So you have a few hundred bucks and you want a drone for capturing smooth areal footage. You are left with few choices now that Yuneec, Autel, and Parrot have dropped out of the sub-$1000 market. The good news is that you have two excellent choices from DJI. The Mavic Air 2 ($799) and DJI Mini 2 ($449) are both highly capable drones and great values. The answer to ‘which drone is right for you’ depends on what you are looking for…and how much you have to spend.
DJI Mini 2 vs Mavic Air 2
We love tables. Nothing can sum up a comparison better than a complete table that summarizes the features and capabilities of these drones. Good luck collecting all this information for yourself. We are here to help. We have broken up the comparison into three groups. Let’s start off by going over the key features of the Mavic Air 2 and the DJI Mini 2. Later in the post, we will go over the differences in flight modes and camera features.
Mavic Air 2 and DJI Mini 2 – Key Feature Comparison
To keep things simple, two different items in the table are basically cut in half with the DJI Mini 2 when compared to the Mavic Air 2. The weight and the price! Maybe DJI prices their drones by the pound? The 249-gram weight means that in the United States you don’t need to register your drone (unless you fly it for commercial purposes).
The DJI Mini 2 makes a few other compromises in the areas of flight time and camera quality. More on the camera later. The Mini lacks all but the most basic downward-facing obstacle avoidance and flies more slowly than the Mavic Air 2. That slower speed will hurt when it is a little windy outside. Unlike the Air, you get no internal memory on the Mini 2, so don’t forget your memory card!
Camera Comparision – Mavic Air 2 vs Mini 2
The biggest thing you give up with the Mini is the HDR video recording capability. The camera is super sharp, but the dynamic range and color profiles are no match for the Mavic Air 2. This bitrate on the Mini 2 is significantly upgraded from the original Mavic Mini but still falls a bit short of the Mavic Air 2’s 120 Mbps. The frame rate of the Mavic Air 2 is faster at both 1080p and 4K resolutions.
Flight Modes and Features
Several flight modes are still missing on the DJI Mini 2 including Asteroid, Active Track, and Hyperlapse. Neither drone includes Waypoints, TapFly or Dolly Zoom. You will need to upgrade to the Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom to get those features.
Is the DJI Mini 2 or Mavic Air 2 right for you?
It all comes down to price. The DJI Mini 2 is a significant upgrade to its predecessor, and well worth the extra $50. Some key flight modes are still missing as well as 4K-60 and obstacle avoidance. DJI has once again cleverly withheld features like Active Track and Point of Interest to make the more expensive drones a more compelling option. I personally would recommend the Mavic Air 2 for any budding professional. The DJI Mini 2 is more than enough for any weekend warrior. Both drones are excellent choices and a joy to fly. If you want to see how the DJI Mini 2 stacks up against the original then you’ll want to check out this article.
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