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Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny: Check out DJI's Mavic Mini

Have you ever wanted to carry your drone around in your pocket? How about your travel bag or purse? Well, you’re in luck! DJI’s Mavic family is getting a new member in a small package. Announced Wednesday morning, DJI’s Mavic Mini is a tiny version of everyone’s favorite drone. It fits into the palm of your hand, and according to DJI, it’s almost as light as a smartphone.

Despite its small size, this drone boasts some impressive features. Key features advertised include a 30 minute max flight time, 4 km HD video transmission, GPS precise hover, and more. For this release, DJI is also hyping up their new companion app for the Mavic Mini: the DJI Fly app. It features simplified recording and editing tools and a flight tutorial. Creative templates on the video editor make it easy to use for beginners.

Image Credit: DJI Technology Co.

Of course, the feature that’s creating the most buzz surrounding this drone is its lightweight design. Weighing 249 grams, the Mavic Mini has some people thinking that if they purchase this drone, they won’t have to register it with the FAA, and technically, they’re right! The minimum for a drone to require registration is listed on the FAA website as 0.55 pounds (250 grams). That’s one gram more than the Mavic Mini. However, this technicality doesn’t rule out anyone who intends to use their drone for commercial purposes. Commercial pilots will still have to register their drones and place their registration numbers visibly on the outside.

Don’t let that get you down. There is another possible benefit to having such a small drone: a drone of this size and weight would probably streamline the process to get Part 107 certification holders permission to fly over people, making it an item worth investing in. On February 13, 2019, the FAA proposed a rule that would allow UAS to be flown over people in certain conditions.

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The document is extensive, but there is a section that states:

“The NPA [Notice of Proposed Amendment] introduces categories of permissible small UAS operations based on maximum takeoff masses; the “open” category is most permissive, and proposes a subcategory to permit small UAS operations over uninvolved people, but not over assemblies of people, as long as the aircraft does not exceed 250 grams maximum takeoff mass and does not have sharp edges.”

Comments for this rule closed on April 15, 2019.

Image Credit: DJI Technology Co.

As for pricing, this mini drone will cost you $399, and the Mavic Mini Fly More Combo is $499. The combo includes extra parts such as more batteries, more spare propellers, an extra micro USB cord, and more spare screws. The combo also includes several accessories like the 360° propeller guard, two-way charging hub, DJI 18W USB charger, and a carrying bag. If you’re interested in purchasing the Mavic Mini, it is available for preorder now. Units will begin shipping on November 11th.


I am a writer and an artist based in Georgia. Specializing in illustration, graphic design, and video art, I love to explore the new ways technology intersects with art. I think drones have done amazing things for photography and video art, making what would previously be costly and difficult more accessible. As a complete novice, it was only recently that I saw what independent artists could do with their drones, and I continue to be impressed by the sights that drones are able to explore and the images they can capture. Instagram: @tyesha.ferron

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