Is DJI Mavic Mini a commercial drone? Swat demo test inside

by Jose

HI this is Dave from Flight
Academy. Today we're going to talk about the new Mavic
Mini, and in relationship to a pretty popular question I'm getting a lot these days. Is…Can a Mavic mini be used for commercial
applications? So, first thing I want to show you what we
did was our folks and Partners down in Florida. Florida Drone Supply sent us the Fly More
kit which consists of this nice case, comes with the aircraft, it comes with two additional
batteries, and this nice charger. And the charger allows you to be able to charge
other devices like your cell phone for example.

You obviously have the remote controller and
also a set of prop guards. And obviously by the FAA standards have to
fly line of sight. And if you take a look at some of the other
videos we made on “Can you see your drone”? What is reasonable line of sight? In our testing we probably found that this
aircraft, we start losing the site of it around 300 feet at the maximum. So when you start going past three hundred
feet you are going to start not being able to see the orientation of the drone. When we tested this, we flew it in rather
calmer winds less than 10 miles an hour. So we didn’t have too much of a problem
flying it around and it being able to hold, and be able to have enough Headroom around
that. But we have seen lots of other people out
there that have had a lot of problems when they start getting flying this around 14-15
miles an hour, and in some cases it was right at that 14-15 mile an hour threshold that
the aircraft did not have enough Headroom to be still controlled and fight headwinds.

So, a couple people posted that they actually
lost their aircraft because of that. So, DJI does show a claim that 14-15 miles
an hour shouldn't be a problem. That is on the higher side of things, but
obviously these motors do not have a lot of Headroom for a lot of wind. So we really strongly recommend that, again,
if your going to have any amount of decent wind, this probably isn’t the aircraft that’s
gong to be able to do that. And with commercial applications you never
really know what you're going to get into, so that would, we can see that to be a problem. Now let's talk about the remote. The remote is a stripped-back version compared
to the Mavic 2 you do not even have a mode switch on the side like you do even with the
spark where you can either take it out of Tripod mode, in position or sport mode. You do not have that here, you need to do
that actually on the app.

You have to use a stripped down version of
an app called DJI fly. DJI fly in comparison to the DJI Go, and Go4,
is much stripped down. So that’s DJI’s attempt to be able to
simplify things and not give you a lot of things that you most likely not going to need. So if you're used to those other apps you
might have a little hard time getting used to that. We don't have any camera settings to be able
to go to. You don't have the ability to see what your
ISO is. You don't have any control over that manually,
it's all automatic. Now you do have an EV adjustment that you
can make that you can use to go as far as plus 4 and down to be able to brighten and
dark the picture, but that's the only control that you have.

When you're using this controller, you are
at the mercy of using your smartphone only. This is not compatible with a smart controller
or the smart controller display or Crystal Sky. And it does not have any video output that
you can take this to an external screen. With our Mavic 2, we have a popular combination
where we actually use the Evolution 3D brackets and in conjunction with a larger Crystal Sky
monitor so that we can see a nice size screen. You do not have the ability to be able to
do that with this aircraft, its simply on your smartphone. This uses a wireless transmission, it does
not use Ocusync for example. Like Ocusync 2 with the Mavic 2. Now why is that important? Because from our experience from what we were
seeing, and what we see a lot of other people report, is that you're going to get a lot
of inconsistency for the range of this aircraft.

“It does not want to land. What's going on? I lost signal!” “Aircraft crashes”. We have seen a couple people fly this aircraft
almost two miles away, and then we experience our video breaking up as much as four to five
hundred feet away. Which is very similar to what we have seen
with the DJI spark. We probably would not be very comfortable
flying this consistently over four to five hundred feet away. Now again, you can obviously, if you have
a good Wireless environment and have good strength where you are, its going to be depending
upon the location and the wireless environment of that location. Unlike the spark, which we like over this
compared to the Spark, we are wired directly to the remote controller to our smartphone. This is hard wired, which definitely is an
improvement and we like that a lot better. But this aircraft does not have obstacle avoidance. It does have downward cameras for your vision
system only.

So now that does help in for indoor use. For we were to fly this indoors, and it was
able to hold pretty well without having any GPS thanks to that downward camera. Now that camera was actually pretty good even
when we tested this indoors in lower Lights, and it actually held pretty good. Okay, so now let's talk a little bit about
the camera. In our opinion the cameras very close to what
the Sparks camera is. 12 megapixel Stills. You cannot do raw pictures. Most Photographers we know really like to
use raw, and you did not have the ability to use raw with this camera. And it is a 12 megapixel camera, so you're
not going to get the highest resolution picture quality like the 20 megapixel that you are
going to see in the X5S or the Mavic 2 cameras.

Now, now let's talk about the video quality. Video again, in my opinion is very similar
to the spark. Now this does have 2.7K HD capability, and
we've actually seen that to be pretty decent. And it actually comes out to be pretty good
for color grading. So I would say with that said you probably
have a little bit of better dynamic range with the aircraft, compared to the Spark but
it's definitely nowhere near the mMvic 2 for sure. Now again so that is in terms of everything
I'm thinking about as far as commercial flying, Let's talk about flight times. Flight times that we experienced were between
20 and 22 minutes. Now we were flying up in Pittsburgh in colder
weather and that's obviously going to take a little bit of time out of it. We would probably guess that we could probably
get about 24 minutes out of it in warmer, 75-80 degrees. But again this aircraft is advertised to be
as much as 30 minutes. You're not going to get 30 minutes of flight
time. And just like every other DJI aircraft out
there, we always say when you see that advertised flight time, take about 4 to 5 minutes immediately
off the top of that advertised time to give you more real life flight times.

All right, now let's talk about the SWAT exercise
we conducted with this. What we ended up doing was, we used this in
an abandoned Monastery, and that Monastery had a lot of brick and a lot of metal and
it was a fairly large building and it was three stories complete. Now, we were able to fly indoors and what
we were impressed with is that again the vision system for the Downward camera held fairly
tight even in low-light. So, and again we saw that the Mavic 2 from
our Swat Video exercise that we did, and if you haven't seen up please check that out
on your YouTube channel.

We have a really good video for the SWAT training
exercise we did with the Mavic 2. It seems like DJI is getting really good with
their Vision system in lower Lights compared to the earlier models like the Phantom 4 for
example. Even the Inspire 2 much better in lower light. So we were able, while we had no GPS obviously
indoors, this aircraft was able to maintain fairly good. Now this doesn't have what's called tripod
mode, it has cinematic mode where it's very similar. It's exactly the same thing. What we were not impressed with during this
exercise is the signal strength. The aircraft did not lose control signal with
the remote controller, but we did lose video signal back to our cell phones fairly quickly. And in some circumstances, we were able to
go three or four hundred feet indoors.

And in other instances you know it was hit
and miss and started and stopped. That’s not going to be good enough for Swat
type of applications. And also, you're going to have to definitely
have some kind of a stick on Spotlight on here to be able to see. Because as I was mentioning, you do have somewhat
limited IRIS control where you can’t bring up the ISO but you can bring up the EV adjustment
and brighten the picture. But in pure Black rooms, very dark rooms,
that you're going to have to have something on there to be able to illuminate that room. What's killing us to be able to use this for
indoor swap type of situation is the lack of the ability for us to maintain very good
video reception.

But as of right now that is exactly where
we are. So with that said, what is this aircraft good
for? Well in our opinion, from a commercial application
it's going to be very limited. And obviously for $350 what you know what
you're going to get what you pay for. But we think that this would be a good drone
as a starter training drone to learn how to fly. So again for $350, you have all of the principal
DJI stuff built into this as a nice starter kit. So, for example, if you know your company
is out there going to buy a Matrice or an Inspire 2, something a little more expensive,
and you want to get your new pilots trained to get some flight time under their belt,
this would be a good unit to start out with.

And like always if you have any questions
please feel free to reach out to us thanks again. If you like this video and want to see more
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