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DJI Mavic Mini Announces: $ 399 Ultra Light Drone That Needs FAA Registration



DJI's newest drone is also the smallest and lightest the company has ever made. In fact, it is so small and lightweight that buyers will not have to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The heavily expired Mavic Mini, as it is called, was announced on Wednesday morning and is already available for pre-order and will ship on November 11th. The drone will sell for $ 399 with a remote controller, one battery and a set of optional propellers, or in one of DJI's "Fly More" combo packages, which costs $ 499 and includes propellers, three batteries, a hub to charge the battery, and more. suitcase, controller and three sets of additional propellers.

Despite its relatively low price, the Mavic Mini has many of the best aspects of DJI's more expensive (and more capable) drones. It's generally as small as the 201

7 DJI Spark, but the folding legs of the Mavic make it even more portable. It weighs only 249 grams, which is just one gram below the FAA registration weight reduction. (DJI collaborates with Intel on an even smaller drone in 2018)

The Mavic Mini also shares many software features with other DJI drones as creative Shooting modes and the ability to automatically return to take-off location (although using another new application).

The Mavic Mini, perhaps because of its lightweight design, also doesn't save battery life. DJI calculates 30 minutes of battery life, although I couldn't really test it during a short demonstration.

One of the only compromises with the Mavic Mini is that it can't capture 4K frames. Otherwise, the Mavic Mini should be a capable tool for photographers and videographers. The drone camera uses a 1 / 2.3-inch sensor that can capture up to 2.7K frames at 30 frames per second, 1080p frames at 60 frames per second, and 12-megapixel stills. Like all other DJI custom drones (except for Spark), the camera is stabilized with a triaxial bar, which should help to generate super smooth frames in low wind conditions.

Another trade-off: The Mavic Mini has fewer sensors than other DJI drones, which means it may be more prone to crashes. Ground-based sensors will help you with low hanging and soft landings, but it depends on the pilot not to throw the Mavic Mini sideways into a tree, wall or other object. (This is one place where, although similar in size, the heavier and more sensory DJI Spark prevails.)

Although so lightweight, the Mavic Mini felt stable and precise during a short test flight, earlier this week. Looking down at the iPhone, which was connected to the controller, I managed to pull out a few careful, slowly evolving frames that make the drone video look so stunning. It was still a stationary day though, so we'll need more time with the Mavic Mini to figure out how to handle the breeze even on windy days.

The price point, weight and ability to avoid FAA registration make the Mavic Mini look like a very attractive product for both first time and experienced drone pilots. DJI still warns in a Mavic Mini press release that "unmanned pilots should always understand and obey local laws and regulations," and says its built-in safety features (such as height restriction) and educational tools will help prevent new pilots from flying dangerously. But that, they say, is still in the air.


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