DJI MINI 4K The Best Beginner and Budget friendly drone of 2024

DJI recently released the Mini 4K, which is essentially like the Mini 2 but a couple of hundred dollars less. The real question is what can you do with a $300 drone that films in 4K and weighs less than 249 grams. Now, in full disclosure, DJI sent me this drone. I do get to keep it, but they're not paying for this , and no other money changed hands.

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My Impressions of the Best Beginner Drone

If you're considering buying this drone, I'd highly recommend the Fly More combo because having those extra batteries and the charging hub will be really handy. With the Fly More combo, you get the drone, the RC-N1C controller, two extra batteries, a bunch of extra propellers, and a nice carrying case.

DJI MINI 4K The Best Beginner and Budget friendly drone of 2024
Photo courtesy of Jake Sloan.

Light on Weight. Long on Flight Time.

Since this is a budget-friendly drone, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles you would expect on some of the more expensive models. Because it's under 249 grams, it has some limitations, which we'll definitely talk about later. However, because it's under 249 grams, it means you don't have to register it in most unless you're doing commercial work here in the , in which case you still need to register it.

DJI MINI 4K The Best Beginner and Budget friendly drone of 2024
Photo courtesy of Jake Sloan.

You still get about 25 minutes of flight time, which is what I've been getting with the Mini 2, and that's plenty of time to go out and capture some great stuff. Most likely, you'll be capturing simple videos or photos of you and your family, or you out doing fun things, having an adventure, whatever it might be, and that's where this drone really shines.

Video Quality

In terms of video quality, it is limited. There's no D-Cinelike; there's no D-Log or anything like that; it's just straight out of the drone colors, which you've seen so far and are seeing now, but it's not bad. DJI actually does a very good job with the normal colors and in automatic modes, just to make it easy to capture great shots, and that's pretty much exactly what this drone is for.

DJI MINI 4K The Best Beginner and Budget friendly drone of 2024
Photo courtesy of Jake Sloan.

Not only does it work well in auto mode, but you also don't get all of the options. I mean, you can shoot in manual mode with white balance and shutter speed and stuff like that, but they've also made it really easy to just capture some good-looking footage using some of the quick shots.

DJI MINI 4K The Best Beginner and Budget friendly drone of 2024
Photo courtesy of Jake Sloan.

No ActiveTrack

Just because this drone doesn't have any ActiveTrack doesn't mean you can't get some really cool shots. I made a whole video about how to get really creative cinematic footage using just the Mini 2. This drone is basically the same thing. You can see that video; it'll be up in the corner, link down in the description. But right here, I want to show you how you can get some really cool, really creative shots even though this drone doesn't have ActiveTrack. So right here, I'm just pushing forward to match myself, match my speed in cine mode, and I'm getting this really nice, what looks like somewhat like a tracking shot.

And of course, there's also things like the straight top-down shot that looks really good, especially if you're in a place like this where you have lots of interesting things to look straight down on. It's an unusual angle, so we don't see it very often, and it makes for a really interesting shot. And then you can cut between the two to make a nice little sequence. But then you could also do something like this to add just one more angle and get one more shot that will give you something else to cut between.

DJI Mini 4K offers QuickShots

The drone also has some quick shots available, so you can get a little more complicated-looking stuff. Hit the green button, hit start, and the drone is going to perform a motion. Now, you don't have a lot of different options available, and it's very important to make sure you're in an area where you can do that shot because of the trees and bushes around this area. I wouldn't do anything other than like a Dronie and maybe a Rocket because, obviously, circling left to right here is not a good idea with all the trees.

DJI MINI 4K The Best Beginner and Budget friendly drone of 2024
Photo courtesy of Jake Sloan.

Of course, just because a drone doesn't have obstacle avoidance doesn't mean you can't get some really cool shots. If you've got a straight-line shot here like I do, I'm going to just make it follow me and go through this path here, and it should give a really nice shot with a fair amount of movement in it because of all the trees around.

But we also have quick shots like Circle, Boomerang, and Helix, which could give you some really nice effects. So you need to make sure you know exactly what's around you with the drone because it's going to go sideways; it has no obstacle avoidance, but if you are in a clear area or in an area where you know it's not going to hit anything, then you can actually get some really nice shots that are really creative and look pretty nice.

DJI MINI 4K The Best Beginner and Budget friendly drone of 2024
Photo courtesy of Jake Sloan.

Now, if you want to see how to capture some great cinematic shots—I know that word gets thrown around a lot—but just some really good shots and be able to put together a nice video using a drone like this, the Mini 4K, Mini 2, Mini 3, I highly recommend you check out that video.

Hey, if you're enjoying or getting value out of this video, then consider subscribing. My goal is to help solo creators like myself make good decisions when it comes to purchasing gear or get the most out of the gear you already own by teaching you the skills you need to tell great stories.

12MP Still Photos in DNG and JPG

While it might not be used a lot for photo work, you actually do get a fair amount of options for photos. It's 12 megapixels, and you get the normal color profile, but you also get DNG, which is RAW, so that gives you the most amount of dynamic range if you want to edit it in post. But the JPEGs look nice, and you can just throw them straight on social media as well, right off your phone if you want to. It also gives you things like sphere photos, panoramic photos, wide photos, and so this drone does exactly what it needs to do, which is capture cool shots, capture great little bits of footage, and capture nice photos of you doing whatever it is you do.

DJI MINI 4K The Best Beginner and Budget friendly drone of 2024
Photo courtesy of Jake Sloan.

What are the Limitations of the DJI Mini 4K?

Now, toward the beginning of the video, I said there are some limitations because there are. This drone does not have a super high top speed. Depending on if you're going into the wind or away from the wind, you're going to be limited to anywhere from a few miles per hour depending on how strong the wind is, or you can maybe hit 30-something miles per hour if you're going with the wind and in a place where there's no wind. That being said, DJI does rate this at a level five, which I think is 25 mph winds, which is extremely strong winds, so it's not that it doesn't have the capability to handle wind; it's just you might be limited in what you can do with it.

Another thing you need to be aware of is that when you're filming in, say, sport mode or going against heavy wind, the gimbal will not be able to tilt all the way up like it does with the Mini 3 or the Mini 4 because of the way the gimbal is designed. Now, that's normal, and so long as you know that and you know where your limits are, it's fine.

A couple of other limitations, which, for a drone that only costs $300, is really not that bad, are that there's no obstacle avoidance like there is on some of the more expensive drones, and there's none of the Active Track features. Also, this is based on OcuSync 2, which isn't bad—it's still a really solid signal link—but you're not going to be able to fly that far or through that many obstacles, which honestly, with a drone this size, you can't fly very far away anyway and still maintain a visual line of sight, which legally here in the US and most places, you are required to do. So while it is a limit, it's not really that big of a limit in the fact that, like this drone and the signal link, will go much farther than you can see it when you're flying it within visual line of sight.

Best Budget DJI Drone of 2024

One other thing people might complain about this drone is the fact that there's no way to turn down the in-camera sharpening or noise reduction. Really though, it's a $300 drone with incredible capability; you can't expect to have it all. But if it really bothers you, like in this video, I basically put on a little bit of a Gaussian blur at like one or maybe two, really low, just enough to soften the footage up a little bit and take away some of that artificial sharpening look.

DJI MINI 4K The Best Beginner and Budget friendly drone of 2024
Photo courtesy of Jake Sloan.

Availability and Price of the DJI Mini 4K

The one other limitation to this, at least right now at the time I'm making this video, is that this is only available in the North American and European Union markets, and it's really only available through or through Best Buy. So, I've put links in the description; you can click on those links, and if it's available in your area, it should find you what you need. It should be able to connect you with this drone.

All in all, the Mini 4K is a great, solid little drone for $300 that captures good photos, good footage for a drone that you want to be able to just put in the air, push record, capture what you want to capture, and move on with your life. Next, you're going to want to watch this video right here. I'll see you over there.

Dji Mini 4K The Best Beginner And Budget Friendly Drone Of 2024
Photo courtesy of Jake Sloan.

As always, if you have questions, you can ask me in the comments below or join my live stream, which happens most Wednesday nights at 4:00 p.m. time, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, or you can have a little more of a conversation, and I can answer questions maybe I didn't get to in this video. Uh yeah, I'll see you again soon in the next one. Cheers!

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Jake Sloan
Jake Sloan

My name is Jake Sloan and I'm a filmmaker and Photographer based in Anchorage Alaska. Over the last decade my work has taken me around the world and opened up opportunities to work with brands like Disney, Caterpillar, Bell Helicopters, Robinson Helicopters, PBS, ABC and many more. My work has been Emmy Award nominated on multiple times and won a few of them. ​I am passionate about capturing and telling compelling stories using video and photos.

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One comment

  1. Is this drone sold in America only because the DJI store in Canada and Amazon Canada do not sell it?

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