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Mavic Mini test for film and stills

We recently bought a Mavic Mini as an introduction in to drone imaging, mainly in the hope it would allow us to reach new angles for clients but also because we’ve steered clear of drones for far too long. Situated at the bottom of DJI’s tech ladder, and arguably the best place to start this adventure, the Mavic Mini shoots 12MP stills and 2.7k 60fps video all stabilised by an on-board gimbal. YouTube or the official DJI site are you friends if you want full-on reviews, we’re just here to eat popcorn and see what the results are.

Pros – TINY footprint / long battery life / responsive control when signal is strong / good range of speeds / excellent video considering the size and cost / not super expensive.

Cons – Terrible dynamic rangeĀ  / very mediocre jpg stills / no RAW!!!!!!!! / fiddly camera pitch jog-dial / dependent on mobile phone for control / poor transmission range / not super cheap.

That just about sums it up – it’s great fun to use and fly about within a few hundred meters, playing about with the automated spins and spirals, even flying above water and over cliffs. But in terms of production we’ll probably keep it for iNGO aerial imaging and perhaps capturing b-roll footage during shoots to add a bit more dynamism to a portfolio. What it won’t be is our go-to in terms of tech, it’s kinda like a flying a last-gen mobile phone. It has, however, given us reason to fit a Phantom or Inspire into next year’s budget!

We did some testing near Brighton on the the South Coast of England over summer 2020 – just a couple of minutes filming above the shoreline to test the smoothness of the gimbal and movement of the drone in strong wind. We think it did rather well…

A couple of shots below, this time looking at colour and detail in the stills – not great but not too bad, either. If only the dynamic range were wider and it shot RAW. For comparison, the last image was taken with a DJI Phantom 1 from about 7 years ago in Tianjin, China…