Released in March 2023, the DJI Mini 2 SE is one of the newest and, at the same time, one of the cheapest DJI drones existent.
This makes it a great choice as the perfect drone to start with.
But overall, is DJI Mini 2 SE right for you?
The DJI Mini 2 SE is a perfect drone for beginners and hobbyists alike, a suitable option to start flying drones. Although the camera is below the standard of other DJI drones, the Mini 2 SE excels through flight range and time while maintaining a low price.
In this article, we will explore both the perks and downsides of the DJI Mini 2 SE, how it performs under different scenarios, and if this drone could suit you.
DJI Mini 2 SE overview
DJI Mini 2 SE
Lightweight and Foldable Mini Drone with 2.7K Video, 10km Video Transmission, 31-min Flight Time, Under 249 g, Return to Home, Automatic Pro Shoots, Drone with camera for Beginners.
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08/01/2023 10:06 am GMT
DJI has a rich history of creating sub-250-gram drones, also known as the “mini series”.
After the initial release of the DJI Mini 3 Pro and DJI Mini 3, the company took a step back to renew the beloved DJI Mini 2 with the SE version.
The DJI Mini 2 SE is by far not the most performance-strong drone, and it does offer only a few features compared to other mini alternatives, but there’s a reason behind that.
At this time, even being one of the newest drones, the DJI Mini 2 SE is also officially one of the cheapest DJI drones you can buy, and that is currently in production.
But for now, let’s have a look at the Mini 2 SE specs, shall we?
|Specs||DJI Mini 2 SE|
|Size||138×81×58 mm folded, without propellers
245×289×56 mm unfolded, with propellers
|Flight Time||31 Minutes with 2250 mAh 2-cell intelligent battery|
|Max Flight Range||Nearly 10 miles (15.7 km)|
|Max Speed||16 m/s (35.7 mph)|
|Wind Resistance||10.7 m/s Level 5 Wind Resistance|
|Video Transmission||DJI O2 Transmission System|
|Gimbal||3-axis Mechanical Gimbal|
|Photography||Max 12MP resolution in JPEG & RAW format.|
|Video Recording||Max 2.7k at 30 frames per second or 1080p at 60fps|
|Obstacle Avoidance sensors||None, just a precision hovering sensor.|
|Does it have Active Track?||No|
|Remote Controller||DJI RC-N1 compatible.|
|Max SD Card Supported||SanDisk Extreme V30 A2 – 256GB|
- One of the cheapest DJI drones available
- Newer drone model
- Excellent transmission range
- Exceptional wind resistance
- 3-axis mechanical gimbal for fantastic video and photo stabilization
- Above-average flight time
- The drone is relatively fast
- Small in size when folded
- Sub-250 grams; may benefit from relaxed drone laws in the US and many countries worldwide.
- Low photo resolution: only 12 Megapixels
- Can film only in 2.7k at max 30 frames per second
- The CMOS sensor is small compared to other mini drones
- It doesn’t have any anti-collision sensors
- No Active Track with Follow-me mode
- May have tiny firmware issues to be solved by DJI
DJI Mini 2 SE for Photography
If you want to buy the DJI Mini 2 SE, we have a big downside and one upside to talk about.
The downside is that the photo resolution is relatively low as per 2023 standards.
At the same time, the CMOS, which is the photography and video sensor, is small – smaller than DJI Mini 3 and the same as the DJI FPV CMOS sensor.
What does this mean?
Unfortunately, you will be limited with dynamic range in relation to highlights and shadows in a photograph.
With a larger CMOS sensor, the dynamic range of an image is more expansive.
For instance, if you capture a photo with the drone in full sunlight and there are shadows from a forest, the light exposure of the sun and sky will be okay, but the shadows will be too dark.
That won’t be much of an issue because the drone can photograph in RAW (DNG) format.
This means that you can freely post-process the image within the limits of the camera sensor’s dynamic range.
You can push the shadows up with little introduction of image noise, but it would be more than enough for a decent image.
Therefore, if you are only looking to start out with a drone and learn aerial photography, the DJI Mini 2 SE is, in fact, a fantastic choice.
But don’t hope the drone can capture professional-level images such as DJI Mini 3 Pro or DJI Mavic 3 Pro can deliver. That’s a long way to go.
Now, talking about the advantage of this drone camera relates to the actual price of the drone.
It would be difficult to compare the camera’s abilities with a similar price drone camera because, in this case, the photo camera excels.
Although some other drones with a matching price range may capture images at a higher resolution, the CMOS sensor size and quality may be below what DJI Mini 2 SE offers.
Furthermore, remember that the DJI Mini 2 SE can photograph in DNG format, and with programs like Lightroom or Photoshop, you can do wonders for these images.
Now, let’s not forget that DJI Mini 2 SE also can photograph in sphere mode, 180 degrees, and wide angle.
DJI Mini 2 SE for filming
The maximum video resolution from DJI Mini 2 SE is 2.7k at 30 frames per second.
Many drones are capable of recording in 4k resolution, even drones with similar prices.
But in my professional opinion, unless you need it for a specific application, 4K is overrated.
Even for filming and publishing YouTube videos taken with this drone at 1080p, the quality should be more than enough.
2.7k, in this case, is brilliant.
Of course, we have the same issue where the dynamic range of the video may suffer because of the smaller CMOS.
But the biggest downside is that the DJI Mini 2 SE only has “Normal Color Mode” for video. This drone lacks D-Cinelike.
The D-Cinelike is equivalent to RAW in filming. It is a fantastic choice if you are looking to color-grade your videos.
But because the drone doesn’t have this option (at least at this time), it would be challenging to obtain professional-grade videos and further edit them in Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premier Pro, or other professional-level video editing software.
If you are simply looking for video memories or b-rolls for your YouTube videos, then you can’t go wrong with this drone.
But if you’re looking to create YouTube or social media videos entirely from drone shots, I would recommend you look further and invest more in a professional video drone.
Is DJI Mini 2 SE any good for commercial work?
Most drones on the market that offer decent flight performance are suitable for commercial work but limited.
The DJI Mini 2 SE is not much different from the list.
For instance, it is indeed a suitable drone for real estate photography because even the resolution and the image quality resulting is more than enough for a simple house aerial shot.
Also, the drone has excellent hovering capabilities and good flying stability, making it another acceptable choice for various sorts of inspections where you can get closer to the subject (e.g., roof).
The DJI Mini 2 SE can also be used for plain mapping because the images are good quality enough, but it may not be the best in its class.
Therefore, indeed, the DJI Mini 2 SE is suitable for basic commercial work but lacks many features more expensive drones have that make them excel in some niched industries.
A good alternative, if you’re looking for a commercial drone without burning your pocket, would be the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
DJI Mini 2 SE for beginners
Now this is the bread and butter of the DJI Mini 2 SE drone.
I can say this drone is one of the best beginner drones existent. Why?
First, the starting price is quite low compared to many drones, and the current features are far beyond similar-priced drones, making it a good choice for many new drone pilots.
It may not have obstacle avoidance or Active Track to take advantage of these characteristics.
But if your budget is low and you want to get into flying drones, then the DJI Mini 2 SE is currently the number one option.
This drone can fly for a long time, has many beginner features and modes to help you learn to fly a drone, and the transmission range is absolutely fantastic.
Moreover, with the help of Geofencing, you won’t be able to take off your drone in areas where drone flying is strictly forbidden, so you should not get in trouble.
The drone’s size and weight also contribute to the advantages of being a good beginner drone.
You won’t need a Phantom or any other bulky drone as your first. You need something small, portable, and cheap.
And then, if you like this hobby, in time, you can invest in more expensive equipment.
In the worst-case scenario, where you crash the drone as a beginner or don’t like the hobby, the losses are less significant than with a more costly drone.
And ultimately, flying a cheaper drone won’t be as intimidating as flying DJI Mavic 3 Pro as a beginner, for instance.
DJI Mini 2 SE flight time
The DJI Mini 2 SE can fly for about 31 minutes with a 2250mAh 2-cell battery.
The battery for this drone is unique, and you cannot use any other drone batteries to function with the Mini 2 SE.
As a point of comparison, the DJI Mini 3 can fly for 38 or 51 minutes, depending on its battery, and the Mini 3 Pro for 34 and, respectively, 47 minutes.
The DJI Air 2S also can fly for 31 minutes like the DJI Mini 2 SE.
Although many expensive drones may benefit from longer flight time than the DJI Mini 2 SE, similar-priced or cheaper drones are by far below the flight time capabilities of this drone.
That makes the DJI Mini 2 SE above-average regarding flight time with its intelligent battery.
Of course, the drone’s flight time will always be affected by external factors, such as temperature, wind speed, flight range, and flight style.
But we are all glad the DJI Mini 2 SE can fly for this amount of time.
And if you are looking for a cheap drone with good flight time, you can’t find anything better than the DJI Mini 2 SE.
Unless you add another $120-$150 to upgrade to the DJI Mini 3.
DJI Mini 2 SE range
The DJI Mini 2 SE has an older transmission system, the DJI O2.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro has the DJI O3, Mavic 3 Pro, the DJI O3+, and the newest DJI Air 3 has the just-released O4 transmission system.
That means the DJI Mini 2 SE is slightly left behind regarding transmission data, flight range, bitrate, and response time.
But even with an older system such as the DJI O2, the drone can transmit data for many miles, depending on the territory you are on the globe (geopolitical restrictions).
You probably won’t be able to fly far enough to lose a video signal before the battery depletes or you reach visual flight restrictions.
That makes the DJI Mini 2 SE one of the cheapest drones with a fantastic transmission range and capable of flight long-range.
There are no other similar drones to fly that far as the DJI Mini 2 SE for this cost.
And other non-DJI drones within the same price range cannot fly even half of the distance of this drone.
Buying the DJI Mini 2 SE for traveling
Who doesn’t love a little bit of traveling?
Wherever you’re traveling light, by backpack, car or train, or even by plane, carrying a drone is not an easy task.
You must always ensure there’s more than enough space for the drone, remote controller, and potential accessories.
A “mini drone,” such as the DJI Mini 2 SE, DJI Mini 3/Mini 3 Pro, or similar, are all tiny drones that weigh under 250 grams and fit even in a pocket.
If you are traveling and want to invest in a cheap light drone, then the DJI Mini 2 SE is one of the best choices.
Another alternative would be a Mini 3 or Mini 3 Pro, but both these drones are more pricey than DJI Mini 2 SE.
If you want to take some travel aerial photography or film a tall waterfall in the middle of nowhere from a drone, you cannot go wrong with the DJI Mini 2 SE.
But if you want to buy this drone for traveling, I recommend getting the fly-more pack or at least an additional battery or two.
You will need these batteries because even with a good flight time, the juice runs out quicker than you expect.
And it would be silly to find yourself backpacking for hours and only be able to take a couple of shots and video with your new Mini 2 SE.
That’s unless you have an external power bank you can charge the battery with, but there may be better approaches.
To summarize, the DJI Mini 2 SE is one of the best cheap drones you can buy for travel nowadays.
Is DJI Mini 2 SE good for vlogging?
If you are into the world of vlogging or creating digital content for your YouTube channel, there are better choices than the DJI Mini 2 SE.
The camera quality for video is suitable for vlogs, capturing some b-rolls, and taking advantage of the drone’s small size where you can carry it anywhere.
But the most significant disadvantage is that the DJI Mini 2 SE does not have Active Track with Follow-me mode.
What does this mean?
It is simple. If you plan to put the drone into following you while vlogging, it won’t.
You can take advantage of some intelligent functions to sweeten the videos you take with this drone.
But unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend the DJI Mini 2 SE for vlogging as the top choice.
Instead, I would go for the DJI Mini 3 Pro, where you can benefit from the follow-me mode and obstacle avoidance sensors.
However, that can get pricey.
» MORE: Best Drones for Vlogging
DJI Mini 2 SE for sports
If you are looking for a drone for sports, there are two ways to approach this:
Are you planning to use a follow-me feature for the drone to follow you around while you engage in some sporting activities, or are you simply the pilot in this case?
With the possibility of the drone reaching 35 miles per hour, it would be suitable to use for most sports if you are the pilot.
But if you’re looking for a drone to follow you around while doing sports, then again, the DJI Mini 2 SE wouldn’t be my recommendation.
Now, if you are strictly into sporting and looking for something specific while you are the drone pilot, I recommend you get into FPV and buy an FPV drone such as DJI Avata or a custom FPV quad.
In this case, with some training and practice, the type of videos you can do in sporting is unique and can stand out from everything else.
Why the DJI Mini 2 SE may be a suitable drone for you
If you are a beginner looking for a cheap reliable drone to start flying, then the DJI Mini 2 SE is an excellent choice.
If you are a traveler, I would strongly recommend getting this drone because it’s small and lightweight.
Learning to photograph and capture aerial videos for the first time is yet another reason I would recommend the Mini 2 SE before investing in more expensive drones.
One another advantage of the DJI Mini 2 SE is that you won’t have to register it and may benefit from relaxed drone laws in many parts around the world because it is under 250 grams.
The DJI Mini 2 SE can apply to all sorts of drone pilots, from beginner to advanced, to travelers, learning to fly and capture cinematic content, and so on.
It is a cheap investment you surely cannot go wrong with.
Why DJI Mini 2 SE may not be what you’re looking for
If you are looking for a drone to advance professionally in aerial photography or filmmaking, then I cannot recommend the DJI Mini 2 SE.
Also, I would not recommend it for any type of activity that will require you to use the follow-me feature or take advantage of anti-collision sensors because this drone lacks these attributes.
The DJI Mini 2 SE may not be the best recommendation if you are looking for a drone for commercial work, apart from possibly real estate photography and roof inspection.
There are other drones out there that could do better, but the price will rise accordingly.