Drones have revolutionized how we capture and create content, whether it is for personal use or professional projects. DJI, one of the top drone manufacturers, is widely known for its range of high-quality and feature-packed drones.
DJI Spark and Mavik Mini are two of DJI’s most popular, portable models that pack a punch in features despite their compact size. In this article, we will compare the DJI Spark and Mavic Mini and examine their similarities and differences, as well as one which better suits your personal needs and preferences.
So, if you are in the market for a great drone, read on to find out which one DJI model best fits your needs!
DJI Spark vs. Mavic Mini: Side-by-Side Comparison
|DJI Spark||Mavic Mini|
|Gimbal||2-axis mechanical||3-axis mechanical|
|Transmission Range||2km||4km (2.5 miles)|
|Flight Time||16 minutes||30 minutes|
|Max Speed||Ascent 3 m/s|
Descent 2 m/s
Flying 47 km/h
|Ascent 4 m/s|
Descent 3 m/s
Flying 50 km/h
|Camera Sensor||1/2.3” CMOS, 12MP||1/2.3” CMOS, 12MP|
|Video Capabilities||1080: 30 FPS|
Bitrate: 24 Mbps
|2.7K: 30 FPS|
1080p: 60 FPS
Bitrate: 40 Mbps
|App||DJI GO 4||DJI Fly|
- FHD 1080p video capture resolution
- 12MP camera
- Alpine White color
- 1.49 lbs weight
- Included: Extra Intelligent Battery, Extra Propellers, Shoulder Bag, Aircraft body, Micro USB Cable, Manual, Battery charging hub, Charger, Storage Box, Propeller Guard, Remote Controller
- 2-Axis Stabilized Gimbal Camera. Voltage - 100-240 V
- Requirement: Windows 10 64bit, Windows 7 64bit
- Weighing less than 0.55lbs, the Mavic Mini is almost as light as the average smartphone.
- In the U.S. and Canada, you can fly this camera drone without the need to register your drone with the government
- Drone FlyCam Quadcopter UAV
- Supports 12MP aerial photos and 2.7K HD videos
- A 3-axis motorized gimbal provides superior camera stability and ensures clear, ultra-smooth footage
- Enjoy up to 30 minutes of flight time with a fully-charged battery
- DJI Fly App requires iOS v10.0, Android v6.0 or above
DJI Spark vs. Mavic Mini: Quick Overview
Equipped with DJI’s signature technologies, the Spark is a mini drone that allows users to capture spontaneous moments whenever inspired. It features a mechanical gimbal and intelligent flight control features, so it’s nicely suited for both aerial videography and photography. Its smart controls and exceptional safety features make it easy to fly and operate, and it has a maximum 16-minute flight time and a 2km maximum range that allows you to shoot images in ways you have never before experienced.
On the other hand, the DJI Mavic Mini is a small but mighty drone that allows you to make each aerial moment an incredible moment. It weighs 249 grams and is easy to hold, making it incredibly portable and easy to carry along. It features a 12MP camera and 3-axis gimbal capable of snapping stunning 32MP photos and record 2.7K Quad HD videos. Additionally, it comes with advanced safety capabilities and a 30-minute maximum flight time, giving you enough time to explore your aerial snaps.
DJI Spark vs. Mavic Mini: What’s the Difference?
Typically, the DJI Spark represents the old optimistic time during the growth of the drone market, presenting drones as superior fun-loving cameras that can hover around your activities and capture the highlights. The Mavic Mini is a modern drone on a budget with great battery life and a controller similar to a larger drone. It has modest features, and its lightweight nature can be challenging in the wind.
Let’s break down the key differences between the DJI Spark and Mavic Mini to help you choose the best option from the two popular low-cost DJI camera drones.
Build and Design
As “mini” suggests, the Mavic Mini has a very compact size. It looks and folds similarly to a miniature version of the Mavic Air 2, which, in turn, looks like a compact Mavic 2.
Although the Mavic Mini is highly portable and you can easily carry it around, it’s recommended to have safer storage due to its propellers as well as the remote controller. Despite its smaller diagonal span, the Spark can seem a little bit bulky as it has a rigid frame. Also, as much as the propellors can fold to enhance portability, the arms can’t, so they are a bit stubby.
Speed and Maneuverability
Both drones offer an ample environment, as they are designed to be used around friends and family. The DJI Spark has a horizontal speed of up to 14 m/s, a little higher than the Mavic Mini with a 13 m/s horizontal speed. For even better safety, both drones offer detachable propellors.
While both the DJI Spark and Mavic Mini can move at a pretty fast speed and offer incredible aerial views, they aren’t well-suited for windy conditions, and operating them beyond a “gentle breeze” (on the Beaufort scale) is not recommended. Also, videography and photography rarely require high-speed flight. The most epic footage from the Mavic Mini will be in “C Mode,” which deliberately reduces the speed to capture stunning cinematic shots.
The DJI Spark and the Mavic Mini have similar flight characteristics as they hail from the same stable. DJI drones, by default, operate in Mode 2 control mode via the joysticks (or virtual controls on your phone screen when operating the Spark without the radio controller). This control mode is easy to learn, as they both feature GPS/GLONASS positioning and altitude sensors, allowing the drone to hover in position in case you let go of the controls.
What separates camera drones from mere toys is not just the camera presence, but rather how the camera is treated. Particularly, it’s important to protect the camera from vibrations and sudden movements of the drone body, which is achieved with a powered gimbal. This device is quick enough to make the camera stable during abrupt movements, while also allowing you to adjust the camera angle from the horizontal view to a more aerial angle as desired.
Both the Mavic Mini and DJI Spark come with gimbals, however the differences are notable between them. The Spark has a 2-axis gimbal designed to offer camera stability along two axes of movement, meaning it can make up for any roll or tilt, but it cannot do this for a rotation or yaw. Because of this, the footage will not be as good as that of a 3-axis gimbal drone.
The DJI Mavic Mini has a 3-axis gimbal, thus having the ability to make the camera stable via three axes of movement: tilt, yaw, and roll. In contrast to the Spark, the Mini has smoother footage as it can stabilize through more movements. So, the Mavic Mini is an excellent choice for users who prioritize shooting high-quality images.
Additionally, the Mavic Mini’s gimbal has a wider capacity for movement than the DJI Spark. The Mini can tilt down to 90 degrees, while the Spark can only tilt down to 85 degrees, thus making it more difficult to capture certain snaps and angles due to the range limitation.
If you are familiar with DJI’s drones, you are likely aware that most use Intelligent Flight batteries. They feature a charger indicator, consisting of four LEDs, that can be activated with a single button press. Also, they can detect the period they have been idle and automatically discharge to a safe level.
The Mavic Mini’s battery life is better than the Spark. The Mavic Mini has a max flight time of 30 minutes, while the DJI Spark has a max flight time of 16 minutes, so Mavic Mini users can fly their drones for almost twice as long.
Additionally, the Mini can optimize its battery usage, thanks to its power management systems, extending the flight time. Also, the Mini has a Return to Home feature that automatically returns the drone to its initial point when the battery gets low or the connection with the remote controller is lost — a feature the DJI Spark lacks. With the Spark, users need to manually monitor the battery level and fly the drone back to its initial point when the battery is low. Luckily, it comes with an extra battery to swap out, extending the flight time.
When it comes to controlling range, the Mavic Mini outdoes the DJI Spark. Although the Spark can be smartphone app-controlled, the Mavic Mini includes a remote controller for improved connection and range.
The Mavic Mini remote controller can control a 4km maximum range, two times the range of the Spark’s 2 kilometers. This allows the Mavic Mini to fly further without any connection loss.
Additionally, the Mavic Mini offers a better connection thanks to its OcuSync 2.0 transmission technology. Only high-end DJI drones have this technology, offering a better connection even in high-interference areas. The DJI Spark’s connection to its smartphone app has a max range of 100 meters when using Wi-Fi due to the interference susceptibility of the smartphone’s Wi-Fi frequency.
Professionals may go for drones with 4K or 8K video resolutions. However, higher resolutions can sometimes cause more issues than benefits. For users who share videos on social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, the Mavic Mini’s 2.7K resolution is a top-tier option.
Spark is behind with a resolution of 1080p Full HD, but for minimalist users, it remains a good choice. Although it has a lower bitrate, it has fewer pixels, resulting in a better-quality video.
Both drones can create great content. However, the Mavic Mini can make a better edit, while the Spark focuses more on the moment.
Pros and Cons: DJI Spark vs. DJI Mavic Mini
|Portable||Low resistance to wind|
|Obstacle avoidance||Old-fashioned camera|
|Multiple control options||Short flight time|
|Intelligent flight modes|
|Longer flight time||Lacks object avoidance|
|Gimbal stabilization||Doesn’t support HDR photography|
|Cinematically automated camera motions|
|12 MP still images and crystal clear 2.7K video|
DJI Spark vs. Mavic Mini: 9 Must-Know Facts
- The DJI Spark has a shorter flight time of 16 minutes and a maximum range of 2km, while the Mavic Mini offers a max flight time of 30 minutes and a max range of up to 4km.
- The Mavic Mini is lighter, weighing in at 249 grams. The Spark weighs 300 grams.
- Both the DJI Spark and the Mavic Mini are not suited for windy conditions and it’s not recommended to operate them beyond a “gentle breeze” on the Beaufort scale.
- The Mavic Mini has a 3-axis gimbal while the DJI Spark only has a 2-axis gimbal, so the Mavic Mini can capture better and smoother footage.
- The Mavic Mini remote controller can control a maximum range of 4 kilometers, which is twice the range of the Spark’s 2 kilometers.
- The Mini can tilt down to a plan view at 90 degrees, while the Spark can only tilt down to 85 degrees, thus making it more difficult to capture certain snaps and angles due to the range limitation.
- The Mavic Mini offers a resolution of 2.7K, resulting in better quality videos than the Spark, which offers 1080 Full HD.
- Both drones feature a 12-megapixel camera and can take still photos in RAW and JPG formats.
- While the DJI Spark can be controlled via a smartphone app, it has a maximum range of 100 meters when using Wi-Fi due to the interference susceptibility of the smartphone’s Wi-Fi frequency.
DJI Spark vs. Mavic Mini: Which One is Better?
Both the DJI Spark and the Mavic Mini are ideal drones, catering to slightly different customers.
The Spark is a small yet feature-packed drone that is highly portable, making it an excellent choice for casual users. The Mavic Mini is a compact, more professional drone that offers high-end performance comparable to larger drone models but without compromising its small size.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©TP71/Shutterstock.com.