|The lightweight Mavic Mini is doesn't need FAA registration / Photo Credit: Tada Images (via Shutterstock)|
DJI unveils its smallest and lightest drone: the Mavic Mini, which doesn’t require buyers to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as reported by Sean O’Kane of Vox Media-operated platform The Verge. The Mavic Mini is available for preorder and will be shipped out on November 11. It will be sold for $399 bundled with one battery, a remote controller, and a set of extra propellers.
In one of DJI’s $499 “combo packs,” it will be include propeller guards, three batteries, a battery charging hub, a controller, a carrying case, and three sets of extra propellers. Despite the Mavic Mini’s cost, the said drone features the best aspects of DJI’s more expensive and capable drones. The Mavic Mini is as small as the 2017 DJI Spark, though the former is more portable as it has foldable legs. Weighing at 249 grams, the Mavic’s weight is one gram shy of the FAA’s weight cutoff.
The Mavic Mini also has similar software features with DJI’s other drones such as creative shooting modes. It is also capable of automatically returning to its takeoff spot. However, this particular feature needs another app. As for its battery life, it can stay aloft for 30 minutes per battery, according to DJI’s estimate. However, the Mavic cannot shoot 4k footage. Its camera uses ½.3-inch sensor “that can shoot up to 2.7K footage at 30 frames per second, 1080p footage at up to 60 frames per second, and 12-megapixel photos.”
The Mavic’s camera is stabilized with a three-axis gimbal, helping it generate smooth footage in low-wind conditions. The drone may be more susceptible to crashes as it fewer sensors. Ground-facing sensors are helpful with low hovering and soft landings. But it is to the operator’s discretion not to fly the Mavic sideways into a tree, wall, or any object.
During a test flight, the Mavic felt stable and light despite it weighing only 249 grams. The Mavic Mini will be an attractive product for first-time and experienced operators considering that it doesn’t need FAA registration. Its price and weight are also enough to draw in potential customers.
DJI warns operators to “understand and follow local laws and regulations,” adding that the Mavic’s built-in safety features and educational tools will prevent new operators from flying dangerously.