First Impressions: DJI Mavic Mini (The Drone for Everyone)

The DJI Mavic Mini was designed to be a drone everyone can use without hassle that you can bring everywhere.

The DJI Mavic Mini is a super small drone, and could honestly be the one that gets me over some of my personal issues with drone photography. As a city dweller, working with drones has always been a bit of a scary thing because of the designated zones. As the EIC of a website, I need to be careful to ensure we’re always following the law. This is a mentality that I embed within my staff. So for me, the DJI Mavic Mini is very refreshing. Though we’re familiar with options from Parrot and others, the DJI Mavic Mini is packing just enough of the technology we love within a small form factor. To be clear about how small it is, the DJI Mavic Mini fit into my skinny jeans. Moreso than any other drone release, I’m incredibly excited about the DJI Mavic Mini.

Tech Specs

  • 249 grams
  • With this light frame it is in the safest category of drones for flying
  • 12MP, 3-axis stabilized camera
  • Geofencing
  • Aeroscope
  • 30 minutes of flight time
  • Wifi
  • GPS
  • 2.7K video at 30p
  • 1080p at 60p
  • $399 price point

Ergonomics

The DJI Mavic Mini is super duper small. The company has made small drones before, but this is one of their smallest if not the smallest. Here’s what the DJI Mavic Mini looks like with the legs expended. It’s available in this drab grey color and I really wish it came in something a tad more fun. However, I’m sure the minuscule amount would add to the weight that DJI is touting.

The fans fold up in the same way they do for pretty much every other drone. Again, if you’re familiar with DJI products, the DJI Mavic Mini will be a lot of the same.

With the legs folded into the body, the entire package becomes smaller. Here’s what it looks like. It reminds me a bit like a small mammal that is doing everything it can to make itself look smaller.

Here’s a side view of the DJI Mavic Mini. The legs are folded in here and it’s incredibly compact.

With the DJI Mavic Mini in its collapsed form, the body is small enough to fit into a jean pocket. That’s incredible. With the weather starting to get more brisk here in NY, our jacket pockets will surely be enough.

The front of the DJI Mavic Mini has ports. You can insert your SD card there for example. Of course, you’re using a mini SD card here.

Build Quality

The DJI Mavic Mini is very plastic-fantastic. It’s well built for a drone that’s super affordable, but this one won’t win any awards for build quality. That’s because of the lightweight frame DJI was striving for. We should come to expect that though. With this drone being so lightweight, you should also know that I found it to shift around in the air a bit more than most drones. It’s fun and the lightweight frame means you can just toss it into a bag or your pocket. We have yet to test it in the rain or any harsh weather, but none of us are likely to fly a drone in those conditions.

Ease of Use

During our brief time with the DJI Mavic Mini we found that it is just as simple to use as many other options on the market. If you’re accustomed to using DJI projects and flying drones then you know that a little bit goes a long way. I strongly recommend taking it outside or flying it in a clear area indoors for your first test flight. You should also know it doesn’t have a crash detection system built in so you need to be careful when flying it. The best results will be when shooting photos or video with the drone while connected to your phone. I can see myself doing a lot of cool stuff with it involving longer exposures and a landscape painting project that I’ve been working on.

First Impressions

During my flight time with the DJI Mavic Mini, I only shot video. What I really want to do is shoot RAW photos with it here in NYC. It’s Fall and the cityscapes are gorgeous. We weren’t able to do much with the drone still not announced when we saw it. But in all honesty, the DJI Mavic Mini is one of the most exciting camera innovations that I’ve seen this year. The price is just right. The tech inside is also just right. With the image stabilization, a small sensor, and the 12MP RAW images it provides, we’re going to be very happy to see what’s possible from the DJI Mavic Mini. We’re working on calling in a review unit. Please stay tuned.