very robust. Inside the Mini 4 Pro, DJI has included a Type 1/1.3 CMOS sensor with dual native ISO and a 24mm-equivalent lens that has a fixed f/1.7 aperture.
Through its sensor, the Mini 4 Pro can capture 48MP images that it smoothly stabilizes with a 3.axis gimbal with a 60-degree upward tilt. The camera can also crop still photos by 2X and videos by 4X.
The photos taken by the Mini 4 Pro come in RAW format as well and there’s also a SmartPhoto mode for HDR imaging, scene recognition and other features designed to deliver excellent shots right out of the camera.
Moving onto video recording, the Mini 4 Pro can handle it at a maximum resolution of 4K at 60fps with HDR and 4K at 100fps without high dynamic range. This by the way makes it ideal for nice slow-motion shooting in UHD resolution.
The video recording chops of the Mini 4 Pro also include algorithmically enhanced noise reduction during Night Shots mode. The True Vertical mode I already mentioned above does its own work to create smooth, crisp videos that are ideal for vertical ascent social media posts.
Other video features of the Mini 4 are 10-bit D-Log M video for “natural colors and “true-to-life” brightness according to DJI.
Also useful during live flight recording is the Mini 4 Pro drone’s ability to stream 1080HD video at 60p through DJI’s O4 transmission technology.
This works out to a range of 12.4 miles, or 20km and is a major step up from the O3 that was available in the predecessor Mini 3 Pro drone. The former transmission system only offered 1080 video at 30p.
Waypoint flight is another useful aspect of the Mini 4 Pro because it lets you program automatic routes into the drone for reduced manual navigation during aerial shooting.
For safety, the new Mini includes an Advanced Return-to-Home system that can bring it back to a user’s hands safely and automatically.
Other creative shooting modes in the Mini 4 Pro include Spotlight, Point of Interest and ActiveTrack 360. All of these are designed to let users track specific objects or points while keeping a video recording maximally smooth.
The Mini 4 Pro offers the added feature of being able to record 180-degree panoramic shots and spherical panorama photos too.
Then there are also modes such as Quickshots, Mastershots and Hyperlaps for a range of dynamic video recording options with unusual angles and flight parameters.
Thanks to the Mini 4 Pro’s Omnidirectional sensing technology the drone itself automatically avoids obstacles while doing all of the above.
Finally, for sharing and editing, the Mini 4 Pro comes with a whole other host of technologies. The UAV’s QuickTransfer tech lets it send videos and photos to a pilot’s smartphone for easy sharing while DJI’s own LightCut system has AI quickly edit videos for posting with just a tap by the user.
With LightCut, it’s even possible to quickly add sound effects or dynamically blend aerial shots for visually powerful videos with minimal effort.
The sub-250gram (8.8oz) weight of the DJI Mini 4 that I mentioned above isn’t just useful for easier field use and longer flight time. It also has a legal benefit for users in many countries, and especially in the U.S.A.
According to FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) rules, drones weighing less than 250 grams don’t need to be registered with the organization for aerial use.
This same rule applies in other countries and the Mini 4’s extremely convenient design should save users from these bureaucratic licensing hurdles while still being able to use a feature-packed drone that can handle professional shooting.
DJI has introduced the Mini 4 Pro drone in several configurations. You can obtain the base model with standard RC-N2 remote for $759, or go for the DJI Mini 4 Pro with an advanced RC 2 Remote Controller for $959.
Both of these above combos include a DJI Mini 4 Intelligent Flight Battery, a pair of propellers, a screwdriver for them, a gimbal protector, a propeller holder, and USB-C to USB-C power cable.
Then there’s the Fly More Combo, which includes all of the above but also throws in two more Intelligent Flight batteries, two extra pairs of props and a DJI Mini Shoulder Bag along with a Two-Way Charging Hub for both Mini 3 and Mini 3 drones.
Total price: $1,099. Overall, it’s a pretty deal with all these further accessories.
Finally, the Mini 4 Pro drone is available in its Fly More Combo Plus at $1,159. This features all of the above in the Fly More Combo while also including the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, which lets the Mini 4 fly for up to 45 minutes.
This last combo might sound like a good deal too, but here’s the catch: the bulkier Plus battery also takes the drone above the 250-gram weight limit, meaning that you’ll suddenly have to register the drone in the U.S. and many places before flying.
Image credits: DJI