When I prepared my list for the Three Kings in December with 25 gifts for people who travel, I didn’t imagine that Their Majesties (in the form of my girlfriend) were going to leave one of them at home, the drone DJI Mavic Mini.
If I incorporated that gift suggestion it is because, a priori, the DJI Mavic Mini is a travel drone recommended for its size and weight.
When we travel, and we do so with more and more electronics on us (camera, tablet and/or laptop, mobile phone…), every gram counts for our back and every cubic centimetre for our rucksack. A drone that only weighs 249 grams with the battery in place is almost a dream come true.
But not only that, its weight makes the DJI Mavic Mini a recreational drone with fewer restrictions on use than others, as weight is a determining factor in deciding which category they fit into (translation: the heavier they are, the harder they fly).
Can you fit a weight of 249 grams with good photo and video performance? With the DJI Mavic Mini, the answer is yes.
Before getting to the video in which I show you the DJI Mavic Mini, first a review of its main specifications according to the manufacturer.
249 gr (with battery and card)
Folded: 140 × 82 × 57 mm (L × W × H)Unfolded: 160 × 202 × 55 mm (L × W × H)Unfolded (with propellers): 245 × 290 × 55 mm (L × W × H)
Maximum flight time
30 minutes (measurement made without wind at 14 km/h)
1/2.3″ Effective CMOSPixels: 12 MP
FOV: 83°F 35 mm equivalent format: 24 mmOpenness: f/2.8Focus distance: 1 m to ∞
Video:100 – 3200 (automatic)Photo:100 – 1600 (automatic)100 – 3200 (manual)
Electronic shutter: 4-1/8000s
4:3: 4000×300016:9: 4000×2250
Single shot Interval: 2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s
2.7K: 2720×1530 25/30 pFHD: 1920×1080 25/30/50/60 p
MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC)
Max. transmission distance (unobstructed, interference-free) from the remote control
Model MT1SS55.8 GHz: 4000 m (FCC); 2500 m (SRRC)Model MT1SD252.4 GHz: 2000 m (MIC/CE)5.8 GHz: 500 m (EC)
Size of mobile devices supported by the remote control
Max. length: 160 mmMax. thickness: 6.5 – 8.5 mm
Live broadcast quality
720p at 30fps
DJI Fly (iOS 10.0 or later, Android 5.0 or later)
A UHS-I card with a UHS Class 3 speed is required.
I’m sure you’ve found two features in that table that may have made you frown, and both are related to the camera: the video recording and the photo format.
The Mavic Mini DJI camera does not record video at 4K but at a maximum of 2.7K. In practice this only means that if you are a hard-core video editor, you have less possibilities to make cuts, with a maximum pixel size of 2720 x 1530 (up to 30 fps) as opposed to 4K, which would be 4096 x 3112 pixels.
Taking into account that devices that play 4K are not yet so common and that only a minimum number of users are in constant need of trimming and changing the point of view to highlight, a priori the maximum resolution of 2.7k is no handicap for the use of the DJI Mavic Mini.
I’m not so sure about the other feature, which is that the DJI Mavic Mini takes pictures in JPEG but not in RAW.
In gross mode, when we take a JPEG picture our camera is processing the picture, removing information it does not consider necessary. When we take a RAW photo, the information (light, color, shadow) that is saved from the photo is multiplied.
That means, and I keep simplifying, that a JPEG photo takes about 7 or 10 Mb depending on the size at which it was made and it supports little processing in a program (from Picassa to Photoshop). A RAW photo can occupy 30 or 40 Mb and supports a huge range of further processing on our computer.
In most situations we can live without big adjustments in a picture, but the perfectionist in me thinks that he is going to miss that option in the DJI Mavic Mini camera, although you can adjust the exposure (EV), shutter speed and ISO in it.
Product available at Amazon.com
Price: EUR 499,00
Price: EUR 399,00
The DJI Mavic Mini is available in two versions, the DJI Mavic Mini and the DJI Mavic Mini Fly Plus Combo. They don’t differ at all in the drone and the first one is, so to speak, the basic one and costs 399 Eur. The second, more complete, is sold for 499 Eur (DJI sets its prices both in its store and by buying from third parties, such as Amazon).
DJI Mavic Mini contentContent DJI Mavic Mini “Vuel más” Combo
Is it worth paying 100 Eur plus the DJI Mavic Mini Fly Plus Combo version? Taking into account that (as you see below in the photos side by side of the contents) it has three batteries as opposed to the only battery in the standard version (pvp unit 45 Eur) or three pairs of propellers as opposed to one in the standard version (pvp par 15 Eur), or a bi-directional triple charge centre (pvp 39 Eur), the question answers itself.
Here you have a video of “unboxing” the DJI Mavic Mini, what awaits you in the box if you are given the “Fly More” Combo, what the drone looks like, my first impressions and the inevitable comparison of the drone with a couple of mobile phones.
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As you will have seen in the video, at the end of it I have included another from the State Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on the basic rules of recreational use of drones.
Summing up, a lot can be done and not with a recreational use drone of the characteristics of the DJI Mavic Mini:
Always fly with visual contact of the device by the pilot (so called VLOS – Visual Line Of Sight)
Not exceed 120 m in height or the highest obstacle within 150 m of the aircraft
Flying only during the day without adverse weather conditions
Fly at least 8 km away from airports or airfields
Flying outside of controlled, restricted, FIZ or ATZ airspaces
When making recordings or taking photographs, please observe the Data Protection Act and the regulations on the right to privacy, self-image and the like
Ultimately, the legal regulation that applies in Spain to the use of drones is the Royal Decree 1036/2017 (in the link you have it in .pdf in the BOE)
Keep in mind that there are areas that are not related to air traffic but where the flight of drones is restricted, such as National Parks, protected areas, etc.
In addition to the fact that you can visit AESA’s website, before flying your drone there are several recommended or essential tools for additional consultation: the unofficial Air Map application and the online map of ENAIRE, the operator of communication, navigation and surveillance services provided to aircraft circulating in our airspace.
And remember, a drone is not a toy, but we can have fun with it.
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