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DJI Mini 4 Pro vs. Mavic 2 Pro (Here’s My Choice)

17 mins
Drone Blog
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Hey, welcome to my review of the Mini 4 Pro and the Mavic 2 Pro.

Having been in the drone industry for a while, one drone that I have used extensively is the Mavic 2 Pro.

It works well for a wide range of commercial tasks like mapping, filming, and construction monitoring, and it has been one of the most reliable drones from DJI so far.

But DJI recently released a new drone, the Mini 4 Pro. Yes, it’s a mini drone, but it comes with features we previously only saw in more advanced consumer drones. Is the DJI Mini 4 Pro good enough to replace the Mavic 2 Pro?

Read on to learn more about these drones and why I prefer the Mavic 2 Pro.

DJI Mini 4 Pro Overview #

Being the newest kid in the block, below are some features that make the DJi Mini 4 Pro quite popular.

  • Sub-250 gram weight for portability and regulatory exemption.
  • Extended battery life for longer flights.
  • Decent sensor size (1/1.3-inch CMOS) for above-average footage quality.
  • Vertical shooting mode for creating social media content.
  • Improved safety features such as 360-degree obstacle detection and avoidance.
  • More flight modes like Follow Me, Cruise Control, Waypoints, and Night Mode make filming easier.
  • D-Log M and HLG for better image processing.
  • DJI Fly app for ease of use.

» MORE: DJI Mini 4 Pro Review (Is It Worth to Upgrade?)

DJI Mavic 2 Pro Overview #

While it was released in 2018, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro has features that DJI still includes in the drones they released much later. These include:

  • 1-inch Hasselblad sensor for high-quality imagery.
  • Advanced intelligent flight modes such as Waypoints to explore various creative shooting techniques.
  • 2 shooting angles to give you the feel of a dual-camera setup.
  • HLG and D-Log M for added post-processing flexibility.
  • Decent flight time for a wide range of activities.
  • Decent range for a drone released 5 years ago.
  • DJI GO 4 app offers advanced features.

» MORE: DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review

Quick Verdict #

While the Mini 4 Pro is the newer drone, it doesn’t quite yet beat the quality and reliability presented by the Mavic 2 Pro.

The Mavic 2 Pro has a sturdy build, a larger sensor, compatibility with some enterprise features, and features we still see in later drones like the Mavic 3 drones.

The Mavic 2 Pro was later replaced by the Mavic 3 series, which is another incredible drone series, but if you can’t afford any of the Mavic 3 drones, the Mavic 2 Pro should be your next option.

The Mini 4 Pro is lightweight, weighing less than 250 grams, and is appealing to casual users. Compared to a drone like the Mavic 2 Pro, it seems fragile.

However, it has many features that Mini lovers adore, making it a perfect backup drone or the ideal drone for users who prioritize weight and portability over anything else.

» MORE: Mini 3 Pro vs. Mavic 2 Pro (Which is Better?)

What are the main differences? #

DJI Mini 4 Pro vs Mavic 2 Pro: What’s new?

The Mini 4 Pro packs many of the features we have been looking forward to in Mini drones, but the Mavic 2 Pro already had most of these features, and more.

Below are some reasons that I still rely on my trusty old Mavic 2 Pro.

  • Larger sensor – While DJI has included a larger sensor in the Mini 4 Pro than the one we saw on its predecessors, like the DJI Mini 2, it’s still not as large as the one you get from the Mavic 2 Pro. A larger sensor makes all the difference in the quality of footage you get.
  • Variable aperture – Many drones, including the Mini drones, lack this feature, so this is a huge plus, especially if you want to do professional photography.
  • Stability – The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is larger, heavier, and more stable in strong winds than the lightweight Mini 4 Pro.
  • More control – The DJI Mavic 2 Pro comes with the DJI GO 4 app, giving you more control than the DJI Fly App.
  • Two shooting modes – This gives you a feeling similar to the DJI Mavic 3 or the Air 3, both of which come with two cameras.

» MORE: DJI Air 3 vs. Mavic 2 Pro (Here’s My Choice)

DJI Mini 4 Pro #

The DJi Mini 4 Pro is the latest addition to the Mini drone series. DJI has once again proved they can fit advanced features in a miniature drone.

As a result, you now don’t have to get a heavier drone or risk using third-party apps to access features like obstacle avoidance or ActiveTrack; these features and more are built into this drone.

» MORE: DJI Mini 4 Pro – Initial Setup (Unboxing to First Flight with Video)

DJI surprised us with the DJI Mini 3 Pro a year ago, which was quite impressive. At some point, I even considered the DJi Mini 3 Pro for some commercial work, and some people have used it for such.

Released just one year later, the DJI Mini 4 Pro is even better.

If you are a traveler, content creator, or just a casual user looking for their first drone and have the budget for it, the DJI Mini 4 Pro is a very capable drone.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro #

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro was officially released in August 2018. It was part of DJI’s Mavic 2 series, including the Mavic 2 Zoom.

The release of the Mavic 2 Pro marked an upgrade to its predecessor, the original Mavic Pro, and brought several improvements and new features to the table.

» MORE: EXO Drones vs. DJI (Which Drones Are Best?)

Here are a few reasons why the Mavic 2 Pro was released and what it aimed to achieve:

  • Enhanced Camera System: The Mavic 2 Pro featured a collaboration between DJI and Hasselblad, a renowned Swedish camera manufacturer. The partnership resulted in a high-quality camera with a 1-inch CMOS sensor and adjustable aperture, providing better image and video quality, especially in challenging lighting conditions.
  • Improved Flight Performance: The Mavic 2 Pro boasted improved flight performance, including longer flight times and a more advanced obstacle avoidance system. These enhancements were designed to provide users with a better and safer flying experience.
  • Versatility with Two Models: DJI released two versions of the Mavic 2 series, the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom. This strategy allowed consumers to choose between a drone with a superior camera system (Mavic 2 Pro) or one with advanced zoom capabilities (Mavic 2 Zoom), depending on their specific needs and preferences.
  • Continuation of Mavic Line: The Mavic series is famous for its compact and foldable design, making it highly portable for hobbyist and professional drone users. It set the stage for the Mavic 3 drones, another series of high-performance prosumer drones from DJI.

Head-to-Head Comparison #

Weight and Design #

Winner: Depends

Both of these drones target different audiences. That’s why you should consider what you need the drone for before determining if the weight will be an issue.

The DJI Mini 4 Pro comes from a series of drones designed for casual users, travelers, and people looking for lightweight drones that they won’t have to register with the authorities.

If that’s what you are looking for, then the DJI Mini 4 Pro is the winner here.

On the other hand, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is heavier, weighing 907 grams. As such, it seems ideal for professional photographers or commercial users who prioritize imaging capabilities.

The trade-off in weight is often acceptable, considering you will be getting a larger sensor, more control with the app, and higher image quality.

It’s worth noting that advancements in drone technology have led to the development of lighter drones with improved capabilities, as we see with the Mini 4 Pro.

DJI got very close this time. Still, we have yet to see a Mini drone that performs as well as the Mavic 2 Pro.

» MORE: Traveling With a Drone (Is It Worth It?)

Photo and Video Recording #

Winner: DJI Mavic 2 Pro

As I mentioned above, DJI got really close to making a Mini drone that could pass for a professional drone, but I would still go for the Mavic 2 Pro. Here’s why:

  • Sensor size – A larger sensor gives you better footage and a wider dynamic range; the footage you get from a larger sensor is more likely to give you better-looking printouts than a smaller sensor. Even when we go down to the maximum resolution, you get 20MP stills from the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, while you can only get 12MP stills from the Mini 4 Pro. According to most professional photographers I have come across, the 20MP is the bare minimum for professional work. The DJI Mini 4 Pro does come with 48MP, but this is not a true 48MP. Instead, it’s an enhanced 12MP, which some people have complained that it introduces noise and I wouldn’t pick it over a true 20MP.
  • Variable aperture – The Mavic 2 Pro offers variable apertures ranging from f2.8 to f11. This may be a limited range compared to a DSLR, but for a drone, it’s one of the largest ranges you will come across. Coupled with the larger sensor, variable aperture gives you more flexibility in adjusting a shot to your liking before resorting to ND filters and polarizers.
  • Two shooting modes – The DJI Mavic 2 Pro features two primary shooting modes, primarily when shooting in 4K: “HQ mode” and “FOV mode.” The “4K HQ mode” utilizes a pixel-to-pixel readout from a cropped sensor area, delivering the best 4K image quality without downsampling. It offers a converted FOV of 55 degrees, potentially enhancing image quality and cinematic perspectives, and supports 10-bit video. On the other hand, the “FOV mode” allows users to adjust the field of view for a broader or narrower perspective, providing flexibility in capturing scenes based on individual preferences and shooting conditions.

However, the DJI Mini 4 Pro is not all that inferior regarding photo and video recording. It shoots in 4K at up to 100 fps, which is great when you want to create the highest-quality footage.

And it also comes with 10-bit D-Log M and M, also available in the Mavic 2 Pro, giving more room for editing the footage to your liking.

But the vertical shooting mode is one feature that sets it apart from the Mavic 2 Pro.

This mode allows you to change the gimbal’s orientation from landscape to portrait, allowing you to shoot portrait footage that you can readily use for social media.

You can achieve this with footage from the Mavic 2 Pro by cropping into the footage, but it’s a good option to have. Still, this doesn’t make up for everything else you get from the Mavic 2 Pro.

» MORE: Camera Technology in Drones (Explained)

Intelligent Flight Modes #

Winner: DJI Mini 4 Pro

This is one area that DJI has advanced over the years, making some flight modes that were previously only available in larger, more expensive drones now available in small and cheaper drones.

While the DJI Mavic 2 Pro already has some of the flight modes we see in the Mini 4 Pro, those in the latter are more upgraded. Let’s have a look at them.

  • ActiveTrack – The DJI Mini 4 Pro features the latest ActiveTrack 360, allowing you to track the subject in different directions. This is unlike the previous ActiveTrack versions, such as the ActiveTrack 2.0 found in the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, which allows you to track the subject in two directions. If you love creating a lot of follow-me content, you can get more creative with the DJI Mini 4 Pro than with the Mavic 2 Pro.
  • Waypoints – This feature allows the drone to follow pre-recorded waypoints automatically. You can use this feature to get to a point or to replicate a shot at different times for a time-lapse. It’s the first time we are seeing this feature in a Mini drone, but it came with the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 3 drones.
  • Night mode – Like the Mavic 3 drones, the DJI Mini 4 Pro now comes with night mode, which enhances the ISO and reduces noise to produce better nighttime or low-light shots. This slightly helps compensate for the smaller sensor. While the Mavic 2 Pro doesn’t have a Night Mode, it does have a larger sensor and adjustable aperture that will help you achieve almost the same results as the night mode feature.
  • Cruise Control – This feature allows the drone to keep flying at a constant speed without much input from the pilot. You can use it to explore an area where you use the gimbal as the drone flies, fly to a specific point, or film at a constant speed, which is sometimes challenging to do manually. The DJI Mini 4 Pro is again the first Mini drone to have this feature. While the Mavic 2 Pro doesn’t have the Cruise Control feature, it has a similar variation called TapFly, which works similarly.

» MORE: DJI Intelligent Flight Modes (Including Quickshots & Mastershots)

Range and Transmission #

Winner: DJI Mini 4 Pro

This is another area where the DJI Mini 4 Pro excels, but only because it was released much later than the Mavic 2 Pro.

The DJI Mini 4 Pro comes with the newest transmission system, the OcuSync 4.0, which features more antennas, more processing power, and improved transmission performance even in advanced conditions.

It promises a range of up to 12 miles, the longest we have seen on a consumer drone.

On the other hand, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro features the OcuSync 2.0, which has fewer antennas and a slower operating system.

Having used it for several projects, I can attest that I could fly it up to 2.5 miles away in open areas. But trees or any other structures reduced that to less than a mile.

This video shows the user pushing the DJI Mini 4 Pro to about 4 miles from the controller.

More antennas and a longer range are good, but the DJI Mavic 2 Pro isn’t that bad, and I wouldn’t trade off image quality for the fancy new transmission.

» MORE: DJI Transmission System (Everything You Need to Know)

Obstacle Avoidance #

Winner: DJI Mini 4 Pro

This feature is new in the Mini drones but has been in the Mavic drone series for a while, including the Mavic 2 Pro.

With both drones, you get all-round obstacle detection, which makes automated modes like ActiveTrack, Cruise Control, TapFly, etc., more practical since you don’t have to worry about the drone crashing into things.

But as I always mention, you should always be mindful of the area you are flying in since the drone may not detect all obstacles.

» MORE: Obstacle Avoidance in DJI Drones (Explained for Beginners)

Flight Time #

Winner: DJI Mini 4 Pro

Once again, the DJi Mini 4 Pro wins courtesy of being released much later. It comes with a 34-minute battery and an option to upgrade to a 45-minute one, though the latter is unavailable in some regions.

On the other hand, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro comes with a 31-minute battery, which is a bit shorter than the Mini 4 Pro but not inadequate; it’s enough for most activities, and you can do a lot more when you have several batteries.

However, when talking about batteries, we must consider factors that affect battery life, such as battery health, battery cycles, drone speed, and environmental factors, such as temperature and wind.

Being heavier and sturdier, when exposed to high wind speeds, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro will hold its position better and will not use more battery power than the Mini 4 Pro.

On the other hand, the Mavic 2 Pro is discontinued, so it may be challenging to find a new one.

Buying a used drone means getting used batteries, which may not perform as well as they did when new. But if you are lucky enough to get a new or well-maintained drone, you should be able to get the most out of it.

» MORE: Flight Time of All DJI Drones (Explained)

Controllers #

Winner: DJI Mini 4 Pro

The DJI Mini 4 Pro comes with two controller options: the DJI RC-N2, similar to the RC-N1 you may have seen in previous Mavic or Mini drones, and the DJI RC 2, a more advanced version of the DJI RC.

The DJI RC-N2 upgrades from the RC-N1, which has been the standard controller for most DJI drones, and it requires attaching a smartphone at the top for use as a screen.

It’s one of the most ergonomic controllers I have used, and it’s easy to set up and use.

On the other hand, the DJI RC and RC 2 come with an inbuilt screen, so you don’t need to use a smartphone.

This makes it even easier to set up, and the latest upgrades eliminate the lags, connectivity issues, and other issues people have had with using smartphones.

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro also came with two controller variations: one that needed a smartphone and the DJI Smart Controller with an inbuilt screen.

Compared to the RC-N2, the Mavic 2 Pro controller is not that ergonomic.

I often found it uncomfortable since the smartphone goes at the bottom, not the top, and it gets even worse when you have to use the cable port at the bottom instead of the one on the side to connect to your smartphone.

On the other hand, the DJI Remote Smart Controller helped solve this by eliminating the need for a smartphone, offering a 1080p display, a smoother connection to your drone, and an overall easier setup.

However, it is much heavier than the DJI RC 2 and has since been discontinued, so it’s incompatible with the later drones.

You can still get a used one, which brings you closer to what you would get with the RC 2.

On the other hand, the DJI Mini 4 Pro comes with the newest controllers and transmission system, which are incompatible with the previous drones but may be compatible with the drones DJI releases later.

» MORE: DJI RC vs DJI RC-N1 (All You Need to Know)

Apps #

DJI GO 4 and DJI Fly are two applications developed by DJI for controlling their respective drone models, offering distinct features and user interfaces tailored to different flying experiences.

DJI GO 4, the predecessor to DJI Fly, is compatible with various advanced drone models like the Mavic series, Phantom 4 series, and Inspire 2.

Known for its comprehensive features, including Intelligent Flight Modes and advanced camera controls, DJI GO 4 caters to enthusiasts and professionals seeking an extensive suite of capabilities.

On the other hand, DJI Fly is designed for newer consumer-focused models like the Mavic Mini and Air series, including the Mini 4 Pro. With a simplified and user-friendly interface, DJI Fly is especially appealing to beginners.

Its streamlined design and essential flight modes provide a straightforward and enjoyable experience for those entering the world of drone piloting.

It excels in its accessibility, making it an excellent choice for users who prioritize ease of use and quick setup.

» MORE: DJI GO 4 vs. Litchi vs. Autopilot: Which App is Best?

Third-Party Compatibility #

While it uses an older app, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is also compatible with third-party apps like Litchi, which help unlock an even larger world of possibilities. This is thanks to the availability of the SDK.

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is also compatible with the GS Pro app, a DJI enterprise app that helps create flight routes for mapping, monitoring, inspection, and even search and rescue applications.

If you are in any of these industries, with this app, you don’t have to rely on third-party apps like DroneDeploy.

We are yet to see an SDK for the DJI Mini 4 Pro, so you are limited to what the DJI Fly App offers, and this drone is not yet compatible with any enterprise functionalities.

  • DJI Drones Not Turning ON / OFF (Solved)
  • Does DroneDeploy Work with Autel Drones? (Explained)

Conclusion #

While the Mavic 2 Pro, released in 2018, might not be the latest offering from DJI with models like the Mavic 3 in the market, it still holds considerable appeal.

For users unable to invest in the latest drones, like the Mavic 3 series, the Mavic 2 Pro is a compelling alternative.

It boasts a solid track record, a larger sensor, a variable aperture for creative control, applications in various commercial industries, and a stable build that performs well in challenging conditions.

The Mini 4 Pro makes a good case, but it targets a different audience, prioritizing portability, extended battery life, and upgraded intelligent flight modes.

With features like ActiveTrack 360, Waypoints, Night Mode, and Cruise Control, this sub-250-gram drone caters particularly well to casual users.

» MORE: Autel EVO 2 Pro vs. DJI Air 3 (Which One Is Better?)


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