DJI Mini 4 Professional evaluation: One of the best tiny drone

Whether or not they’re used for capturing gorgeous flyover pictures of nature or for inspecting a second story roof after a storm, tiny digital camera drones have discovered their place in society. The DJI Mini collection has been an on the spot success and the best drone for inexperienced persons and fans alike. I used to be already a fan of the Mini 3 Professional, and now the Mini 4 Professional is a transparent improve in nearly each method.

DJI Mini 4 Professional

Editor’s Alternative

DJI’s fourth-generation Mini sticks to a tried and true system, carrying ahead most of the nice qualities of the Mini 3 whereas enhancing many facets.


  • Small and transportable design
  • Sub-250g takeoff weight
  • Nice digital camera and versatile gimbal
  • 34 minute flight time

  • No AirSense ADS-B transponder
  • Ultralight drones battle in wind

Worth, availability, and specs

Anticipate to spend at the very least $800

The Mini 4 Professional begins at $759 direct from DJI or from a number of different retailers. This consists of the drone, a single battery, and the RC-N2 controller, which requires plugging in a smartphone to behave as a touchscreen. It’s a bit expensive, however an additional $200 ($959 whole) replaces the controller with the RC 2, which has a built-in touchscreen and operates the drone with out a cellphone.

Nevertheless, the Fly Extra Combo is a well-liked possibility for $1,099 and consists of the drone, three batteries, the RC 2 controller, a carrying case, and a battery charger designed to carry all three batteries. If you happen to’re okay with elevating takeoff weight over 250g, an additional $60 upgrades the batteries to the prolonged Flight Plus fashions.

Don’t overlook, the drone solely consists of 8GB of inside reminiscence, so it actually wants a quick microSD card to seize any cheap quantity of high-definition video and pictures.



Digital camera
48MP 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, f/1.7 aperture

16 m/s horizontal (36mph), 5 m/s vertical


20 km


148×94×64 mm (folded), 298×373×101 mm (unfolded)

Video Decision
4K (3840×2160) @ 100 fps, or 1080p @ 200fps

Video Codecs
H.264/H.265, MP4/MOV

Colour Profiles
Regular, HLG, D-Log M

150 Mbps

Battery Life
34 min (normal battery), 45 min (Flight Plus battery)

{Hardware} high quality and design

Don’t repair what isn’t damaged

I’m going to be saying this fairly a couple of occasions throughout this evaluation, however little or no modified between the Mini 3 Professional and the Mini 4 Professional. That actually applies to the physique, which seems to be practically similar except for some new sensors and a few very refined tweaks to the design. In any other case, the physique is made from DJI’s normal mild grey plastic, and the propeller arms fold identical to earlier Mini fashions. Sadly, this additionally means the propellers are locked to the motors with screws somewhat than springs, however it’s a small value to pay for weight discount.


DJI Mini 3 Professional evaluation: One of the best choose for a small drone

The near-perfect drone for nearly all people

And talking of weight, the Mini line is understood for being designed with a takeover weight that hardly limbos below 250g. This offers it a particular standing as hobbyist tools and avoids the minor price and inconvenience of FAA registration, and permits for fewer flight restrictions within the US and lots of different international locations. In fact, remember the fact that industrial use nonetheless requires a Half 107 within the US, and drone legal guidelines could apply.

Distant ID: Sure, AirSense: No

Let’s speak about communication requirements. Distant ID isn’t required for drones weighing lower than 250g, however it’s nice to see the Mini 4 Professional remains to be geared up with a transmitter simply in case extra weight is added or the heavier Flight Plus batteries are used.

Nevertheless, DJI didn’t embody its AirSense ADS-B transponder for speaking with and detecting close by manned plane. It’s not that it is a necessity for a tiny drone, however it was added to the Air 3 and Mavic 3 and would assist pilots to forestall potential flight dangers — and any potential unfavourable publicity.


DJI Air 3 evaluation: Jack of all trades, grasp of 1

That is the suitable option to do two cameras

Watch these headwinds

Each technology appears to come back with enhancements to the motors and propellers, and DJI says the Mini 4 can deal with a bit extra turbulence than earlier fashions, however it’s nonetheless fairly susceptible to wind. Don’t get me mistaken, you received’t even discover a light breeze; but when the wind picks up, it’s more likely to push round any light-weight drone.

I not often encounter vital wind within the spots I fly, however there was a day when a heavy breeze abruptly picked up and I might sense the Mini 4 struggling to fly into the wind as I introduced it again for a touchdown. On one other event, I took it out for a dawn timelapse on a mountain prime, and whereas I set a stationary place, the temperature adjustments brought on sufficient wind to maneuver and shake the drone fairly a bit, ruining the video.

DJI Mini 4 Pro In a mossy tree limb with sun rays in the background

Eyes in every single place

DJI can lastly boast that its entire lineup of Mavic drones have full impediment avoidance in each path. The Mini 4 Professional imaginative and prescient sensors now cowl nearly each angle for higher impediment avoidance, together with above or behind the drone. This wasn’t performed by way of the addition of latest sensors, however as a substitute by adjusting the place of the earlier mannequin’s sensors and widening their discipline of view.

In consequence, DJI enabled a number of of the extra superior flight modes, identical to it just lately did for the Air 3. This consists of a number of beforehand unavailable or restricted monitoring pictures, plus the Waypoints mode.

Digital camera high quality and video pattern

DJI Mini 4 Pro tight shot of the camera with blades of grass poking up

Filling within the gaps

The Mini line didn’t begin with the very best cameras, however they have been ok to have enjoyable flying round and getting some okay pictures. That every one modified when the Mini 3 Professional started transport with a digital camera that was successfully similar to its bigger siblings, the Air 2 and Air 3.

So has DJI leveled up the digital camera for the fourth technology Mini Professional? Technically sure, it’s higher; however I truthfully can’t spot the variations. Outdoors of some generational enhancements to the sensor that ought to squeeze a bit extra element from low-light environments, the standard is nearly unchanged. Let’s be trustworthy, it’s tough to enhance when the cameras are already so good.

Whereas there’s not a lot new to say about visible high quality, there are nonetheless some nice technical enhancements. Body charges have been elevated to match the Air 3, permitting extra choices for capturing sluggish movement pictures. Taking pictures modes can now prime out at 4K@100 and 1080p@200, up from 4K@60 and 1080p@120 within the Mini 3 Professional.

I’m additionally happy to say that the Mini 4 Professional helps 10-bit HLG and D-Log M coloration profiles (along with 8-bit Regular), identical to the Air 3. The Mini 3 Professional solely supported Regular and D-Cinelike, which didn’t enable for as a lot flexibility, and required further work to match colours with different DJI cameras. HLG and D-Log M can usually get extra dynamic vary in sophisticated lighting environments; but in addition, DJI appears to be standardizing round D-Log M in most client cameras, and making it a reasonably good selection if working with a number of drones.

DJI Mini 4 Pro with Wide Angle lens, sitting on concrete with greenery in the background

The entire earlier Mini 3 Professional options stay, together with the particular vertical mode that rotates the digital camera 90° for an Instagram-friendly facet ratio. Whereas I nonetheless don’t discover it significantly helpful, it’s significantly extra succesful now due to the expanded monitoring capabilities, which have been nearly inoperable on the Mini 3.

Unsuitable option to begin with Interchangeable lenses

For the primary time ever, DJI is experimenting with interchangeable lenses, and I really like the concept of including extra potential focal lengths with out essentially packing on further cameras (and weight) just like the Air 3 and Mavic 3.

DJI Mini 4 Pro drone with ND filters and wide angle lens in open cases on concrete

Nevertheless, just one mannequin is out there at launch, a $39 extensive angle lens that adjusts the sector of view from 81.5° to 114° in pictures and from 75° to 100° in video. That may appear to be loads on paper, however in precise use, it simply feels just like the drone was moved again a couple of toes. I can think about it being helpful in tight places, however it’s not completely different sufficient from the usual lens.

Battery life and charging

Constant as all the time

DJI drones have a popularity for distinctive battery life, and nothing has modified in that division. If there’s any shock right here, it’s that the battery life barely modified from the earlier technology, and really went down for some customers.

DJI Mini 4 Pro, controller, and batteries inside of the bag from the fly more kit, sitting against a tree and on the grass

Precisely just like the Mini 3 Professional, the Mini 4 Professional is rated for 34 minutes with the usual battery. Nevertheless, the Flight Plus battery, which weighs a bit extra and pushes the Mini 4 Professional over the 250g threshold, truly nets simply 45 minutes as a substitute of the 47 minutes that the Mini 3 Professional might hit.

Charging remains to be pretty sluggish, and doesn’t profit as a lot from a high-wattage charger in comparison with the Air 3 batteries. As all the time, it is a motive to contemplate the Fly Extra Combo for the extra batteries and a helpful cradle for mechanically charging the batteries one-by-one.

Competitors: What different drones are on the market?

DJI’s different choices may curiosity you

DJI Mini 4 Pro drone, controller, and battery pack facing into the sunset

Most individuals know DJI doesn’t have a lot viable competitors on this specific market and value level, so it’s principally a query of which mannequin to get, and that comes all the way down to the use instances. For anyone contemplating the Mini 4 Professional, it might be value stepping as much as the Air 3 to have the secondary medium tele digital camera. Alternatively, for people who don’t want the very particular enhancements of the Mini 4 Professional digital camera, it’s attainable to avoid wasting cash whereas sacrificing comparatively little by selecting up a Mini 3 Professional, and even the non-Professional variant.

In case you are trying exterior of DJI, there have been some attention-grabbing drones coming from Autel, however none are actually designed to straight compete with the Mini line. However in case you’re already trying on the Mavic 3 and Air 3, there are alternatives. In fact, identical to DJI, Autel faces a few of the similar scrutiny as a Chinese language firm.

Do you have to purchase the DJI Mini 4 Professional?

The Mini 4 Professional is presumably the very best small drone in the marketplace

I feel I stated it greatest in my evaluation of the Mini 3 Professional once I stated it’s straightforward to advocate to just about anyone that wishes a photograph/video drone, and that sentiment continues unwaveringly with the Mini 4 Professional. Put merely, DJI managed to improve a number of facets of the earlier generations with out making any significant sacrifices, and at no significant enhance to cost. It’s merely higher throughout the board whereas retaining every little thing that was already nice.

The one caveat is that a few of the newest enhancements is probably not crucial and even related to many individuals, so it’s sensible to avoid wasting cash by selecting up an older Mini 3 (normal or Professional). Both method, given the light-weight and transportable design, decrease price, and fewer flight restrictions, the Mini 3 and 4 are comfortably the very best selections for most individuals.

A DJI Mini 4 Pro drone on a white background

DJI Mini 4 Professional

Editor’s selection

DJI’s fourth-generation Mini sticks to a tried and true system, carrying ahead most of the nice qualities of the Mini 3 whereas enhancing many facets.

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