In this blog, we’re taking to the skies and looking at the best drones from arguably the best drone brand: DJI. For anyone struggling to choose from the wide selection of DJI drones, currently on market, let this be your guide – our introduction to a few drones picked for a variety of reasons, from affordability to technical capabilities, like an ability to withstand adverse weather conditions. Of course, no one wants to have their high-flying dreams of bird’s eye content suddenly disrupted as a drone takes a nosedive and ends its 4K film with an extreme close-up of solid ground.
We’ve looked at everything in making this definitive list: selfie drones, sport models, cinematic models… you name it! So, have fun as you explore the models we’ve chosen and always remember to consult the latest drone rules (more paperwork is inevitably needed for drones that weigh over 250g) and licensing updates before you begin your whirring adventures overhead.
5. DJI Mini 3 Pro (For Travel Videographers)
When it comes to travelling with a drone you’re going to want to consider both weight and portability. Of course, camera specs are important to delve into too – larger sensors are going to work wonders on your aerial photography – but your chief concern is likely going to be whether you can easily lug your equipment around with you. Weighing in at 249g, the Mini 3 Pro is a nimble offering equipped with a 48MP camera resolution and tri-directional collision sensors to pick out other airborne obstacles (though it can be knocked about a bit by gusts of wind). Trumping the Air 2S in pretty much every area of specification, this little drone is very sound for practical requirements and even has this neat feature whereby the camera can be rotated into portrait mode.
Okay, so it doesn’t have the biggest sensor. Nor will it be able to compete with the heavier models for battery life, or shoot in the highest resolution possible (it captures 48MP stills and 4K footage at 60fps). Yet the Mini 3 Pro is absolutely ideal if you want to travel far and wide and fly in any FAA territories without a license.
4. DJI Air 2S (For The Heavier Option)
Weighing in at a heftier 595g, the DJI Air 2S has a 20MP camera resolution and 88˚field of view. Battery life is 31 minutes and collision sensors are fitted for forward/back and up/down coverage. Expect some of the best specifications in nearly every category. There’s also a range of options for videographers and relatively low noise as you fly. So, no one will think you’re a fighter plane as you scud in among the clouds.
You can record HDR video up to 5.4K at 30fps – great for fluid filmmakers – with 4K 60fps and 1080p 120 fps options as well. Lens filters are easy to change and the collision and tracking system is yet to be surpassed (in our view). The only real issue is that you’re weighing in above the 249g tier.
3. DJI Mini 2 (For The Lightest Option)
If you thought the Mini 3 was light, this camera drone comes in under the registration weight at 242g. The camera resolution is 12MP and video footage plays in 4k resolution at 30fps. The Mini 2 is really a more evolved cousin of the DJI Mavic Mini, fitted with an ultra-light airframe and a variety of new camera features. In terms of affordability this is definitely one to consider, since you can side-step registration fees and still shoot 4K (albeit limited to 30fps), without shedding a tear when you first check the receipt. Saying that, this one doesn’t have any forward collision sensors – you might be flying blind at times up there. You can’t complain too much about the dropped weight though.
Videographers will surely be delighted to fly under 250g and still shoot at 4K. You can also use the OcuSync controller, widely praised by fliers of the Mavic Air 2, and gain a boost from more powerful motors and improved light craft software to handle Force 5.
2. DJI Mavic 3 Cine (For Cinematic Fliers)
Here we have a foldable drone that will cause cinematographers to salivate. Weighing in at a rotor-punishing 895g, this powerful drone has an 84˚ field of view and video resolution up to 5.1K at 50fps, or 4K at 30fps. The better than average battery life (46 minutes) is an added bonus too – plus, you’ll enjoy max speeds up to 42mph. Setting aside the price bump, you’re sure to have fun at the controls of this one, operating a dual camera system as you capture ProRes 422 HQ footage to make you every editor’s favourite flier. The Cine edition is also pretty compact and reliable, with a 1TB SSD for all your massive video files.
There’s a reason this one is often described as a close competitor for the DJI Inspire 2 – sometimes lauded as the top pro drone choice this year.
1. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom (For Close-ups)
Last up – please bear in mind we’ve arrived here in no particular order – we have a drone that some might say has now been surpassed. Our heaviest yet (905g), this one has 12MP camera resolution and shoots in 4K at 30fps. The field of view is slightly more restricted at 77˚ and you’ll have a 31-minute battery life in which to fly out to an impressive max range of 5 miles. The 2x optical zoom lens, without any loss of resolution, is the primary reason we’ve included this one – it’s also cheaper than the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, but built on the same foldable body. Mind you, your lower resolution sensor can still snatch some gorgeous 4K footage, but stills won’t stretch any further than 4000×3000 pixels.