If you want to keep a blog with videos, start a YouTube channel, or post your videos on other (social) media, you need to know what kind of equipment you need to bring along on your travels. Well, heads up: We are still learning as we go but we are happy to share our experiences with you.
This time I want to discuss the DJI Mavic Mini with you. Although this is the older model – versions 2 and 3 are available – it’s still an incredible little device. This article is not about the DJI Mavic Mini or the brand DJI, but about a drone in general.
So, why a drone? Because you can! Well, not exactly. Here is the deal; drones are getting really popular and everyone can buy one. But each country has different rules. Thailand and Malaysia are pretty strict about using a drone. But Australia is totally okay with it. Make sure you read and understand the rules and don’t assume the rules are the same for all countries.
Technical specs and features
Each drone has specific specifications and features. Here I tell you a bit about the specs and features of the DJI Mavic Mini but see it more as information on things you should be aware of.
The nerd stuff
This drone has a video recording resolution of 2.7k (2720×1530). Yes, this one is not 4K, which I kinda miss. If you are looking for a drone, make sure it’s 4K. The framerates are 24, 25, and 30. It is also possible to record movies with FHD (Full High Definition), which gives you a resolution of 1920×1080 and framerates of 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, and 60.
It does not record sound so you will have to add sound yourself. The camera is almost the same as the one you have on the DJI Osmo Pocket. The 3-axis gimbal really helps create smooth videos and pictures.
To control the drone you need a phone. You connect the phone to a controller, which is used to connect with the drone. The app on the phone is DJI Fly, which is not available in the common play stores. Reason: It’s Chinese. But luckily you can download the app pretty easily.
The Mavic 3 has its own controller, so no usage for your phone. I think this is better because connecting my phone to the DJI Mavic Mini does require me to remove the phone from its case.
That being said, with the app, you can see what the drone sees and set up how you want to record. The controller flies the drone in all directions: up, down, strafe left, strafe right, turn left, turn right, forward, and backward. You can also pan the camera up and down.
Some cool features
I will start with the best feature of this drone, and its successors: Its size and weight. It’s just 249 grams. So why is this so cool? In most countries, 250 grams is the limit to flying your drone without a permit. All drones with a weight above 250 grams need a permit or registration. How they made it 249 grams, I don’t know. But it’s one of the key features of why I choose this drone back in 2019.
Other cool features of the DJI Mavic Mini are pretty basic, which most drones have. Like a come-to-home function. When the battery is almost empty it will tell you on the screen and it can plot a course back to the point where it started. Downside: It will go in a straight horizontal line. So if you flew over trees and went down again, the drone will just fly into the trees.
Another cool feature is a map. Not just a normal Google Maps map, but a map where you can see if you are allowed to fly. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to fly in areas with military or commercial flights. These are called no-fly zones. The drone will not take off in some cases. In some cases it does, but if you don’t obey the rules your drone could be shot down, or taken down, and you will get a fine.
I already told you it can take videos, but you can also take pictures. This is great for your photo album or if you just want a still. Pictures are taken with a resolution of 4000×2250.
This blog is not a tutorial on how you need to use it or set it up. It’s more to make you aware of what a drone can do. Below you find an example I have taken with the DJI Mavic Mini. These scenes are taken in 2.7K with 30FPS.
A feature I really miss: The follow mode. Most drones have a mode that can follow you without you having to control the drone. This is great if you want the drone to follow you while you are in the car driving or walking somewhere. The DJI Mavic Mini does not have this feature. The newer version, DJI Mavic 3, does have this feature.
This drone does not have object detection. This means you have to look above, under, in front, behind, left, and right of the drone. Otherwise, you might fly into something, and repairing it is expensive. A quick tip: Although people on YouTube tell you that repairing a drone is really easy; don’t. Just hide your pride and let a professional do it.
The places that can fly a drone are getting fewer by the day. And personally, I don’t mind. Although a drone is cool and all, the buzzing sound is really annoying. So when you try to enjoy a nice quiet place in nature, you don’t want to hear drones buzzing over all the time. Just imagine what it does to animals. Governments and national parks are limiting the use of drones in most natural areas.
Neutral Density Filters (or ND Filters, or NDFs) are small lenses you can put on a recording device. This will control how much light a camera receives. They give just a little bit extra that you can’t fix with post-editing. There are ND Filters for the big cameras, but they are also available for the DJI Mavic Mini.
These are really small lenses you can click on the camera. They are magnetic, so it’s easy to attach and remove them. I highly recommend checking this out. It can help you out a lot!
You can get the lenses almost everywhere. Amazon has a good amount of lenses, with different prizes.
That concludes the DJI Mavic Mini. It’s small, it’s awesome, it’s great, it’s light… And although it has some limits, I am a fan. What about you? Please share your thoughts. Maybe you use a different device or have other valid points on the pocket (positive or negative). Let us know!
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