DJI Drone Comparison – A Beginner Guide To DJI Consumer Camera Drones
I want to take you through their current lineup and tell you the pros and cons of each one at a very high level and help you make a good decision so stay tuned. So if you’re new to the channel, i hope you will hit the subscribe button and the notification bell so you’ll get more videos about drones, especially dji drones, because i do a lot of them and let’s get started. If you’re new to drones in general, you may have heard of dji, they are the undisputed leader in consumer camera drones right now. What i have in front of me is the current lineup of actually five drones. There is a sixth one, that’s, not here, that i’ll talk about in a second that are in the consumer level. Now these go everywhere from 2.7 k in camera up to 4k in camera and have a variety of features and functions that are useful to different people. So what i want to do is take you through a high level overview of these, so that when you’re getting ready to buy, you know what you’re getting into with each of these drones, and you can pick the right one. So, first of all, i want to tell you all of these drones have a three axis mechanical gimbal. Now a gimbal is the device that holds the camera steady as the drone moves through the air. If it moves forward the drone pitches in such a way that it doesn’t doesn’t tilt, if it moves sideways it pitches in in such a way that it doesn’t tilt sideways, it keeps the camera level and steady and that’s.
What gives you that amazingly smooth shots, and all of these do that really well dji – is a master at building gimbals and they’ve incorporated that into all these drones, where you really get into the difference, is what the software can do on each of these, and in The cameras that’s a big differentiator, so let’s start with number one. This is the mavic mini. This came out in october of 2019 and really took the world by storm as a very inexpensive uh easy to fly under 250 gram drone with a 3 axis gimbal. Now this was really designed at people who were just getting into flying drones and also people who just wanted something light and easy to take with them that they could use for taking selfies or doing youtube videos. But it doesn’t have a lot of the extras that these others have, and it was also eventually replaced in 2020 by this guy here. But let’s talk about what this one does have. It has a 2.7 k camera, which means that it’s in between 4k and 1080p, which is pretty good for resolution, it does have the three axis gimbal. Its biggest shortcoming is that it uses enhanced wi fi for the video transmission signal, which means you’re more likely to get dropouts and stuttering in your video signal than you are with the rest of these. That use occusync 2 because of the enhanced wi fi because of interference or because of distance, which also means it has a shorter range.
As far as it can fly away from you before. You start to lose a signal, so the two big drawbacks being the enhanced wi fi versus ocusync and the 2.7 k camera, as i said, it’s under 250 grams, which means that it can be flown legally without registration in the united states, at least as of the Recording of this video – and it also has quick shots built into it, which allows us to do really cool shots like the dronie or the rocket at the push of a button. Those are very effective, but it only has a couple of them and it doesn’t have a few other of the automatic shooting features that these have and real quick. As i talk about pricing on all of these i’m, going to tell you the cost for just buying the drone by itself with the basic accessories and no extras, meaning that it might come with a few extra props, but not a lot and it probably doesn’t come With any extra batteries, most of these have a fly more combo pack, which gives you extra stuff and costs a bit more but i’m, just giving you the base price for the drone, but at ‘9 it’s a pretty good deal if you’re, just starting out and you’re. Looking for something to get started with and see if you’re interested or if you wanted to give this to a kid, i also want to mention that this does not have any sensors other than downward.
The downward sensor is just for landing, so it can have precision landing. They all have gps, including this one, so it can land precisely when you hit return to home. But ultimately, if you fly forward into something or sideways into something, it’s not going to stop itself like some of these, others will do because it doesn’t have a sensor that will stop it. So let’s move on from the mavic mini to the dji mini 2.. In november of 2020, dji announced the mini 2. They no longer call it the mavic mini. They just call it the mini 2 and while it looks very, very similar to the original dji mavic mini, it has a lot of enhancements under the hood. This one has occusync 2.0, instead of enhanced wi fi, like that one. What that means is you’re going to get a longer transmission signal for video and you’re not going to get interference when it uh is in a highly congested wi, fi area. Now this one also shoots 4k, where that one shoots 2.7 k, so it has a higher resolution camera. The cameras are essentially the same they’ve just enhanced the software on this one or maybe the internal workings i don’t know, but they look very similar and the specs are very similar, but this one will shoot 4k that one will only shoot 2.7 k this one, like The other one like the mavic mini, does not have any sensors other than downward, which means that if you fly forward sideways or backwards or upwards into something you’re going to hit it.
So you got to be really careful when you’re flying this guy, but it does have gps and it locks in really well, and it does have a downward sensor which allows it to fly indoors and also to do precision landing both the mavic mini and the mini 2 use the dji fly app, which is a consumer level. Dji app we’ll talk about their dji go 4 app in a minute. It has some limitations, but it’s also simpler to use so there’s kind of a trade off there. But if you’re using any of these first, three drones you’re going to be using the fly app and also with the mini 2 they’ve done a real good job. Enhancing the remote control – this is the remote for the mini 2. This is the remote for the original mini. I didn’t mind this form factor, but i really like this one, a lot better for a lot of reasons and if you want to know why there’s a full review where i talk about this controller in detail so between the mavic mini and the mini 2, the Price jumps from ‘9 to 449., so about 50 bucks you’re paying about 50 bucks more for this one for the drone by itself with one battery, and you also get one minute more flight time and a little bit of extra speed on the mini 2 versus the Original mavic mini okay. Third in our lineup, is the dji mavic air 2.
. Now the mavic air 2 is the secondary big brother to the original mavic air, and it also uses ocusync 2.0. It also uses the dji fly app, which again is more of the consumer level app, but honestly of all the drones here. This is the one that’s jam packed with the most features. This guy has occusync 2.0. It can shoot 4k at 60 frames per second, whereas this one, the mini 2 shoots 4k at 30 frames per. Second, it can do 1080, video at 240 frames per second, and if you aren’t familiar with what frames per second means, it means how many frames it’s capturing each second and it allows you to do slow motion. So at 240 frames per second you’re. Basically can slow things down eight times, something that takes. One second can be stretched out to eight seconds, and so you can really see the detail in what’s going on with that slow motion at 1080., but at 4k it does 60 frames. This has a 34 minute flight time, which is amazing as far as and it’s the most out of all the drones here. So in terms of flight time, this one is the highest. This also has front back and downward sensors. Now it does not have side sensors and it does not have a top sensor, and you know one thing that happens sometimes is people fly it up into things like up into a roof or up into a tree? So you have to be careful with this one.
Not to do that, but it does have front and back sensors and if those are turned on those will allow it to stop if you’re coming towards something going frontwards or backwards, and then, of course, the downward sensor allows it to land precisely. It also does have a light on the bottom, which is nice for visibility at night, and it does have the ability to fold down really small, and this one also has internal memory storage. So it’s got an internal memory bank. So if your sd card is full – or if you forget your sd card, you’ve got a little bit of room to spare and you can record directly into the drone itself for a short period of time. The other thing i need to mention about the dji air 2 is that this one will do hyperlapse and it will do active track. The dji mini 2 and the dji mavic mini, do not do hyperlapse or active track. Hyperlapse is basically like a time lapse. Moving through the air, an active track is where it will actually follow you or follow an object that you select very precisely and stay in front of it or behind it, but just kind of keep it in focus the entire time. That is a feature. The smaller drones don’t have and never will have, because these smaller drones don’t have the right sensors to do that. The remote control on the dji mavic air 2 is very similar to the one for the dji mini 2.
it’s uh. Actually it came out first. So the mini 2 kind of copied, the mavic air ii and again it’s that nice form factor it’s that easy to put your phone into it. These do work with an android or an ios phone, an apple phone but they’re very easy to put in they’re very well built. They have very long battery life and they have the ability to also take the sticks out and put them in the bottom. So if you want to stash this in a backpack or something you don’t have the sticks put out, putting out there and potentially getting broken so very well thought out for these remote controls so going up to the next level and really moving from the consumer level To more of the professional level, is the mavic 2 pro now this one has a sibling, the mavic 2 zoom, which i’ll also talk about, and actually i used to own a mavic 2 zoom, but i gave it away because i replaced it with this and i’ll. Tell you why in just a second, but this has become kind of the go to standard for professional videographers and people on the higher end, doing more things with it. One of the big differences is this uses: dji go 4 instead of the dji fly app, which gives you a little bit more control over the way that you shoot video and photos. This one has occusync 2.0, of course, but the big thing it has is a one inch sensor on the camera.
So if you don’t know much about cameras, just know that the bigger the sensor, the better it does in low light and the better your image quality is going to be. Overall, this one has a one inch sensor, which is about as big as you can get in drones right now, and it has a lot of other things, including six directions of obstacle avoidance, including top bottom left right front and back. It also has internal storage, like i was talking about on the mavic air ii, so that if you do run out of space on your card or forget your card, you can shoot directly into the drone itself and it has a 30 minute flight time, which, ironically, Is slightly less than the mavic air 2, which costs less? As a matter of fact, there are several things that the mavic air 2, which again costs less, does better than this drone. What you’re, really paying for with this guy right here is the one inch sensor in the camera and also all of the safety features the different sensors on the sides, if you’re wanting to shoot professionally. This is about the least expensive drone you can buy and still be considered a professional drone. Its brother is the mavic 2 zoom. The zoom does not have as good a camera, while the drone is exactly the same as this. The camera is a one over 2.3 versus a one inch sensor, so it’s a smaller sensor than this one has, and this one really with a leica lens on it is, is pretty much the industry standard and the benchmark for where we start at a professional level.
Of cinematography and photography for drones, so if you get the mavic 2 zoom, you have the ability to do a 24 to 48 millimeter zoom in uh. You don’t have the ability to zoom in with this one, but it is an optical zoom on the zoom. Hence the name, and so you don’t lose you don’t lose quality like you do with a digital zoom. So again, this one is 15.99 and the mavic 2 zoom, which has all the same features except the different camera, is 1349.. Both the mavic 2 zoom and the mavic 2 pro use this remote control, and this has been the same style that the mavic has used. Since the original mavic pro i like it because it has an lcd screen built onto it, so you have a lot of data in here and you can actually fly it pretty effectively without using your phone connected to it. But of course those also work with this. The smart controller and we’ll talk more about that in a second let’s wrap up with the phantom 4 pro v2 now the phantom 4 pro v2 is kind of the holy grail of consumer video and photography, drones and i say consumer because this one is really pushing The bounds of being more professional, it has a one inch sensor. It has a mechanical, shutter and again that’s. Really, what you’re paying for with this one is the one inch sensor and a mechanical shutter mechanical shutters are going to give you less distortion during fast motion and they’re, going to give you clearer images, and also this guy is just a beast: it’s it’s, a bigger Drone, if you want to hand catch a drone, this one is super easy to hand catch.
So, if you’re flying it in a space without without a lot of area to land like on a boat, i actually prefer flying this off a boat because it’s easier to hand catch when you bring it in because it has these big landing. Gears it’s also got more lifting power, so if you’re trying to lift something with it across the board, this is more like an f 150 truck, and this is probably more like a sport suv kind of thing. So keeping those in mind they have the same size, sensor very similar cameras, but again a mechanical shutter and a digital shutter on that one mechanical being the one that gives you better imagery. Now the phantom 4 pro v2 comes in at the same price as the mavic 2 pro, and that is 15.99, and it has a lot of the same features. However, there are a few places where it actually steps backward as well. It has a 30 minute flight time. It shoots 4k at 30 frames per second, not 60.. Both of these only do 4k at 30, whereas this one here does 4k at 60 for less money, so something to keep in mind but again you’re dealing with better cameras and bigger sensors on these. So your imagery is actually going to look better, even though the frame rate might not be as high. So this one has sensors front back down and on the sides it does not have a top sensor.
So if you were to fly up into a ceiling or a roof or a tree, or something like that, you would hit it with this, whereas the mavic 2 pro and the mavic 2 zoom has this top sensor right here. That allows it to stop and to sense things above it, so you couldn’t fly into a roof very easily. Finally, the phantom 4 pro does have all of the quick shots and active track and all those other features that are built into dji go4, but it does not have internal storage, so you have an sd card in this guy once your sd card is full that’s. It so you got to make sure that you have an sd card that has plenty of space, so you can shoot all your great footage and don’t forget to put it in there now. The remote control for the phantom 4 pro v2 is a different form factor. It’S, more of a traditional radio control, remote control, and it feels really good in the hand this one here is the plus version that has the screen built on. This is a crystal sky screen and it is actually quite bright. It works really well outdoors and it’s. Nice to have i don’t mind the form factor here, but a lot of people actually prefer the form factor of this right here, which is the smart controller. So the smart controller currently works with the dji phantom 4 pro v2.
It does not work with the v1 and the reason it doesn’t work with the v1 is because the v1 uses lightbridge, not occusync. If that doesn’t make any sense to you, don’t worry if you buy the v2 you’re getting occusync and that’s really the standard of what you want right now. This remote will also work with both the mavic 2 zoom and the mavic 2 pro, and it works with the mavic air 2. So all of these here will work with this remote and i’m, a big fan of this remote because it doesn’t tie up your phone. It is 700, so it’s not cheap. So you know if that’s a price is a consideration you may or may not want to spend for it, because you can put your phone on here and do all the same things. But i like the fact that it has a really bright screen built into it. Kind of like this one does, but this screen is built down here on the bottom and it packs down a little smaller now. These two do not work with the smart controller. This one here, which is the dji mini 2, may someday it’s a software update. The dji would have to do when the original mavic air 2 came out. It did not work with the smart controller, but after a few months they released a software update that allowed it to because these have ocusync. All of these could work with it.
The original mavic mini will never work with this because it can’t work with enhanced wifi. So that’s it, hopefully you found this useful. I want to go through one more time, real, quick if you’re on a budget – and you want to get a good quality dji drone. The mavic mini is a great choice, although i don’t know how much longer it’s going to be offered because it was replaced by the mini 2, which is about 50 bucks. More, the dji mavic mini is 3.99. The mini 2 is 449., so another 50. But with this one, you’re getting ocusync and a lot of enhancements, including 4k, that this one didn’t have but again, if budget is your main concern, this is not a bad choice. This is a good choice up next and by the way, both of these weigh less than 250 grams, which means in most countries as of this recording, you don’t, have to register them with the authorities. This one here is the next step up it’s 700 and something grams, and you do have to register it. But it gives you a lot of options and it really is pretty easy to fly as a matter of fact, i’m gon na say overall value for 799 dollars. I feel like this is actually the best value of all of them. This is the sweet spot between those and this, if you’re, not a professional, but you want something that is a little better than uh just a basic consumer model.
When you move up to here – and here you can take these on to set and actually shoot and get paid to shoot with these, you could take all of these on. You know it kind of depends on who your customer is and what the expectation is doing. Weddings and stuff sure you could shoot with these, but with the one inch sensor, these are going to give you more detailed and higher quality imagery than the rest of them, and so, if you’re going to get into professional videography and photography, whether it’s real estate or Industrial or even mapping you’re going to want to go with one of these two, but again to me. The mavic air 2 is the overall kind of best amalgamation of all the things that dji has done. Plus it has a lot of things that these higher end ones, don’t have and a ton of things. These two don’t have so that’s really kind of my analysis. If you can spend 800 bucks, i would go with this one, but if you want to spend less or if you want to get a fly more combo pack, one of these lesser ones would be good, the mini 2. And then, if you’re a professional – and you really want to get into this as a part, 107 pilot and get paid to do – it – i’d recommend one of these to the phantom 4 pro v2 or the mavic 2 pro or zoom that’s a lot of talking.
I hope you enjoyed this video i’d love to hear your comments below what you think about all of these drones and what you think about drone videography and photography in general. Please leave me a comment, as i said, if you haven’t already subscribed and you like drone videos, please hit the subscribe button.