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Cameras Soon to come, The Mavic Mini Review

So, I have flown drones for some time now but with all of the new laws and regs that have been dumped on them, they have been put on the back burner. 

I pulled out the Mavic Mini today because I plan on taking some shots of what kind of progress we have made at the club and realized that perhaps you folks would like to learn a little about this very useful little drone. 

Do not mistake its size for it bang this little drone has a lot going for it and can really lend itself to Reviewers and the like. There are some things that I will give a heads up on right off the bat. 

1st Your phone, The Mavic Mini uses its own DJI Fly app and unlike previous versions of different DJI Drones this is the only app available to fly the Mini, The app is VERY finicky about both the hardware and os you are using on the Android side, in fact, the phone has to be a 64 bit and the OS will need to also be the 64-bit version. 

Recommended models: Compatible with Samsung Galaxy S10+, Samsung Galaxy S10, Samsung Galaxy S9+, Samsung Galaxy S9 , Samsung Galaxy S8+, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy Note9, Samsung Galaxy Note8, HUAWEI P30 Pro, HUAWEI P30, HUAWEI P20, HUAWEI P10, HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro, HUAWEI Mate 10, HUAWEI nova 5, HUAWEI nova 4, HUAWEI nova 3e, HUAWEI nova 2, Honor 8X, Honor V10, Honor 9, Honor 20 Pro, Honor Magic 2, Mi 8, Mi MIX 2S, Mi MIX 2, Redmi Note 5, OPPO Find X, OPPO R15, vivo NEX, vivo X27, vivo X21, vivo X20A, OnePlus 7, OnePlus 6T, OnePlus 5, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 2, Pixel, LG V20, LG G6. [2]

The link below will take you to more information about the app and recommended phone hardware

https://www.dji.com/dji-fly

My Advice is before you purchase a Mini download the DJI Fly app, Install it and open it if it installs and opens then you can proceed to consider buying the drone, If not then you will need to consider the upgrading or purchasing a device that will work with the drone. 

A little about the Mavic Mini

First its weight 249 grams

This is very important because it falls just below the legal requirement in the United States to Register and or need to be a licensed operator to fly it. It also allows the drone to be used in environments that heavier drones cannot including being able to be flown closer to people

Do not confuse these camera systems with racing drones or even the $150 - $200 Walmart drones that has maybe a 10 to 15 minute flying time. Mavic leads the way when it comes to these camera systems... Notice I keep saying Camera Systems? That is because that's exactly what these are, A flying camera system. 

The DJI Mavic platform concept is to place less flying control on the user so they can concentrate on taking photographs and films. The drone is very stable and easy to fly in fact after learning to use the software most of the flying can be done by simple commands without the user needing to do much at all in the way of "stick controlling"

The Mini is a scaled-down version with easier to use flying software, While it's true the software does not have all of the bells and whistles of the Mavic Pro versions this scaled-down makes it much easier for hobbyist and newcomers to learn the ins and out of drone photography without breaking the bank or information overload. 

Stay tuned for some more information I hope to get everything done this weekend.


 
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Wrong forum?


Not really! You can record your hunting trip or your shooting session, I don’t think it belongs to a different forum, it can be used in the Airgun community. I have used one for my Overlanding trips but never for my trigger times, maybe this summer! ;)

here is one we did here in a SoCal trip, as you can tell is no edited yet. 


https://youtu.be/FaplVuQ2D1g



Renz
 
Wow Willie, I had no idea you were into these and so knowledgeable?

I just got a Mavic Mini a couple days ago. I bought the "fly more combo" with it.

Luckily my phone is a Samsung Galaxy S-10, because I was dumb enough to purchase the mini before even trying to load the app to my phone? LOL......but lucky for me I got the app loaded with no problems.

I spent a couple days trying to get comfortable just flying it. Went to my local print shop and picked up an SD card for it today and took my first ever drone video. I've got much to learn and look forward to your tutorial.

I'll be the first to admit, if my dumb arse can fly it and take video......anyone can do it!

My first video from my humble abode. Launched from the backyard with video of the fields across the street first. Then the timberland behind us that has just been thinned. I'll get brave enough to fly it way back there where it's clear cut soon. Don't have the big house, but I love our location.

https://youtu.be/mLNsiLN9fi8

Definitely have some killer long distance shooting lanes now!

Fuss


 
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Camera Systems like these can be used in a lot of ways,

Clubs can use them to promote their range, as I am going to do, 

Steve Uses one in some of his videos for some nice pull away shots when he is in the field, the drone acts as a second cameraman. Here is the catch 22 for Steve's drone though, Under the Regs, if a drone weighs 250 grams or more he Must be a licensed commercial operator because his Videos are Monetized and used to make revenue. This is because any drone weighing 250 or more grams falls under the control of the FAA Rules and Regulations, anything under that does not, this means that the mini can be used to record videos and act as that second cameraman without needing to take the required pilots test 

Hunters can use them to scout hunting areas there is some catch 22 to this one, Under Federal Wildlife Laws no drone may be used in such a way that disturbs or harasses wildlife, 

Extream Bench-Rest can use them to check targets without physically walking to the target, This would mean that in multiple shooting lane situations a drone could be used to check a target without calling a full cold range


 
Wow Willie, I had no idea you were into these and so knowledgeable?

I just got a Mavic Mini a couple days ago. I bought the "fly more combo" with it.

Luckily my phone is a Samsung Galaxy S-10, because I was dumb enough to purchase the mini before even trying to load the app to my phone? LOL......but lucky for me I got the app loaded with no problems.

I spent a couple days trying to get comfortable just flying it. Went to my local print shop and picked up an SD card for it today and took my first ever drone video. I've got much to learn and look forward to your tutorial.

I'll be the first to admit, if my dumb arse can fly it and take video......anyone can do it!

My first video from my humble abode. Launched from the backyard with video of the fields across the street first. Then the timberland behind us that has just been thinned. I'll get brave enough to fly it way back there where it's clear cut soon. Don't have the big house, but I love our location.



https://youtu.be/mLNsiLN9fi8



Definitely have some killer long distance shooting lanes now!

Fuss


It's Kind of like a truck with 4 wheel drive ( 4 wheel drive does not keep you from getting stuck it only gets you stuck deeper ) I know enough to get deeper LOL

I am not an expert but I did own a Mavic Pro and was using it until the law passed to require that I take a pilots test ( A Drone operators Pilots Test is basically the written part of a normal pilots test) 

I used them in the feral hog control to help find bedding areas and such, 
 
My Bad Willie. I also am a Drone enthusiast (Mavic Air). I just thought you mistakenly posted on this forum thinking you were on a Drone forum. It has happened to me! I was previously thinking about the Mavic 2 Pro, but the Mini seems to be a better choice for my intended use, and the money I save could be used on my Pellet gun addiction.
 
So are the trees private timber co. & what type ?



Kayaker, if you're referring to my place? Yes the trees right behind my place are owned and managed by a private timber company. The land is usually leased out to the local hunting clubs. Hundreds of acres of Loblolly Pine. I own the two lots beside our property and of course an LP gas company owns the lot on the other side of us. The fields across the street are leased to grow corn and soy beans alternating from year to year.
 
Willie

I sent the mavic mini back close to 2000 ft to the clearing today and got a text message across the screen that it was out of range and I had lost signal.

Bout crapped my pants. I was like "oh no....I've lost my drone???

Then I see a new text and an audible message that it is returning to home. Whew...saved by the return to home function!

I tried it one more time and same thing, it lost signal and returned home. I thought about it and I think my problem is I'm not flying high enough and the pine trees are interfering with the signal? I'm piloting out of that little clearing in my back yard surrounded by all those 30 ft pines. I'm only flying it about 100 feet high, maybe next time try 200 or 300 feet high and see if it can keep the signal longer?

Peace and tight butt cheeks!

Fuss
 
Willie

I sent the mavic mini back close to 2000 ft to the clearing today and got a text message across the screen that it was out of range and I had lost signal.

Bout crapped my pants. I was like "oh no....I've lost my drone???

Then I see a new text and an audible message that it is returning to home. Whew...saved by the return to home function!

I tried it one more time and same thing, it lost signal and returned home. I thought about it and I think my problem is I'm not flying high enough and the pine trees are interfering with the signal? I'm piloting out of that little clearing in my back yard surrounded by all those 30 ft pines. I'm only flying it about 100 feet high, maybe next time try 200 or 300 feet high and see if it can keep the signal longer?

Peace and tight butt cheeks!

Fuss

The Software allows you to view wifi signals in your area, Keep in mind that the mini, unlike other DJI Mavic, uses advanced WIFI signal instead of a direct link. 

Put your phone in airplane mode, it will extend the range of your mini and ensure that you do not get a phone call while flying

Line of sight is pretty important with wifi so you might be onto something, you might also reposition yourself further away from the treeline or not temp fate and get closer to the area you wish to film 

This is something else that needs to be considered with the mini, It is a relatively a short-range system compared to the Mavic pro Keep in mind also that electricity transmission lines produce electromagnetic interference that can degrade signal quality 

I feel ya, we spend so much money for our air rifles but they are for the most part always under our control, $500 dollars for a flying camera that can just disappear never to be seen again is a little harder to explain to the wife.



I should also say this, 

While under FAA Regs this little guy does not need to be registered it is a good idea to put a label on the drone with your name and address on it,

Also, DJI has a pretty fair Care Refresh package (does not cover loss) that allows users to get up to two replacements per year for under $50 including water damage

I got some pretty good vids of our range but it has been a long day so have not been able to get them downloaded and edited yet 
 
My Bad Willie. I also am a Drone enthusiast (Mavic Air). I just thought you mistakenly posted on this forum thinking you were on a Drone forum. It has happened to me! I was previously thinking about the Mavic 2 Pro, but the Mini seems to be a better choice for my intended use, and the money I save could be used on my Pellet gun addiction.


LOL, No worries, 

I like to think outside the box, (not to mention getting old and fat) if I can find a tool that can do some of my footwork for me I am all for it. 

Really though if you think about it a platform like this can really save a club/range a lot of money while adding a feature that very few have, Target cameras can cost close to $500 (and even more) for each setup, a single purchase of the mini and you can check targets pretty fast 

The Mavic 2 Pro comes with a lot of features that I would love to have, But with my schedule and stuff I just do not have the time to mess with the added requirements 
 
Sorry, It has taken so long, we have had a lot come up in the last few days. 

First Apples to Oranges 

For those who have used the Mavic Pro or other like versions, you are probably going to be a little spoiled. As good as a platform the mini is, it is not a pro 

Quickshots

Mavic Pro * , In most of the quick shot functions the pro will follow the object focused on not just with the gimble but with the craft itself, Keeping the subject in the center of the frame even when the subject is moving

Mini, it does have some nice quick shot functions but like its size they are paired down, they work great but will not keep the subject in the center of the frame if it starts moving.

Pro -- Follow Me, This is a great function and makes for some good footage the Mavic Pro does this very well 

Mini -- I suspect the reason this function is not available is that there is not any obstacle avoidance in the unit, It also may be an issue with the available (there is none) cooling for CPU power

Pro -- The Cpu is Fan cooled 

Mini -- The CPU is air vent cooled, Temps outside right now are not hot enough to be an issue, but I did get a temp warning when I had the drone plugged up in the house and doing some updates 

Stability

The Mavic Pro is a rock-solid platform that I love to fly, The Mini follows suite very responsive and snappy to commands when you adjust the gain up, or nice and gentle with them adjusted down. because of its small stature, I have no issues flying it inside the house at least not with the drone, My dogs, on the other hand, went bat crazy. The Mini does have stamping on its nose for forwarding sensors, I suspect in the near future we may see a mini with obstacle avoidance system like that of the pro, but at this time the pilot has to rely on his skills for that. Oh a little note on that, the mini weight is 249 grams without prop protectors, If you add the protectors then it is over the 250-gram weight limit.

Size

Pro The size might be one of those things that you say well duh, but there are both pros and cons on both sides of this equation, The pro because of all of the extra power available is a war horse when it comes to bucking the wind. That being said for its size and available power the mini does a lot better than most in its weight class but just as you are looking to scale down in size you will need to also scale down in power expectations 10mph or more and you can expect the mini to start fussing at you about high winds 

The Fly more combo for the mini comes in a case, 8"x8"x4" that package carries everything you need including 3 batteries, Bulk charger, remote, drone, extra props, charging cords, and plugs. My only complaint is it is a soft case and not hard as this would probably be something that I would take with me on vacation.

Range

As Mentioned in some above posts the Mini does not have the range that the pro does, in fact, it's about a 1/4 of the range, and because the Mini uses a form of dedicated wifi this range max of a mile can be severely limited in high bandwidth traffic areas. Also, keep in mind that Wifi does not like being out of the line of sight so dropping down below the line of sight to take some close-in shots may result in you getting disconnected. 

Keep in mind that there is no obstacle avoidance in the drone this means you need to make sure your return to home settings are well above any tree or object that may be in the drones automated path back to your location 

I will upload some pictures and video taken from the drone soon but the Mini Does not disappoint in this area, No they are not movie quality but any You-Tube Moviestar will be more than satisfied with the video quality, 

Photograph quality can be a bit more subjective as the Pro has a better gimble and camera kit than that of the Mini but Still, I would classify the Mini camera up into a very high end of Hobby or Low-end Pro