Choosing the right drone can be a minefield; there are so many different models to choose from. A great starting point is the DJI Mavic Mini. This is a portable drone that is fantastic for beginners.
The Mavic Mini’s small size and utility allow users to gently learn the art of drone photography and videography. If you have no experience flying a drone or using its camera features, the Mavic Mini could be the perfect option. It is affordable while still having the potential to produce excellent quality videos and photos.
Let’s first look at the basic features and specifications of the DJI Mavic Mini. It is important to understand that this is generally considered an entry-level drone. This means that it won’t have the same quality and usability as powerful models like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro:
- Weight: 249g
- Dimensions: 245 x 290 x 55mm (unfolded with propellers)
- Camera: 12MP
- Sensor: ½”3 CMOS
- Aperture: f/2.8
- Image Format: JPEG
- Video: 2.7K UHD
- Video Formats: MP4
- Image Stabilization: Yes
- Transmission distance: up to 2.5 miles
- Flight time: 30 minutes
We still consider these features to be fantastic for an “Everyday FlyCam” (the DJI promotional phrase for the Mavic Mini), as 2.7K HD recording and a 12MP camera still allow you to create brilliant footage and photos.
Furthermore, the 30 minute flight time is respectable and the transmission distance of 2.5 miles allows for experimentation with epic long-distance footage.
We love the design of the Mavic Mini. Its arms are completely foldable which makes it easy to transport. Once the arms are folded, the drone fits comfortably in your hand. At just 249g, it’s lightweight and perfect for transporting in your backpack or luggage.
Whilst some drones are flimsy and have components that easily break, the DJI Mavic Mini has a relatively robust design. The folding arms feel secure. In addition, the exterior casing is durable and weather resistant.
Not only this, but the camera is secured by a three-axis gimbal which provides excellent stability. Your recordings will feel smooth without any motion blur.
We also like the design of the controller. It has a standalone remote control that can be attached to your smartphone to provide a live FPV of the footage you are recording.
Finally, the propellers are protected by a 360-degree guard. If you do happen to crash the drone, as beginners often do, the blades are protected from damage.
The basic quality of the Mavic Mini is fantastic. It has a 2.7K camera but is capable of transmitting in 4K HD. Both videos and photos look sharp and clear, and the color definition and clarity are excellent.
If you are worrying about learning to fly the device, then fear not. The free DJI Fly App provides a simple interface and a gentle learning curve. It is packed full with a myriad of useful tips and flying features that allow novices to quickly pilot the Mavic Mini with confidence.
The app is also used to create multimedia footage and has a range of creator templates you can use to quickly create stunning visuals.
The controls are responsive, and the drone is stable when flying. It obviously has limited capabilities against high winds, but it remains stable in most conditions.
One of the best features of the DJI Mavic Mini has to be the different preset motions and flying routes. You can choose some professional presets that create awesome cinematics. For example, the helix setting circles the drone around a set position in a sweeping helix pattern that gradually rises.
This additional functionality gives so much creativity and allows you to produce brilliant videos with minimal effort, making the Mavic Mini feel like more than just a beginner drone.
DJI Mavic Mini vs. Hubsan Zino
So how does this exciting portable drone compare to similar models on the market? A great comparison is the Hubsan Zino. This small drone is often touted as one of the main competitors to the Mavic Mini.
The Zino has a similar build and size, and a similar range of features. We have created a basic comparison table below that shows the main specifications:
|DJI Mavic Mini||Hubsan Zino|
|Dimensions||245 x 290 x 55mm||304 x 252 x 90mm|
|Camera Resolution||12MP||8.3MP effective|
|Video Quality||2.7K HD||4K UHD|
|Flight Time||30 minutes||23 minutes|
|Transmission Distance||2.5 miles||.6 miles|
We can notice some major differences here already. The Mavic Mini has a superior flight time and transmission distance. It can last for seven minutes more than the Hubsan Zino which comparatively is a large distance.
Furthermore, it has a transmission distance of 4x greater. In addition to this, the Mavic Mini is much lighter when fully kitted out with blades. It is also slightly smaller than the Hubsan Zino.
In contrast, the Zino does have superior recording quality and is capable of 4K video. Whilst the quality of the Mavic Mini isn’t bad, the 4K recording of the Hubsan Zino is superior.
Which device you prefer depends upon your usage. If you do not intend to use the drone over long distances, the Hubsan Zino could be the better option. Alternatively, if you want to experiment with sweeping visuals and epic landscapes, the Mavic Mini is the better choice.
DJI Mavic Mini Is a Great Starter Drone
Choosing a drone is difficult. If you have never owned one or used one before, the Mavic Mini is a great starting place.
Whilst it does not offer the quality of other some drones, it is an affordable device perfect for beginners. The lightweight design also makes it a great drone for travel photography and taking on day trips.
In terms of features, the 12MP camera is adequate, and the recording quality is excellent. In addition to this, the flying controls and features are relatively easy to understand and learn. To start out in the exciting world of drone photography, the DJI Mavic Mini is a top choice!