DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S: which one to choose?

dji mini 2 vs air 2s 1

The DJI Mini 2 and the DJI Air 2S are not really in the same league. Although they both perform well, one is clearly lighter and more compact, and the other has superior features, especially in terms of image quality. Are you hesitating between these two models? Are you tempted to spend a little more money on the Air 2S? This comparison is for you! So, DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S, which one should you choose?

Features at a glance

Let’s start this DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S comparison with a quick overview of the two drones’ features side by side:

DJI Air 2SDJI Mini 2
Dimensions (L x W x H)180 × 97 × 80 mm folded
183 × 253 × 77 mm unfolded
138 x 81 x 58 mm folded
159 x 203 x 56 mm unfolded
Weight595g<249g
Camera sensor1″ CMOS sensor with 22mm lens, fixed f/2.8 aperture and 88° FOV1/2.3″ CMOS sensor with 24mm lens, fixed f/2.8 aperture and 83° FOV
Photo resolution20 MP12 MP
Video resolution5.4k to 30fps 4k to 60fps 2.7k to 60fps FHD to 120fps4k up to 30fps
2.7k up to 60fps
FHD up to 60fps
Max video rate150 Mbps100 Mbps
ISO Photo100-3200 (Auto)
100-12800 (Manual)
100-3200 (Auto)
100-3200 (Manual)
ISO Video100-3200 (Auto)
100-6400 (Manual)
100-3200 (Auto)
100-3200 (Manual)
Zoom4K/30fps : 4x
2.7K/60fps : 4x
2.7K/30fps : 6x
1080p/60fps : 6x
1080p/30fps : 8x
4K : 2x
2.7K : 3x
FHD : 4x
Memory8 GB (internal)
256 GB (Micro SD card slot)
256 GB (Micro SD card slot)
Video transmission distance12 km (Ocusync 3.0)10 km (Ocusync 2.0)
Wind resistance48-61 km/h (Level 8)30-38 km/h (Level 5)
Flight time31 minutes31 minutes
Max speed (Sport mode)68.4 km/h57.6 km/h
Obstacle detectionForwards, backwards, upwards, downwardsDownwards
PriceFrom 999€From 459€

DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S : design

dji mini 2 vs air 2s design

First point of this DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S comparison, the design. Both models feature the same folding design familiar to DJI drones, with folding arms that make them much easier to carry.

If your goal is to buy the lightest and smallest drone possible, then the DJI Mini 2 wins hands down. With its featherweight of 250g and dimensions of 138 x 81 x 58mm when folded and 159 x 203 x 56mm when its arms are unfolded, it offers the possibility of having an extremely compact drone without compromising too much on quality.

The DJI Air 2S is therefore heavier and larger (180 × 97 × 77 mm when folded and 183 × 253 × 77 mm when unfolded), but by keeping it under 600g, DJI has achieved a real technical feat given the many advanced features it comes with.

That said, the Air 2S fits easily into a small bag or carrying case and whichever model you choose, they both take up little space thanks to their foldable design and are therefore perfect for travelling.

Both drones are supplied with the same remote control, the DJI RC-N1 controller. However, their transmission technology is significantly different: the Mini 2 uses OcuSync 2.0 while the Air 2S uses the next version, OcuSync 3.0, which gives it a slightly longer transmission distance (12 km compared to 10 for the Mini 2).

Note that if you wish to upgrade the remote control, only the Air 2S is compatible with the Smart Controller which has a large 5.5 inch screen that displays live flight information and live camera footage, removing the need to use your smartphone for this function.

Regarding the fuselage, the DJI Air 2S has several sensors all around its fuselage in order to detect obstacles in all directions, whereas the DJI Mini 2 is satisfied with sensors positioned under its belly only and which are only used for flight stabilisation.

DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S : camera

dji mini 2 vs air 2s camera

One of the most important aspects of this DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S comparison is the camera. The sensor size of a camera is a very important criterion as it clearly indicates its ability to produce quality images. The larger the sensor, the more data they will capture and the better the resulting photos and videos.

On this point, the DJI Air 2S and its sensor 1-inch CMOS with a resolution of 20MP is far superior: images are sharper, more vivid and contain more information in highlights and shadows, allowing more flexibility in post-processing for colour correction. The Air 2S camera is largely suitable for professional use.

In comparison, the camera of the DJI Mini 2 and its 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor with a resolution of 12 MP is much smaller. However, this does not mean that the Mini 2 cannot produce good quality photos and images, quite the contrary. For its price, the image quality it produces is very good.

Beyond the pure image quality, the DJI Air 2S offers more features. It is capable of recording 5.4K video at up to 30fps, 4K at up to 60fps and 2.7K at up to 60fps and can record in both H.264 and H.265 with a maximum video bit rate of 150 Mbps. The DJI Mini 2 ‘just’ shoots 4K video at up to 30fps and 2.7K at up to 60fps, which is still impressive considering the size of the drone and will be enough for many pilots.

As far as colour profiles are concerned, the difference between the two drones is quite significant. The DJI Air 2S drone, in addition to a standard colour profile, can record HDR videos with its 10-bit D-log colour profile and its 8-bit D-Cinelike colour profile. The DJI Mini 2, on the other hand, only offers a standard colour profile.

In terms of what they have in common, the DJI Mini 2 and DJI Air 2S both have a 3-axis gimbalstabilised camera, which is very effective in reducing image shake. They also both have a digital zoom, up to 8x for the Air 2S and 4x for the Mini 2. But as always with this type of zoom, the more you zoom in the more grainy the image will be. On the storage side, both drones feature a micro SD memory card slot for up to 256GB. The DJI Air 2S also has the advantage of an 8GB internal memory, which is not the case with the Mini 2.

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DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S : performance in flight

Flight speed

Like most consumer drones, the Air 2S and Mini 2 have 3 flight modes: Normal, Sport and Cine. For both models, the use of these modes is identical: in Movie mode, the drone’s maximum speed is limited to only a few metres per second in order to film the most beautiful sequences possible, and in Sport mode, the controls become more sensitive and the drones can be pushed to their maximum speed.

So, DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S: which is faster? Not surprisingly, the top speed is higher on the DJI Air 2S (68 km/h versus 57 km/h in Sport mode, 54 km/h versus 36 km/h in Normal mode). But although slightly slower, the Mini 2 goes the distance and is still really impressive and fun to drive.

Intelligent flight modes

This is an important point in this DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S comparison. Tout d’abord, notons que les deux drones utilisent l’application DJI Fly pour le FPV et pour accéder à leurs fonctions plus avancées, comme les modes de vol intelligents et les réglages de la caméra.

Both drones come with smart features like automatic flight modes. These modes are more numerous on the DJI Air 2S, but both are equipped, in addition to the automatic return mode, with the smart shooting Quickshot modes well known from DJI drones, including Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Helix, or Boomerang modes. For more details about these modes, you can take a look at our test of the DJI Air 2Sor our comparison between the Mini 2 and Mini SE.

Other modes on the Air 2S only include the Hyperlapse, which allows you to create time-lapse videos, the Mastershots, which allows you to create small video clips by combining sequences created with the various Quickshots modes in order to share them on social networks, or the Active Track, Spotlight and Point Of Interest, which are autonomous flight modes that allow you to follow a subject from different positions.

Range

The DJI Air 2s features the new Occusync 3.0 technology compared to the older version (Occusync 2.0) for the Mini 2. The result of this DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S duel: the Air 2S wins with a transmission range of the Air 2S extended to 12km against 10km on the Mini 2, which is still very impressive and certainly more than enough for most users.

As far as maximum altitude is concerned, the Air 2S can reach a height of 5,000 metres compared to 4,000 for the Mini 2, but again, this will be more than sufficient in both cases. We have often found that you rarely need to exceed 1000 metres in altitude to capture everything you need.

Security

The DJI Air 2S is far superior to the Mini 2 in terms of obstacle detection. While the latter has only downward sensors to stabilise its flight and is therefore unable to avoid obstacles, the former is equipped with upward, downward, forward and backward sensors that enable it to perceive its environment in all directions. It also features the Advanced Pilot Assist System (APAS 4.0), which allows it to avoid obstacles in more complex scenarios, such as in a dense forest. The Air 2S therefore wins the DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S duel in this respect.

Flying time

Although the DJI Air 2S is larger, both drones have a similar flight time of approximately 31 minutes and are therefore equal on this point. A tie on this point in our DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S comparison. Although for both drones you’ll probably need to get some extra batteries. 😁

dji mini 2 vs air 2s 2

DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S : the price tag

Let’s come to the most important criterion of our DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S comparison, the one that often makes all the difference when it comes to making a choice: the price! 😅

And on this point, there is no photo between the two drones. While the DJI Air 2S starts at 999€ as a standard package, the DJI Mini 2 costs less than half that with a 459€ standard package (prices displayed on the DJI website at the time of writing).

Conclusion : DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S, which drone to choose ?

So, DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S, which drone is right for you? That’s a good question! Well, it all depends on what you want to do with your drone.

If you’re a professional or avid videographer and need professional quality video, then the Air 2S is an obvious choice. It is one of the best DJI drones, it has a lot of features and it is still cheaper than a Mavic 3 for example. So if you have the budget, go for it! It’s well worth the money and is probably the best value drone on the market.

If you are on a tighter budget, the Mini 2 is an excellent alternative. This is one of the best mini-drones on the market and one of the only ones that offer 4K video quality! It has the advantage of being ultra light and compact and you won’t be disappointed by the image quality it has to offer. It has all the essential modes and an impressive battery life. And it will probably be a better choice if you’re a beginner rider who needs to get the hang of it.

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