As drones become more popular, the choices that new drone operators have when selecting a model are mounting. The purchasing decision is getting more difficult as so many brands are producing top-notch models.
Longer flight times, better cameras, and lighter, more portable drones are becoming the norm. But for new drone users, one option is still by and far the most popular; the DJI Mini 2.
This tiny drone is ultra-portable, making it easy to take this bad boy anywhere and everywhere. And the surprising thing is that the camera is still amazing for such a small package.
And even though it’s the cheapest DJI drone on the market, it’s still going to set you back at least $500. So is this drone worth it, and is it a good option for beginners? Answers to these questions and more lie below.
What Do Beginners Need in a Drone?
If you’re in the market for a drone for the first time, you are probably wondering what you should be looking for. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re going to become a professional drone photographer, so you might as well buy the most expensive model on the market.
But that’s not true. While you may eventually get serious with your photography skills, you’re likely going to benefit more from a beginner-friendly model. Your wallet will thank you.
The most important aspect is price. High-end drone models can easily push past $2,000 for the nicest hardware. But unless you work for National Geographic, spending this much is unnecessary.
If it takes you a year to save up for a drone, then you are buying a model that is too expensive. As a beginner, there’s no shame in choosing a model that costs between $300 and $700. Most people can save this much money in just a month or three, and you can find a quality model in this price range.
This is especially important since you’ll also want to buy a few accessories to make it more convenient to use your drone. So having money left over in your budget will help.
Solid Performance and Quality
Aside from the cost, you’ll want a drone that is easy to fly. Advanced drone models have tons of added controls and flying and shooting modes. But these can be confusing to beginners and can make it hard to learn how to fly a drone for the first time.
Hardware is important. Cheap drones might only fly for 10 minutes on a single charge, while more expensive units might last 35 minutes or more on one battery.
And of course, there’s no use buying a drone if the pictures you take with it don’t look good. There are some beginner-friendly models that do have quality cameras. Again, unless you are getting paid for your photography, there’s no need to have the craziest camera.
When you think about traditional photography, most recreational photographers, and aspiring photographers, are happy to use gear that costs between $500 and $1,500. It doesn’t make sense for beginners to spend more money than this since they won’t know how to actually use the better equipment.
Whether you are talking about a DSLR or a drone, it’s important to learn the basics and hone your skills with more affordable models first, and then upgrade equipment later on once you know what you are doing.
Why the DJI Mini 2 Is a Great Drone for Beginners
All that being said, the DJI Mini 2 is one of the best drone options for brand new users. Here’s our DJI Mini 2 review and why it should be the first model that you should consider.
No Registration Required
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is a government agency that requires drone owners to register their devices. However, this requirement is saved if your drone weighs less than 250 grams.
The DJI Mavic Mini 2 conveniently weighs 249 grams, allowing you to bypass the hassle and cost associated with registration. So when you purchase the Mini 2, you can charge it and start flying right away, without having to waste time filling out forms.
And since guidelines regarding registration are going to get stricter, such as requiring all drones over 250 grams to have remote ID installed by 2023, you won’t have to worry about any of that.
Take it Anywhere
The fact that the Mini 2 weighs just 249 grams makes it super small and packable. It’s easy to bring this drone anywhere. Folded up, you can fit it inside any backpack, purse, fanny pack, or even in your pocket.
It takes up very little room, so you don’t have any excuse to leave it at home. As any professional photographer will tell you, you should always have your camera with you. You never know when you will be presented with a golden opportunity for a shot. The same is true for your drone.
The lightweight means that you can also bring it into the wilderness when you are backpacking. Since you are carrying all your gear on your shoulders, you only want to bring the lightest pieces of equipment. And usually, the places that you can go backpacking offer amazing opportunities for aerial photography and videography.
Fewer Features Make it Easier to Learn
The DJI Mini 2 is a pared-down drone compared to the other models, such as the DJI Mini 2 vs Mavic Air 2. And that’s not a bad thing.
While other models offer more advanced automated flying options, and other ways to take photos and images, they require a longer learning curve. But because the DJI Mini 2 is so simple, it’s easier for new users to learn how to fly and capture footage.
The camera is easy to use, and features a 4x zoom functionality, helping you to get good shots from any distance.
There are fewer features that would distract from the basics of getting airborne, taking good shots, and landing the aircraft safely.
Lots of DJI Mini 2 Accessories Available
Another benefit of purchasing the DJI Mini 2 is that there is a wide variety of accessories available, from both DJI and third-party companies. It’s such a popular drone that you can customize your drone, and upgrade it with ease.
Some people choose to add propeller guards to their drones. If you run into an object, such as a tree, or have a sudden crash landing, these will prevent your propellers from breaking. However, these add a little bit of weight to the drone.
You should have at least one SD memory card, though experienced drone users always carry two or more, just in case.
You can also make it easy by spending a bit more money upfront to get the DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo.
With the combo, you’ll get an additional two intelligent flight batteries that monitor flight time while operating your drone. And it comes with a charging hub that charges three batteries at once, along with a USB charger.
You’ll also get extra propellers and screws, which are vital for quick repairs in the field. And it comes in a shoulder bag, so you can easily bring your drone and all its accessories out into the field with ease. The bag also fits inside other larger bags to keep it protected while traveling.
Reasons to Pass on the DJI Mini 2
We believe that the DJI Mini 2 is a great drone for beginners. But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect for everyone. Here are a few reasons you might want to pass on it.
You can’t fit the best camera onto the smallest drone. Some sacrifices were made when designing this lightweight model.
The Mini 2 can take photos with a maximum resolution of 12 MP. Other DJI models can reach up to 20 MP.
The Mini 2 can take high-quality video at 4K and 30 frames per second. But other DJI models can reach 5.4K and 60 frames per second.
The camera is still very high quality, and if you learn how to use the Mini 2, you can take exceptional photos with it. But if professional photography is in your future, you’re going to eventually need a drone with a better camera.
The Mini 2 also doesn’t have any internal storage built into the unit. Other DJI models do, which is a nice backup feature.
The DJI Mini 2 is very maneuverable. However, it can only reach speeds up to 35 mph. Other DJI models can fly up to 45 mph.
The Mini 2 won’t be able to send video transmission from quite as far away as other models. And it can only transmit video at 720p while other models can transmit video at 1080p.
A handful of intelligent flight modes are available on the Mini 2, helping you to nail the basics when it comes to flying and getting good shots. But many other flight modes are available with other models. These modes are designed to help you get more complex shots.
So if you want to be able to capture the most unique footage, from the furthest distances, a higher-quality, larger drone may be necessary for you.
DJI Mini 2 Is Hard to Beat
Overall, the DJI Mini 2 is one of the best drones you can spend your money on. With an entry-level price tag, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Most people who purchase the Mini 2 are happy with it for a few years at the least. Only a handful of people feel that they ever need to upgrade to more expensive models. And even when they do, they miss the convenience offered by the smaller drone.
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