DJI Mini 4 Pro Review
DJI Mini 4 Pro Review: In this era of marvels, I find myself astounded by the fact that I inhabit a time where I possess a sophisticated, airborne 4K camera, endowed with stability, capable of soaring hundreds of meters away, adept at detecting and evading obstacles, and programmed to return home in the event of a lost connection – all controlled from a singular device.
All of this technological prowess is ingeniously encapsulated within a drone weighing less than 250 grams (8.8 ounces).
This cutting-edge technology is attainable for a sum less than $1000.
Having experienced numerous DJI drones, ranging from sizable to diminutive, I confess my penchant for the smaller variants. There exists a certain elegance and simplicity in a compact, portable drone that conveniently slips into my coat pocket, yet possesses the capacity to capture breathtaking photographs and videos.
Thus, my anticipation reached its zenith upon acquiring the latest marvel: the DJI Mini 4 Pro.
DJI Mini 4 Pro: A Masterpiece of Engineering
The DJI Mini 4 Pro stands as a testament to modern ingenuity, a miniature camera drone adorned with comprehensive obstacle sensors and a camera capable of capturing high-resolution photos and 4K video.
Technical Specifications of DJI Mini 4 Pro
- Camera: 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, f/1.7 aperture, dual ISO
- Weight: Under 250 grams
- Photo Resolution: Maximum image size of 48MP
- Video Capabilities: HDR video at 4K/60fps and Slow-Motion video at 4K/100fps, supporting HLG and 10-bit D-Log M
- Flight Time: Up to 34 minutes (extendable to 45 minutes with the optional Smart Flight Battery)
- Maximum Transmission Range: 20 km
My drone evaluations typically unfold in two parts: first, an examination of the hardware, followed by an exploration of its functionalities. Here, I delve into the drone itself, spotlighting the enhancements over its predecessors, particularly the Mini 3 Pro, while also addressing certain aspects that still demand attention.
It is worth noting that this evaluation pertains specifically to the DJI Mini 4 Pro Fly More Combo Set, distinguishing it from the simpler, more affordable Mini 4 Pro with RC-N2 controller.
The Mini 4 Pro closely resembles its predecessor, the Mini 3 Pro, with the most noticeable distinction being the presence of landing pads on its front legs – a feature conspicuously absent in the Mini 3 Pro.
These landing pads are complemented by additional omni-directional rear-facing sensors, enhancing the drone’s spatial awareness.
Despite criticisms on social media regarding DJI’s decision not to overhaul the drone’s design, the Mini 3 Pro’s design was unparalleled in its functionality. It exhibited impeccable performance, enduring even the harshest winds and scorching sunlight during my extensive flights covering hundreds of miles.
Additionally, the Mini 4 Pro boasts subtle yet immensely appreciated improvements. For instance, the gimbal cover, previously cumbersome to replace, now effortlessly snaps into place, streamlining the process significantly.
The prop holder, designed to prevent propellers from tipping during storage, has undergone a revamp, rendering it notably easier to detach and reattach.
A noteworthy enhancement lies in the realm of cooling. While the Mini 3 Pro would often heat up when idle, complicating firmware updates without an external fan, the Mini 4 Pro manages heat efficiently. While it does generate heat, it remains well within manageable limits, thanks to its passive cooling system, which effectively dissipates heat from the drone’s onboard systems.
The passive cooling system of the Mini 4 Pro admirably maintains optimal operating temperatures, ensuring sustained performance during flight.
However, there are aspects that cause mild disquiet. One of the challenges faced by Mini 3 Pro users was replacing damaged gears, a nearly inevitable occurrence. Stories abound on social media and in Facebook groups recounting users struggling with broken screws and misplaced components, leading to further complications.
Regrettably, the Mini 4 Pro offers no improvements in this regard, as changing props still involves delicate screws that are susceptible to breakage.
Another source of frustration lies in attaching the joysticks to the controller. Although a straightforward task under ideal conditions, it becomes formidable with gloves on or in dim lighting. I have yet to lose a joystick, but the process remains a point of annoyance and inconvenience.
The individual responsible for this design seemingly overlooked the challenges users face when connecting joysticks in adverse conditions.
These minor grievances notwithstanding, DJI continues its commendable trend of refining its drones with each iteration. Even if the Mini 4 Pro fails to captivate you, rest assured that any DJI drone already in your possession fulfills all necessary functions. And when the time comes to upgrade, you can anticipate years of incremental improvements, ensuring your continued satisfaction in the evolving world of drones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What are the key features of the DJI Mini 4 Pro drone?
A1: The DJI Mini 4 Pro is equipped with a 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, f/1.7 aperture, dual ISO camera, weighs under 250 grams, offers a maximum photo resolution of 48MP, records HDR video at 4K/60fps, and supports Slow-Motion video at 4K/100fps. It also has a maximum transmission range of 20 km and a flight time of up to 34 minutes (extendable to 45 minutes with the optional Smart Flight Battery).
Q2: What are the improvements in the Mini 4 Pro compared to its predecessor, the Mini 3 Pro?
A2: The Mini 4 Pro features landing pads on its front legs and additional omni-directional rear-facing sensors, enhancing spatial awareness. It has a streamlined gimbal cover that snaps into place easily, an improved prop holder for easier detachment and reattachment, and an efficient passive cooling system to manage heat during flight. However, it retains delicate screws for prop replacement and still poses challenges when connecting joysticks under adverse conditions.
Q3: How does the Mini 4 Pro’s design differ from the Mini 3 Pro, and what are the notable enhancements?
A3: The Mini 4 Pro closely resembles the Mini 3 Pro, with added landing pads on its front legs and omni-directional rear-facing sensors. The gimbal cover is easier to replace, and the prop holder has been revamped for simpler use. It also has a more efficient passive cooling system, ensuring optimal operating temperatures during flight.
Q4: What challenges do users face when replacing damaged props on the Mini 4 Pro?
A4: Replacing damaged props on the Mini 4 Pro involves delicate screws that are prone to breakage, similar to the Mini 3 Pro. This can be a source of frustration for users, as recounted in various social media and online forums.
Q5: Is it worth upgrading to the Mini 4 Pro from a previous DJI drone model?
A5: If you are satisfied with your current DJI drone, there may not be a compelling reason to upgrade immediately. DJI continues to refine its drones with each iteration, ensuring incremental improvements. While the Mini 4 Pro offers enhancements, users with existing DJI drones can still fulfill their necessary functions until they decide to upgrade in the future.