DJI Mini 4 Pro Drone Released With ActiveTrack 360°, 4K 100fps Slow-Mo
DJI Mini 4 Pro Drone Released: DJI just announced the DJI Mini 4 Pro, a new “pro” version of its entry-level drone. And finally, it has omnidirectional obstacle sensing, which is an especially important feature for beginners and also enables greatly enhanced tracking capabilities. It has the same sensor as its predecessor, the DJI Mini 3 Pro, but adds 4K 100p high-speed (slow-motion) recording. Let’s dive right into the details.
In order to comply with restrictions in many nations that mandate you obtain some form of drone license or certification, DJI’s entry-level line of drones, the “mini” series, always weighs less than 250 grams, namely 249 grams. It makes flying acceptable.
Oddly though, the first iterations of the DJI Mini didn’t have any sort of obstacle detection or avoidance mechanism, meaning you could roll it straight into a tree and nothing in DJI’s technology would stop you. At the time, only their high-end (and heavy) Air and Mavic drones offered varying degrees of obstacle avoidance. DJI recognized the shortcomings of their entry-level series, and certainly, it presented challenges to squeeze the necessary sensors into a small body, aiming to keep the take-off weight below 250 grams. Gradually, they made progress: the Mini 3 got at least downward vision sensing, and the Mini 3 Pro could sense every direction except sideways.
The DJI Mini 4 Pro gets obstacle sensing and omnidirectional avoidance capabilities
Finally, with the DJI Mini 4 Pro, they managed to do it all: omnidirectional obstacle sensing is now a reality, and the DJI Mini 4 Pro can fly sideways without any blind spots.
ActiveTrack 360º in DJI Mini 4 Pro
DJI drones offer a variety of semi-automatic or automatic tracking features that enable less experienced pilots to execute fairly complex shots. As many of these tracking features meant that the drone would fly autonomously, using them in previous versions of the Mini meant that the drone was at greater risk of crashing if one or more directions were not covered by the drone’s obstacle sensing. The Mini 4 Pro includes more of these features, along with omnidirectional sensing, and can be used with greater confidence.
FocusTrack offers three modes: Spotlight, Points of Interest and ActiveTrack 360°. According to DJI tracking accuracy has been greatly improved, meaning the system should now be able to quickly auto-identify and re-plan a tracking route after losing a subject.
The drone is equipped for a variety of shooting situations with ActiveTrack 360°. Camera movements such as panning, zooming in and out can be executed with the new trace wheel interface, which should be easy for beginners to learn.
New omnidirectional obstacle sensing enables advance planning of flight routes while at the same time bypassing obstacles, which should result in smoother and more stable tracking. (We’ll fully test these features when we review the drone at a later time.)
Same image sensor, better processing
The DJI Mini 4 Pro seems to share the same sensor with its predecessor, the Mini 3 Pro, as the specs are the same: 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, f/1.7 aperture, 48MP stills resolution, 4K/60fps HDR video. DJI claims that the image processing uses a new platform, which may enable the drone to capture 4K/100fps, perfect for slow-motion shooting. The Mini 3 pro can only do 120fps at 1080p resolution, and that mode always looks bad on most DJI drones. Let’s wait and see if the new drone’s slow-motion recording quality meets professional standards once we do our review.
DJI also says the Mini 4 Pro now offers “dual native ISO fusion” without providing additional details. This could be a new mode that shoots at dual native ISO settings (which was ISO 100 and 800 in the DJI Mini) at the same time, and fuses the images to get a cleaner image (?) – time (and reviews ) will tell.
Additionally, DJI claims that Night Shots video mode will have less noise than the same sensor thanks to an “advanced noise reduction algorithm.” Small sensor drones are generally not very good in low light (and in fact, flying them in the dark is banned in many countries), so it will be interesting to see if low light shots are more useful with newer drones.
The Mini 4 Pro supports 10-bit D-Log M recording, just like the Mini 3 Pro. This feature was added to the Mini 3 Pro via a firmware update upon its release, making many of my initial findings far less relevant, which is why I shelved my finished video review prior to release (if you’ve ever wondered why we ever Not published a review.DJI Mini 3 Pro). Video also has HLG recording and photos 48MP RAW and Smart Photo technology (an automatic mode that recognizes the type of scene and optimizes HDR imaging).
True vertical shooting
Like its predecessor, the DJI Mini 4 Pro can actually record “real” vertical video by rotating its camera 90º to address the ubiquitous need for 9:16 vertical video for the likes of Instagram and TikTok.
O4 image transmission, 34-minute maximum flying time
Since the DJI Mini 4 Pro sends video at 1080p/60fps using DJI’s O4 technology, you can expect incredibly dependable and top-notch wireless video transmission.
Typical flight time is up to 34 minutes on a single charge, and when using the (available separately) Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, can be extended to 45 minutes (just keep in mind that if you use this battery, you can extend to 45 minutes.250-gram limit).
Wide-angle lens adapter and ND filter pair, among other accessories
A wide-angle lens adapter that provides a 100° field of view and an ND filter set with ND16/64/256 filters are optional extras. I’m not sure why the 128 filter wasn’t included.
Price and Availability
As always, there are various bundles available for the DJI Mini 4 Pro, and you can get the drone with the DJI RC-N2 or DJI RC2 remote controller. Prices for the DJI Mini 4 Pro Fly More Combo begin at EUR 799 (GBP 689) and EUR 1,129 (GBP 979). Usually, DJI drones start shipping right away but check out the buy links below (as they become available).
What’s your take on the DJI Mini 4 Pro? Will you be getting into the drone game now or upgrading to a new drone? Let us know in the comments below.