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The Mini 2 SE is DJI’s most beginner-friendly Mini entry to date, featuring single-tap launchings and landings, over 30 minutes of flight time, and Intelligent Flight Features catered toward beginners.
As you begin digging deeper into this drone, you’ll get the itch to load your footage into editing software to begin your post-production work.
The question becomes – what software should you use for the job? Is what DJI provides good enough, or should you dig deeper?
I recommend digging deeper! This guide will introduce you to my favorite post-production software options and tools that I always keep handy for getting just the right effects on my drone footage.
DJI Mini 2 SE camera – How good is it? #
But first, let’s have a brief chat about the Mini 2 SE’s camera.
DJI equipped this low-cost entry into the Mini series with a 1/2.3-inch camera with a CMOS sensor. Its max video resolution is 2.7K, and its max photo resolution is 12 MP.
Yeah, it’s not great, but you have to stop and think about a couple of points first.
One of those is that the DJI Mini 2 SE is a continuation of the Mini 2 line. It’s not supposed to be the next Mini 3 Pro or Mini 4 Pro, which boast 48 MP image quality each.
Second, the Mini 2 SE is a low-cost drone. If it had a better camera, it wouldn’t be. And that brings me to my third point: this is a beginner drone. Beginners don’t quite mind the quality that much.
Once you cut your teeth flying the Mini 2 SE, it’s only then that you start to care about the quality.
Fortunately, while you’re saving up for a Mini 3 Pro or another DJI drone (or maybe even a non-DJI drone, who am I to say?), you can fake the quality of the Mini 2 SE with editing software.
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Best photo editing software for DJI Mini 2 SE #
Are you ready to get to work? Here are my top photo-editing tools for the Mini 2 SE.
Adobe Lightroom #
If you ask me, Adobe is the cream of the crop when it comes to image editing. Lightroom is one of its handiest apps. You can use the desktop version on your laptop or work computer, or take it on the go on your phone or tablet.
I love the Lightroom app. It will really help if you have project deadlines, as you can send your images from your drone to your phone, then begin editing without having to leave the jobsite.
Here are some other great features and advantages of Lightroom:
- **Remove what you don’t want: **You can’t control your environment to the letter when taking drone photos, but Lightroom makes it look like you can. You can edit out any imperfections and people or objects you don’t want in your photo.
- AI editing: Manual effort? Not here! Lightroom has AI-driven presets that let you edit brightness, color saturation, cinematics, and plenty more.
- **Masking: **The mask feature you’re used to in computer editions of Adobe software is available in the Lightroom app, allowing you to produce professional footage no matter where your adventures take you.
- Save projects across devices: Adobe understands the average person is busier than ever, hence why you can start a project on the app, then pick it up on the Lightroom website or computer app, and vice-versa!
The only downside is Lightroom is quite expensive, and the desktop version is a lot more complicated.
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Adobe Photoshop/Photoshop Express #
Photoshop is the penultimate photo-editing software, but it’s not confined to your laptop or desktop computer anymore! You can and should take Photoshop with you everywhere you go on your drone jobs with Photoshop Express.
Full disclosure: I’ve been using Photoshop Express a lot longer than the mobile version of Lightroom. It’s my go-to when I want my photos to look polished, sleek, and social media-ready in a couple of minutes.
Here are its standout features:
- **Easier to use than the desktop version: **I adore the desktop version of Photoshop too, but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a lot. The mobile version is a lot more streamlined, only providing the tools you need.
- Search: Are you looking for a specific tool within Photoshop Express? You can search for it in the app, which I think is awesome.
- Quick actions: If you’re short on time, the quick actions feature will help. Photoshop Express can smooth skin, fix saturation, or edit any other element of your drone photography with this feature.
- Saved styles: Once you find a photo style you love, you can save it and use it anytime on other photos.
- Text: I also love how you can add text and templates to your photos, sort of like what Canva lets you do, but without having to use Canva.
However, you have to pay Adobe prices to use Photoshop and Photoshop Express.
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The forever-free GNU editing tool GIMP works for Windows, Mac, and Linux, so you can pick your poison and still use this software. It’s updated frequently, so you can remain confident you have the latest editing tools at your fingertips.
Here are some of its plusses:
- **Programming support: **If you know common program languages like Scheme, Python, Perl, C++, or C, you can configure the skeleton of this editing program.
- **Great colors: **Incorporate the kind of higher-end colors you’ve seen in other DJI drone cameras within GIMP. You can kind of fake it until you make it, without paying a cent.
- **Compatible with other tools: **If you already use Inkscape or Scribus, GIMP plays nicely with both these tools.
While GIMP may not be quite as robust as some of the other photo editing tools in this section, it’s great for what it is, and that’s free. However, you can’t use it on mobile devices.
**» MORE: **Drone Photography: Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started
While GIMP may be the best-known free photo-editing software, it’s not the only one. Snapseed is another no-cost option for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. I’ve personally tried it on iPhone and iPad, and it’s stellar.
Let’s review what caught my eye about this app:
- **RAW editing: **The Mini 2 SE can shoot in RAW, but not every photo editor has the capacity to deal with these files. Snapseed does. You can save the files in JPG format, but I find it’s better to save them as RAW files after editing to retain the full breadth of detail.
- Many filters and tools: With almost 30 options to choose from, you won’t mind that you can’t use Snapseed on a computer. Some of my favorite tools are rotate, crop, white balance, and lens blur.
- Text: Yes, that’s right, you don’t need Photoshop Express if you want text in your drone images. Snapseed has almost 40 text styles to select from, and all for free.
However, the app quality is not as good as it was years ago, back in the late 2010s. It’s still usable today, but not to the same extent.
Luminar Neo #
I haven’t played around with Luminar Neo as much as the other tools, but from the few hours I’ve spent with it, I really like it. It has great potential, especially if you want a desktop tool that’s not an Adobe product.
That said, Neo works as a plug-in for Lightroom and Photoshop, so if you already have those Adobe tools and want to take them to the next level, you’ve found your solution.
Here are some features:
- **Several presets at once: **Once you find your favorite presets, you don’t have to commit them to memory to use them again. Neo will save your presets and apply them to the next batch of drone photos you upload.
- **AI capabilities: **So much of what Neo can do is AI-driven, from Enhance to Relight, Sky, GenSwap, GenExpand, and GenErase. These features take all the guesswork and time out of editing, applying changes automatically. You can tweak any edit you want, of course.
- **Simple interface: **I hate when you open a new photo-editing program and are bombarded with 7,000 menus. Luminar Neo keeps it easy to work with, making it faster to learn.
- **Always upgrading: **Neo never stays the same. Behind the scenes, Luminar works tirelessly to improve this software for a better user experience.
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Best video editing software for DJI Mini 2 SE #
What if you use the Mini 2 SE more for videos than you do photos? Don’t worry; here are your recommended editing tools from yours truly.
DJI LightCut #
You don’t have to go far for this first one, as DJI LightCut comes with your Mini 2 SE. This official video-editing tool is designed to further facilitate the easy-for-beginners experience of using the Mini 2 SE.
- **One-Tap Editing: **LightCut offers One-Tap Editing using AI to improve your video quality. All you have to do is save and share.
- Video previews: Never wonder how your footage will look before you save it when you can preview what you’re recording within LightCut.
- AI highlights: AI technology determines what your most highlight-worthy moments are and will even select the template that makes your footage shine.
LightCut is available to use with many other DJI apps, including the Mini 3 series, Mavic 3 series, Air 3, and Mini 4 Pro.
Are you a Mac user like I am? Then you only have to open your Launchpad to find a preinstalled video editor, iMovie.
iMovie isn’t only for computers anymore. You can also download it for mobile and take your projects on your iPad or iPhone. The app is compatible with Final Cut Pro and is always updating to make improvements.
Here are the features included with iMovie that make it excellent for editing Mini 2 SE footage:
- **It’s free: **Yes, that’s right, you won’t pay a cent for iMovie, even if you have to download it to a mobile device.
- Themes and filters: Move over, LightCut. iMovie has themes galore, and you can also pair them with filters. Choose from 13 varied filters and almost 10 themes that include music, transitions, and titles.
- Cinematic Mode: Make your footage more in-depth with Cinematic Mode, which allows you to toggle the depth of field and focus points.
- Animations and backgrounds: Incorporate patterned or gradient backgrounds and select more than 10 fun Apple-designed animations for your drone videos.
- Ready to transition between devices: Send your half-finished drone video between your tablet, computer, and phone with iCloud Drive or Airdrop so you can pick up where you left off and finish later.
One downside of iMovie is it doesn’t work for non-Apple devices.
**» MORE: **Best Drone Video Editor (With Screenshots)
DaVinci Resolve #
How about another free solution to add to your repertoire? That’s why I love DaVinci Resolve as much as I do. Well, it’s part of the reason I love it. I mean, it’s been used to make Marvel movies, which says enough if you ask me.
Here are some other benefits of this choice for your Mini 2 SE video editing:
- **Simple but effective cuts and edits: **The drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to implement the edits you want in what otherwise looks like a complicated tool. You can even add keyboard shortcuts to save you time during your next round in post.
- Glorious color: Wow, is the color page one of the best I’ve seen in any editing software. There’s a reason Hollywood directors choose Resolve for editing the next blockbusters, and the color page is certainly one of them. You can customize so much, such as the color curves and HDR color wheels, to get just the right hue that sets the mood of your drone video.
- Fairlight Audio Core: Throw in booming explosions, loud music, and dramatic whooshing sounds with Fairlight Audio Core, which supports up to 2,000 simultaneous audio tracks.
- Post almost anywhere: When you finish, you can send your videos to social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube, or even Vimeo.
While Resolve has many excellent features, DaVinci Resolve Studio is the paid version that will let you maximize what you can do in this software.
**» MORE: **Tips for Shooting & Editing Drone Videos (Guide for Beginners)
Adobe Premiere Elements #
I love Adobe, even if it’s costly. I don’t mind shelling out to get excellent editing tools, including the abovementioned photo options and Premiere Elements for video.
This on-the-go app makes editing videos more effortless than ever before, shortening your time in post. I was amazed by what it could do with features like:
- **Adobe Sensei AI: **The best of AI and machine learning come together in Adobe Sensei AI, a feature that can automate highlights and other elements of your video editing for you.
- **Guided Edits: **A little more hands-on but still not requiring too much of your effort, Guided Edits take you step by step, implementing features like animations, cinematics, effects, and small edits. I love this feature when I don’t know where to begin!
- **Auto backups: **I hate when I don’t remember to save a video, and I’m sure you’re the same. Fortunately, Adobe Premiere Elements has auto-backup and sorting. You can use the latter feature to search for any video in your collection.
- **No more graininess: **Uh-oh, was the lighting at your last drone shoot worse than you thought, and now your video came out all grainy? You don’t have to discard your footage. Adobe Premiere Elements is awesome at removing graininess without sacrificing color or detail.
Adobe Premiere Elements is a tad tricky to learn at first, but less so if you’ve used other Adobe software. You can sometimes buy it in a package deal with Photoshop Elements so you’re all set when flying the Mini 2 SE.
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Tips for editing drone footage from DJI Mini 2 SE #
You’ve chosen your photo and video editing tools of choice, so now it’s time to get to work. Here are some pointers that will help you make it happen.
Take advantage of tutorials #
Most video and photo editing software options on the market have tutorials. They exist to help you, so make sure you use them!
If the introductory tutorials don’t do enough to enlighten you, check out YouTube videos from real users (or from the editing tool’s channel).
I know for me, sometimes seeing things in action can help. If you’re the same way, try that tip!
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Use the undo button #
The undo button exists for a reason – to help you if you make a mistake. And trust me, in the beginning, when you’re learning how everything works, you will make a mistake. You’ll click or tap on something, having no idea what you changed, but being eager to change it back.
Find the undo button, learn it, and love it.
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Edit sparsely #
You can think of editing drone footage as cutting your own hair (or someone else’s if the thought of trimming your own is too scary). You can always cut more, but you can’t put back what you took away.
Well, except that in editing, you can put back what you took away. The only problem is, it’s usually so time-consuming that you might not want to do it at all. Then you have to revert to an earlier save, and it turns into a disaster.
Rather than go whole-hog into any editing tool, apply a light touch. You can always ramp that slider up further if you need to.
Save separate versions #
Save often when editing, but don’t keep saving over the same file again and again.
Sometimes, once you close it out, you have no way of going back and seeing the edit history or reverting to any old versions.
Saving a few versions of the same photo or video lets you compare your progress. If you don’t like the final version of how something turned out, you can trace back to where you last liked the progress, then right your wrongs from there.
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Choose your file format carefully #
With so many file formats to select from, how do you choose?
I recommend preserving image and video quality and clarity above all else. That means avoiding image files like JPG if you can help it.
Obviously, RAW files are best, and since the Mini 2 SE supports them, it’s worth editing and saving in that format.
At the very least, use PNGs.
As for videos, MPVs are the lowest quality, while MOV and AVCHD are the best.
Here’s the thing about good quality footage. It takes up a lot more space than your average file, so do yourself a favor and invest in SD cards.
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