12MP, 1/2.3" sensor | 249g weight | 2.7K/30p video

What we like:

  • Sub-250g weight does not require FAA registration
  • 30-minute flight time
  • Good photos for a beginner drone

What we don't:

  • Use of Wi-Fi transmission limits range
  • No obstacle avoidance system
  • No 4K video or Raw images
The DJI Mini SE is a compact, sub-250g drone that's almost as light as a smartphone. Replacing the original Mavic Mini, the SE gets the updated body of its successor, the Mini 2, but retains most of the same features as the original Mavic Mini. It's a perfect drone for beginners, especially given its low price point.
The Mini SE has a top speed of 47 km/h (29 mph) with up to 30 minutes of battery life. There aren't any obstacle avoidance sensors, but two vision positioning sensors located on the bottom give the drone the ability to hover in place and fly indoors. The Mini SE uses the same batteries as the DJI Mini 2.
The Mini SE is a perfect drone for beginners, especially given its low price point.
The camera uses a 12MP, 1/2.3" CMOS sensor, similar to that found in many smartphones. It features a 24mm (equiv.) lens with an 83ยบ field of view and a fixed F2.8 aperture. Raw image capture is not supported, which isn't surprising for an entry-level drone. JPEG image quality is good.
Video can be captured at a maximum of 2.7K/30p, or 1080/60p, at a bitrate of 40 Mbps using the H.264 codec. There's no way to adjust the shutter speed, so you're reliant on the drone's auto-exposure to give you good results. It's possible to adjust exposure compensation, however.
A basic handheld controller, the same that powered the original Mavic Mini, allows the SE to fly up to 4 km (2.5 miles) using enhanced Wi-Fi. The SE offers quite a few useful features, including QuickShots, which allow the drone to autonomously fly to create Dronie, Rocket, Circle, and Helix video clips. A Cinesmooth mode allows for more cinematic footage.
If you're looking for an affordable entry-level drone that's compact, lightweight, and easy to travel with, the SE is a perfect choice. Because of its takeoff weight, you won't need to register it with the FAA. The SE produces good quality photos and videos at a friendly price point, but users who want more creative control, higher quality video, or Raw photos will want to look at more sophisticated drones.