DJI Mini 4 Pro
Image courtesy: DJI

The DJI Mini 4 Pro arrives with a roar — or should we say, a buzz. Coming in at $760, this compact drone packs a powerful punch. It can capture crisp 4K video at up to 100 fps and detailed 48-megapixel stills. There is a lot to love about the DJI Mini 4 Pro, as it is clearly one of the best drones currently on the market.

But is the Mini 4 Pro all it’s cracked up to be? Is it really that much better than the DJI Mini 3 Pro to warrant an upgrade? We’ll take a grounded look at its capabilities, exploring its strengths like obstacle avoidance and intelligent flight modes, while also addressing its limitations. We’ll weigh the benefits of its sub-249-gram weight, consider which features we love and what we feel is missing and ultimately assess whether the upgrades over the Mini 3 Pro justify the investment.

Let’s get to know DJI Mini 4 Pro to determine if this mini marvel deserves a permanent spot in your drone hangar.

The DJI Mini 4 Pro at a glance

Image courtesy: DJI

The DJI Mini 4 Pro shoots 4K video at up to an impressive 100 frames per second and captures huge 48-megapixel RAW stills. Those are great specs for any camera, but the DJI Mini 4 Pro is also a highly capable drone. It’s equipped with omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, a rotating gimbal for vertical shooting and a range of up to 12.4 miles with OcuSync 4.

The DJI Mini 4 Pro can fly for up to 34 minutes at a time and features the FocusTrack Subject Tracking System and a selection of automatic shooting modes. And all of this is packed into a regulation-friendly 249-gram total weight.

Flying higher

Those are the highlights — let’s get the bigger picture. What can this drone really do? And what are its limitations?

Formats and frame rates

The DJI Mini 4 Pro uses a 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor to capture up to 4K HDR video at up to 60 frames per second. In our tests, the video quality was outstanding.

As mentioned earlier, the drone features a rotating gimbal that allows for True Vertical Shooting. This allows you to create a vertical video fit for social media without cropping or losing sensor resolution.

For slow-motion shooting, the Mini 4 Pro can shoot up to 100 fps in 4K. This is one of the areas where the Mini 4 Pro clearly differs from the Mini 3 Pro. With 4K 100 shooting support, the drone allows you to capture smooth and dramatic slow-motion footage — very cinematic. For photographers, the 48 MP stills out of the Mini 4 Pro are detailed with rich colors.

The drone also supports D-Log M and HLG shooting. With these picture profiles, the Mini 4 Pro can record HDR images with more detail in both the highlights and the shadows — even in uneven lighting. We’re happy to see DJI include D-Log M especially, since it gives us more footage detail to play around with in post-production.

The piloting experience

DJI is known for combining excellent image quality with an intuitive flying experience. This is possible in part thanks to their drones’ built-in safety features. As for the DJI Mini 4 Pro, it comes with Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, which protects the drone from collisions from any direction. Strategic sensors give the drone 360-degree protection while intelligent algorithms help guide the drone around obstacles in real time.

Aside from this very handy feature, DJI makes piloting easier with their Intelligent Flight Modes. These include QuickShots, Panorama, Timelapse, Hyperlapse and more. The MasterShot mode will even run through a predefined sequence of maneuvers, all while keeping your desired subject as the focus. Then, it generates a short cinematic video that’s ready to share.

The Mini 4 Pro also includes DJI’s ActiveTrack360°, which enables the drone to automatically follow and track a subject of your choosing. The tracking system works to keep the subject at the center of the frame at all times, even if the subject is moving erratically.

Tying this all together is DJI’s O4 20km transmission system. This lets you monitor your aerial footage in 1080p at up to 60 fps from up to 20km in ideal conditions. Of course, best practice is still to keep your drone in your line of sight at all times.

Flight time and battery options

Despite the impressive list of features and capabilities, the DJI Mini 4 Pro maintains a respectable maximum flight time of 34 minutes. And that’s for the standard Intelligent Flight Battery. DJI also offers an option to upgrade your battery to the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, which will keep the drone in the air for up to 45 minutes at a time. Overall, this flight time safely aligns with the industry standard. It’s a bit of a bump from the Mini 3 Pro’s 31-minute flight time. Compared to the higher-end DJI drone models, like the DJI Mavic 3 Pro, it only comes out one minute short of the Mavic 3 Pro’s 46-minute flight time when paired with the Intelligent Flight Battery. So, while not a ground-breaking flight time, the Mini 4 Pro’s flight time isn’t a disappointment either. 34 minutes on a single battery should offer enough time to capture what you’re looking for. And with the additional 46 minutes, you should have plenty of time.

Why 249 grams?

Image courtesy: DJI

One of the major features touted through the DJI Mini lineup is their extreme lightweight. Every Mini drone has weighed less than 249 grams, and that doesn’t stop with the Mini 4 Pro. But why?

The answer is that light drones aren’t as strictly regulated. You still have to follow drone safety best practices, but if your drone weighs less than 249 grams you’ll likely avoid the training and examination requirements placed on larger drones. Currently, in the U.S., you have to register any and all drones that weigh 250 grams or above. So, this means that you don’t have to register the Mini 4 Pro, or pay the $5 registration fee. Of course, laws vary by region, so be sure to check the requirements in your area. You will also have to take the TRUST test as well. Nevertheless, the drone simplifies the requirements needed. This isn’t exactly unique to the DJI Mini 4 Pro, as previous models in the DJI Mini line have avoided the 250-gram threshold. However, we’re glad DJI is keeping the trend going with the Mini 4 Pro.

What’s new in the DJI Mini 4 Pro?

Now that we’ve gotten to know the Mini 4 Pro a bit better, let’s compare it to its predecessor, the DJI Mini 3 Pro. The Mini 3 Pro is still available, also for $760, at the time of writing.

First, the sensor system has been upgraded from tri-directional to omnidirectional, giving you more comprehensive obstacle detection and avoidance. The new omnidirectional obstacle sensing system now uses four wide-angle vision sensors (as well as two downward vision sensors) to detect obstacles from more angles than the previous tri-directional system. From our experience, the tri-directional system was already quite safe, so to see that DJI has made more improvements is great news. The Mini series has always been a great option for beginners learning the ropes of drone piloting, and the new omnidirectional obstacle sensing pushes that narrative even more. Plus, it’s always nice for professional videographers to be able to relax some of their attention on piloting and focus rather on the shot they’re capturing.

Next, the upgraded image processing platform now supports 4K HDR video at up to 60 fps. Video transmission also got a boost, going from a range of 12 km to 20 km and a max frame rate of 30 fps to 60 fps in 1080p. Intelligent flight modes like ActiveTrack 360°, Waypoint Flight and Cruise Control received upgrades as well.

The Mini 4 Pro provides the best value to first-time drone owners or those needing a complete replacement. However, if you already have a Mini 3 Pro, shelling out another $760 for the latest version probably isn’t worth it.

Pros and cons

As you can see, there’s a lot to like about this drone. The 249-gram takeoff weight makes it accessible to new pilots and hobbyists. The omnidirectional sensors protect the drone — and everything around it — from collisions, and the smooth and stable video transmission assures you that you’re getting the footage you need. To top it off, the Mini 4 Pro delivers excellent cinematic video and images.

However, there are a few cons to the DJI Mini 4 Pro that need to be addressed.

No AirSense transponder

For one, this drone does not include an AirSense transponder, which means it cannot detect nearby manned aircraft and warn you of potential collisions. This may seem like an edge-case scenario, but the extra assurance that our drone will not cause a major accident is always appreciated. And while still an edge-case situation, there have been numerous occurrences of drone/aircraft collisions. For example, back in 2018, a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter crashed into a Mooney M20 airplane, and it caused some major damage to the aircraft. While described as a “very rare worst-case perfect hit” by a spokesperson for DJI, we would still like some assurance here. Thankfully, there have been major improvements to drones to prevent aircraft collisions from happening since 2018. But again, not having an AirSense transponder on the DJI Mini 4 Pro makes the drone less safe than it could be.

Weight considerations

Image courtesy: DJI

As we’ve said above, one of the highlight features of the DJI Mini 4 Pro is its weight. Since it’s under 249 grams, you don’t have to register it. But that sub-250 weight comes at a major price: battery life. At its base battery life, the DJI Mini 4 Pro lasts up to 34 minutes in the sky. This is exactly the same flight time as the DJI Mini 3 Pro. While not a bad flight time, we wish we could have seen at least a small boost in flight time. Now, the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus can extend the drone’s battery life, but then that causes some complications with the drone’s weight. We talked a lot about the benefits of keeping the weight under 249 grams, but all of that goes out the window when you add on the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus. While this will get you that sweet 45-minute max flight time, it also pushes you into a different category of drone operator.

We don’t love that we have to choose between keeping the drone under 249 grams and extending our battery life. However, this may not matter much to professional drone pilots, who are required to get Part 107 certified by the FAA as soon as they start flying their drones for commercial purposes. But for those of us that want to fly this drone for non-commercial purposes, it adds an extra step that some may not even be aware of, since the drone is marketed as sub-250 g. While true, the additional weight might not occur to some pilots and might lead to some complications if they don’t register their drone if they add on the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus. Thankfully, DJI does warn customers that the drone will weigh more than 249 g when using the battery.

Mediocre low-light performance

While not a flaw, per se, the DJI Mini 4 Pro has just average low-light image quality. It’s not terrible, and an improvement compared to the Mini 3 Pro, but it may struggle to capture clear and detailed footage in dark or dim environments. This may lead to extra noise in your image, so keep that in mind if that is a requirement for your aerial photography flight plans.

Iterative, not innovative

Another minor complaint we have is that this drone feels iterative rather than innovative. Maybe that is a sign of maturity in the cinematic drone category, but it makes us question the value proposition to the consumer. The DJI Mini 4 Pro is not a massive upgrade over the previous model, the Mini 3 Pro, which means you may not find it worth the extra cost if you already own one. They’ve both got the same 1/1.3-inch-Type CMOS and the same effective pixels: 48 megapixels. Ultimately, because they use the same sensors, you’re really not going to get any bump in image quality by going from the Mini 3 Pro to the Mini 4 Pro. The DJI Mini 4 Pro does offer some mode improvements and functionality, such as its Night Mode. However, as we’ve said, we’re still impressed with the improvements DJI made. However, the Mini 4 Pro is able to shoot slow-motion video better than the Mini 3 Pro. It can shoot 4K video at 100 fps, compared to the Mini 3 Pro’s 60 fps. Additionally, the Mini 4 Pro model can shoot FHD at up to 200 fps. And there is the inclusion of D-Log M, offering more color-grading flexibility in post-production. But overall, these improvements make the Mini 4 Pro feel like a slight step forward rather than a large leap forward for the Mini series. The DJI Mini 4 Pro isn’t a bad drone — far from it. It’s clearly the best drone in the Mini series when it comes to specs. It’s just not exciting.

Other options

We’ve already discussed how the DJI Mini 4 Pro stacks up against the Mini 3 Pro. Now, let’s take a look at some options outside of DJI.

First up is the Autel Robotics EVO Nano+. This $800 drone offers high-res video, long flight times and intelligent flight modes in a sub-249-gram package. Similar to the Mini 4 Pro, this drone uses a 1/1.28-inch sensor to capture 50 MP photos. It also offers HDR and dynamic tracking features. However, its flight time does pale in comparison to the Mini 4 Pro. The Autel Robotics EVO Nano+’s flight time maxes out at 28 minutes. But, just like the Mini 4 Pro, you can extend the drone’s flight time with additional batteries. Autel Robotics offers an EVO 4300 mAh 13.05v Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery for $99. The battery offers up to 30 minutes of flight time.

Also worth considering is the FIMI X8 Mini V2. This drone shoots 4K video at up to 30 fps using a 1/2.5-inch stacked CMOS sensor that promises a wide dynamic range. Paired with the F-log format, this drone should be able to capture good detail in both highlights and shadowy areas. However, it lacks the advanced features and obstacle avoidance systems of the DJI and Autel options. This is also our cheapest option at under $400. Also, with its battery, the drone weighs 266 g, which is over the 250-gram threshold. So, this drone will need to be registered, unlike the EVO Nano+ and the DJI Mini 4 Pro with the battery expansion. However, even though this drone weighs more, it lasts longer in the air, with its flight time maxing out at 37 minutes. That’s a good flight time considering this drone is under $400.

Is the Mini 4 Pro worth the purchase?

Image courtesy: DJI

There is a lot to like about the DJI Mini 4 Pro. Without a doubt, it does offer more in the way of video than the previous Mini 3 Pro does. It now offers the D-Log M color profile and can shoot impressive 4K video at 100 fps, making it one of the best drone options out there for slow-motion capture. Additionally, it’s quite good at navigating even the most crowded environments, thanks to its Omnidirectional Vision Sensing technology. Compared to the Mini 3 Pro’s Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing, the Mini 4 Pro does come with the more advanced system. Though, despite all this, the camera isn’t a huge leap forward for the Mini line. Sure, when compared to the Mini 3 Pro, it is the better drone. But we question if its improvements over the Mini 3 Pro are enough to justify the upgrade. If you don’t currently own the Mini 3 Pro, the Mini 4 Pro would get our recommendation if you have the budget. It’s an extra $100, but you do get higher video capabilities for just a bit of a price bump. However, if you already own the Mini 3 Pro, we’re not sure if the Mini 4 Pro would be worth the upgrade. If you’re looking to save as much of your budget as you can, we would recommend getting the Mini 3 Pro, because while it does offer less, it’s not going to make a substantial difference, as the drone still can shoot 4K video at 30 fps.

Final thoughts

The DJI Mini 4 Pro lives up to its lineage as a powerful and compact drone. It captures stunning visuals along with intuitive flight controls. Weighing less than 249 grams, it’s accessible to new pilots. Likewise, omnidirectional obstacle avoidance and a 20 km transmission range ensure safety and control.

However, the Mini 4 Pro isn’t flawless. The lack of an AirSense transponder and the trade-off between weight and battery life are noteworthy caveats. Additionally, the incremental upgrades over the Mini 3 Pro might not justify the new investment for existing owners. Low-light performance might also disappoint in demanding scenarios. Finally, controller-only flight could be cumbersome for some pilots.

Ultimately, the DJI Mini 4 Pro shines as a feature-packed and user-friendly drone. Its strengths outweigh its limitations, making it a compelling choice for hobbyists and professionals alike. But carefully consider your needs and budget before taking flight. If portability and ease of use are paramount, the Mini 4 Pro could be your perfect aerial companion. But if cutting-edge features and low-light prowess are crucial, you might explore other options.

Pros

  • A 249 g takeoff weight
  • Omnidirectional vision sensors
  • Excellent image quality
  • Smooth and stable video transmission
  • Backup footage feature

Cons

  • No AirSense transponder
  • Extended battery puts the drone’s weight over 250 g
  • Average low-light performance

Tech specs

Maximum horizontal speed35.8 mph / 16 m/s (S Mode)
26.8 mph / 12 m/s (N Mode)
26.8 mph / 12 m/s (C Mode)
Maximum ascent speed11.2 mph / 5 m/s (S Mode)
11.2 mph / 5 m/s (N Mode)
6.7 mph / 3 m/s (C Mode)
Maximum descent speed11.2 mph / 5 m/s (S Mode)
11.2 mph / 5 m/s (N Mode)
6.7 mph / 3 m/s (C Mode)
Maximum wind resistance23.9 mph / 10.7 m/s
Flight ceiling2.5 miles / 4 km
Maximum flight time34 minutes
Maximum hover time30 minutes
Hovering accuracyHorizontal: ±0.3′ / 0.1 m
Horizontal: ±1.6′ / 0.5 m
Vertical: ±0.3′ / 0.1 m
Vertical: ±1.6′ / 0.5 m
Maximum angular velocity100°/s (pitch)
Rotor configuration4
Operating temperature14 to 104 °F / -10 to 40 °C
Image sensor1/1.3-inch-Type CMOS
Sensor resolutionEffective: 48 megapixel (8064 x 6048)
Field of view82.1°
Digital zoom1 to 4x
Maximum aperturef/1.7
Minimum focus distance3.3′ / 1 m
ISO sensitivity rangeVideo
100 to 6400
Photo
100 to 6400
Shutter speed1/16000 to 2 seconds
Internal recording modesH.264/H.265 4:2:0 8/10-bit
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 24.00/25/30.00/48.00/50/60.00/100 fps
1920 x 1080 at 24.00/25/30.00/48.00/50/60.00/100/200 fps
Still image supportDNG / JPEG / RAW
48 MP (8064 x 6048)
Internal storage2 GB
Media/memory card slotSingle slot: microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC (UHS-III) [512 GB maximum / V90 or faster recommended]
Photo modesAuto-Exposure Bracketing (AEB), Burst Shooting, Interval, Single Shot
Number of axes3-axis (pitch (tilt), roll, yaw (pan))
Rotation rangeYaw (pan): -30 to 30° 
Pitch (tilt): -135 to 80° 
Roll: -135 to 45°
GNSS supportGPS, BeiDou, Galileo
Vision systemDownward / upward / forward / backward / left / right
Vision system capabilitiesForward
Measurement range: 1.6 to 59.1′ / 0.5 to 18 m
Detection range: 1.6 to 656.2′ / 0.5 to 200 m
Max speed: 26.8 mph / 12 m/s
Field of view: 90° (horizontal) / 72° (vertical)
Backward
Measurement range: 1.6 to 49.2′ / 0.5 to 15 m
Max speed: 26.8 mph / 12 m/s
Field of view: 90° (horizontal) / 72° (vertical)
Lateral
Measurement range: 1.6 to 39.4′ / 0.5 to 12 m
Max speed: 26.8 mph / 12 m/s
Field of view: 90° (horizontal) / 72° (vertical)
Upward
Measurement range: 1.6 to 49.2′ / 0.5 to 15 m
Max speed: 11.2 mph / 5 m/s
Field of view: 90° (horizontal) / 72° (vertical)
Downward
Measurement range: 1.0 to 39.4′ / 0.3 to 12 m
Max speed: 11.2 mph / 5 m/s
Field of view: 90° (horizontal) / 106° (vertical)
Maximum altitude13,123′ / 4000 m
Operating environmentSurface with clear patterns at >15 lux
Control methodIncluded transmitter with smartphone/mobile device
Remote controller operating frequency2.4 GHz (2.400 to 2.4835)
5.2 GHz (5.170 to 5.250)
5.8 GHz (5.725 to 5.850)
Remote controller maximum operating distance12.4 miles / 20 km
Remote controller transmitter power2.4 G: 33 dBm (FCC), 20 dBm (CE, MIC, SRRC)
5.1 G: 23 dBm (CE)
5.8 G: 33 dBm (FCC), 14 dBm (CE), 30 dBm (SRRC)
Remote controller transmitter I/O1 x USB-C
1 x Micro-USB
1 x Lightning
Remote controller battery chemistryLithium-ion
Remote controller battery capacity5200 mAh
Wi-FiNo
BluetoothNo
Mobile device compatibilityDevices up to 7.1 inches / 180 mm wide and 0.39 inches / 9.91 mm thick
Mobile app compatibleYes: Android & iOS
App name: DJI Fly
Operating temperature14 to 104 °F / -10 to 40 °C
Charging temperature41 to 104 °F / 5 to 40 °C
Flight battery chemistryLithium-ion
Flight battery capacity2590 mAh / 18.96 Wh
Flight battery charging temperature41 to 104 °F / 5 to 40 °C
Flight battery weight2.7 oz / 77.9 g
Overall dimensions3.7 x 2.5 x 5.8″ / 94.0 x 64.0 x 148.0 mm (folded)
14.7 x 4.0 x 11.7″ / 373.0 x 101.0 x 298.0 mm (unfolded)
Drone weight8.8 oz / 249 g takeoff
Nicole LaJeunesse is a professional writer and a curious person who loves to unpack stories on anything from music, to movies, to gaming and beyond.