Whether you’re a professional, someone looking to get into drones as a hobby, or somewhere in between, DJI has a drone for everyone. Two of the most popular drones of the moment are the DJI Mini 2 and the DJI Air 2S. What are the differences and similarities between these two drones and more importantly, which one should you buy?
Table of Contents
Choosing between different drones is challenging, especially if you’re fairly new to the hobby and aren’t sure how to make sense of each drone’s different features and characteristics.
Fear not, because today, we’re covering all the ins and outs you’ll need to know before making a choice between the DJI Mini 2 and the DJI Air 2S. Let’s start with a table so you can see the specifications of these two drones side by side, and then we’ll dive deeper into each model.
|DJI Mini 2||DJI Air 2S|
|Weight||< 8.78 oz.||< 21.0 oz.|
|Size||6.2×8.0×3.0 in.||7.2×10.0x3.0 in.|
|Flying Time||31 min||31 min|
|Transm. Distance||6.2 mi.||7.5 mi.|
|Photo||1/2.3″ CMOS, 12MP||1” CMOS, 20MP|
|More Details & Price||More Details & Price|
About the DJI Mini 2
DJI’s Mini series was born from a desire to create a powerful drone that was small and light enough to skirt the need for FAA registration. Any drone weighing more than 250g must be registered with the FAA, and the drone and pilot’s locations are broadcast any time the drone is in flight.
Related: DJI Mini 2 vs DJI Mini SE
This regulation only applies to professional quality drones, as toy models are typically lighter than the 250g threshold. But, these lightweight toy models don’t have the features, battery life, or flight capabilities of a real drone, which is where the DJI Mini series comes in.
The newest version, the Mini 2, maintains the same tiny footprint as the original, with some notable upgrades that help make the Mini 2 a compelling choice for any drone pilot, not just newbies.
The Mini 2 offers a monster camera upgrade over the original and now shoots in 4K. This model also adds Ocusync, which is a significant upgrade over the WiFi-based system in the original Mini. With Ocusync, the Mini 2 can transmit HD video over a distance of over six miles.
- Weight: 242g
- Flight Dimensions: 245mm x 289mm x 56mm (LxWxH)
- Max Speed: 16m/s
- Max Ascent Speed: 5m/s (depending on mode)
- Max Descent Speed: 3m/s (depending on mode)
- Service Ceiling: 4000m
- Gimbal: 3-axis
- Camera Sensor: 1/2.3” CMOS
- Megapixels: 12
- Max Video Resolution: 4K @ 30fps, FHD @ 60fps
- Live Video: 720P @ 30fps
- Onboard Storage: N/A
- PACK LIGHT, FLY FREE: at less than 249...
- OCUSYNC 2.0 VIDEO TRANSMISSION: mini 2...
- POWERFUL PERFORMANCE: with a max battery...
About the DJI Air 2S
The DJI Air 2S is one of DJI’s top-of-the-line models. It boasts all the crucial features and functionality that professional drone pilots need while maintaining an affordable price point that drone enthusiasts on a budget can still get behind.
The Air 2S delivers incredible image and video clarity thanks to its 1” CMOS sensor and 20MP camera. The Air 2S can shoot 5.4K video at 30fps and 4K at 60fps, which makes this drone an absolute dream to use for professional photo and videographers.
While this model is loaded with professional features, it still manages to deliver impressive battery life. You’ll be able to keep this bird in the air for 31 minutes under ideal conditions, which is remarkable given the specs of this drone.
The imaging sensor supports shooting in both JPG and RAW, and it works at 20MP at all times. The result is images with less noise and more room to edit, even compared to the whopping 48MP that the Air 2 offers.
The Air 2S also provides a suite of safety and monitoring features that outpace virtually every other drone in this class besides the Mavic 2 Pro. This drone has forward, reverse, up, and down sensors to help you safely navigate while avoiding collisions.
This feature is also a massive benefit for novice pilots who will be able to avoid costly collisions thanks to these sensors.
DJI is well-known for its intuitive and user-friendly controllers, and the Air 2S is no different. This quadcopter is a joy to navigate, and the controller syncs effortlessly with any smartphone, allowing you to use your screen to navigate via the DJI Fly app.
With Occusync 3.0, the Air 2S is able to fly incredible distances, which is critical for shooting in remote environments.
Overall, the Air 2S is one of the most feature-rich drones on the market, and it delivers incredible photo and video quality. Editing is a breeze, and pros are sure to appreciate how much room to improve their raw footage and photos in post-processing.
- Weight: 595g
- Flight Dimensions: 183mm x 253mm x 77mm (LxWxH)
- Max Speed: 19m/s
- Max Ascent Speed: 6m/s (depending on mode)
- Max Descent Speed: 6m/s (depending on mode)
- Service Ceiling: 5000m
- Gimbal: 3-axis
- Camera Sensor: 1” CMOS
- Megapixels: 20
- Max Video Resolution: 5.4K @ 30fps, 4K @ 60fps, FHD @ 120fps
- Live Video: 1080P @ 30fps
- Onboard Storage: 8gb
- 【1-INCH IMAGE SENSOR】Equipped with a...
- 【MASTERSHOTS】The next evolution of...
- 【THE CENTER OF ATTENTION】FocusTrack...
How are the Mini 2 and Air 2S Different?
The Mini 2 and Air 2S have several significant differences separating the two, which makes it a bit easier to decide on the best option for your needs.
Starting with the camera, the Air 2S delivers an additional 8 megapixels over the Mini 2’s 12MP camera. The Air’s camera also has a much larger imaging sensor to deliver higher resolution for both photos and videos.
Checkout the following two video clips to get a better idea of what level of video quality both drones can produce.
As for drone performance, the Air 2S gets the nod by virtually every measure. It can fly a bit faster, farther, and higher than the Mini 2. The Air 2S also adds a suite of safety sensors that track what’s above, below, and beside the drone as it flies to prevent collisions.
While these drones both have a similar footprint, the Air 2S is considerably heavier than the tiny Mini 2, which weighs under 250 grams. At nearly 600 grams, the Air 2S is well over the size limit, so you’ll need to register with the FAA before flying your drone.
If you’re using the drone recreationally, registration is a nominal fee. But, if you’re using the drone as part of a business, things become a bit more complicated. To use a drone commercially, you’ll need to take a detailed certification exam to demonstrate your competency as a drone pilot.
How are the Mini 2 and Air 2S Similar?
When it comes to drones, DJI has long been the industry standard. While there’s plenty that separates the Mini 2 from the Air 2S, there are also a few similarities between these two drone models.
Both models offer an identical flight time of 31 minutes, an f/2.8 camera aperture, and both are compatible with the DJI Fly app, so the flight interface is virtually identical, as is the controller. While you’ll get more features with the Air 2S, both drones feel about the same when you’re flying them.
What’s Better About the DJI Mini 2?
The Mini 2 does have a few notable things working in its favor. Compared to the Air 2S, the Mini 2 is much more affordable, and you can begin flying it as soon as you unpack the box without any registration.
The DJI Mini 2 is one of the best drone values on the market. While this model may lack many of the high-end features that professional photographers and videographers need to elevate their work, the Mini 2 provides more than enough features for the average user.
Another significant benefit of the Mini 2 is because of its tiny footprint; it doesn’t require you to register the drone with the FAA.
While the registration process is easy and inexpensive for most users, those who use a drone commercially, i.e., as part of a small business, have to take a test to become certified drone operators, which requires time and practice.
Since you don’t have to register the Mini 2 or take any certification exams, this model is ideal for hobbyists and small businesses who want to get in the air as quickly as they can without having to worry about the intricacies of piloting a drone professionally.
What’s Better About the DJI Air 2S?
While both drones are excellent options that bring a lot to the table, the Air 2S is the superior drone by practically every measure. This model is for serious hobbyists and value-conscious professionals who need top-quality imaging and production features.
If you’re primarily interested in photo and video, you’ll be pleased with the Air 2S’ 20-megapixel camera that shoots video with a resolution as high as 5.4K. The camera also delivers up to 8x zoom, making it easy to get the perfect shot without having to be close to your subject.
The camera supports a variety of file types, which makes post-processing a breeze. In fact, if you’re using relatively lightweight editing software, you may find that the capabilities of the drone outpace what you’re able to accomplish in post-production.
The Air 2S also offers onboard storage, which you won’t find with the Mini 2. Granted, it’s only 8gb of storage, so you’ll still be relying on SD cards if you’re shooting in 4K, but it still comes in handy in emergencies.
The Air 2S is also the superior drone from a performance perspective. This model flies faster and farther and is also more resistant to wind than the Mavic Mini 2. While the Mini 2 only has a single downward sensor for collision avoidance, the Air 2S adds three additional sensors to help you pilot the drone safely.
Who Should Get the DJI Mini 2?
The DJI Mini 2 has a ton of things going for it, which makes it an attractive choice for nearly everyone. Professionals are bound to appreciate the features and specs that the Mini 2 provides, while beginner and novice pilots are sure to appreciate how easy the Mini 2 is to use.
The most significant benefit of the Mini 2 is its size. At under 250g, this drone doesn’t need to be registered with the FAA. You’re ready to begin flying this drone straight out of the box without paying any fees, registering with the FAA, or taking a flight competency course.
The Mini 2 is also an excellent option for anyone who’s looking to squeeze as much value as possible from their drone. DJI manages to include many of the most critical features of a professional drone, like 4K video, 2x zoom, an intuitive interface, and impressive battery life.
There aren’t many drones in this class that can compete with the Mini 2.
The Mini 2 is ideal for beginner and novice pilots and professionals who could benefit from a drone but aren’t interested in becoming certified operators.Get the DJI Mini 2 on Amazon
Who Should Get the DJI Air 2S?
The DJI Air 2S is a performance-driven drone that masterfully accomplishes virtually any shot you could need. In addition to the amazing camera, its feature set is sure to entice even the techiest professional photographers and videographers.
Best of all, DJI somehow manages to keep this drone accessible to those on a budget, making it arguably the most value-rich drone on the market.
The DJI Air 2S is one of the best choices on the market for experienced drone pilots who are looking to take a step up from their current model.
The camera is professional by every measure, so it’s also a wise choice for videographers or photographers who need to bring their work to life without dropping $5,000 on a drone.Get the DJI Air 2S on Amazon
The DJI Mini series is one of the best and most feature-rich consumer drones on the market, whereas the new Air 2S model blurs the lines between a consumer device and a tool for professionals.
DJI knocked it out of the park when they developed both of these popular drones, and depending on what you’re looking for from a drone, you should have no trouble selecting the best option for you.
If you’re serious about video and photography, the Air 2S is a no-brainer. While it’s more expensive, the camera upgrades inherent to the Air 2S make it well worth the expense. The additional safety features also help to protect the drone when it’s in flight, which can help you avoid costly crashes.
Meanwhile, if you’re a novice or beginner who is looking for a simple drone you can have some fun with, the DJI Mini 2 should be an ideal fit. This drone still offers plenty of impressive features, and it’s a photo and video powerhouse in its own right, even if it’s outclassed by the pricier Air 2S.