While the DJI Mini 3 and DJI Air 2S are top-level drones, it is easy to get into a dilemma on which to pick. Besides, even though the same company manufactures both drones, there are still significant differences.
The DJI Mini 3 and Air 2S are excellent drones with impressive features and capabilities.
DJI Air 2S would make a perfect pick for professional photographers, as it is characterized by superior photo and video quality.
DJI Mini 3, on the other hand, is superb for beginners and hobbyists due to its beginner-friendly features and pocket-friendly price.
If you are facing a dilemma on which drone to buy, you are at the right place.
Before I comprehensively compare the two prominent drones, let me give you a complete overview of each drone.
DJI Mini 3 review
The DJI Mini 3 is a powerful and compact drone that is easy to operate. Hobbyists and professionals find the drone convenient due to its advanced capabilities, including the minimal effort required to launch and land.
Some features that make the DJI Mini 3 stand out from the rest include the tri-directional obstacle sensing, the sub 249g weight, 4K HDR video, extended battery life, Focus Track, and true vertical shooting.
Whether you are purchasing a drone for professional or hobby purposes, you will want to travel with it at some point. Hence, you need to invest in a compact drone to ensure you can easily travel with it.
The DJI Mini 3 is remarkably mini, making it excellent to travel with. Besides its compactness, it weighs less than 249 g. Hence it is also regulation-friendly.
The upgraded safety features, such as top-tier and 1/1/3-inch sensor, ensures that you can still comfortably and safely fly your drone.
The design of the DJI Mini 3 is performance-oriented. With an aerodynamic body tilt and larger propellers, the drone will never disappoint when it comes to performance.
The streamlined body of the Mini 3 drone allows for increased drone safety and extended flight time.
Long flight time
The long flight time of the DJI Mini 3 makes it a perfect choice for both creators and hobbyists. With the ultra-lightweight yet powerful battery, you get up to 34 minutes of flight time, enough to capture life-changing moments every time you set out to the skies.
Again, if the 34-minute flight time is not enough because you like to push your drone to maximum flight limits, you can upgrade. You can upgrade to an intelligent flight battery plus and make it possible to fly for up to 47 minutes.
Excellent in all lighting conditions
The low-light capability of a drone affects not only the quality of the photos but also the times you can fly the drone. The Mini 3’s wide lighting conditions allow you to capture and savor moments whenever necessary.
Every image you capture with the DJI Mini 3 is enriched with a high dynamic range for clear details and shadows. Overall, your footage will look real even in low-light conditions.
4K HDR video
The DJI Mini 3 lets you take your aerial photography to the next level by providing you with 48 MP RAW photos and stunning 4K HDR video. Further, the clarity of the images and videos will make your content stand out as excellent.
The APAS 4.0 stands for Advanced Pilot Assistance System, responsible for detecting objects in the drone’s path in real-time. This feature allows the drone to avoid obstacles, even in tricky circumstances.
If you are a social media enthusiast, you want to share the best content for your audience. The DJI Mini 3 lets you share quality and amazing content instantly. Further, the Mini 3’s extensive intelligent features allow you to add a touch of creativity to make your content stand out.
True vertical shooting provides quality and detailed shots that you can use for many purposes, including instantly sharing the footage on your social media platforms. The advanced camera gimbal rotates 90 degrees to ensure that you do not compromise the quality of the image.
The DJI Mini 3 lets you capture the largeness of landscapes with wide-angle and panorama shots. If you like traveling and exploring the natural beauty of landscapes around the globe, you will fall in love with this feature.
Additionally, this drone offers quick transfer, making it easy to share your creativity as it supports high-speed Wi-Fi downloads.
Weaknesses of the DJI Mini 3
- 1.2 GB of internal storage
- Lacks top-facing obstacle avoidance sensors
- Not a true 48MP image
DJI Air 2S review
The DJI Air 2S is one of the best all-in-one drones thanks to its combination of the latest autonomous technology with a high-end camera at a pocket-friendly price.
With features such as Master shots, a 1-inch CMOS sensor, 5.4K video, 12km transmission, ADS-B, and obstacle sensing in 4 directions, it is the ultimate drone for professional creators.
Besides the incredible features of the drone, it has a compact body weighing less than 600g, making it ideal for drone enthusiasts on the move.
Below are the features and capabilities that completely define the DJI Air 2S.
Intelligent HDR technology
The intelligent HDR technology lets you merge multiple shots autonomously, enhancing the dynamic range of your content without the need for further processing. In other words, the Intelligent HDR technology provides rich images with greater depth.
Hyperlapse and panorama
The DJI Air 2S boasts Hyperlapse shots that let you speed up the time and movement of your footage with a single tap. Further, it allows you to capture more pronounced shots of the scenery around you with panorama.
One of the strengths of the DJI Air 2S is its sturdy and solid body structure. The drone is generally compact, giving the impression of a drone designed to stand the test of time. Naturally, every part of the DJI Air 2S feels solid.
Further, the design of the DJI Air 2S, coupled with safety and intelligent technology, means that you are free to concentrate on enjoying the flight rather than worrying about destroying the drone.
Wherever you go, you will never have to worry about the portability of damaging your drone.
Whether you are flying for professional or hobby purposes, the safety of your drone will always come first. Besides, you can only enjoy flying your drone if it is in perfect shape and condition.
The DJI Air 2S can scan and perceive its environment in four directions; forward, backward, up, and down. Further, its Advanced Pilot Assistance systems let you enjoy the flying experience by ensuring that the drone actively avoids obstacles in complex situations.
ADS-B for safe skies
Another interesting characteristic of the DJI Air 2S is that it provides an additional airspace safety layer through the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast. The ADS-B receives flight location information from the helicopters and planes in the vicinity and then displays it on the map, providing visual alerts that help you stay out of the way of those aircraft.
The DJI RC is designed to provide an exceptional operating experience to the pilots. The controller boasts a lightweight body, ultra-long battery life, an FHD display, and dual spring control sticks for excellent comfort. Generally, the DJI RC makes aerial creation convenient and perfect.
Battery life determines how long you can fly without having to stop and recharge. With the over 31-minute flight time, you have plenty of time to explore the skies and create unique content for your audience.
DJI Mini 3 vs. DJI Air 2s: Which one to buy?
Now that we have looked at the features of each drone separately, it is time to switch gears to the conspicuous differences between the drones that will help you choose the most suitable one for your needs.
In this DJI Mini 3 vs. Air 2s comparison, I will compare every aspect that a drone enthusiast will always want to pay attention to when shopping for a new drone.
1. The camera
The DJI Mini 3 has a 1/3-inch CMOS sensor coupled with an f/1.7 fast aperture that lets you shoot 4k videos at a maximum of 60fps and 48 MP. Further, the camera can rotate 90 degrees to allow you to capture quality videos and images vertically.
On the other hand, the Air 2S boasts a 20MP 1-inch CMOS sensor that lets you shoot 5.4K videos at 30 fps. Additionally, the Air 2S is capable of 4k footage at 60fps and 1080p at 120fps.
By closely comparing the two drones in terms of camera quality, it is apparent that the Air 2S is the clear winner. However, the difference between the quality of the footage of the two drones is small.
2. Battery life
The battery life is a significant factor when purchasing a drone as it determines how much time you have to explore the skies without having to stop and recharge.
While the DJI Air 2S can manage a 31-minute flight time, the DJI Mini 3 can handle a 34-47-minute flight time, depending on the battery you are using.
If drone registration is not a problem, you can switch to a plus battery to get more flying time for your DJI Mini 3 drone. In that case, the weight of the drone will cross the 250g threshold, meaning that you will need to register it before flying.
The DJI Mini 3 is a clear winner in flight duration, thanks to its small size and superior battery technology.
3. Obstacle avoidance
Obstacle avoidance is designed to make flying a drone safe and easy. While both the DJI Mini 3 and Air 2S are equipped with obstacle avoidance capability, the Air 2S emerges as the winner thanks to its ability to detect objects in four directions.
Still, in safety matters, both drones have APAS 4.0, which lets them detect objects on their flight path in real-time. Overall, both drones can do an incredible job of preventing you from knocking your drone against trees.
Nonetheless, you should be careful when flying your drone.
4. Remote controller and flight range
The DJI Air 2S manages a flight range of 11.5 miles (18.5 km), while the DJI Mini 3 has a range of 7.5 miles (12 km).
Again both drones have two controller options. They both are compatible with a DJI RC-N1.
DJI Mini 3 can also be used with the DJI RC with a built-in screen to eliminate the need to mount your phone when flying.
On the other hand, the DJI Air 2S supports the DJI Smart Controller, which is best for outdoor videography/photography. It is characterized by an ultra-bright display that stays visible even in sunlight.
The DJI Air 2S is a definitive winner regarding remote controller and range.
5. Intelligent flight modes
Regarding the intelligent flight modes, the DJI Mini 3 and Air 2S are the same.
Both drones have:
- Focus Track
All these features are designed to make it easy for you to create stunning aerial content easily.
Nevertheless, the Air 2S offers upgraded versions of all the intelligent flight modes, including the advanced pilot Assistance System and Active Track 4.0.
6. Design, weight, and size
The DJI Mini 3 and the Air 2S have great designs meant to improve the durability and functionality of the drones.
However, the DJI Mini 3 is smaller and lighter as it weighs 249g compared to the 600g of the DJI Air 2S.
The lightweight nature of the DJI Mini 3 makes it a registration-free drone in many countries. Additionally, it features a gimbal designed for 90 degrees of rotation for vertical footage.
In terms of design and weight, the DJI Mini 3 takes the win, as it weighs below 250g, meaning that you may not have to register it in most countries.
Of course, this does not make the DJI Air 2S any less of a drone since it is made up of quality materials for durability.
Again, it is also a foldable and easy-to-transport mini drone, making it excellent for travel fans.
7. Storage capacity
Storage of the drone is another critical factor that you can use to evaluate the capability and efficiency of a drone. A drone with a large storage capacity is the best option as it gives you the flexibility to store large amounts of content.
The DJI Air 2S has a storage capacity of 8GB, while the DJI Mini 3 comes with 1.2 GB. Fortunately, you can always use a compatible microSD card to store your content.
Another apparent difference between the DJI Mini 3 vs. Air 2s is based on the price. The starting price for DJI Air 2S is $999, while that of the DJI Mini 3 is $559.
If you are after taking your aerial photography venture to the next level, consider investing in the DJI Air 2S.
However, if you are not after aerial photography, the DJI Mini 3 has everything you need for a thrilling flying experience at $440 cheaper than the DJI Air 2S.
Who should buy a DJI Mini 3?
Since both the DJI Mini 3 and the Air 2S have incredible features, it means there are situations where you will find the DJI Mini 3 more efficient than the DJI Air 2S or vice versa.
You should buy the DJI Mini 3 if you need the most portable drone. The DJI Mini 3 is a compact, sturdy, lightweight drone you can take anywhere you want. Additionally, the drone weighs less than 250g meaning that you may not have to register it in most countries.
Further, the DJI Mini 3 never disappoints regarding imaging quality, functionality, and excellent flight performance. Also, the vertical footage capability makes it ideal for creating content for social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.
Who should buy the DJI Air 2S?
If you intend to take your aerial photography to the next level, investing in the DJI Air 2S will be a perfect option. The DJI Air is characterized by high video resolution, more color profiles, and better digital zoom capabilities, making it an excellent choice for video enthusiasts.
Again, the DJI Air 2S has an effective four-way obstacle detection system designed to make the drone easy to use in complex environments.
After closely comparing the DJI Mini 3 and the Air 2S, it is evident that both drones are excellent in almost every aspect. Nonetheless, if you have to choose one of them, it is important to consider your specific needs before deciding.
For most beginners who are especially into drone hobbies, the DJI Mini 3 is a perfect option as it is ultra-small, portable, and lightweight, making it registration-friendly.
Furthermore, it has all the critical features and capabilities, including long battery life and excellent, intelligent flight modes, to make its operations thrilling.
The DJI Air 2S will be perfect for professional aerial photography enthusiasts.