Elevate the Ordinary with the DJI Mavic Mini

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Today, DJI unveiled the newest member of its celebrated Mavic series: the Mavic Mini. As compact as a smartphone, but powerful enough to capture shots so cinematic and smooth they look straight out of a soundstage, the Mavic Mini is both extremely capable and accessible. Here’s the full rundown on DJI’s latest (mini) marvel.

Pilots Abound

The first thing you notice about the Mavic Mini is its size. Weighing less than 250g and with a form factor similar to a smartphone, the Mavic Mini is a foldable, go-anywhere drone pilots can carry with them at all times. Not only does its compact size make it super convenient for capturing the moment, the Mini’s small footprint frees it from certain prohibitive restrictions. You might not know this, but drones that fall into certain weight categories require registration and, in some cases, a pilot’s license to operate. But, because the Mavic Mini is so small, it doesn’t require either. This means that anyone is allowed to fly the Mavic Mini countries like the U.S. or Canada—no paperwork required!

Mini Size, Max Power

The Mavic Mini might be small in stature, but it punches well above its weight class. For starters, it features a 3-axis gimbal-stabilized camera that shoots smooth 2.7K video and captures 12MP stills. To support this powerful setup, DJI included a bevy of Hollywood-esque shooting modes. The first is its patented QuickShots feature. A signature mode in DJI’s most sophisticated drones, QuickShots allow pilots to capture unique, complex shots through camera-based subject tracking and pre-programmed flight patterns. A new CineSmooth mode is also available, which regulates the Mini’s speed and movements to achieve extra-smooth shots—something you need when flying in tight spaces or when performing complicated maneuvers. These modes and more can easily be accessed through DJI’s new Fly app, which is designed to make capturing and sharing images easy and intuitive.

Powerful camera and shooting modes aside, the Mini also features one of the best battery performances we’ve ever seen in a commercial drone: up to 30 minutes on a fully charged battery. In addition to extra-long flight times, this is a great feature that will allow pilots to pull the Mini out continually whenever the opportunity arises or inspiration strikes, without having to worry about constantly recharging it.

Safety First

Because it’s designed for the masses, the Mavic Mini includes several safety features that make it suitable for novice pilots and veterans alike. For starters, it’s equipped with a prop guard on each of its four propellers that delivers 360-degrees of protection from accidental bumps, crashes, and hard landings. Thanks to its downward vision system and onboard GPS sensor, the Mini can hover precisely in place in case you need to pause or get your bearings. On top of those features, the DJI Fly app also provides an interactive tutorial mode that will teach new pilots the ropes in no time.

With its convenient, non-restrictive size, powerful performance, and sophisticated software that supports every level of pilot, the Mavic Mini might just be the perfect bridge between the professional and toy drone market.

Let us know what you think about DJI’s latest flyer, in the Comments section.

69 Comments

Is Marvic mini clear to fly anywhere in NYC? Any registration need?

The 249g weigh-in allows you to bypass the FAA registration requirement. However, ***all airspace rules and regulations are still active and completely unchanged by this drone!*** In other words, you still have to check where you're flying, and as long as you aren't making $ with your drone you can fly as a hobbyist (no need to get your Part 107 license). 

Is this drone compatible with DJI racing goggles?

Hi Milos! So, right now, it doesn't look like the Mini supports the DJI Goggles. The reason seems to be because of the new app it uses. However, app aside, there doesn't appear to be any reason why the Mini can't work with the Goggles, so hopefully we'll get that support in a future update of the app. Stay tuned!

Sorry to be the party pooper for everyone here but I just have to jump in and say two things:

1) if you are making $ with this, you will still need your part 107 license.

and

2) this drone will still be required to abide by all established airspace regulations (USA). 

In other words, the ***ONLY*** thing that this drone gets you is the ability to bypass the huuuuugeee pain in the behind it is to register it online and slap the # somewhere on your drone (and of course the whopping $5 registration fee). 

What you lose here with this drone, on the other hand, is the ability to shoot 4K, 2.7k at 60fps, and of course any kind of useful collision detection. 

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I also just want to add how disappointed I am that B&H is not being better at correcting false information and/or misinterpretations here in the comments for this drone; I believe that the ease of flying, combined with the ability to bypass FAA regulation, is going to set up a LOT of people for some serious trouble by giving them false confidence that then leads to a LOT of serious accidents. What people don't understand is how easy it is to cause some serious injury (even with a "toy" drone like this) and, therefore, some serious jail time for the PIC. Please be careful out there people!!

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Hi Brogino! You are absolutely correct. Drones used for any commercial purpose are supposed to be registered. I got a little tripped up by the weight requirement and whether or not drones falling under 0.55lb still needed to be registered. Thanks for looking out! We appreciate feedback from the community, especially when it's critical information like this.

M. Brett Smith -- my apologies if I'm still not being totally clear with this, but I'm not talking about the FAA registration when I say that if you are making $ you will still need your Part 107 license. I am referring specifically to the 14 CFR part 107, which is a totally separate process altogether from the registration. According to the FAA, if you are being compensated at all (not necessarily with $), you must pass the part 107 exam and get your remote pilot license.

This is straight from the FAA:

  • Operation solely for recreation or hobby purposes is governed by 14 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) part 101, subpart E, Special Rule for Model Aircraft;
  • Operation of small UAS (sUAS) weighing less than 55 pounds, for other than recreation or hobby purposes, is governed by 14 CFR part 107;
  • Operation of a UAS weighing 55 pounds or more requires an exemption under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform act of 2012 or Section 2210 of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016.

Obviously that last one doesn't apply here (ha), but the point is-- there is a **MASSIVE** difference between FAA registration and the Part 107 license!
 

Not to further cloud the issue, but if you ever plan to request a LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability), which allows you to fly in controlled areas by coordinating with ATC directly, you will *still* need to register this anyway. 

I hope this helps! 

[quote=Brogino G.]

Sorry to be the party pooper for everyone here but I just have to jump in and say two things:

1) if you are making $ with this, you will still need your part 107 license.

and

2) this drone will still be required to abide by all established airspace regulations (USA). 

In other words, the ***ONLY*** thing that this drone gets you is the ability to bypass the huuuuugeee pain in the behind it is to register it online and slap the # somewhere on your drone (and of course the whopping $5 registration fee). 

What you lose here with this drone, on the other hand, is the ability to shoot 4K, 2.7k at 60fps, and of course any kind of useful collision detection. 

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I also just want to add how disappointed I am that B&H is not being better at correcting false information and/or misinterpretations here in the comments for this drone; I believe that the ease of flying, combined with the ability to bypass FAA regulation, is going to set up a LOT of people for some serious trouble by giving them false confidence that then leads to a LOT of serious accidents. What people don't understand is how easy it is to cause some serious injury (even with a "toy" drone like this) and, therefore, some serious jail time for the PIC. Please be careful out there people!!

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Thank you for letting all of us know!

All the things said are here are true. However, for $399, I couldn't pass it up. I do own other larger platform DJI's... While definitely limited, the real advantage of the Mini is the compact size. While it is limited in tech specs compared to the Mavic Pros, P4P, Inspire 2, etc. it is going to be amazing for commercial travel work! I'm filming a doc in Tanzania in January. There's no way I could bring any of my Big Boy drones on a long, overseas flight with limited baggage space. I'm working with the TZ gov't for additional permits (They recognize FAA Part 107). Honestly, I can't wait to get my Mini!

Don- thank you for chiming in, and I'm glad that other pilots are speaking up to confirm/remind others of established rules and regulations and provide some clarity around the pros and cons of this drone. And you are absolutely right-- of course the Mini has its applications but I'm curious; for you as a professional, how exactly will you use this in your workflow? Are you not delivering your final product in 4K? And I definitely understand your point about the Inspire and Phantom series both being obviously quite a bit more cumbersome than any other drone, but I do follow some documentary filmmakers that have done exactly that-- take their 'Big Boy' drone overseas and into the jungle. Either way, surely the Mavic Air isn't that much more cumbersome than the Mini? I also think the price difference for the Air isn't that significant; most people I know in film production would say that the $300-400 more for the upgrade to be able to shoot 4K is obviously worth the cost!

On another note-- if I were willing to drag my Inspire through the jungle and overseas, can I come with you? 😉

Hi, I'm new to drones but am interested in this new Mavic Mini.  When using the controller does the cell phone need to be removed from the case?  Also does the drone come with an SD card?

DJI highly recommends removing the smart phone from its case when using it.  That way there is a proper connection between the camera and mount.  It may be possible, but this will all depend on the thickness of the case you are using.  An SD card is not included.  We recommend BH #SAEMSD64GBG from Sandisk.

https://bhpho.to/2CclQKl

Does the control support the new iphone 11 pro?

Would you still need to get permission to fly this drone in public spaces in NYC?

I've been told that the DJI geo-fencing is still active in this drone, so just like the bigger DJI drones it will probably not arm when around sensitive or restricted areas.

This drone will still have to abide by all established airspace regulations

there are NO airpspace regulations for drones under 250g. Currently no rules with the exception if you make money... It's why there are no rules about a child playing with his toy drone on christmas day. Anything under 250g is considered a toy, not a real drone, by the government currently. 

Now don't be dumb and fly it near airports. I doubt it will even let you anyways with dji's app and nfz. And don't expect to get around the rules too much b/c i highly suspect the fun police will come in and ruin it anyways, either changing the rules/law, or lowering the weight limit even more lol. And something tells me trying to argue with a police officer or park ranger about drone laws won't go your way even if you are in the right. So if you're buying this to try to find a loophole or something you're probably wasting your time. 

Also, I must say-- can a B&H rep. please PLEASE post some clarification here and moderate these kind of posts? The obvious concern I have as a fellow PIC is that the majority of people purchasing this Mavic Mini will read comments like Ryan A.'s here and feel enabled to fly wherever, whenever, and however they please.  

This is absolutely not true, and your false information here will likely lead to a LOT of reckless flying, if not injury/death, hefty fines, and/or jailtime. Just so everyone knows: ***airspace regulations remain totally unchanged regardless of the weight of your drone.*** The ONLY thing this 249g drone allows you to do is to bypass the $5 FAA registration. Thankfully, controlled airspace remains the same regardless of your understanding of it.   Please educate yourself before encouraging others to commit federal crimes that may kill people; initial fines for airspace violations are $32,666 per incident, $250,000 if prosecuted criminally. If DHS (Homeland Security) finds that your violation has threatened national security, incarceration could be 10+ years. 

For clarity-- the comment about "this" being not true is referring to Ryan A.'s comment that "there are NO airspace regulations for drones under 250g." Again, ***this is 100% FALSE***, and could lead to some serious consequences both for the pilot in command (jail time/fines) as well as harm/injury to people not involved in the operation (including other pilots).

Absolutely, 100% true! ALL drones, no matter how large, whatever brand they are, must always follow FAA guidelines. If the Mavic Mini has Geofencing included in the firmware, it will behave exactly like a larger drone: unable to takeoff in a fenced area. You will still need to go into the DJI FlySafe web site and apply for a Zone unlock. The comments above regarding the $5 REGISTRATION are true. The <250 gram drones are ONLY eliminated from FAA registration, NOT FAA safe flying rules. And, as mentioned, if you fly commercially, you need to be Part 107 certified.. Period.

Does this Mini have Obstacle avoidance sensors on any of the 4 sides? Some of the Mavics don’t have this sensor on all sides. I am hoping this new unit would use the latest technology.

It sounds like there's only a downward vision system.

***NO obstacle avoidance on the Mavic Air***

Sorry, I meant: ***NO obstacle avoidance on the Mavic Mini***

Terrible!, new drone no obstacle avoidance, that alone will discourage me me from buying it. An extra $100 to pay for the feature would had been worth it if that was the reason why it was not added.

Definitely is a huge CON on my list of things. However, if you are an experienced pilot, you should be fine. I probably still wouldn't fly this through trees or any tight spots though. And the reason for removing it was almost definitely weight, not cost. 

Does it shoot raw (dng) stills and have features like bracketing??

No it uses the very simple Fly app which has very few options. May be in an update.

Hi; just by any chance do you know if MAVIC PRO zoom or OSMO pocket ND filters will fit the MAVIC mini ?

Will this work with a smart controller? 

Hi Michael! Unfortunately, no, it doesn't look like the Mini will work with Smart Controller. The Smart Controller requires Ocusync 2.0, which the Mini doesn't currently support. Instead, it uses a foldable controller similar to the one you've seen with the other Mavic drones. 

With the prop guards on is it still under 250 grams?

Hi Dale! That is a very, very good question. Yes, the prop guards do push the Mini over 250g. But that doesn't mean you have to register it with the FAA. It's kind of a gray area, but because the drone's net takeoff weight (which includes the body, battery, and props) is 249g, you're in the clear. However, the FAA does have different restrictions for different classes of drones based on their net flying weight, which includes any attached systems (for example, prop guards). So, technically, flying the Mini with the prop guards on would bump it into the next weight class and incur those regulations. But I wouldn't get too hung up on that. The bottom line is that as long as you're flying safely in an uncontrolled airspace, you should be fine.

Wow... this may be the ultimate drone to bridge the gap.  So if it does not need FAA registration/sanction/licensing, does that mean one can use it for revenue video (YouTube) without having the Feds come down on you?

Frederick, great question! So, FAA regulations with commercial drones (i.e., drones you use for commercial purposes) fall into a weird gray area. In fact, I just spoke with someone from the FAA and they are in the process of getting some more concrete language out there regarding your question. What they did tell me was that the general consensus for any commercial drone is that you should go ahead and register it, regardless of the weight class. So if you plan on using the Mini for ongoing commercial purposes, it's probably a good idea to go ahead and register it. Registration does have a lot of benefits for commercial flyers. For example, you can get waivers that allow you to fly in certain areas or airspaces that are otherwise restricted.  

This is very disconcerting that a B&H rep. does not understand the very most basic drone laws and regulations. Let me educate you: if you are making money using your drone, you MUST have your part 107 license. PERIOD. In actuality, FAA registration has absolutely *NO* bearing on airspace regulations and/or the need to get your license!! In other words, the *ONLY* thing that this drone offers you is the ability to circumvent the $5 registration fee and the "huge pain in the A" it is to place your registration # visibly on your drone. 

Hi Brogino! You are absolutely correct. Drones used for any commercial purpose are supposed to be registered. I got a little tripped up by the weight requirement and whether or not drones falling under 0.55lb still needed to be registered. Thanks for looking out! We appreciate feedback from the community, especially when it's critical information like this.

M. Brett Smith and Frederick J. -- just pasting this from my comment above for further clarity on this issue:

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This is straight from the FAA:

  • Operation solely for recreation or hobby purposes is governed by 14 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) part 101, subpart E, Special Rule for Model Aircraft;
  • Operation of small UAS (sUAS) weighing less than 55 pounds, for other than recreation or hobby purposes, is governed by 14 CFR part 107;
  • Operation of a UAS weighing 55 pounds or more requires an exemption under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform act of 2012 or Section 2210 of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016.

Obviously that last one doesn't apply here (ha), but the point is-- there is a **MASSIVE** difference between FAA registration and the Part 107 license!
 

Not to further cloud the issue, but if you ever plan to request a LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability), which allows you to fly in controlled areas by coordinating with ATC directly, you will *still* need to register this anyway. 

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the feds aren't going to come for you for youtube videos unless you're a bigshot like casei neistat. If you have a small following and make $5 or less (its actually really hard to make money on youtube) they don't care. To make money you need a large amount of subscribers and views per video with ads. Even if a video goes viral if you don't have the subs you still won't make money. 

The much more likely case would be if you're a wedding photographer/videographer and you use it to supplement your work. Depending on your taxes and how successful you are than they would be much more likely to come for you. 

The BIG gray area would be if you use the drone to shoot some video footage, you use that footage to promote yourself, but you don't use it for actual paid events like weddings themselves. But I will leave that up to the courts and hopefully someone else lol.

Ryan, this is 100% false. The FAA ALWAYS cares about their regulations-- that is why they created them.

The current regulation is that if you are being compensated in any way for flying your drone, you must have your Part 107 license, PERIOD.

The penalties for flying commercially without first obtaining a remote pilot’s certificate from the FAA are up to $32,666 for each incidence. This fine is charged per day for continual illegal use of a drone for commercial purposes. The FAA may also impose criminal sanctions, which include a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to three years upon conviction.

Is it true that this can't shoot 24fps? Probably not a dealbreaker for me, since I could just play back at 80% speed in almost any case that I'd use a drone, but still silly.

NTSC?  PAL?  Who nowadays even refers to ancient 1950's interlaced analog formats?!?  ;-)

Everyone who is concerned with the framerates that still attach to those standards and the areas of the world were they apply: 24.997/25p for PAL, and 29.997/30p for NTSC.

There seems to be 2 models but only one option to buy. What can you tell me about this?

This is transmission distance from DJI website.

Model MR1SS5
5.8 GHz: 4000 m (FCC); 2500 m (SRRC)
Model MR1SD25
2.4 GHz: 2000 m (MIC/CE)
5.8 GHz: 500 m (CE)

"Weighing less than 250g"

"because the Mavic Mini is so small, it doesn’t require either. This means that anyone is allowed to fly the Mavic Mini countries like the U.S. or Canada—no paperwork required!"

In the U.S., I thought any drone weighing more than 50-55g required registration. Can someone confirm or clarify this point?

Hi Jeremiah! You're close! In the US, any drone that weighs more than 0.55 lbs (250g) is supposed to be registered with the FAA. Coming in at 249g means the Mavic Mini falls just below that, so, under current FAA rules, you shouldn't have to register it. 

D'oh! That's great! Thank you for the reply.

So Brett, if I want to use to make money does this mean I don't need to have Part 107 or is this clause just for hobbist?

Mark, great question! I just spoke with someone from the FAA and they told me that the general consensus is that for any commercial drone, 107 applies regardless of weight. So, you are correct, this clause pretty much applies to hobbyists. Apparently they might me working on some additional language to help clear up the issue. If we get a better answer from them, we'll let you know. 

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