DJI Mini 2 review by a first time drone pilot
When we looked inside my camera bag at the beginning of the year, i mentioned that i got this dji mini 2 as a christmas present and that it is my very first drone. So today we are going to review this as a brand new drone pilot. Welcome to grant takes pictures, i’m grant and i take pictures , so the mini 2 is dji’s introductory level drone. It came out late last year and it has a 4k camera that can also take photos. It is 249 grams, which is the limit of the weight.
You can have a drone that um doesn’t need a license from the faa to fly. You just need to register it, which i have done and um it either comes with one battery like this one right in here or you can get the fly more combo, which has three batteries and some other accessories that i highly recommend the mini. 2 comes with this controller that you attach your cell phone to of my iphone 10 here, and it has three modes to it: uh, normal sport and cine. So um sport makes it go a little bit quicker uh it handles um more sporty like and it uh yo. It gets you into trouble more quickly when you don’t know what you’re doing very well, like you run it into walls.
I might have done that once um and then the cine mode slows everything down, so it makes it so it um everything is just a little bit more smooth and most of the time i’m flying in city mode, because i’m shooting video. I have crashed it in city mode as well, ran it into a tree, um and uh. You know so far. The thing has survived. So that’s a that’s a good thing, but beautiful uh shot there of it.
Just uh, taking a nice pan around then running into a tree and hitting the ground very quickly, so those are the three modes. It has two sticks. This one here goes up and down so it increases and decreases the elevation. This goes left and right, so it jaws left and right and then forward and back on this makes it go forward and back and then left and right on this makes it strafe left and right. So those are the controls.
One thing i had a hard time figuring out was how to turn it on and off um, so to turn it on. Well, it’s on right now, so to turn it off. You press the power button and then hold the power button and it’s off same thing to turn it on press and hold, and it’s on and the drone works the same way as that press and hold type thing. So it has a couple of other controls here. It has this control wheel so that the way it comes set up that pitches, the camera up and down, so you can look straight down.
You can look up just a little bit about 20 degrees up or you can look 90 degrees down, and i’ve used this to get my photos of the urban wildland interface that you saw in the video a couple weeks ago, and then it has a record button Here so you can record it either do a photo or a or a video. You can switch between photo and video using this button here and then this function button can do a couple different things i have it set up to. If i have the camera pitched all the way down, it returns it to 90 degrees, and if i have it at 90 degrees, it pitches it or, if i have it level, i have a so it will pitch down to 90 degrees. So it kind of goes back and forth between those two uh orientations for the camera, so that is the basic controls of this drone of the controller that comes with it. I have not had to recharge this controller, yet it has a huge battery in it and um.
You know i’m only i’m down at, like you know, 75 percent of the battery power. I do not have it set up to recharge my phone while i’m using it, but you can do that. So this can work as a battery bank for your phone, which is a nice little feature, especially if you’re planning on flying for a long time. If you have multiple batteries for your drone, you can keep on using your phone and your phone doesn’t become the limiting factor, because this controller nice big battery in it. So, let’s see what it looks like when we’re flying it here so to take off you just hit this upwards arrow and then hold the takeoff button and the thing pops into the air so to fly it around it’s a little breezy, so you can see it Moving around behind me just a little bit, but you can easily pan around just fly.
The challenge i’ve had as a new drone pilot is just the dexterity of my thumbs to know how far over, to push the the joysticks left and right or up and down to keep my subject and centered in the frame as i orbit around them. Or do other types of maneuvers around the subject to get them in the video? The way i want them, one way to address that challenge is to use a higher frame rate on the camera to instead of shoot at 24 frames a second, as i shoot most of my videos to shoot. It 60 frames a second and then convert that down to 24 to slow it down to do a slow-mo shot. So you can move a little bit faster with the joysticks.
You don’t have to make such small movements. You can make slightly bigger movements and then slow. It down as you’re editing, but one one problem with that with this mini 2, is that it does not offer you the ability to do 4k. 60. You can do 4k at 24 frames.
A second but not 4k, at 60 frames a second. So if you want to do that slow-mo you have to do it at 1080p and if you are doing a 4k video. Well, that’s that’s a challenge. So here i am recording at 4k at 24 frames, a second and working very hard to rotate the camera slowly around me to give a nice well cinematic feel to the footage, but it’s really small movements with my thumb, but here we have a hd 180p recording At 50 frames, a second played back at 50 frames, a second and you can see how much faster the drone is moving. But when you slow that down, this is the same.
Recording at recorded at 50 frames. A second played back at basically half speed, 24 frames. A second and you can see just how much smoother it is, but also you can see that the video quality isn’t nearly as good as the 4k version. So that’s the downside of being able to do slow-mo with this dji mini 2. Not only has the mini tubing great for video work, it’s been wonderful for photography too.
It has allowed me to pursue this project that i wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. Looking at the wildland urban interface saw that video a couple weeks ago, and if not, you can go up and click that link above to see that video and it just lets me, get my camera into places where i wouldn’t be able to get otherwise. You know if i want to do a picture of this hillside that i’m standing on right out over there. I can either go hike that hill behind me with a giant long lens that i don’t own or i can just put up the drone. You know 10 feet from me and get the picture that i want, so it has been really great both in for video and photography.
So i hope you have enjoyed this this little review of the dji mini 2 and if you have hit that like button below, if you want to see more videos about photography, about landscape photography and about the couple projects i’m working on about freeways and about the Wildland urban interface.