Monday, March 27, 2023
HomeDronethe Mini SE vs Mini 2 vs Mini 2 SE

the Mini SE vs Mini 2 vs Mini 2 SE

So that you’re seeking to purchase a drone, and your finances is lower than $500. You don’t need an inexpensive toy drone — you need a high quality digicam drone that’s dependable, easy-to-use, protected and nonetheless has share-worthy picture high quality. With regards to drones in that value vary, actually just one drone maker delivers: DJI. Of the DJI drones underneath $500 available on the market now, your choices are the DJI Mini SE, DJI Mini 2 and the DJI Mini 2 SE.

Right here’s a breakdown of all three DJI drones underneath $500, and a comparability that can assist you discover the very best drone for you:

What DJI drones underneath $500 are on the market?

DJI has created had a handful of drones underneath $500. These in manufacturing and out there new from the manufacturing facility now are the DJI Mini SE, DJI Mini 2 and the DJI Mini 2 SE.

You may be capable to discover others which have since gone out of manufacturing, such because the DJI Mini, nevertheless it’ll seemingly be both used or from a third-party reseller. There’s additionally the now out-of-production, and really short-lived DJI Spark, which debuted at simply $499. DJI can also be affiliated with one other less-than-$100 drone known as the Tello, which is made by a accomplice firm known as Ryze utilizing DJI components. And certain, you may also be capable to purchase certainly one of DJI’s fancier, normally $1,000 drones used for underneath $500, however perceive the dangers of shopping for used drones.

The entire DJI drones on this information (the DJI Mini SE, DJI Mini 2 and the DJI Mini 2 SE) weigh lower than 250 grams. Drones underneath 250 grams are an enormous deal as a result of many varieties of federal drone rules don’t apply to drones of that measurement (within the U.S., drones underneath 250 grams don’t should be registered with the FAA for leisure operations and don’t should be Distant ID compliant). That makes drone-flying extra handy for worldwide vacationers who’re extra seemingly free to fly abroad, with out having to get registered or licensed in a spot they could be visiting for just some days.

After all, it additionally means these drones are simply small and lightweight, making it much more handy to take out on a hike or anyplace else the place portability is essential.

Right here’s a historical past of a number of the DJI drones underneath $500, each previous and current:

Sally French, The Drone Girl, rates the best DJI drones under $500. That includes the DJI Mini, which launched in 2020.
Sally French, The Drone Lady, with the unique DJI Mini in 2020.


The primary drone we ever noticed on this class was the Mavic Mini, debuted in 2019 for an incredibly low $399. On the time, DJI had actually been focusing in any other case on its Mavic drones, which typically value greater than $1,000. The subsequent closest drone to the Mini on the time was the Mavic Air, which nonetheless began at a hefty $919. The Mavic Mini has since gone out of manufacturing, however DJI now producers a really comparable drone: the DJI Mini SE.

The DJI Mini SE launched in June 2021 and is basically a slightly-modified model of the now out-of-production Mavic Mini. It goes for an even-cheaper $299.

Its digicam nonetheless has a decently-large 1/2.3-inch CMOS. Picture high quality is nice, although not nice, taking stills as much as 12 MP and video at 2.7K.

Whereas its physique continues to be far stronger than an inexpensive toy drone — as we’ll focus on later within the comparisons — it’s not fairly as highly effective as the opposite DJI drones underneath $500. Its max horizontal pace is 13 m/s (versus 16 m/s for many opponents) and has a most flight time of simply half-hour (versus 38-51 minutes for some opponents).

At simply $299, it’s the most affordable one of many bunch.

DJI Mini 2 drone

DJI Mini 2

The DJI Mini 2 launched in November 2020 for $449, changing into the primary DJI drone of that measurement and value level to supply 4K video. It packs in 12-megapixel pictures and a most video decision of 4K/30fps @100 Mbps.

It makes use of OcuSync 2.0, which is a transmission expertise developed by DJI and utilized in lots of its different drones, is integrated into the Mini 2 (it was not used within the authentic DJI Mavic Mini). In contrast to the Mavic Mini, it doesn’t depend on Wi-Fi, thus it has a much more dependable connection.

In addition to higher digicam and a extra dependable connection, the Mini 2 provides one other essential enchancment: it’s extra sturdy in tough situations with the flexibility to resist winds as much as 24mph (up from simply 18 mph beforehand).

Learn extra: DJI Mini 3 vs. Mini 2: which drone is healthier?

Buy the DJI Mini 2 beginning at simply $449 now from:

DJI Mini 2 SE

DJI Mini 2 SE

In February 2023, DJI introduced the DJI Mini 2 SE. At $369, it’s primarily a stripped-down model of the aforementioned DJI Mini 2.

The largest downgrade within the SE versus the unique DJI Mini 2 is decrease video high quality. It delivers 2.7K video, which a fairly severe downgrade from 4K video. However for stills, it’s principally the identical — and the drone nonetheless has that very same 1/2.3-inch CMOS with 12MP of efficient pixels.

Think about it the proper steadiness between ease of use, reliability, and affordability. Although, you gained’t be capable to purchase this one simply but. It gained’t go on sale till March 22, 2023.

DJI Mini 3 Pro
Sally French, The Drone Lady, critiques the DJI Mini 3 Professional in Could 2022.

An honorable point out: the DJI Mini 3

I do wish to give an honorable point out to the DJI Mini 3, which launched on the finish of 2022. It prices $559, which places it above the standards to rank in greatest DJI drones underneath $500.

Nonetheless, it might probably get underneath $500 — type of. DJI will promote you the Mini 3 for simply $469 when you choose out of the controller. You’ll need a controller in some way, so this feature actually solely works if in case you have a controller, seemingly from proudly owning a earlier mannequin of a DJI drone. You may also simply come by a controller in a state of affairs the place the drone itself broke (or flew right into a tree) however the controller continues to be good.

With a 1/1.3-inch CMOS and 12 MP of efficient pixels, this has the highest-quality digicam of the bunch. There’s additionally a downward imaginative and prescient system and the DJI O2 transmission system. That’s inferior to the Mini 3’s huge sibling, the Mini 3 Professional (that one provides a ahead, backward and downward imaginative and prescient system alongside DJI O3 transmission), nevertheless it’s fairly spectacular for the worth level.

Learn extra: DJI Mini 3 vs. Mini 3 Professional: which drone is healthier?

Buy the DJI Mini 3 beginning at simply $469 (no controller) or $559 with controller now from:

Evaluating all of the DJI drones underneath $500

Now that you just’ve gotten an summary of all three (nicely, perhaps 4 relying in your accounting) DJI drones underneath $500, let’s put them aspect by aspect to raised perceive their variations:

DJI Mini SE DJI Mini 2 SE DJI Mini 2 DJI Mini 3
Beginning value (value contains lowest-price controller) $299 $369 (goes on sale March 22, 2023) $449 $559 (or $469 when you don’t want a controller)
Takeoff Weight < 249 g < 249 g < 249 g < 249 g
Dimensions Folded (with out propellers): 138×81×58 mm (L×W×H)

Unfolded (with out propellers): 159×203×56 mm (L×W×H)

Folded (with out propellers): 138×81×58 mm (L×W×H)

Unfolded (with out propellers): 159×203×56 mm (L×W×H)

Folded (with out propellers): 138×81×58 mm (L×W×H)

Unfolded (with out propellers): 159×203×56 mm (L×W×H)

Folded (with out propellers): 148×90×62 mm (L×W×H)

Unfolded (with propellers): 251×362×72 mm (L×W×H)

Max Flight Time half-hour 31 minutes 31 minutes 38 minutes (with Clever Flight Battery)
51 minutes (with Clever Flight Battery Plus *)
Max Horizontal Pace (at sea degree, no wind) 13 m/s 16 m/s 16 m/s 16 m/s
Max Ascent Pace 4 m/s 5 m/s 5 m/s 5 m/s
Max Descent Pace 3 m/s 3.5 m/s 3.5 m/s 3.5 m/s
Max Takeoff Altitude 3000m 4000m 4000m 4000m (or simply 3000m with Clever Flight Battery Plus)
Max Wind Pace Resistance 10.7 m/s (Degree 5) 10.7 m/s (Degree 5) 10.7 m/s (Degree 5) 10.7 m/s (Degree 5)
Picture Sensor 1/2.3-inch CMOS 1/2.3-inch CMOS 1/2.3-inch CMOS 1/1.3-inch CMOS
Efficient Pixels 12 MP 12 MP 12 MP 12 MP
Video 2.7K HD 2.7K HD 4K HD 4K HDR
Video Transmission System Enhanced Wi-Fi DJI O2 OcuSync 2.0 DJI O2

Clearly the DJI Mini 3 is the very best of the bunch when you don’t consider the associated fee. However for people who prioritize saving cash, then it won’t essentially be the very best.

For those who’re a videographer, it is best to not less than go for the Mini 2 over the Mini 2 SE. The Mini 2 SE’s 2.7K video is a fairly severe downgrade from 4K video on the Mini 2. For those who can afford to go simply above the $500 threshold, go for the DJI Mini 3. There, you’ll discover the bigger sensor to offer even-higher picture high quality. (For those who’re nice going over-budget, you may even take into account the DJI Mini 3 Professional versus the Mini 3, because it provides even higher picture high quality, together with 48 MP versus 12, and 150 Mbps Max video bitrate versus simply 100).

Then once more, when you solely care about aerial pictures and don’t take movies, then you definitely may as nicely save the $80 and simply get the DJI Mini 2 SE versus the DJI Mini 2.

For those who’re searching for the greatest DJI drone underneath $400, go for the DJI Mini 2 SE over the DJI Mini SE. Whereas each have comparable cameras, the Mini 2 SE is way extra highly effective than the Mini SE when it comes to the physique itself. It might probably stand up to stronger winds, it flies sooner, it’s able to taking off in increased altitudes, and its transmission system is way extra dependable than merely Wi-Fi due to using DJI O2. Principally, it’s far much less seemingly your drone will crash or fly away. For most folk, that reliability is value paying the additional $70 for.

For those who’re merely searching for the most affordable doable drone, then the DJI Mini SE can give you the results you want. The DJI Mini SE is nice when you match into one of many following molds:

  • You’re model new to drones and don’t wish to decide to one thing you’re not completely sure about.
  • You’re flying in quite simple environments like open fields over comparatively quick distances (nicely inside your line of sight).
  • You’re taking pictures, not movies. Or when you do take movies, picture high quality will not be a precedence (e.g. you’re filming for small cellphone screens, fairly than giant TV screens).

Which DJI drone underneath $500 do you suggest? Are there different elements people ought to take into account when selecting an entry-level DJI drone? Share your ideas and experiences within the feedback beneath!



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