The DJI Mavic Mini drone camera was considered a game-changer in 2019 because of its 249g weight and simplicity. It has since been updated without the Mavic branding to the DJI Mini 2.

SA law does not require you to register a drone or get a licence for one if you use it privately and if it weighs less than 7kg. It is only allowed to be operated in daylight and clear weather.

But you need to be aware of laws relating to liability, privacy and other matters. These may involve issues such as damages or injuries, places where you may or may not fly the drone and permission you may need to operate it over someone else’s property.

The DJI Mini 2 drone has a three-axis gimbal and a 12MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor. It still weighs 249g and has the same palm-sized foldable, compact design as before, now with an updated controller. It offers 31 minutes of flying time, improved 4K video and 4x zoom and shoots stills in JPEG and RAW formats. It uses DJI’s OcuSync 2.0 technology with a 10km transmission range, but has a higher maximum flight speed of 57.6km/h and wind resistance of up to 38km/h.

What makes this drone attractive is its built-in intelligent modes that don’t require any skill to operate. It is suitable for beginners who want to get into it as a hobby. The newer model can shoot in five QuickShot modes: Dronie, Circle, Helix, Rocket and Boomerang.

These are suitable for capturing unique footage because the drone does all the work for you. Included is the support for sphere, 180° and wide-angle still shots — all accessible by a touch of a button. The photos have noticeably better high-dynamic range than the previous-generation model.

The drone comes with enhanced photo options for social media posting, and supports fast transfers (20MB/s) and trimmed downloads to edit videos.

It’s fun to fly and not intimidating. But don’t go out in even the slightest wind, because the drone does not have obstacle avoidance sensors.

It has an intuitive app, DJI Fly, that keeps a record of all flights when signed in.

No other drone on the market can rival it — as can be expected from the 70% global market share DJI had in 2020 according to market research firm Drone Industry Insights.

The DJI Mini 2 is available as a standalone drone with one battery for R9,195 from ormsdirect.co.za.

But it’s worth buying the Fly More Combo with three batteries, a charging hub and a carry case for R12,195.

Cool factor 5/5
Usability 4/5
Value for money 3½/5

Originally published here: https://www.businesslive.co.za/fm/fm-fox/gimme/2021-04-01-tech-review-dji-mini-2–light-and-nimble-flying-camera/