The arrival of the DJI Mini 3 Pro in May 2022 was a game-changer in the drone world, bringing more professional-friendly features to a sub-250g model that made it the best drone in its class by far. When I reviewed the DJI Mini 3 Pro, I was so impressed with its image quality, small size, light weight and features that I bought one myself. The DJI Mini 4 Pro builds on those qualities to become the new benchmark for what sub-250g drones can deliver.
One aspect of the Mini 4 Pro that can’t be ignored, though, is that despite being the closest Mini-series drone to the DJI Mavic 3 models and the DJI Air 3 in terms of flight and safety features, and some camera functionality, it’s more of an incremental update over the Mini 3 Pro than a radical upgrade; it looks remarkably similar, performs pretty much identically in flight, and even uses the same impressive 1/1.3-inch sensor. And for current Mini 3 Pro owners there could be a sense of frustration, as many of the camera upgrades could likely have been delivered via firmware updates.
This begs the question: if you’re a Mini 3 Pro owner, should you upgrade? And the simple if unhelpful answer is that only you can decide. The Mini 3 Pro remains a fantastic drone, despite not being quite as robustly featured as the Mini 4 Pro. But if you’re upgrading from an older model, or coming to the Mini series for the first time, the Mini 4 Pro is an excellent choice. Whether you’re a professional drone pilot using the Mini 4 Pro as a second drone who can benefit from the D-Log M video color consistency with your Mavic 3, or an enthusiast looking for something small and lightweight, the Mini 4 Pro is undoubtedly the best sub-250 g drone available.
DJI Mini 4 Pro: Release date and price
- Available now, priced from $759 / £689 / AU$1,119
- Two kits to choose from
- Fly More Bundle offers value for money
The DJI Mini 4 Pro was announced on 25 September 2023, and is available to buy from the DJI Store and authorized retailers. It’s available in two kit options, with the smart controller option also offered in a Fly More Bundle. And despite the impressive features on offer that set this new model apart from its predecessor, pricing is almost identical to the Mini 3 Pro at launch.
The DJI Mini 4 Pro (DJI RC-N2) kit costs $759 / £689 / AU$1,119, while the DJI Mini 4 Pro (DJI RC 2) kit costs $959 / £869 / AU$1,419. These kits include the drone, the relevant controller, one Intelligent Flight Battery, a pair of propellers, a Screwdriver, a DJI Mini 4 Pro Gimbal Protector, a DJI Mini 4 Pro Propeller Holder, and a Type-C to Type-C PD Cable.
If you’d prefer better value and a host of useful accessories, a Fly More Bundle is available for the Mini 4 Pro (DJI RC 2). Although the obvious caveat here is that you have to opt for the more expensive controller. This kit option costs $1,099 / £1,149 / AU$1,699. In addition to the above, you also get two extra Intelligent Flight Batteries, two additional sets of propellers, a DJI Mini Shoulder Bag and the DJI Mini 4 Pro/Mini 3 Series Two-Way Charging Hub.
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DJI Mini 4 Pro: Design and controller
- Small and lightweight folding design
- Looks extremely similar to the Mini 3 Pro
- Two controller options
DJI Mini-series drones need little introduction in terms of design these days. Alongside its highly portable and regulator-friendly diminutive size and weight, and folding design, the Mini 4 Pro looks very similar to the Mini 3 Pro, the main visual difference being the additional Omnidirectional Collision Avoidance sensors on the top of the airframe and an Auxiliary Light on the bottom.
Most of the upgrades are under the hood, so to speak, in the form of software and feature enhancements. Even the 12/48MP 1/1.3-inch sensor is the same as the Mini 3 Pro’s, albeit with image processing upgrades, but that’s no bad thing, because it’s a fantastic sensor that’s capable of producing excellent image quality despite its small size when compared to the sensors in flagship Mavic 3 prosumer models.
The new features on offer, which we’ll go into much more detail about later, make the Mini 4 Pro much closer to Mavic 3 models in terms of flight and video features. This is fantastic news for professional drone pilots looking for greater consistency in their workflow, while enthusiasts can simply enjoy an improved Mini Pro model.
Depending on your budget and needs, the Mini 4 Pro is available with two controller options: the DJI RC-N2, which features a telescopic phone holder and no screen, so you have to use a smartphone with it, and the DJI RC 2 smart controller. The DJI RC 2 features a 5.5-inch screen with 700-nit brightness, and provides a much more convenient flight experience with faster set-up times.
DJI Mini 4 Pro: Features and flight
- Omnidirectional Collision Avoidance
- ActiveTrack 360°
- Advanced Return to Home
The Mini 4 Pro’s flight times are almost identical to its predecessor’s, with the same flight time that’s advertised at up to 34 minutes with the standard Intelligent Flight Battery; flight times typically come in at around 20-25 minutes until Return to Home is initiated at 20% battery, depending on how vigorously the drone is flown and environmental factors such as wind and temperature. There’s also an Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, available separately, that increases flight times to an advertised duration of 46 minutes, but this takes the weight of the drone above 250g and isn’t available in Europe.
The most significant feature to arrive with the Mini 4 Pro is Omnidirectional Vision Sensing, which is Omnidirectional collision avoidance to you and me. This uses four fisheye vision sensors, downward binocular vision sensors, and a 3D ToF sensor that aid flight safety in complex environments.
This system works well, and together with the Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems (APAS), it certainly provides confidence; the Bypass/Nifty mode allows you to fly through trees and even indoors, but you still have to take great care, and the DJI Fly app does warn of the risk. More confident and experienced pilots may find that flight is ultimately smoother with collision avoidance switched off, but this comes at the expense of a much greater risk of collision.
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Omnidirectional Vision Sensing also delivers a series of additional advanced features including ActiveTrack 360,° which is more reliable from a safety point of view and more effective than ActiveTrack on the Mini 3 Pro. Another feature is Advanced Return to Home, which incorporates Obstacle Avoidance into plotting the most efficient route back to the take-off point. So, from a safety and autonomous flight point of view, the Mini 4 Pro beats the Mini 3 Pro hands down.
Other features include Hyperlapse, MasterShots, Quickshots, Digital Zoom and QuickTransfer (of files to a phone without having to switch on the controller). Then there’s the LightCut app, which can be used to create AI-edited videos at the touch of a button. This is perfect for quick and easy video creation, although it’s certainly not a professional tool. There’s also a Cruise Control feature, as on higher-end DJI drones, which can lock the drone in flight so that you don’t have to continue pushing the control sticks when performing a long maneuver.
DJI Mini 4 Pro: Image quality
- Same sensor as the Mini 3 Pro
- D-Log M color profile
- New image processing technologies
The image quality produced by the Mini 4 Pro is impressive overall, and extremely similar – practically identical in most shooting modes – to the Mini 3 Pro. Both drones use the same 12/48MP 1/1.3-inch quad bayer sensor with large 2.4μm pixels that produces excellent 12MP results in low light, and up to 48MP high-resolution photos when the light is good – a similar approach to the iPhone 15.
The camera itself can still be rotated 90 degrees for vertical shooting, and the gimbal can be tilted between -90 degrees and 60 degrees. There’s also a DJI ND filter pack for controlling shutter speed and a wide-angle lens attachment available to extend the field of view of the 24mm equivalent f/1.7 lens from 82.1 degrees to 100 degrees. There is some barrel distortion with this lens when shooting close-up, which naturally reduces with more distant subjects and scenes.
This all sounds extremely familiar; so what sets the Mini 4 Pro apart from its predecessor? Well, alongside the features we’ve already discussed, the camera upgrades appear to be software rather than hardware-based. While some do enhance and improve image quality in some modes, others focus purely on functionality, which has been extended. One such feature is the Night Mode, which optimizes noise handling when shooting video in low light.
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Video capture has been improved in several areas, with the introduction of 4K shooting up to 100fps for slow motion, while 1080p can be captured at up to 200fps. Video can be captured in Normal, HLG (HDR) and the flat D-Log M profile rather than D-Cinelike. D-Log M is available on Mavic 3 drones, and its inclusion in the Mini 4 Pro will undoubtedly provide greater consistency in professional workflows when a sub-250g drone is required. You can also now control the sharpness and noise reduction in video, which is a handy feature for more advanced users aiming for more cinematic-looking footage.
But even if you’re an enthusiast, having all of this functionality at your fingertips is fantastic, because it means you can grow into the drone rather than growing out of it when features are more limited. Photo functionality remains much the same as the Mini 3 Pro, but that’s no bad thing because it can’t be faulted. SmartPhoto is claimed to greatly improve on previous-generation HDR capture, although for advanced users, shooting in Raw and using Auto Exposure Bracketing is the best route to take in high dynamic range situations.
DJI Mini 4 Pro Video in 4K at 30 fps
Should I buy the DJI Mini 4 Pro?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
How I tested the DJI Mini 4 Pro
I tested the Mini 4 Pro over a week of flying in a range of locations, environments and weather conditions (excluding rain) to test flight performance, flight features, overall handling and image quality for both photo and video capture. All testing was conducted in a way that meets local aviation laws and restrictions to ensure that all flights were safe and legal.
Drones are always tested using manual flight patterns for video that are typical of professional aerial video capture to shoot visually interesting footage. This also provides the opportunity to test aspects such as the connection between the drone and controller, latency between the two, and the accuracy of the controls and flight in general. Automated flight features are also tested to assess their accuracy and overall performance.
With nearly 30 years of photographic experience and 15 years working as a photography journalist, I’ve been covering drones in terms of shooting and editing techniques, alongside writing drone reviews, for a number of years. As well as flying most consumer and prosumer models, I’ve previously held a PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operations) issued by the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK, and now fly under an A2 CofC (A2 Certificate of Competency).
First reviewed September 2023