DJI Mavic Mini Review – Good Enough for Pro Filmmaking?

Check out the Mavic Mini, DJI’s smallest and lightest foldable drone. But, is it good enough for
professional filmmakers? Let’s find out. DJI just announced the Mavic Mini, the smallest and lightest foldable
drone they ever made. It’s only 249 grams, including
the battery and that actually qualifies it
as a toy in many countries that means it’s below
the minimum regulations which kind of requires you to have
a drone license in many countries. That means you can literally
fly anywhere in many places. But of course, you have to abide by the
local regulations wherever you are. So always think about that and always inform yourself
where you are. Because sometimes it’s not only
250 grams that’s the limit but also the energy that the drone
generates when it’s flying. So if you’re flying too fast it
generates too much energy and then you will need a license. So please check your local regulations. In the Fly More package the drone
comes in a nice carrying case including three batteries
in a charging unit so this thing that holds the batteries
also charges the batteries and you can also attach your
phone or anything else with USB to charge it, which is
very nice, of course. And then of course we have
the typical DJI style controller which is almost the same
with every Mavic drone and of course all the accessories
that you need for charging, all of this, and also
replacement rotors. So of course I took the
Mavic Mini for a spin to find out how easy it is to fly and also to find out how good
the footage looks. But first let’s talk about
how easy it is to fly. As somebody who has flown
every single iteration of the Mavic line over the years, I have to say that the Mavic Mini
is definitely the easiest drone to fly from the Mavic line so far. And it is definitely the drone
to start flying with if you’re not experienced. It’s much easier to stir and it
feels very stable in the air which surprised me, because I was flying on
a bit of a windy day and it still was very stable in the air. Now there’s three different shooting
and stirring modes. First of all, there’s the position,
the P Mode, which is actually for beginners because it gives you limited
maneuverability of drone. Then there’s the Sports Mode, of course,
which we know from other DJI drones and especially the Mavic line which usually is a super high-speed
drone flying mode. And then there’s the new
CineSmooth mode which gives you gentle breaks
when you stop flying actually, so it stops down gently and it gives you a more
cinematic movement, a smoother cinematic movement, which is why they call it
CineSmooth Mode. And that’s exactly the mode I used for most of the footage
that you’re seeing here. If you have flown any of
the Mavic drones before you will be familiar with the interface
that presents you on your phone when connected to the controller
and the drone. The only difference is:
it is much simpler now than, for example, compared to the
higher-end Mavic 2 Pro. For fun, there are the quick shots that were first introduced
with the Mavic Air, which can create some interesting
professional-looking pre-programmed movements
around your subjects. Other than that, you have
the most important information about your flight and image
quality in front of you with the only difference that you
cannot actually influence your image quality a lot. Unfortunately, this is not
a 4K capable drone. The Mavic Mini can only record
1080p or 2.7 K in 25 or 30p and only at the highly
compressed 40 Mps in h.264, not h.265 like the higher-end Mavic 2 Pro. Now, of course these limitations
are because of the fact that DJI had tried to make it
as light as possible. This was clearly the intention
with this drone. They could put in a processor
that is not as power-hungry and doesn’t generate as much
heat as in the bigger drones and that enabled them to actually
make something that small. And of course, that comes
with some drawbacks. And unfortunately, there is no way
to tweak the image from that camera. There is no D-log picture profile or
any other picture profile for that matter except for the standard one. There is no way to influence
the sharpness and that would be nice, because the image looks kind of
over sharpened most of the times similarly to the original
Mavic Pro image. And to make matters even worse
there is no manual white balance. There’s only auto white balance, which of course results in some
weird color shifts if your light is changing in the shot. Now, all these limitations aren’t
great for professional filmmakers but I think they are ok, considering the fact that this
drone is only 399 euros in its basic package. Nevertheless, there’s one thing
that I think DJI should really change and that is the automatic
shutter speed in the video mode. Right now you cannot actually
set the camera in this drone to manual shutter in video mode and I don’t understand why. Because it’s possible in the photo mode. So, what happens is the camera
will always adjust its shutter speed to have a properly exposed image which means that it’s
actually not possible to come from a dark forest
and fly into the sunset because the dark forest
won’t be dark anymore. So, DJI, please consider
putting in a manual way of changing the shutter
speed in the video mode in the Mavic Mini. This will make it a lot more
valuable for all filmmakers. Other than that, the image from
the Mavic Mini is very impressive considering its high compression. Yes, it has an over sharpened look which is similar to the
original Mavic Pro but in that one you could at least
tweak it a little bit and, of course, with the high compression,
fine details can fall apart in the image if there is too much movement. But nevertheless, for somebody
who’s starting out with a drone and somebody who hasn’t
flown a drone before this is the typical type of drone that
even a professional camera person can always have in their bag because it literally weighs
less than your cellphone. So this is something that’s just
part of your tool kit. And considering the fact that
it’s actually less than 250 grams means that you don’t need permission
in many countries to fly this and you can actually fly it in places where you cannot fly any other
drone without special permission. Please subscribe to
our YouTube channel to see the other video that
I made with the Mavic Mini and I compared it to the Mavic 2 Pro, its bigger high-end sibling. Well, of course it’s an
unfair comparison, a little bit because this one is
1,500 euros and this one is 400 euros but it’s still interesting in
how the image compares. Anyway, thanks for watching and stay tuned to cinema5D for a lot
more from drones and cameras and all kinds of things related
to Moving Image. Thanks for watching.

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