Hey guys, how is it going? It is Dwipayan Das from pre-processing.com, and today we will bring light to the “Mavic mini vs Mavic air 2” debate to help you decide which series you should invest. We are comparing them because a lot of people wonder if the newer, cheaper Mavic mini is good enough from a pricing viewpoint compared to the Mavic air 2. Still, specifically, I want to know if I can get good cinematic shots with the Mavic mini or not.
Starting with, the first thing we talk about is the price. The Mavic mini stand-alone cost about $399. The fly more package that comes with two extra batteries, a three-charger module, prop-guards, and a carrying case. It makes the cost estimates at $499. In comparison, the Mavic air 2 comes in at $799 stand-alone, and with the fly more combo, it costs up to $988. So the Mavic mini easily wins the race in terms of pricing.
Weight and flight time
Okay, next up is the weight and size factor, the Mavic air 2 weighs 430 grams, and the Mavic mini weighs just 249 grams. That is nothing if compared. According to the FAA, it means that Mavic mini does not need to be registered with them, so it is a massive add-on. Another win for the Mavic mini is the flight time. The Mavic air 2 is rated at 21 minutes, whereas the Mavic mini comes at a mind-blowing 30 minutes at sea level. While testing, we flew the Mavic-mini in the mountain region at 6,800 feet above sea level, and we observed that the Mavic air 2 needed to come down for fresh batteries a lot more often than the Mavic mini did. So I’d say this is a massive win for the Mavic mini-series.
Speed and Connectivity
Next comes the topic of speed, the Mavic air 2 in sport mode at sea level in zero miles an hour wind conditions are ready to move at a staggering 42.5 miles per hour while the Mavic mini’s top speed in sport mode is rated at 29 miles per hour. If we do some drag races at 6000 feet, the Mavic air 2 looks and sounds like a Ferrari in the Air. So if you need to follow faster objects such as vehicles or fly faster in general, then the Mavic Air 2 is the sure choice for you.
Now in the maximum range distance capabilities. The Mavic air 2 and the Mavic mini both are rated by DJI at 2.48 miles. However, sometimes when even at 2,000 feet away, I faced losing signal and getting choppy video on the Mavic mini, whereas the Mavic Air 2 felt secure and stable the further I got away from it. Thus the Mavic air 2 wins out on this one.
Proceeding further towards a very user-centric demand is obstacle avoidance. This feature has become standard on the newer DJI drones. The Mavic Air 2 is equipped with front, back, and downward sensors, whereas the Mavic mini is only equipped with a downward sensor. It is used for landing and keeping its position. When flying without GPS, we have to stay very careful, and if you’re a beginner just learning how to fly, you can quickly get into trouble and crash, so make sure that you play it safe.
Up to this, Mavic mini vs. Mavic Air 2 has the same score. Let’s discuss further.
Camera quality and Features
Next, we will talk about the lense, the focal length on both the drones. So the Mavic air 2 and the Mavic mini are both 24 millimeters in the 35-millimeter format equivalent. so I notice that they’re not the same. Still, they’re very close, and in my opinion, 24 millimeters is kind of an excellent overall length for your drone to get good shots that is neither too close nor too wide. I think it is an excellent all-around focal length to have. So I would consider it a tie in this category
Moving forward to the camera quality and frame rate options. The camera on the Mavic air 2 has a 1-2 inch CMOS sensor with 48 megapixels, and the Mavic mini features a 1-2.3 inch CMOS sensor with 12 megapixels. The Mavic Air 2 features a max video bitrate of 120 megabits per second resolution up to 4k and 240 frames per second at 1080p. It also shoots raw and JPEG photos at 4k resolution. Now the Mavic mini also features a 1.5 inch CMOS sensor with the same 12 megapixels. However, it only shoots at super-low 40 megabits per second and only offers up to 2.7 K video. It also limits 25 and 30 frames per second frame rate with no 24 frames per second offered to shoot 4k JPEG photos. The raw option is also not provided. So as far as frame rate options and bitrate on paper are considered, then the Mavic air 2 is the clear winner.
Next, we will look at the camera controls and the ability of cinematic shoot, which is genuinely one of the most desirable factors of consideration for a filmmaker or a cinematographer. As a drone pilot, I would love to get those cinematic shots. Now, fortunately, both the Mavic air 2 and the Mavic mini can customize the tilt speed. Both also have something called a cinematic mode. It allows us to more easily get those super smooth cinematic shots without jerking too much. It is one of the essential features for me because I want to get those cinematic shots. So I would say its a tie in this category as both the drones are very much capable of getting beautiful smooth shots.
There we have the standard screen, and we just basically set the exposure by setting our shutter and our ISO to get proper exposure on the Mavic mini. However, we cannot fix the individual parameters. Instead, it automatically sets the exposure. We need to adjust the EV, which stands for exposure value (the exposure value is the number that represents a combination of the shutter speed). Next the f-stop, so we just let it automatically set the exposure. Then we can adjust the EV up or down to the required exposure and then lock it down by tapping on the lock icon. It means our exposure will not be going up and down all over the places. While we are tilting up into the sky or looking down into darker areas as our lighting conditions may change.
At first, I was very hesitant to use this exposure approach at night. I was not sure whether I would like it, but eventually, I found it to be super fast, effortless to bang it up there and make it happen. It worked well, so overall, and I would say that both ways of setting exposure worked great. Hence it’s again a draw in this category.
The Mavic air 2 seems more substantial and more solidly built, whereas the Mavic mini is just a piece of plastic. In my view, the Mavic air 2 has better build quality for sure than the mini-series.
Coming up to noise levels while we were flying the drones, the sound difference was very noticeable. The Mavic mini seemed much quieter compared to the Mavic air 2. To further get a little more technical, I conducted this test with my decibel meter placing the drones at the same distance away. I recorded that Mavic air 2 came in at 79 to 81 decibels, and the Mavic mini came in at 73 to 75 dB so that I would consider a definite win for the Mavic mini in terms of noise generated.
Again in the battle of Mavic mini vs. Mavic air 2 , both got the same point.
Internal Storage capacity
Sharing some more information regarding the internal storage capabilities, the Mavic air 2 has eight gigabytes of internal storage, which is great if you forget your cards. You need that extra space once you have filled up your cards after a day’s shooting. Still, on the other hand, the Mavic mini does not have any internal storage at all. So if you need internal storage, go for Mavic air 2.
Quick Shot mode
Coming to the options of quick shot modes, both Mavic air 2 and the Mavic mini have quick shots of smart modes. We tested the rocket, circle, and helix mode. Both of them performed well in all of these modes. But to keep in mind, there are no sensors on these drone’s sides. We almost crashed into some trees on the circle mode and the helix mode, and we had to cancel the maneuvers, also to cancel the maneuver move the control stick or select cancel in the app. I’d say it’s probably best not to try these modes unless it’s completely open and there’s no nearby trees or buildings. Considering another draw in this category but there are a few additional capabilities that the Mavic air 2 has in that regard, but it is very similar to its counterpart.
Signing off with the low-light capability factor, we conducted this test, which was kind of tricky, since the Mavic mini uses auto settings to set the initial exposure. For this test, we presented a low light situation, and then we maxed out the capabilities of both drones as far as low-light. After looking at both the results, the Mavic mini was able to achieve a brighter picture and appears to be less muddy than the Mavic air 2, so even though with a higher bit rate, I think the Mavic mini surely wins in the low-light category.
So finally presenting with the Mavic Mini VS Mavic Air 2 results, which were very close, but what are the most important features we need in a drone? I would say flight time, portability, camera quality, so which one should we buy depends on how we are going to use it, and I think the main question we should ask ourselves is what quality footage is good enough for our purposes. If we use it for our personal use, such as real estate web projects that do not require 4K, then the Mavic mini is a fantastic choice, but if we need that extra frame rates, the speed, the distance, then the Mavic air 2 might be a better choice. So I am rooting for the Mavic mini since it is capable of really nice shots, it is super small, lightweight, portable, and clicks excellent images, which also surprised me, so my choice would be Mavic mini for sure.
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