The DJI Mini 4 Pro might not be revolutionary departure from its predecessors, it does bring plenty of new improvements and features that were previously limited to DJI’s high-end drones. Weighing just under 250g, it meets drone regulations in many countries around the globe. Let’s check out what it has to offer, the pros and cons of the DJI Mini 4 Pro in this review, and whether or not you should get this camera drone over the popular Air 3 and Mini 3 Pro.
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Where to Buy?
Get the DJI Mini 4 Pro from:
The DJI Mini 4 Pro comes with these accessories:
- a charger featuring a battery status display
- two USB cables
- an ND filter set
- a wide-angle lens attachment
- a faux-denim bag
You can choose different bundles, from the standard Mini 4 Pro set with the RC-N2 remote controller, to the extensive Fly More pack, which boasts extra batteries, blades, and the upgraded DJI RC 2 remote controller.
Design and Features
The Mini 4 Pro, when folded measures 148x94x64mm. When its arms are unfolded, it stands at 298x373x100mm, making it the largest model in the DJI Mini series.
Weighing 172g without battery, the Mini 4 Pro reaches 249g with the battery installed, just below the 250-gram mark.
The Mini 4 Pro, while maintaining much of the physical aesthetics from its predecessor the DjI Mini 3 Pro, has been revised with several subtle yet impactful enhancements.
The new drone now has sensors on the front and others aimed backward to ensure the drone has omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, providing protection from all angles. This feature was previously only available in DJI’s higher-end models like the Air and Mavic series, this is truly a significant step up from the previous Mini models. The bottom sensors and an auxiliary light mean more stability during low-light conditions.
The addition of front landing gear makes landings more stable, which was a common complaint in the Mini 3’s. On the rear, there are larger ventilations aiding in cooling electronics inside the drone, especially crucial in warmer climates.
The battery design is identical to the Mini 3 Pro’s, meaning their batteries are interchangeable. However the Mini 3 Pro batteries are 3 grams heavier, therefore it will tip the scale over 250g for the Mini 4 Pro.
Finally they introduces a landing light at its bottom, improving visibility for night-time or low-light landings.
Image quality wise the Mini 4 Pro is a major leap from the Mini 3 Pro. While they both feature a 1/1.3” CMOS sensor, which may sound similar, the camera in the Mini 4 Pro packs some solid improvements. Borrowing the stacked sensor from the Air 3, it delivers image quality on par with the latter.
Its ability to capture 4K 60fps, 10-bit D-log M video, 4K slow motion at 100fps, night mode, and support for RAW images, provides flexibility in post-production and makes it ideal for professional-grade photography and videography.
Compared to the Mini 3 Pro, the improved image processing sensor enhances dynamic range, and the ability to shoot in D-log M and HLG (hybrid log gamma) is compelling for content creators. Filming in 4K 100fps and the vertical mode are features that make this drone versatile for various shooting scenarios.
360° Tracking and Obstacle Avoidance
Active Track on the Mini 4 Pro is phenomenal. You can fly it through tight spaces full of obstacles without crashing, demonstrating its prowess in obstacle avoidance, ensuring the drone remains airborne and doesn’t get tangled in branches or other obstacles.
The 360° obstacle detection is a standout feature, previously exclusive to larger, more expensive drones. While it’s a great feature, relying solely on it can be risky. Small or moving obstacles might not always be detected, so it’s always best for the pilot to remain vigilant.
The Mini 4 Pro introduces Active Track 360, leveraging its omnidirectional obstacle detection sensors.
The drone now incorporates the latest OcuSync 4 (or O4) technology for video and control transmission, ensuring a more robust connection. This means better range and smoother experience and control. With this system, you can expect a flight range up to 20km in FCC mode or 8km in CE mode, ensuring peace of mind, especially in urban flying scenarios.
The DJI Mini 4 Pro is compatible only with DJI’s RC2 or RCN2 controllers, both equipped with the new O4 transmission protocol. The RC2 is a more advanced controller, featuring an integrated screen, freeing you from the constraints of a smartphone, but of course it’s more expensive than the RC N2.
A standout feature of the Mini 4 Pro is the native waypoints mode. Long awaited since the original Mavic Air, this feature alone makes the Mini 4 Pro a worthy upgrade. Waypoints bring a new level of autonomy to drone flights, providing users with the flexibility and precision to set predetermined paths and actions for the drone. This capability is especially handy for repeated shots or complex shooting scenarios, or path planning.
The Mini 4 Pro supports custom folders and file naming, a feature introduced with the Mavic 3 series. This is a particularly helpful addition for those juggling multiple DJI drones, ensuring file organization is more intuitive.
Performance & Flight Time
The Mini 4 Pro’s flight time, though slightly reduced to 45 minutes from the Mini 3 Pro’s 47 (with Smart Plus battery), remains impressive considering how feature-packed this drone is. This marginal reduction could be attributed to the new sensors adding a bit more weight.
It’s relatively quiet compared to other camera drones of the same category. Piloting the Mini 4 Pro feels similar to other DJI drones. It’s very stable, and its positioning is impeccable, even in moderate wind conditions. The drone’s sensors work well and holds its position even in low-light conditions, thanks to an automatically activated vertical LED.
DJI Mini 4 Pro vs DJI Air 3
Size, Weight, and Noise
The DJI Mini 4 Pro’s standout feature is its portability and light weight at only 249g. Its compact design also means it’s relatively more silent in flight. Once it reaches an altitude of 50 feet, you can barely hear it. In contrast, the DJI Air 3, weighing 720g almost 3 times heavier, is noticeably noisier.
The camera specs on both Mini 4 Pro and Air 3 are nearly identical, featuring the same sensor size and capabilities. Both can shoot in 4K at 60fps with options for 10-bit color and 48MP photos. However, a significant difference lies in the Air 3 secondary 70mm f2.8 medium telephoto camera. This secondary lens allows a unique capability to isolate subjects and craft a more focused narrative. But it’s worth noting that the Mini 4 Pro offers true vertical video, while the Air 3 only provides a cropped version of landscape image.
Intelligent Flight Modes & Safety
Both drones come equipped with many intelligent flight modes, including cruise control, master shots, quick shots, waypoints, and hyperlapse. However the Mini 4 Pro stands out with its Active Track 360. This new introduction from DJI allows for dynamic yet smooth shots while being tracked by the drone. Both also feature omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, ensuring safety during flights.
Moreover, the Air 3 and Mini 4 Pro are the only two drones currently supporting the latest DJI O4 transmission system. This system ensures an impressive flight range of up to 20km in FCC mode.
Battery Life & Wind Resistance
The Air 3 takes the crown here with a flight time of up to 46 minutes, overshadowing the Mini 4 Pro’s 34 minutes (using Smart Battery, not the smart-plus battery). But remember, the Mini 4 Pro achieves this while staying under 250g, a commendable feat. When it comes to wind resistance, the Air3 performs better due to its heavier weight and more powerful motor and propeller combo.
The base price for the Mini 4 Pro stands at $759, while the Air 3 starts at $1,099. With various bundles available, the price can quickly add up. If you’re seeking value, the Mini 4 Pro offers a lot for its price. But if you’re after more camera features and versatility, the Air3 might be your go-to, bridging the gap between the Mini 4 Pro and higher-end models like the Mavic 3 Pro.
Choosing between the Mini 4 Pro and Air 3 boils down to your needs and budget. For people on a budget, I’d be leaning towards the Mini 4 Pro. Yet, the versatility of the Air3, especially with its 70mm camera, is tempting to have. It offers a broader range of shots and safety due to its ability to capture subjects from a distance.
Mini 4 Pro vs Mini 3 Pro
Omnidirectional Obstacle Avoidance
The Mini 4 Pro boasts an advanced omnidirectional obstacle avoidance system, a game-changer when compared to the Mini 3 Pro’s basic sensors. The additional sensors provide a much wider view, covering not just the front but also the sides and even the upper parts. The auxiliary lighting is a bonus for night flyers, illuminating the drone’s landing area. This comprehensive safety upgrade is nothing short of impressive.
While some argue that the Mini 4 Pro’s camera appears to be similar to the Mini 3 Pro because they have similar sensor size, the truth is far from it. The Mini 4 Pro is equipped with the same camera as the Air 3, meaning it’s way ahead in terms of image quality. The ability to record in 4K at 60fps with enhanced shadow details and dynamic range, especially in challenging lighting conditions, sets this drone apart. The difference becomes especially noticeable during sunrises and sunsets, revealing the true potential of the Mini 4 Pro.
However, it’s essential to note that it’s not just about the sensor; it’s also about the additional features that come with the drone.
360° Omnidirectional Obstacle Avoidance
One of the most impressive upgrades is the 360° omnidirectional obstacle avoidance. Unlike the Mini 3, which could only detect obstacles in the front, back, and below, the Mini 4 Pro has cameras angled to the sides and above, offering comprehensive protection. This feature is particularly useful for pilots like me who prefer visual flying, as it provides an additional safety net. The obstacle avoidance is especially handy during maneuvers, giving a sense of confidence and helping avoid crashes.
The Mini 4 Pro’s Active Track combined with obstacle avoidance is a game-changer. During my tests, I found that the drone smoothly navigates around obstacles while keeping the subject in frame. Even in tight spaces and around trees, the drone impressively maneuvers to maintain its path. This level of intelligence in obstacle avoidance and tracking is a testament to the drone’s advanced capabilities. For those keen on getting those perfect cinematic shots, the Active Track 360 on the Mini 4 Pro is a dream come true. Leveraging the omnidirectional sensors, it offers unparalleled tracking capabilities, ensuring smooth and dynamic footage.
Slow Motion and Vertical Shooting
The Mini 4 Pro offers 4K footage at 100fps and 1080p at up to 200fps. These options open up creative possibilities for slow-motion shots. Additionally, the drone supports native vertical shooting, making it an excellent choice for content creation for social media platforms like Instagram.
Waypoints and Precision
The Mini 4 Pro includes the ability to set waypoints, which is a welcome feature for planning specific flight paths. However, I noticed that the accuracy could be better, especially for intricate shots. While it performs well for general landscape shots, those requiring pinpoint precision might find it slightly lacking. It’s worth noting that older models like the Mini 2, when used with third-party apps, offered better accuracy for waypoints.
The Mini 4 Pro is using the latest O4 transmission system while the Mini 3 Pro is still using the older O3. The O4 offers longer range and better connection, it ensures more stable radio link, even in urban areas with potential interference.
With both drones priced at $759 for the base package, the choice seems like a no-brainer. The Mini 4 Pro offers a ton of advanced features, making it a significant upgrade at the same price point. For those new to the drone world, the Mini 4 Pro provides top-tier tech without breaking the bank. And for Mini 3 Pro users, it’s a question of whether these upgrades align with your needs.
The enhanced video quality, improved dynamic range, and active tracking made the DJI Mini 4 Pro a compelling upgrade from the Mini 3 Pro. However, for casual users content with capturing aerial photos without delving deep into video specifics, the Mini 3 Pro remains a viable option.
For those on a tight budget, DJI’s Mini SE series is an alternative, offering decent quality at a more affordable price. While the video resolution is capped at 2.7k, it’s sufficient for beginners or hobbyists.
Is the Mini 4 Pro worth the upgrade? It truly depends on where you’re coming from. If it’s your first drone or if you’re transitioning from an older model, the Mini 4 Pro offers unparalleled value.
Get the DJI Mini 4 Pro from:
While they may not be as budget-friendly as the Mini series once were, the features and capabilities they bring to the table make them worth every penny. If you’re looking to upgrade from an older Mini series model, the decision becomes a bit more nuanced and you should consider if the additional features are worth it.
- Relative quiet.
- Beginner-friendly and easy piloting.
- High-quality 4K video and photography capabilities.
- Robust radio and video link.
- Reasonable price considering the amount of features.
- Slow battery charging.
- Control feels stiff due to too much assistance.