DJI Air 2S and DJI Mini 2 Comparison: Which One to Choose?

DJI Air 2 vs DJI Mini 2

DJI has launched the DJI Air 2S this week and it’s packed with a tonne of great new features. But how does it compare to other popular drones from DJI?

In this post, we’re going to compare the new DJI Air 2S with the DJI Mini 2.

Short on time?

Get the DJI Air 2S if:

  • You want a professional level drone with a consumer price tag
  • You want to easily capture complex footage in minutes with Mastershots
  • You want a bigger camera sensor and better image quality

Get the DJI Mini 2 if:

  • You don’t want to register the drone with the FAA/CAA
  • You want an extremely light/portable 4k drone that is one of the best on the market
  • You’re on a budget

DJI Air 2S and Mavic 2 Comparison Chart

Drone

Drone

DJI Air 2S

DJI Mini 2

Dimensions (Folded) Folded: 180×97×77 mm (L×W×H) Folded: 138×81×58 mm (L×W×H)
Weight 1.31 lbs/ 595 grams < 0.54 lbs/ 249 grams
Max Range 11.5 miles (18.5 km) 6.2 miles (10 km)
Wind Resistance 30-38 mph (Level 8) 19-23.5 mph (Level 5)
Battery Life up to 31 minutes up to 31 minutes
Max Speed (Sport Mode) 42 mph (68.4 km/h ) 35.8 mph (57.6 km/h )
Obstacle Avoidance Forward, Upward, Backward, Downward Downward
Internal Storage 8GB onboard No
SD Card Supports a microSD with a capacity of up to 256 GB Micro SD™ UHS-I Speed Class 3 or above is required
Sensor 1″ CMOS Sony 1/2.3″ CMOS
Camera 20 MP 12 MP
Video 5.4K: 5472×3078 @ 24/25/30 fps

4K Ultra HD: 3840×2160 @ 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps

2.7K: 2688×1512 @ 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps

FHD: 1920×1080 @ 24/25/30/48/50/60/120 fps

4K: 3840×2160 24/25/30p,  2.7K: 2720×1530 24/25/30p, FHD: 1920×1080 24/25/30/48/50/60p
Video  Format MP4/MOV (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.265/HEVC) MP4 / MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, HEVC/H.265)
Lens f/2.8 f/2.8
Zoom Yes

4K/30fps: 4x;

2.7K/60fps: 4x;

2.7K/30fps: 6x;

1080p/60fps: 6x;

1080p/30fps: 8x

Zoom recording is not available while recording 10-bit videos and 120fps videos.

Yes

4K: 2x 2.7K: 3x FHD: 4x

Max Bitrate 150 Mbps 100 Mbps
ISO Video:

100-6400 (Auto)

100-12800 (Manual)

10-Bit Dlog-M Video:

100-1600 (Auto)

100-3200 (Manual)

Photos:

100-6400 (Auto)

100-12800 (Manual)

Video:

100-3200 (Auto)

100-3200 (Manual)

Photos:

100-3200 (Auto)

100-3200 (Manual)

Gimbal 3 Axis 3 Axis
Transmission System Ocusync 3.0 Ocusync 2.0
App DJI Fly DJI Fly
FAA Registration Yes No
Price Start from $999 Start from $449

DJI Air 2S vs. DJI Mini 2

Price

Firstly, let’s discuss the price difference. The DJI Air 2S is $999. Whereas, the DJI Mini 2 is currently less than half the price at just $449. So which features make it so much cheaper in comparison?

Size/Weight

The DJI Air 2S weighs 595g, while the Mini 2 has been designed with maximum portability in mind at just 249g (and staying below the 250g threshold for registration with the FAA).

The DJI Mini 2 measures just 138×81×58 mm when folded and 159×203×56 mm when it’s unfolded. The DJI Air 2S is 180×97×77 mm when folded and 183×253×77 mm unfolded so it is a lot larger.

Having said that, the Air 2S still packs away easily into a small carry case and is smaller than the Mavic 2 and slightly smaller than the Mavic Air 2. Nevertheless, if you’re wanting to buy the lightest drone you can without compromising too much on quality, then the Mini 2 wins hands down.

Camera Features/Quality

Of course, the camera on the DJI Mini 2 is much smaller than the camera on the DJI Air 2S. The DJI Air 2S has a 1-inch CMOS camera sensor which allows you to capture high-quality images that retain a lot of data. This means the images are crisper, sharper, and have a lot of information in the highlights and shadows which is great if you like to spend your time editing your footage in Lightroom or Premiere Pro.

The Mini 2 has the popular 1/2.3inch CMOS sensor which is the same one that’s used the Mavic Air 2.

DJI Air 2S camera

The Air 2S can take 20MP shots whilst the Mini 2 takes 12MP pictures.

Additionally, the DJI Air 2S shoots video in 5.4k at 30fps, 4k at 60fps, and FHD at 120fps. Whereas, the Mini 2’s max video resolution is 4k 30fps. Nevertheless, this is still impressive considering the drone’s size and would suit a lot of drone pilots.

I also like that on the Air 2S, there’s a little less crop than there is on the Mini 2 when filming in 4k. The DJI Air 2S shoots at what would be the equivalent of a 22mm focal length and the Mini 2 is equivalent to a 24mm focal length.

Both the DJI Air 2S and the Mini 2 have a set aperture of f2.8 which provides a reasonable focus when the subject is around 1m away. There’s a slight background blur but it’s not too noticeable unless you zoom right in.

The difference in color profiles, however, is pretty big. The DJI Air 2S drone, alongside a standard color profile, offers 10-bit Dlog color profiles and HDR video whereas the Mini 2 only offers a standard color profile. Nevertheless, for the price is still offers one of the best pictures I’ve seen for a drone in that price range, even if it doesn’t meet the high standards of the Air 2S.

Flight Time

The flight time on both the DJI Air 2S and the Mini 2 is 31 minutes.

Speed

One thing I wanted to discuss in this article is that how well the Mini 2 actually keeps up with the Air 2S. Obviously, due to its lighter weight, there’s less wind resistance but I still find it impressive and it makes it really fun to fly as you need to react quickly.

The max speed on sport mode on the Mini 2 is 16m/s though it is much slower in regular mode (10 m/s). The DJI Air 2S is quicker at 19m/s in sport mode and 15m/s in normal mode.

Range

The DJI Air 2S has the new Occusync 3.0 technology and 4 antennas which gives you a 12km range. On the Mini 2 you get a range of 10km which is less, but the same as what DJI offer on the Mavic Air 2 so it’s still impressive.

In terms of altitude, the Mini 2 can reach 4000m above you and the DJI Air 2S offers 5000m which may suit your needs better. However, I’ve found that when flying drones, you rarely need to go higher than 1000m to capture everything you need to. Plus, because of FAA regulations, you cant always fly your drone that high in certain airspace anyway.

Intelligent Flight Modes

A new intelligent flight feature on the DJI Air 2S is Mastershots and right now it is unique to the Air 2S. This simple software allows you to select your subject and the drone will automatically capture a series of shots for you then put it into a video. The videos it creates are really high quality and are perfect for beginners who haven’t yet managed to master how to angle the perfect shots.

Though the Mini 2 doesn’t have Mastershots, it still has a bunch of intelligent shooting options including Dronie, Helix, Rocket, Circle, and Boomerang. It also doesn’t have Active Track which is a feature on the Air 2S and the other DJI consumer drones and we realize this could be a dealbreaker for some of you. Especially if you use drones to capture adventure shots.

Obstacle Avoidance and Safety

When it comes to obstacle avoidance, the DJI Air 2S packs upward, downward, forward and backward sensors which make it capable of perceiving its environment in 4 directions. The Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems (APAS 4.0) allows it to avoid obstacles in more complex scenarios.

DJI Air 2S obstacle avoidance

DJI Mini 2 only has downward sensors so it doesn’t feature obstacle avoidance ability.

DJI Air 2S vs DJI Mini 2: The Winner

These two drones, in my opinion, cater to two very different clientele, and although from the above you can see that there are areas where the DJI Mini 2 falls short against the DJI Air 2S, you have to remember it’s half the price and a fraction of the size too and is designed for a different market to the Air 2S.

I think based on what’s packed into such a small drone, the Mini 2 is a great option, especially if you’ve not flown drones before and you’re on a bit of a budget. It’s one of the best mini drones currently on the market as many mini drones only offer 1080p video quality.

However, if you’re wanting a drone that packs that little bit extra, then the Air 2S beyond delivers and basically combines the best features of both the Mavic Air 2 and the Mavic 2 Pro and if you have the money, I think it’s totally worth the investment.

Get the DJI Air 2S if:

  • You want a professional level drone with a consumer price tag
  • You want to easily capture complex footage in minutes with Mastershots
  • You want a bigger camera sensor and better image quality

Get the DJI Mini 2 if:

  • You don’t want to register the drone with the FAA/CAA
  • You want an extremely light/portable 4k drone that is one of the best on the market
  • You’re on a budget

You may also be interested in:

DJI Air 2S vs. Mavic Air 2: What’s the Difference?

DJI Air 2S vs. Mavic 2: Which One to Buy?

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