If you are looking for an inexpensive recreational drone that is super easy to pilot, has more flight time and can take great-quality photos and videos, look no further than the DJI Mavic Mini 2. This second-generation model can fly for 30 minutes at a distance of up to six miles (9.6km) from the pilot. The drone transmits live high-definition video and captures 4K video. If the pilot and drone lose contact, the drone returns to where it took off. All of this is contained in a body that folds down to fit in the palm of your hand and weighs less than 250g (8.8oz). The Mini 2 improves on the original Mavic Mini (2019) model in some very important ways. First, let’s look at the camera. The original Mavic Mini had a 2.7K@30 frames-per-second video camera. This was fine, but because there were other drones with 4K cameras, this was thought of as a weakness in the original Mini’s feature set. Still photos are captured as JPEG files. The Mini 2 finally gets a 12-megapixel 4K@30fps camera with a 4x digital zoom (the first Mini had no zoom). A digital zoom is different from an optical zoom. Digital zooms make the image larger by cropping in on the sensor and enlarging the image. The image quality suffers with digital zoom. Drone maker DJI to unveil smart vehicle tech at Shanghai auto show The Mini 2 captures stills as JPEG or Raw files. The camera is mounted on a three-axis gimbal that keeps the video and stills looking very sharp and stable. Operating range has also improved. The original Mini used a direct Wi-fi link between the drone and the controller. This gave the user a 2.48-mile range. The Mini 2 uses a technology called OcuSync 2.0 that is also used on DJI’s higher-priced drones. OcuSync 2.0 has a transmission range of just over six miles. It also has a stronger resistance to interference and uses two frequencies, so it can switch between them to find the best signal. Flight speed has also been upgraded. The original Mini has a top speed of 29mph, while the Mini 2 has a top speed of 35.7mph. This helps you get the drone to a far-off shooting position faster, which helps you maximise flying time before changing batteries. The DJI Fly app, which the Mini 2 uses for flying, now has some enhanced photo and video features to allow the user to process and edit photos and videos before they are uploaded to a computer or social media account. The Mini 2 has Level 5 wind resistance, meaning it is safe to operate in wind speeds of up to 24mph. US must put new limits on Chinese drone maker DJI, says telecoms agency member When the drone senses unsafe wind speeds (higher than 25mph), you’ll see a warning in the app, because strong wind from the wrong direction might cause your drone to use more battery on the way back to you and it might run out of power. The take-off weight is 249 grams. This is an important number, as any drone under 250g is considered fairly harmless, is subject to fewer restrictions and does not require any type of registration in the United States and many other countries. The Mini 2 has GPS, which makes all the difference for features like Return To Home. I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to know that I can push one button and the Mini 2 will fly back to me and land pretty much in the same spot where it took off. The Mini 2 with the remote controller and one battery costs US$449. The Fly More Combo package adds two additional batteries, a charging case for all three batteries and a nice carrying case for US$599. The pictures and videos from the camera are really incredible for a drone of this size and price. This is a great first drone for learning how to fly and shoot video. For beginners and fliers who love the small size, the Mavic Mini 2 is just the right combination of small and not too expensive, and now it has a much improved camera.