8 Best DJI Drones 2021 | DJI Drones Review

by Tim Blue

Drones are a vital tool for anyone who is into photo/cinematography. They can reach places that are not humanly possible and capture beautiful images and videos. They have been steadily growing in popularity with many students, hobbyists, and professionals using them. 

Drone ModelFeaturesPrice
DJI Air 2S1-inch 20 MP sensor for low noise images and videos Range of options for videographers Excellent AI features Small and lightweight$999.00
DJI Mini 2No need for registration feesA lot of drone for the money4K video and Raw mode cameraNo forward collision sensorsCompact and convenientIntuitive to fly$449.00
DJI Mavic Air 2Easy to flyShoots impressive 4K/60p videoAmazingly stableFoldable, portable designObject avoidance with course correction$799.00
DJI Mavic 2 Pro1-inch 20 MP sensor for low-noise images10-bit video for post-processing Handy foldable designAdvanced, but easy to fly$1,499.00
DJI Mavic 2 ZoomEasy to fly and intuitive to control24-48mm optical zoom lensMechanical zoom Cheaper than DJI Mavic 2 Pro$1,349.00
DJI MiniSuperb folding designImpressively stable videoSide-steps registration feesGPS Altitude HoldJPEG stills only$399.00
DJI FPVEasy and fun to flyImmersive DJI GogglesFun beyond any rational measureExceptional collision prevention for First Person View$1,299.00
DJI Inspire 2Ultimate in photo flexibilityOption for CinemaRAW Stunning range of cameras & lenses Dual batteries costly Incredible build qualityGood battery lifeLots of pro-friendly features$3,299.00

DJI is one of the biggest brands when it comes to consumer drones because of its experience in producing some of the finest drones. Their drones have impressive flight control and feature some of the best cameras. 

With the number of DJI drones available on the market right now, it can be hard to choose the right one for you. So this article is a list of the best drones that DJI produces and what makes each drone so good. Read and choose the one for you. 

Related : Best Cheap Chinese Drones on Aliexpress

Best DJI Drones

DJI Air 2S

The DJI Air 2S is a perfect mix of portability and image quality making it one of the best drones you can buy right now. While the DJI ‘Air’ lineup has always had a great combination of portability and image quality, the Air 2S takes it to the next level. 

The DJI Air 2S combines the best elements of the Mavic Air 2 and the Mavic 2 Pro. The Air 2S borrows portability from the Mavic Air 2 and the 20 Megapixel (MP) 1-inch sensor from the Mavic Pro 2. This mix makes the Air 2S the drone to beat with the right mix and the best of both worlds. 

The DJI Air 2S is an almost perfect all-rounder that can shoot 5.4K video at 30 fps, offers 2x zoom, and excellent ISO performance. The Air 2S has a rated flight time of 31 minutes and a range of up to 12 km. You will also get a controller which is ergonomic and easy to use. 

The Air 2S does not offer variable aperture so you have to land and change Neutral Density (ND) filters for control over exposure and focal length. This can be a disadvantage for some professionals.

The combination of impressive camera performance in a small and lightweight body at a reasonable price tag makes the DJI Air 2S a winner. It is great for hobbyists and professional photo/videographers on a budget. 

DJI Mini 2

The DJI Mini 2 is very similar to the DJI Mavic Mini, its predecessor. The DJI Mini 2 is the best drone if you are a beginner, as it is lightweight, easy to use, and doesn’t require registration to use in most regions. 

The DJI Mini 2 features a revamped controller that is more ergonomic and antenna-free. The flying experience of the Mini 2 is smoother and the intuitive handling experience makes it easier to fly. You also get 30 minutes of flight time along with a range of 10 km which is higher than that of the older Mavic Mini.

The DJI Mini 2 doesn’t just improve on flying experience, it is better when it comes to camera capabilities as well. The Mini 2 can record 4K videos which are great during the daytime but struggles a bit in low light situations. The stability of videos from the Mini 2 is also impressive despite its tiny lightweight construction.

The DJI Mini 2 is aimed at beginners and does a great job making life easier for them. Excellent controls/handling, good camera capabilities make it the best drone for beginners. The slightly higher price tag compared to the DJI Mavic Mini is a bummer, but it is also a better product. 

DJI Mavic Air 2

dji mavic air 2

The DJI Mavic Air 2 replaces one of the most flawed DJI drones ever, the Air 1, so it should be easy for the Mavic Air 2 to outlive its predecessor. The Mavic Air 2 comes with the same design but it has different features and offers a better experience. 

The DJI Mavic Air 2 has been stripped of some advanced tracking features which were causing problems. The Mavic Air 2 also uses a lighter camera which increases the overall flight time to 34 minutes. 

The camera on the DJI Mavic Air 2 is one of its strong suits and it appeals to professional videographers. The 48 Megapixel Quad-Bayer camera can do 4K at 60 fps and the half-inch sensor produces good video and images even at night. The new controller for the DJI Mavic Air 2 is an improvement as it is much better to handle and it can even charge your phone. 

The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a great drone but if you are someone who needs a bigger camera sensor and collision avoidance then investing in the Air 2S would be better, otherwise, the Mavic Air 2 is excellent for its price. It is also a huge improvement over its predecessor.  

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

dji drone vs parrot

The DJI Air 2S does pretty much everything better than the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. The Air 2S offers the same 1-inch sensor in a smaller, lightweight, and more affordable package. But the old DJI Mavic 2 Pro still has a trick up its sleeve as it offers variable aperture. 

Variable aperture is something professional videographers would love as they can control exposure and focal length mid-flight. This offers much more versatility when it comes to camera capabilities. It also makes the Mavic 2 Pro more convenient to use as you don’t have to change ND filters. 

The Mavic 2 Pro also offers a dynamic range of 14 stops which is higher than the 12.6 stops found on the Air 2S. While it is not a huge difference, it is still an advantage and can improve the quality of videos and pictures. 

The Mavic 2 Pro is lower than the Air 2S only because the latter is a better deal in a smaller, more portable package. If variable aperture and the extra dynamic range are necessary then get the Mavic 2 Pro, else you can get the Air 2S or wait for the rumored DJI Mavic 3 Pro. 

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

dji drone vs holystone

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom falls under the same family as the Mavic 2 Pro and so uses the same body. The main difference between the Mavic 2 Zoom and the Mavic 2 Pro is in the camera department. 

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom as the name suggests uses a zoom lens and loses some of the more professional camera capabilities of the Mavic 2 Pro. It can only capture at a resolution of 4000 x 3000 pixels at 8-bit which is lower than 10-bit found on Mavic 2 Pro. What you do get over the Mavic 2 Pro is the 2x optical zoom lens (no loss in quality) and the Mavic 2 Zoom is cheaper too.

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is not the only drone with zoom capabilities, both the DJI Air and Air 2S offer 2x digital zooms (loss of quality). The only other optical zoom drone from DJI is the Inspire 2 which is much heavier and costlier. So, if you want a drone with an optical zoom lens then the DJI Mavic 2 is your best bet. 

DJI Mavic Mini

dji mavic drone review

If you are looking for the best value for money drone, the last DJI Mavic Mini is the one for you. It was great value for money even before the Mavic Mini 2 was released, and with the price cut, it is one of the best options for budget buyers and beginners. 

The DJI Mavic Mini features a camera with a gimbal, GPS, remote controller, QuickShots, and altitude control. It is a tiny lightweight camera that can fly longer than the Inspire 2 while costing less than a pair of batteries for the Inspire 2. The maximum range of the Mavic Mini is a little low at 4 km but still better than most of its competition. 

The DJI Mavic Mini can record at 2.7K video quality using its 12 MP sensor, which is decent for the price. The dynamic range could be better but compared to its competitors it is well ahead. All things considered, the DJI Mavic Mini is a great budget drone for any beginner or hobbyist. 

DJI FPV

If you are into drones to have fun, then the DJI FPV will provide you with the most fun you can have. DJI had one goal in mind when they developed this drone and that was to be fast and fun. And the result is that the DJI FPV is one of the fastest stunt-capable drones you can buy.

The DJI FPV can reach a top speed of 140 kph which is almost double the top speed of the second-fastest drone in this list. The DJI FPV has insane acceleration too, with the first 100 units, able to reach top speed in just under 2 secs. 

The DJI FPV is also special when it comes to its camera system. Most racing/stunt drones have poor cameras which only function as a viewfinder for flying. The DJI FPV has a proper camera system with a gimbal and support for up to 4K 60fps video recording. 

Buy the DJI FPV if fun is all you want to have, it is designed to be played with. And I can’t stress this enough, but it is extremely fun and addicting. 

DJI Inspire 2

dji drones review

The DJI Inspire 2 is probably the most ambitious drone developed by DJI. It is developed for professionals in mind. The DJI Inspire 2 is highly customizable and has excellent camera performance.

The Inspire 2 has a removable camera system and you can choose between the Zenmuse X5S and the Zenmuse X7. You also get a mechanical shutter. You can fit a Micro Four Thirds zoom lens over the X5S’s sensor for excellent zoom capability without losing quality. 

The Inspire 2 is a behemoth and is powered by two very expensive batteries. It has a max range of 3.5 km and a flight time of 23 or 27 minutes depending on the camera setup. And the drone weighs over 3000 grams.

When it comes to camera features, no drone can beat the Inspire 2, you can capture CinemaDNG, Apple ProRes video, with full 10-bit color support. The Inspire 2 has a max video resolution of 5.2K at 30fps. The camera hangs from a 360-degree mount that can do flybys with object tracking and more. You can also save videos onto both SSD-based memory cards or Micro-SD cards. 

The DJI Inspire 2 is the most versatile drone from DJI, it is heavy and clunky but it has to be for its use case. It features some of the best, if not the best camera options of any drone. It is a professional photographer’s dream and so it costs a ton too. It is not for everyone, but for the ones it is meant for, it will make them very happy. 

Ryze Tello

This awesome budget drone found on DJI’s website is excellent for people who are new to drones and just want to have fun. The Ryze Tello has been developed with the same flight technology found in other DJI drones.

The Ryze Tello is more of a toy than a professional product yet it comes with features that are found in some of DJI’s higher-end models. The Ryze Tello can hold its position thanks to visual sensors on its underside. It can also perform “8D stunts” which are not found in most of DJI’s drones.

To achieve such a competitive price tag in a small lightweight body, Ryze had to cut some corners. It has a mediocre 720p camera with only software stabilization. And since it has no onboard storage or SD card, the video is directly transmitted and recorded on your phone, which can be affected due to signal issues.

The Ryze isn’t a photographer’s drone, so it is understandable, it is a drone built to have fun with and it is extremely fun to use. And it can also be considered as an educational product as Scratch (a programming language) is supported along with the complete SDK. You can also choose the Marvel Iron Man edition of the Ryze Tello, which looks super cool.

Overall, for the price, the Ryze Tello is an amazing drone if all you care about is having fun and a camera capable of taking the occasional photograph. It is cheap, lightweight, and offers tons of fun.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is the drone for you if you are a professional photo/cinematographer. This drone offers excellent flight control, long flight times and can shoot impressive photos and videos.

DJI phantom

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 launched back in 2018, yet it is still one of the best drones you can buy for professional uses. It is heavy which makes it great for weather conditions that are not favorable. The weight along with its precision handling allows you to shoot even in extreme weather.

The most impressive part of the DJI Phantom Pro 4 V2.0 is its camera system. The 20 MP 1-inch sensor allows you to shoot at 4K 60fps in D-Log color profile for professionals. You can also shoot raw photos. And the quality of the photos and videos is exceptional with tons of detail and dynamic range.

The only disadvantage is that it is large and bulky which makes it inconvenient but the same acts as its advantage as it can work well in harsh weather. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is not cheap as it is aimed at professionals. IF you are someone who can take advantage of its camera then there are very few drones better than this. It is for professionals who want the very best in terms of camera quality.

Do you need a license to fly a DJI Drone?

Yes, drones do require a license to fly but there are a few exceptions. Drones under 250g don’t require registration. So drones like the DJI Mavic Mini, the DJI Mini 2, and the Ryze Tello don’t need a registration to fly. If you add attachments like a propeller guard, then the weight of drones like the Mavi Mini and Mini 2 can increase over 250g then you will need registration to fly them. 

Can DJI drones carry things?

DJI’s drones are not designed to carry things, they are primarily video recording devices. But this doesn’t mean they can’t carry anything at all. Drones like the DJI Inspire 2 can carry a lot of weight. Even smaller drones can carry things but this will affect their flight control and flight time significantly. It is recommended not to use DJI drones for carrying things even if they can. 

Can I buy a DJI drone in the US? And Where is the best place to buy a DJI drone?

Yes, you can buy a DJI drone in the US. Amazon, DJI Official Online Store, AliExpress, and eBay are some popular and trusted sites where you can buy DJI drones.

Conclusion

DJI is one of the biggest brands when it comes to drones. They have been in the market for years now, and make some of the drones you can buy. The above are the best drones you can buy from DJI and they cover various price brackets. 

Choose the drone that will suit you the most based on what you need from it. Some drones on this list are meant for professionals, while some are meant for fun and some for hobbyists. But regardless of the price or use case, you will find a drone suited for you from DJI. 



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