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DJI Mini 3 vs. DJI Air 2S (Which One is Right for You?)

10 mins
Drone Blog
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While the DJI Mini 3 and DJI Air 2s are great drones, it can take time to decide on the best drone.

One of the reasons for this is that none of the two is a fits-all scenario. In other words, where the DJI Mini 3 fails, the DJI Air 2s excels.

So, DJI Mini 3 vs. DJI Air 2S, which one is right for you?

Both drones are great. However, the DJI Air 2 S is superior as it is a one-in-all drone with a 1-inch sensor, 5.4 video capability, the ability to handle strong winds, and many other advanced features designed to make your photography and cinematography ventures even more rewarding.

On the other hand, the DJI Mini 3 is perfect for beginners and hobby enthusiasts. For starters, it is a sub-250g drone meaning that you do not have to register it if you are only using it for recreational purposes. Again, it is a tiny drone, rendering its transportation easy and convenient.

In this article, we will provide an overview of each drone before giving a comprehensive comparison. Please keep reading to understand which drone is right for you and why.

DJI Air 2S Overview #

The DJI Air 2S is one of the best drones in the market, as it is packed with impeccable features that make it effective in many scenarios.

With obstacle sensing in 4 directions, a 1-inch CMOS sensor, MasterShots, 12Km FHD Transmission, 5.4K Video, and ADS-B, the DJI Air 2S is an excellent drone for professionals.

The DJI Air 2 S’s additional features include the following:

  • Weight of 595 grams
  • Size: folded; 180x97x77 mm, unfolded; 183x253x77 mm
  • Aperture; f/2.8
  • Maximum video resolution 5.4k/30fps video
  • 20 MP Raw photos
  • 31-minute flight time
  • Forward, backward, downward, and upward obstacle avoidance
  • Smart shooting modes: Mastershorts, Timelapse, Active Track 4.0, point of interest 3.0, and spotlight 2.0

The DJI Mini 3 Overview #

The DJI Mini 3 is a compact, sophisticated, and impeccable entry-level drone.

While it comes in a tiny body with a weight of 249 grams, it is packed with amazing features that make it ideal for recreational and even professional activities.

The DJI Mini 3’s key features include the following:

  • Lightweight with a weight of 249g
  • OcuSync 2.0 image transmission
  • Compatible with DJI RC remote controller
  • 4k/30 video
  • 38-51 minutes flight time
  • Ability to zoom 4x maximum on video
  • 12MP sensor
  • Downward vision sensing
  • JPEG and Raw image capture

The DJI Mini 3 vs. DJI Air 2S – Comprehensive Comparison #

To make it easy to choose the most appropriate drone for your use, you need to understand how these two drones compare in terms of main features. 

At the end of this extensive comparison, you should be able to determine which drone is ideal for your specific needs.

1. Camera and Image Quality #

When comparing the camera performance of the DJI Mini 3 and the DJI Air 2S, the sensor size makes the main difference between these two drones.

The DJI Air 2S has a 1-inch sensor, while the Mini 3 has a 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor with dual native ISO and chip-level HDR technology.

Further, the DJI Air 2S can shoot in both 5.4K and 4k, whereas the DJI Mini 3 shoots only in 4k.

Another main difference between these two drones that would impact the image quality is based on the color profile. The Air 2S has a wider color profile than the Mini 3.

Finally, the DJI Air 2S has better-zooming capability compared to the Mini 3 as it can zoom up 8x at 1080p and 4x at 4k 30fps.

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. Skydio 2+: Which One is Right for You?

The Zoom capability is essential as it lets you capture footage from points you think will be too risky for your drone to fly in.

By looking at the camera capability of the two drones, it is clear that the image and video quality of the DJI Air 2S is superior to that of the Mini 3.

Therefore, if you are looking for an incredible drone for professional photography, you will find the DJI Air 2S more satisfying.

However, that does not necessarily mean that the DJI Mini 3 is bad, as there are situations where the Mini 3 drone would suffice.

2. Weight and Size #

Another distinguishing feature of the DJI Mini 3 and the Air 2S is the weight and size. The DJI Mini 3 is sub-250 grams, while the DJI Air 2S weighs 595 grams.

Therefore, if you are purchasing a drone specifically for recreational purposes and want to avoid the stress of taking it through the registration process, the DJI Mini 3 is the most appropriate option.

Again, the DJI Mini 3 is also compact and small, making it easy to pack and travel with to wherever you may want to use it.

Despite the Air 2S weighing 595 grams, it is relatively small, making it easier to transport.

While the DJI Mini 3 is a clear winner regarding size and weight, it does not necessarily mean that being on the heavier side of the weight scale is a bad quality.

A weightier drone can hold better in windy conditions than a lighter one. Hence, the Air 2S holds better than the Mini 3 in windy conditions.

3. Remote control and range #

Flying a drone is supposed to be an exciting experience, which is why the remote control matters.

There is little difference when comparing the DJI Air 2S and Mini 3 because both drones come with the DJI RC-N1.

Also, both drones let you use the DJI RC remote controller, which helps eliminate the need to use your smartphone whenever you want to explore with your drone.

The DJI Air 2S is a definitive winner regarding the maximum flight range. It wins at a maximum flight distance of 7.5 miles (12km) against the DJI Mini 3’s 6 miles (10km). 

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Range (Explained)

Even though the 6-mile range is more than enough, there are situations where you may need the Air 2S’ 7.5 miles.

» MORE: How Far and High Can DJI Mavic Air 2S Fly? (Explained)

4. Battery and flight time #

When we compare the DJI Air 2S and the Mini 3 drones in terms of battery and flight time, the DJI Mini 3 is a clear winner.

The DJI Mini 3 has a standard battery that provides 38 minutes of flight time, while the Battery Plus option ensures that the Mini 3 can stay afloat for up to 47 minutes.

On the other hand, the DJI Air 2S offers a flight time of up to 31 minutes.

Although 31 minutes is inferior to what the Mini 3 offers, it is enough to let you capture intriguing footage for your audience.

5. Obstacle Avoidance #

In terms of obstacle avoidance, the DJI Mini 3 is equipped with downward sensors, while the Air 2S is packed with forwards, backward, upward, and downward sensors.

Therefore, the DJI Air 2S can detect objects in all four directions, making it safer than the Mini 3.

If you intend to use your drone in places dominated by obstacles, the DJI Air 2S is the better option. The four-directional obstacle sensors work towards preventing collisions.

In addition to the 4-directional obstacle sensors, the DJI Air 2S features LED lighting, which makes it easy for pilots to fly in low light conditions. The DJI Mini 3 drone lacks this feature.

6. Flight performance #

Overall, when it comes to flight performance, the DJI Air 2S is the clear winner.  

While both drones have smart features, including QuickShots, the DJI Air 2S is more advanced with its MasterShots, Hyperlapse, and FocusTrack Suite, allowing you to get excellent aerial videos.

Besides the intelligence features, the Air 2S has better stability, speed, and wind resistance. Further, it will cope better in extreme weather conditions than Mini 3.

In terms of performance, DJI Air 2S is the better option compared to the Mini 3.

7. The Price #

The price is one of the critical factors that people consider when shopping for the best drones.

DJI Air 2’s price starts from USD 999 on the official website, while the Mini 3 begins from USD 559 on the official website.

While the DJI Mini 3 is cheaper than the Air 2S, the Air 2S is still superior, considering that it offers many high-end features and capabilities.

Moreover, the price should be one of many factors to consider when shopping for a drone.

DJI Mini 3 vs. DJI Air 2S (Summary) #

Here is a table summarizing the main difference between the DJI Mini 3 and the DJI Air 2S.

FeaturesDJI Mini 3DJI Air 2SDimensions60.96×88.8×144.78 mmFolded: 180x97x77 mm Unfolded: 183x253x77 mm speed34 km/h68 km/hImage sensor1/1.3” CMOS1” CMOSObstacle sensingDownward sensing4-directional sensingBattery typeLi-ionLi-Po 3SADS-BNoYesWeight249 grams595 gramsFlight timeStandard battery: 38 minutesPlus battery: 47 minutes31 minutesVideo resolution4k/30fps 5.4k up to 30 fps4k up to 60 fps2.7k up to 60 fps1080p up to 120 fpslensAperture: f/1.7Aperture: f/2.8Maximum image size12 MP20 MPInternal storageNone8GBMaximum wind resistance38 km/h38.5 km/hColor profilesNormal, dual native ISO, HDR technologyNormal, D-log

Who should get the DJI Air 2S? #

If your primary objective in purchasing a drone is to take your professional drone cinematography and photography to the next level, the DJI Air 2S is the better choice.

With the massive 1-inch sensor capable of recording 5.4 K /30 f and 20MP, impeccable footage quality is assured.

Further, the drone has four-directional obstacle sensors, meaning it can fare well even in places dominated by many obstacles. 

Additional features and capabilities, such as digital zoom and the ability to function effectively in low light conditions, make the drone even more reliable for videography and photography.

What is the DJI Air 2S used for? #

The DJI Air 2S is packed with a powerful camera featuring 1-inch CMOS sensors, a compact body design weighing less than 600 grams, and impeccable autonomous capabilities, making it the ultimate drone for professional creators.

You can always take it with you wherever you want and create stunning footage for your audience.

» MORE: 6 Most-Common Problems with Mavic Air 2s (Must-Read)

Is the DJI Air 2S good for beginners? #

If you have little drone experience, you may wonder whether the DJI Air 2S is good for beginners.

The good news is that the DJI Air 2S is a compact drone that is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including the 4-directional obstacle sensing system that makes it easy for beginners to fly the drone.

While the advanced features and impeccable camera quality are normally more appealing to experienced pilots, beginners will enjoy flying the drone equally.

Who should get the DJI Mini 3? #

The DJI Mini 3 is a perfect option for pilots passionate about recreational flying. For starters, it is a sub-250g drone. Hence, no need to register it if you are using it specifically for hobby purposes.

Besides being a drone of choice for hobby enthusiasts, the DJI Mini 3 is also excellent for pilots who need vertical shooting, the ability to follow objects, capture 4k/60p video, and create a Hyperlapse.

» MORE: DJI Avata vs. DJI Mini 3 Pro (Here’s My Choice)

Is the DJI Mini 3 worth it? #

The DJI Mini 3 is a good option if you own a Mini 2 and feel it is time to upgrade to a better drone.

It features excellent flight time, downward obstacle sensing, true vertical shooting, and many other features that will intrigue your content creation and recreational ventures.

DJI Mini 3 vs. DJI Air 2S: Which is right for you? #

Now that you have a good understanding of how the two drones compare, your choice highly depends on how you want to use your drone and how much you want to spend.

If you are into professional cinematography and want a drone capable of top-quality footage, the DJI Air 2S is the better option.

The advanced features instilled in this drone have the potential to elevate your professional ventures to the next level.

On the other hand, if you want to invest in a drone for leisure and mild content creation, the DJI Mini 3 will suffice.

Moreover, it is lightweight and budget-friendly, meaning you would not have to spend much of your money to acquire it.


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