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Review Drone DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Mini from a Casual User’s Perspective


hey everybody gets LAN Simon and I own two drones I have a Mavic mini and a Mavic air both from DJI I love how portable these things are in fact this bag here is for my Mavic air and this is for my Mavic mini super portable and everything I need to fly these drones fits in these bags including the drones themselves which is amazing and I really enjoy traveling with these things because they’re so easy to travel with prior to these two I had a phantom which is much much larger was like a backpack versus a little carry-on bag here so I am quite pleased with the portability and what I wanted to do today is just kind of talk about the differences between these two drones because I know if you are in the market for a drone and are a casual user like myself you’re probably considering these two devices here and I wanted to give you an idea as to what you can expect because they do have a very big price difference this one’s about four hundred dollars less than this one and there are a lot of things you give up by going for the

lower price tag but if you’re looking for some basic transportation the mafic mini is a pretty good deal and we’re going to again step through some of those differences here in just a second now I do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that I bought the Mavic air here with my own funds however the Mavic mini came in free of charge through the Amazon vine program however all the opinions are about – here are my own nobody is paying for this video nor is anyone reviewing it or approving it before it gets uploaded alright so let’s dive into this now and see how these things differ now as I mentioned there’s a pretty big price difference between these two the mini here starts at 399 the air starts at $7.99 and to be honest if you’re just looking for a flying camera the mini might be the one to get because it delivers a super stable shot it’s got this great gimbal on here for the most part if you’re just posting to social media and maybe sending some videos to your friends with a smartphone or something you will be hard-pressed to tell the difference between footage out of this camera versus the air they’ll look very similar both are incredibly stable in the air in fact it’s like having a tripod up in the air with you as you can see here we took some shots with the mini that just look fantastic and just super stable and I was really really pleased with what it can do for such a low price you’re able to adjust the position of the camera here on the gimbal on the mini just like you can on the air you get a lot of the same functionality if you’re doing mostly manual control the maximum resolution though the mini is a little bit less than the air this maxes out at 2.7 K for video on its sensor this air here will do 4k and so if you are looking to do maybe a little bit more of an involved production where resolution is important there’s obviously a

big difference between 4k and 2.7 K however at the top resolution both of these drones only do 30 frames per second and I have found over the years that I prefer shooting drone footage at 60 frames per second and in order to do that with these two drones you need to bring the resolution down to 1080p and my preference is I much rather have smoother footage versus higher resolution footage and both of these can essentially deliver the same performance at 1080p 60 they both look great super smooth and very very pleased especially given what I’m able to get out of this lower priced version now one shooting mode that the air has that the mini lacks is slow-motion and this is something that I use quite a bit on my air the air will do 120 frames per second at 1080p and when you play it back at a normal frame rate you get these beautiful cinematic smooth shots and I have just had a blast shooting in that mode because it’s so easy to use and just about everything that spits out of that mode looks great even if your photography skills aren’t and that’s one thing again that you do not get on the mini another thing that I really like about the air that’s lacking on the mini is the collision sensors that you’ll get on the more expensive model here and what these do is look both in front and behind and if it sees something that it might be running into it will either go over it or stop completely to prevent a collision and it works really really well and I can tell you that I have not crashed this drone at all because it’s actually gotten me out of a few instances where it might have hit something had it not had those sensors there even though it looks like the mini here has sensors on it it does not for forward or rear collision so you’re far more likely to run into something with

this and maybe even run into somebody with it so you need to be a lot more careful flying this drone versus the air because there isn’t a lot here to prevent it from flying into something it just doesn’t look for it I can’t see it so that’s something to keep in mind especially if you’re an inexperienced pilot or you might have kids that might want to play with your drone they are far more likely to crash into something with this versus this now both of these drones can do some autonomous shots but the air has many more things that it can do versus the mini so now what they can both do our orbiting shots where you can have the drone focus on an object and then fly a circular pattern around it that looks pretty cool on video they also have some selfie modes where it can start with you in a lower altitude and then pull out and show the landscape that you might be standing on or whatever pretty cool stuff that you can do on both but the air really has significantly greater features in this area what I really like with the air is that you can paint an object on the ground and have it follow that object so whether it’s people or cars or whatever you basically tell the drone what you want it to follow and it will do that so it works pretty well sometimes it will lose track of what you’re trying to keep track of in the shot but generally it does a really good sometimes creepy job of following things around you can also do gesture controls on the air that you can’t do on the mini so you can do some really cool shots closer to the ground here’s one of me walking with the air on the slow motion mode looking all cool which I’m not normally so there are some again some things that you’ll be able to get out of the air that are way more advanced than what you’re going to get out of the mini and you have to decide whether or not those autonomous features are

worth that much of an investment if you want to see more about how some of those features work I detailed them in my full review of the air that I definitely suggest you check out because it is pretty remarkable what this thing can do without any real intervention from the person on the ground now there is a big difference in battery life between these two the many here is staying aloft with my flights for about 30 minutes and I’m only getting about 20 minutes or so on the air the actual flight time varies based on conditions so if the drone is really working against the wind for example that might eat into battery life a bit but in every flight this one is staying up much longer than this one is and if you’re looking to stay aloft for a long period of time the mini is definitely the way to go although the 20-ish minutes you’ll get out of the air here are also pretty adequate now one thing that disappointed me about the mini is that they have a gang charger that you can get which is part of their fly more combo I’ve got one battery in the drone right now and you would look at this thinking how cool you can actually charge three batteries at once and get a lot of flight time but the reality is much different this is just charging with standard USB amperages here so you’re looking at like 5 volts 2 amps what you would normally charge your iPad with and it doesn’t charge the batteries at the same time it charges them one at a time very slowly so if you eat through all three batteries you won’t be pulling one off the charger and get another half hour out of it you really will need to wait for everything to get charged up so that was a bit of a disappointment that they wouldn’t provide a faster charger I don’t know if one even exists at the moment so that is just one thing to be aware of you if you are shopping for the mini it’s nice to have all these batteries but it’d be nice if I could have one fully charged when the other one is done or close to it now the controllers are pretty much the same on both drones although the air has a few more buttons for a few of its extra features they’re super compact though they fit really nicely into the bags

here when you’re ready to fly you just fold down the arms and stick your smartphone in like so unfortunately I have found I have to take my case off my iphone in order to get the cable to stay seated in there that’s been the one annoyance I’ve had with it but beyond that I’m really happy with how it all functions and you do of course need to have your phone connected there the phone will connect up with a cable so it’s not a Bluetooth connection and you’ll get a nice video feedback from the drone as its flying the thumbsticks very smartly store inside of here and you just take them out and screw them on to the controller I believe my air came with an extra pair of thumb sticks and I don’t think my mini did but of course if you lose the thumb sticks you can still fly around but you’ll lose a lot of the control so you’ll definitely want to check before you fold everything up to make sure those thumb sticks are secure in their little holding area there and that’s pretty much it you do need to charge the controller so you do that over USB so what you do is unplug the data cable here and plug in a charging cable to get it charged up but of course you’ll get far more flights out of the remote then you will out of a single drone battery and that’s it and I really again like just how compact and portable it is one other thing I should note on both of these and actually this goes for any drones I had this happen to me a little while ago if you have a really gusty wind –day I would be very cautious about flying the mini out in conditions like that because the mini can’t angle itself down as sharply as some of the other drones can and it’s possible the wind can just blow it away I had this happen with a non DJI drone recently and it was crazy because I was flying it back towards myself

and it wasn’t moving it was just holding itself stationary against the wind even though I was at like full throttle trying to get back and a light drone like this is going to be a lot more susceptible to it than a slightly heavier one but even the air here can get blown away on a really windy day so be sure you’re aware of your conditions because even if it’s beautiful and sunny out if that wind is blowing it’s going to be an issue in my particular case the wind was blowing above the treeline so everything was fine below the tree line but above it the wind was really roaring and I almost lost the drone that day so just keep that in mind with these lightweight drones wind is not your friend but on a nice day both will deliver some really nice performance so now the big question is what do you give up by going with the lower-cost drone in the lineup here hopefully this video gave you a perspective from a casual user as to what you can expect I don’t think you’re giving up all that much the the basics here are as good as the more expensive drone so 1080p60 video looks great super smooth super stable the flight controls are super stable on this one just like they are on the air overall from the basics this thing is surprisingly good compared to the more expensive model but the air has some things that I think might be important to people the most important feature in my book here are the collision sensors because these really work quite well and prevent a lot of accidents from happening both to the drone and perhaps the people that are on the ground and property to for that matter these things will just stop the drone dead in its tracks even if you are telling it to fly right into something it won’t do it and I think that’s a big difference between the two and if you crash this a couple of times you

may as well have bought this with its collision sensors so that’s one thing to keep in the back of your mind here the autonomy here is very good so you saw some of the things we were talking about that are lacking here if those kinds of things were important to you the air is probably the better choice and of course you get a higher resolution out of this and the slow-motion footage which is something that I use quite a bit so altogether from my perspective if money is not an object I think the air is still probably the one to get but if you’re just starting out and just want to see what you can do with the drone I think starting here with the mini is probably a great way to get going and then you can see what features you might wish you wanted and then look for something at the next tier that might deliver that for you I have found now because I think this is my fifth drone that the DJI drones generally hold their value so when you’re ready to sell one a year or two later you should get a good amount of money on that sale and you can fund your next one after that it gets a little addictive after a while but again I think starting here with the mini is not sacrificing all that much and again the basics here are every bit as good here as they are here but there are some things that I think are better on the air overall hopefully this was helpful this was one of my stalkers where I just kind of tell you what I’m thinking so I’d love to get your opinions below and until next time this is Lian Simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lon TV supporters including gold-level supporters the four guys with quarters podcasts Tom Albrecht Rick the stood Oh Chris ala Greta in Cali Ann Kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to LAN TV slash support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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