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 main features of the two drones side-by-side for a quick comparison:

DJI Mini 2DJI Air 2S
Dimensions (L x W x H)138 x 81 x 58 mm folded
159 x 203 x 56 mm unfolded
180 × 97 × 80 mm folded
183 × 253 × 77 mm unfolded
Weight<249g595g
Camera sensor1/2.3″ CMOS sensor with 24mm lens, fixed f/2.8 aperture and 83° FOV1″ CMOS sensor with 22mm lens, fixed f/2.8 aperture and 88° FOV
Photo resolution12 MP20 MP
Video resolution4k up to 30fps
2.7k up to 60fps
FHD up to 60fps
5.4k to 30fps 4k to 60fps 2.7k to 60fps FHD to 120fps
Max video rate100 Mbps150 Mbps
ISO Photo100-3200 (Auto)
100-3200 (Manual)
100-3200 (Auto)
100-12800 (Manual)
ISO Video100-3200 (Auto)
100-3200 (Manual)
100-3200 (Auto)
100-6400 (Manual)
Zoom4K : 2x
2.7K : 3x
FHD : 4x
4K/30fps : 4x
2.7K/60fps : 4x
2.7K/30fps : 6x
1080p/60fps : 6x
1080p/30fps : 8x
Memory256 GB (Micro SD card slot)8 GB (internal)
256 GB (Micro SD card slot)
Video transmission distance10 km (Ocusync 2.0)12 km (Ocusync 3.0)
Wind resistance38 km/h (Level 5)38 km/h (Level 5)
Flight time31 minutes31 minutes
Max speed (Sport mode)57.6 km/h68.4 km/h
Obstacle detectionDownwardsForwards, backwards, upwards, downwards
PriceFrom 459€From €799

DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S: design and remote control

dji mini 2 vs air 2s design

Design

 DJI Mini 2DJI Air 2S
WeightLess than 249 g595 g
Dimensions (folded, without propellers) (L x W x H) 138 x 81 x 58 mm180 x 97 x 77 mm
Dimensions (unfolded, without propellers) (L x W x H)159 x 203 x 56 mm183 x 253 x 77 mm

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

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.

Among the main physical differences between the two models, the DJI Air 2S has several sensors positioned around its fuselage to detect obstacles in all directions. The DJI Mini 2 makes do with sensors positioned only under its belly, which are only used for flight stabilization.

Remote control

 DJI Mini 2DJI Air 2S
Compatible radio controls DJI RC-N1
DJI Smart Controller
DJI RC-N1
DJ RC
DJI RC Pro
DJI Smart Controller
Video transmission system O2O3
Operating frequencies 2.4 GHz
5.8 GHz
2.4 GHz
5.8 GHz
Max. transmission distance FCC : 10 km
CE : 6 km
FCC : 12 km
CE : 8 km

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, giving it a slightly longer transmission distance (12 km FCC and 8 km CE vs. 10 and 6 respectively for the Mini 2).

Note that if you wish to upgrade your radio control, both drones are compatible with other models equipped with large, attractive touch screens, removing the need to use your smartphone for this function.

The DJI Mini 2 can be used with the DJI Smart Controller and its 5.5-inch display. The latter will display live flight information and the live image filmed by the camera. The problem is that this remote control is no longer available from DJI.

The DJI Air 2S has the advantage of being compatible not only with the Smart Controller, but also with two more recent remote controls with display: the DJI RC and DJI RC Pro. These two models can be purchased separately.

DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S : camera

dji mini 2 vs air 2s camera
DJI Mini 2DJI Air 2S
Sensor1/2.3-inch CMOS1-inch CMOS
Lens24 mm equivalent, FOV 83°, f/2.8 aperture22 mm equivalent, FOV 88°, f/2.8 aperture
Photo resolution12 MP20 MP
Max. video resolution4K up to 30 fps
2.7K up to 60 fps
FHD up to 60 fps
5.4K up to 30 fps
4K up to 60 fps
2.7K up to 60 fps
FHD up to 120 fps
ISO range100 à 3200100 to 12800 (Photo)
100 to 6400 (Video)
100 to 1600 (Dlog-M 10-Bit video)
Photo formatJPEG
DNG (RAW)
JPEG
DNG (RAW)
Video formatMP4 (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)MP4/MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, HEVC/H.265)
Max. bit rate100 Mb/s150 Mb/s
Color profileNormalNormal (8 bits)
HLG (10 bits)
Dlog M (10 bits)
Digital Zoom4K: 2 x
2.7K: 3 x
FHD: 4 x
4K/30ips: 4x
2.7K/60ips: 4x
2.7K/30ips: 6x
1080p/60ips: 6x
1080p/30ips: 8x

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 20 Mpx is clearly superior: images are sharper, more vivid and contain more information in highlights and shadows, offering greater flexibility in post-processing for color 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

Wind speed and resistance

DJI Mini 2DJI Air 2S
Maximum speed16 m/s19 m/s
Max. ascent speed5 m/s6 m/s
Max. descent speed3.5 m/s6 m/s
Max. wind resistance10.7 m/s (Level 5)10.7 m/s (Level 5)

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? Unsurprisingly, top speed is higher on the DJI Air 2S (68 km/h vs. 57 km/h in Sport mode, 54 km/h vs. 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.

And while the Mini 2 can’t compete on sheer speed, it does hold its own when it comes to resisting gusts of wind. In fact, the little drone does just as well as the Air 2S, being able to withstand level 5 winds of up to 38 km/h.

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 mode, which lets you create short video clips by combining sequences created with the various Quickshots modes to share them on social networks, or the Active Track, Spotlight and Point Of Interestwhich are autonomous flight modes that allow you to follow a subject from different positions.

Security

DJI Mini 2DJI Air 2S
Detection systemLower optical systemOptical system forwards, backwards, upwards and downwards

The DJI Air 2S is far superior to the Mini 2 when it comes to obstacle detection. Whereas the latter uses only downward sensors to stabilize 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.

The Air 2S is also equipped with the Advanced Pilot Assist System (APAS 4.0), which enables it to avoid obstacles in more complex scenarios, such as in a densely-treed forest. The Air 2S therefore comes out on top in our DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S duel.

Flying time

DJI Mini 2DJI Air 2S
Max. flight time31 minutes31 minutes
Max. hovering time29 minutes30 minutes

As the DJI Air 2S is larger, it benefits from a bigger battery, but this has to power a heavier, more power-hungry drone because of its many functions. As a result, the two drones have a similar flight time of around 31 minutes, making them equal in this respect.

This is the tie-breaker in our DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S comparison. Although for both drones you’ll probably need to get extra batteries. 😁

dji mini 2 vs air 2s 2

DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2S : the price tag

DJI Mini 2DJI Air 2S
Standard pack (DJI RC-N1 remote control)459€ (last known price)799€
Fly More Pack (DJI RC-N1 remote control)599€ (last known price)1039€

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 €799 as a standard package, the DJI Mini 2 costs almost half that, with a standard package priced at €459.

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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