The DJI Mavic Air 2 and the DJI Mavic Mini are two of the most popular drones on the market. The main differences between these models are flighted time, camera quality, size, and weight.
Mavic Air 2 vs Mavic Mini, which is right for you?
In this article, Lucidcam will compare these two drones to help you decide!
Mavic Air 2 vs Mavic Mini – General
What is Mavic Air 2?
The Mavic Air 2 ($799.99) is DJI‘s mid-tier entry in its small, folding drone series. It can fit in most cameras bags and has many safety features. The camera has a Quad Bayer design that captures crisp, detailed images and 4K video. Its footage is smooth. The Mavic Air 2 is our Editors Choice if you are looking for a drone that costs less than $1,000.
- Superlative battery life
- A strong image and video quality
- Obstacle detection and avoidance
- Automated shots
- HDR video and Raw imaging
- AirSense transponder
- Video profiles limited to standard and flat
- App-based editing limited to 1080p output
- Remote omits EV control wheel
- Not easy to get Raw images to your tablet or smartphone
What is Mavic Mini?
The DJI Mavic Mini ($399) is the company’s latest attempt at making an entry-level drone. The DJI Mavic Mini is not the first. It was the Phantom series’ low-cost Standard model.
DJI also tried it again with the Spark, which had limited flight time. The Mavic Mini has a longer flight time and battery life, so the drone doesn’t have to be registered with FAA.
However, connectivity issues were encountered during test flights, and we are disappointed with the overall camera feature set.
- Low cost of entry
- Includes remote control
- Excellent battery life
- Crisp 2.7K video and 12MP photos
- Gimbal stabilization
- Automated cinematic camera movements
- Find My Drone feature
- Doesn’t require federal registration
- Some connectivity issues in testing
- Omits obstacle detection sensors
- No 24fps video option.
- Doesn’t support Raw or HDR images
DJI Mavic Air 2 vs DJI Mavic Mini
The Mavic Mini was created to be portable and lighter than the Mavic Air 2. The Mavic Mini’s main selling point is its ability to fly just below the 250-gram minimum weight required by the FAA for drone registration. You can fly the Mavic Mini straight out of the box.
The Mavic Mini is also smaller than most smartphones. The Mavic Mini drone is light, compact, and strong enough to take on vacations, road trips, or weekends at the park.
The Mavic Air 2 is just over half a kilo. Although it is 100g heavier than the original Mavic Air, the Mavic Pro Platinum and Mavic Pro Platinum are lighter. The Mavic Air 2 still offers solid portability if used in isolation. It pales in comparison to the Mavic Mini.
The Mavic Air 2 is superior in all aspects when it comes to quality cameras. Although the Mavic Air 2 has a slightly larger Quad Bayer sensor, it can take full-resolution 48MP shots. It will also capture 12 MP stills automatically. Thanks to its higher bitrate, it can also record 4K videos at a smooth 60 frames per second. Its slow-motion capabilities, which can reach a framerate up to 240
FPS is one of its most impressive features. We expect to use it a lot.
The Mavic Mini, on the other hand, can only shoot at a maximum resolution of 2.7K. The framerate of the Mini is limited to 60 frames per second, so it doesn’t have a slow-motion feature.
Although the Mavic Air 2’s D-Cinelike profile isn’t the most vibrant in the DJI Mavic line, it does give the photos an extra level of vibrancy. This could be enough to make professional photography work. The Mavic Mini, however, has a standard color profile.
The Mavic Mini does not have an HDR or AEB mode and lacks the ability to shoot in RAW format. This limits your post-processing options.
Both cameras have a 28mm fixed aperture, comparable FOV, and ISO range figures. These cameras aren’t ideal for shooting in low light, but the Mavic Air 2 comes with a Hyperlight feature specifically designed for low-light situations.
The Mavic Air 2’s camera seems to be good enough for professional filmmaking and photography. Even experienced drone photographers may find the Mavic Air 2 useful as a backup to their Inspire 2 or Phantom 4 Pro drones.
The Mavic Mini’s camera appears to be a hobby drone camera. We do not deny that the Mavic Mini’s camera quality is impressive, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t professional uses.
The Mavic Mini’s 3-axis mechanical stabilization system gimbal is one of its most impressive features. It’s impressive how DJI managed to squeeze a complete gimbal into the Mavic Mini, considering how tiny and lightweight it is. The Mavic Mini is already a superior drone weighing less than 250g.
It was not surprising that the original Mavic Air had a 3-axis Gimbal. The Mavic Air 2’s gimbal provided stabilization and more movement freedom than the Mavic Mini. The extra-wide range of pan enhances the drone’s HDR Panorama mode.
Although a gimbal can be an excellent tool for drone filmmaking and photography, it is not as stable as larger drones such as the Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire 2. Professional filmmakers with higher standards might not find the Mavic Air 2 video quality as good as the Phantom 4 Pro or Inspire 2.
When the Mavic Mini launched, its 30-minute battery life was remarkable. Despite using a smaller battery, the Mavic Mini’s smaller, lighter design meant that it could fly for as long as the Mavic 2 drones. This was remarkable because mini-drones are almost always known to have batteries with small capacities.
Mavic Air 2 gets a few extra minutes of flight time thanks to a battery with the same capacity as the Mavic 2 drones. This feat was possible thanks to the array of motors, propellers, and ESCs DJI has developed over the past couple of years.
DJI has made a lot of progress since Spark’s 16-minute flight. It is hard to be disappointed by either of these drones. The Mavic Air 2 has a three-minute advantage, but it still has a slight edge.
Remote Controller – Mavic Mini Vs Mavic Air 2
Although Air 2 and Mini have different remotes, they share some similarities. Each controller is video-game-style and has detachable flight sticks. There are buttons and dials for adjusting camera and flight features.
The Mini’s controller feels more petite than a PlayStation controller. It has a similar body and flight stick to a PlayStation controller. Attach your smartphone to the bottom of the controller, and you will see a view through the drone’s camera.
Our tests showed that communication with the drone was somewhat sporadic. Even though the drone was close to me, I experienced drops in the video feed and occasionally responsive controls in rural and suburban environments.
The gray remote for the Air 2 is a little squarer and more similar to an Xbox controller. It charges in the top and works just like the Mini’s controller. The connection between drone and remote was solid. There was no drop in video quality or loss of control even while flying in suburban neighborhoods rife in Wi-Fi networks.
DJI Fly is the smartphone app that both models use. The app is available for both Android and iOS users as a free download. It shows the drone’s exact location on a map and allows you to adjust its camera.
Both drones are compatible with the DJI Fly App. It is intuitive and straightforward to use. Fly will allow you to edit and share your footage. The Mini includes the four DJI Quickshots Dronie (Rocket), Rocket, Circle, Helix, and Helix.
The maximum distance for all four flight modes on the Mavic Mini is 120ft. You can complete the Quickshot using the Mavic Air 2 with a distance of 380-390 ft. The Mavic Air 2 offers all the same flight modes as the Mini, plus FocusTrack.
The Air 2 has three FocusTrack modes that let you track different subjects. ActiveTrack 3.0 lets you follow subjects and avoid obstacles. Spotlight 2.0, traditionally considered an ActiveTrack feature, allows you to fly freely, and the camera remains focused on the subject.
POI 3.0 enables you to create an automated path that will fly around a fixed point while keeping the camera centered on your target. Although the Mini does not have ActiveTrack, you can trick it into following you in Quickshot modes.
OBSTACLE AVOIDANCE SYSTEMS
The Mavic Mini does not have an obstacle avoidance system to help keep it light. The Mavic Mini’s GPS enabled GPS allows the aircraft to retain its position in the air with great accuracy and precision. This makes it very easy to fly.
The Mini is perfect for novice pilots, even though it does not have an obstacle avoidance system. Mavic Mini’s downward-facing sensors assist in landing and position itself at altitudes lower than 10m.
The Mavic Air 2 is powered by APAS 3.0 and uses advanced algorithms to avoid obstacles in front and rear. To aid in landing and positioning, the Mavic Air 2 has sensors that face downwards. An auxiliary LED light is provided to help increase the accuracy of landing during night flights.
APAS 3.0 can detect obstacles up to 22m away from forward and 23.6m backward. This ensures flight safety. Mavic Air 2 features the most recent obstacle avoidance technology. However, the Mavic 2 is equipped with more sensors to protect you in all directions.
The Mavic 2 has Omni-directional obstacle prevention in T-Mode. This covers the front, back, and sides. It is the DJI’s most secure consumer drone. The Mavic 2 has dual vision sensors to detect obstacles from the front, back, and downward directions. It can see distances as high as 20m in the forward movement and 16m in the reverse order.
Dual auxiliary LED lights are also included in the downward sensor system to enhance landing precision. The aircraft can be positioned at an altitude of fewer than 11m using the low vision system.
Flight modes – Mavic Mini vs Mavic Air 2
Both drones use the simplified DJI Fly app. It was designed to be intuitive and easy to use. The Fly app will also allow you to easily edit and share footage.
The DJI Mini features intelligent flight modes like CineSmooth mode and four QuickShot Modes namely Dronie, Circle, Helix, and Rocket. QuickShots allow the pilot to capture stunning aerial imagery by simply pressing a button. CineSmooth mode slows down the drone to create cinematic shots.
The DJI Mini lacks of obstacle sensors, and limited imaging functions make it a tougher sell for beginning pilots.
Return To Home is another intelligent flight mode that is standard with all DJI drones. This allows the drone to return back to its take-off point when the battery level is low or the user initiates it. ActiveTrack isn’t available on the Mini because it doesn’t have an obstacle avoidance system.
The Mavic Air 2 features a wide variety of Intelligent Flight Modes, QuickShots, and Tracking features like ActiveTrack 3.0 as well as a feature that was only available previously on larger systems like the Inspire 2, Spotlight 2.0 which allows the user to lock the camera on the subject and fly freely.
The Mavic Air 2 includes QuickShots such as Dronie (circle, helix, rocket, boomerang, and asteroid). The drone can also track subjects more precisely with a new improved version of the Point of Interest mode. Hyperlapse mode is also available on the Mavic Air 2 to allow you to easily capture complex shots without having to do any post-processing.
Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro also support QuickShot modes similar to the Mavic Air 2. These include Boomerang, Circle and Rocket, Helix, and Asteroid. With the TapFly feature, the Mavic 2 supports Hyperlapse, Waypoints, and Point of Interest, as well as Tripod mode.
ActiveTrack 2.0 allows the drone to track and predict subjects’ movements up to 3 seconds in advance by creating a virtual 3D environment map. Two unique Intelligent flight modes are available on the Mavic 2 Zoom thanks to the Optical Zoom camera: DollyZoom (dynamic shots) and SuperResolution (still images).
We can see the difference in the DJI Mavic Air 2’s camera modes by looking at their list. The Mavic Mini’s camera modes can be used in the same way as cheap drones. These modes are fun to use but not useful for professional work.
The Mavic Air 2’s camera modes take advantage of its incredible capabilities. It can capture Hyperlapse videos in excellent 8K resolution. The upgraded Active Track capabilities of the FocusTrack mode allow for more accurate and reliable subject tracking. HDR Panorama mode is just one way in which HDR capabilities of the camera overlap with other modes.
The Mavic Air 2 also offers the old-fashioned camera modes, the same ones as the Mavic Mini. The Mavic Air 2 is superior to the Mavic Mini when it comes to camera capabilities.
DJI has included safety features in all its drones. These safety features include GPS to ensure the drone is stable in outdoor flights and down-facing sensors for hovering indoors. A single button allows you to fly the drone to its launch point in case it gets lost, and there is a Find My Drone feature for when you need to land in an emergency.
You can also use the GPS to limit where you are allowed to fly. You can’t take off from restricted areas. For areas where drone use is restricted, an authorization process is required.
The Air 2 has forward and rear obstacle detection sensors. These sensors prevent you from flying into a tree accidentally and are very effective. During testing, I attempted to crash the drone into several objects including myself. It navigated around them all automatically.
The Mavic Mini is completely up to you to avoid running into problems. This means that you will need to be careful when flying and the Mavic Mini does not have ActiveTrack subject tracking like the Air 2.
The Mavic Mini is the smallest, lightest, and most affordable member of the Mavic Family. The Mavic Mini, which costs $399, can be considered a budget drone that appeals to beginners. The Mavic Mini is a compelling buy that provides good value for money, thanks to its 2.7K video and 3-axis mechanical tilt gimbal.
The Mavic Air 2 is $799 more expensive than the original Mavic Air. We expect the DJI Mavic Air 2 will be even more popular, considering how successful the Mavic Air was commercial.
The fact is that the DJI Mavic Air 2 is twice as expensive as the Mavic Mini. The price difference can easily be justified by the Mavic Air 2’s extra features, but the ultimate value of these features will remain up to the buyer.
Fly More bundles can be purchased for an additional cost. The DJI Mavic Air 2 add-on price is slightly higher due to the different sets of ND filters included and the higher number of spare propellers. The Fly More bundles include extra batteries, charging hubs, and carrying bags.
Which drone is right for you?
The Mavic Mini is an excellent choice for casual flyers and first-timers who want a simple, safe drone that they can use without worrying about regulations. The drone’s long-range and extended battery life make it an excellent choice while remaining under the weight limit for drones in most countries.
The device does not have the ability to shoot in 4k video, but its 2.7k 12-megapixel camera will provide stunning stills and smooth footage. The Mavic Mini is an excellent choice for beginners and recreational users. It also comes with no flight restrictions.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 has the most advanced technology of all Mavic models. The latest obstacle avoidance system powered with APAS 3.0 is now available, and a new ergonomic remote is backed by OcuSync 2.0. This is the most recent and most fabulous DJI product.
The all-new DJI Mavic Air 2’s budget-friendly design appeals to new users and professionals looking for an outstanding balance between price, size, performance, and convenience. The DJI Mavic Air 2 is an excellent choice for users looking for a drone that can record 4K videos and has more modern options.
The DJI Mavic 2 is the most potent Mavic model and features a 1-inch sensor that allows for better photo and video quality. The Mavic 2 Pro is the perfect drone for those who have the money and want the best performance and quality of the camera and commercial users looking to get into the drone market.
Mavic 2 Zoom, on the other hand, is more affordable than the Mavic 2 Pro. It is perfect for people who need to take more creative and dynamic shots or want to zoom, but they will have to sacrifice the 1-inch sensor.