DJI’s drones are known for being some of the best in the skies. The Mavic Pro line is portable enough to throw into a small backpack, but the Mini 2 takes this small form factor to the next level.
The Mini 2 genuinely fits into a coat pocket (with the legs folded) and is almost unbelievably light at only 249g. This puts it below the weight threshold for the UK’s drone regs, as well as those of many foreign countries. It goes without saying that you should always check local rules before flying, but what this essentially means is that you can fly the Mini 2 near people and objects, assuming you’re not being daft. This opens up a world of opportunity to capture your favourite mountain hike or architectural wonder in photo and video glory without falling foul of the law, not to mention your baggage allowance.
In terms of image quality, think of the Mini 2 as a GoPro in the sky. It captures 4K video and 12 megapixel images and if you utilise some of the features of the DJI Fly app the results will surprise you. Photo quality is a step below the Mavic and Air ranges but with careful exposure, and the use of bracketing you can get really good results. Video can be a little noisy and we would generally avoid using the Mini 2 for this professionally but for casual use it punches well above its weight.
The app is an absolute breeze to use, with plenty of features to keep the creative drone flyer happy. It is a simplified version of DJI’s full fat Go 4 app but retains many of the important features. It’s set up to be a more intuitive user experience and a beginner could jump right in to capturing images and video with only a very basic knowledge of cameras. There are also some more advanced features to get the most out of the Mini 2. On the photography side you have AEB, or Automatic Exposure Bracketing which takes a series of three photos at different exposures which can then be blended together into a HDR image. There’s also a panorama option that’s super easy to use and yields great results.
On the video side DJI have added a Quickshots section to help add a creative, dynamic element to your shots. These include dronie, rocket, circle, helix, and boomerang. All these movements could be done manually but the app does a great job of automating them.
The camera can be switched to pro mode for both photo and video, this gives you the opportunity to tweak, and crucially lock down your exposure and white balance settings to avoid harsh changes during filming that you might otherwise get from auto mode. Having said that, for beginners auto mode does a fine job.
In the air, the Mini 2 is rock solid and fly’s smoothly, even in moderate wind. It’s also quiet, especially compared to DJI’s bigger drones like the Mavic or Phantom series. Switching to cine mode on the controller slows down all the inputs so you can easily capture buttery movements, or for a turn of speed the drone can be switched to sport mode.
Battery life is a stonking 31 minutes which compares very favourably to other drones on the market. If you’re going to be using the Mini 2 regularly, the Fly More Combo makes perfect sense. It adds two batteries with a charging dock, a carry case, spare props and a few other bits and pieces. With the three batteries in hand, you have over an hour and a half of flight time, which is enough for the most avid of drone flyers.
Overall, the Mini 2 drone is a game changer. It’s so small and light its considered safe to fly in areas otherwise restricted. The camera quality, considering the size of the drone is excellent, and the DJI Fly app, although criticised for being trimmed down, does exactly what it needs to reliably. A highly recommended bit of kit for capturing your adventures in the UK and beyond.