DJI has dramatically expanded their lineup as they continue to dominate the drone market. The latest is the super consumer-focused Mini 2 – an almost pocketable 4K drone that has gotten tons of upgrades that give it features found in their pro drones. Oh yea, and it costs just $449.
Compare that to one of the best video-oriented drones DJI makes – the Inspire 2 with Zenmuse X7 Gimbal. It costs up to $11,000 with all the top licenses and features, including Apple ProRes RAW using a Super 35mm sensor. Indy Mogul thought that it would be fun to put these very different drones against each other, including blind tests to see if you can tell the difference.
Some of the most important things to consider about the Mini 2 are the weight, addition of OcuSync 2.0, and 4K video recording. It keeps the same 249 g weight that keeps it just under many regulations.
With OcuSync 2.0 you can send it farther with reliable communication. And, now that it shoots 4K, the drone has become much more interesting.
In use, they noticed that the Mini 2’s size could be a slight problem as high wind could overpower the gimbal while the Inspire 2’s size made it much more reliable overall.
Plus, the additional obstacle avoidance tech makes it feel a lot safer to fly. And, the camera system has control over the aperture for better exposure while the Mini 2 has a fixed f/2.8.
Looking at them side by side on YouTube is a completely different story. Looking at a couple images for a few seconds a piece you probably wouldn’t be able to tell.
But, looking closer at them you can see the differences. The Mini 2 appears to be very sharp, as in it is using in-camera sharpening. Plus, the dynamic range with the sky looks to be pushing the limit. It’s easy to pick out the Inspire here.
The next shot is harder to tell apart. The type of shot makes it a lot harder to deal with. Still, there is one or two things you can pick out to differentiate, but the difference is negligible for most average uses.
Good lighting and the right operation of the drone can make more of a difference than pure quality. In one of the shots, the lighting being better on the Mini 2 stumped them and they guessed wrong.
A lot of things you can quickly fix in post, so if you are using a less-than-ideal drone for a pro video you might be able to sneak in plenty of footage without people even noticing if you apply a couple effects.
Among the last tests is an interesting test where it flies away from a person. This is a great test because it addresses a ton of different aspects of image quality and camera performance.
To jump into it, the larger sensor of the Inspire 2 means if you start close you can actually get a slight depth of field effect – impossible with the tiny sensor of the Mini 2. Also, it has autofocus to account for the drone’s movements in the shot.
To be clear, the Mini 2 won’t completely replace the Inspire 2 – the Inspire is objectively better in so many ways. But, being able to carry the Mini 2 everywhere and being much more affordable opens the doors for more filmmakers and shooting opportunities, which you can’t get just by having the best of the best.
What were your thoughts? Did you pick out the right images for each drone?
[source: Indy Mogul]
- DJI Mini 2 Drone (B&H, Amazon)
- DJI Inspire 2 Drone (B&H, Amazon)
- DJI Inspire 2 Advanced Kit (B&H)
- DJI Zenmuse X7 Camera (B&H, Amazon)
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