Now that Skydio has left the consumer drone business and will never sell me the miniature autonomous drone of my dreams, I’m looking at DJI. The sophisticated marketing of its recently announced $759 DJI Mini 4 Pro suggests we’re at least on our way, because it’s the first Mini with omnidirectional obstacle detection.
The 2022 Mini 3 Pro could already see forward, backward and down, but… We smashed it into a tree pretty quickly.. Binocular vision in all directions is a potentially huge improvement if it works well, and the smaller wingspan compared to an Air could also help it fit between trees and/or branches.
I can’t vouch for its ability to dodge trees yet, but Vjeran now has one to test:
In many ways, the Mini 4 Pro largely puts the Mini 3 Pro on par with the larger, more expensive $1,099 DJI Air 3. It already had a similar main camera (1/1.3-inch, 48-megapixel, f/1.7 with 82-degree FOV) and a similar 40+ minute battery life, but now it adds omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, 4K shooting at 100 fps (and shooting in 1080p at 200 fps) and Ocusync 4 video transmission for a range of 20 kilometers (previously 12 km) that the Air already had.
As with the Mini 3 Pro, you can expect a solid half hour of battery life with the included battery or almost 40 minutes with the larger “Intelligent Flight Battery Plus”, although the latter is not sold in Europe this time as it increases the weight above. the 249 grams allowed. And while DJI also advertises “true vertical shooting” as a big selling point of the Mini 4 Pro, the Mini 3 Pro (and the $469 Mini 3, for that matter) already have it.
The Mini 3 is also DJI’s affordable battery champion with four to six minutes longer on a battery charge, depending on which battery you insert.
You’re still looking at an Air or better if you need more speed, as it climbs and descends twice as fast as the Mini’s five meters per second. (The Air is only 25 percent faster on the straights.) And of course, the Air has the second 70mm f/2.8 equivalent telephoto camera for added flexibility.
If you have a Mini 3 Pro or are stocking up on accessories, you’ll be happy to know that the Mini 4 Pro uses the same batteries, but requires a new controller due to the improved Ocusync 4 video streaming.