DJI launches Mini SE micro drone for a cheap price tag, albeit limited features compared to the DJI Mini 2.
DJI once again serves the entry level pilot by releasing the cheapest Mavic Mini drone, the Mini SE. DJI just launched the Mini SE micro drone to US markets after release in Asian markets. With the release of the Mini SE, many pilots are wondering what the basic differences are between the Mini SE and the DJI Mini 2.
The DJI Mini SE offers less features than the Mini 2, albeit built in the same drone shell. If you’re looking to understand the basic differences without reading the entire article, here is a breakdown of what the Mini SE offers vs the Mini 2.
Before we break down these major differences, here is a table of the main differences between the aircraft.
Photographers won’t be happy to find the Mini SE does not offer the ability to shoot raw images. Recently, we met a new pilot out at the training field. When discussing his new drone, the Mavic Air 2s, we asked why not fly a camera with full aperture control. The pilot, Bob, mentioned that the ability to shoot raw photos could overcome the camera limitations. It’s highly unlikley that Bob would be happy with a Mini SE…and he certainly wouldn’t choose the Mini SE over the Mini 2 since the Mini 2 can shoot raw photos.
When it comes to video, the Mini 2 drone can shoot 4k at 30fps per second. Offering the smallest drone package that shoots 4k video in decent winds. We tested the Mini 2 in 20mph winds with 25mph gusts at 7,400 feet in elevation. We were impressed with the Mini 2’s ability to still capture smooth video in these conditions.
The DJI Mini 2 beats out the Mini SE with a 10km transmission distance. While no pilot should ever fly this far, according to FAA regulations, the transmission signal is much more reliable with a Mini 2 than the Mini SE. There have been reports that the Mini SE offers DJI’s dual frequency Occusync 2.0. Albeit when digging into the details, that is not accurate.
The US version of the DJI Mini SE only broadcasts on 5.8 ghz. It does not offer dual band control. Therefore, the Mini 2 offers a more reliable signal for drone pilots because it does offer dual frequency transmission over 2.4ghz and 5.8ghz.
When does the increased transmission distance of the Mini 2 matter? When flying in urban environments, dense cities or universities, you’ll want the Mini 2. It will fly with a more reliable transmission and allow for greater “margin of error,” with pilots. Meaning if pilots fly the drone and fly behind a building or tree, they will still be able to see the camera feed and control the drone with the Mini 2. Mini SE owners might see decreased signal retention and issues when flying in these same environments.
While DJI pretty much released the most affordable drone with the Mini SE, pilots will see a reduced flight envelope. Drone pilots will find that the Mini SE will fly slower and handle less wind than the Mini 2. In addition, drone pilots living at high altitude will want to consider flying the Mini 2 vs the Mini SE. As the Mini 2 is rated to fly up to 4000m MSL or mean sea level. That should pretty much cover everyone in the United States, with a maximum takeoff altitude of 13,123ft. The Mini SE is also stated to handle less wind than the Mini 2. We just received our Mini SE and haven’t had a chance to test it.
The Mini 2 is spec’d out to offer 1 additional minute of flight time over the Mini SE. For a total of 31 minutes of flight time on the Mini 2 vs. the Mini SE. Although our intuition says the Mini SE might get more flight time than the Mini 2. With smaller camera processors and a smaller transmission system, we would imagine the Mini SE could actually fly longer than the Mini 2. We’ll know for sure after a few flights.
If you’re considering a micro drone to put in the photography backpack, we recommend the Mini 2 over the DJI Mini SE, even though it’s a couple hundred dollars more expensive.
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