DJI Mini 3 Pro vs Air 2S / Video Quality Comparison

A question often asked by users is: “should I buy the Mini 3 Pro or the Air 2S”. It is a question that makes a lot of sense, as the two models are very similar in terms of functionalities, and the price difference is not huge

Here I will analyze the quality of the footage in the two models, in different light conditions and in different color modes

If You Prefer To Watch This As a Video

DJI Air 2S vs Mini 3 Pro Specs for Video

Air 2SMini 3 Pro
Weight595 grams249 grams
Sensor Size1″1/1.3″
ApertureF 2.8F 1.7
Field of View88° (22mm)82.1° (24mm)
Video Resolution5.4k at 30 fps
4k at 60 fps
4k at 60 fps
Video Bitrate150 Mbps150 Mbps
Color ModesNormal
D Log
D Cinelike
Vertical VideoNoYes
Obstacle SensorsForward
Video specs of the Air 2s compared to the Mini 3 Pro
The lenses of the Mini 3 Pro and Air 2s

The Air 2S has a bigger sensor, but the very wide aperture of F 1.7 of the Mini 3 Pro should help in low light and high dynamic range situations. The Air 2S has a much higher maximum video resolution at 5.4k, useful for reframing without loss of detail, and an extra 10 bits color mode. The Mini 3 Pro can take video in vertical format

The Mini 3 has sensors for obstacle detection at the front, back, and downward, while the Air 2S has also a pair facing upward, which makes it slightly safer. But the two models lack lateral sensors and therefore a lot of care is suggested when tracking at close range

The Mini 3 Pro can shoot vertical video

The other functionalities for video are practically the same, but the Mini 3 has the advantage of being able to shoot vertical video and photos. It is the only prosumer drone of the current DJI prosumer line to have this option and it is a big selling point with users who are active on social media platforms

The Mini 3 has also the advantage of a weight below the threshold of 250 grams, it is therefore under more flexible regulations, especially for urban flying

The excellent RC controller is available with both models

The price of the Mini 3 in Europe is around 850 euros with the traditional RC N1 controller, versus about 1000 euros for the Air 2S. Both models are compatible with the new excellent RC controller

When the specs of the Mini 3 were announced, some users thought that it could have taken the place of the Air 2S in DJI prosumer line. But my comparison of photography with the two models shows that the quality of the Air 2S is still a step above the new model, at least in photography

Users interested in still images will find here my comparison of the two models for photography

I have also done a specific article about Video Quality with the Air 2s and a detailed overall comparison of the Mini 3 Pro vs the Air 2s

DJI Air 2S vs Mini 3 Pro Footage Quality in Top-Down Views

Let’s start with some top-down views, taking the sky out of the equation to better appreciate the detail and the color rendition

Top-down footage of the Air 2s vs Mini 3 Pro

I notice a bit of extra detail for the Air 2S compared to the Mini 3 Pro, especially in the shadows. This is not surprising due to the bigger sensor, but it is not a significant difference. The Air 2S has in my opinion slightly richer colors, but the rendition is very nice in both models, a matter of personal preference

DJI Air 2S vs Mini 3 Pro Footage Quality in Normal Mode

And now some footage taken in Normal mode. This is the 8-bit mode, the one meant mostly to be used straight out of the camera, without extensive computer editing

Many users underestimate the importance of the 5.4K resolution available with the Air 2S. I find it very useful for reframing the scene, zooming in, or even adding some extra movement by keyframing when needed

Footage in Normal mode with the Mini 3 Pro vs the Air 2S

I have always liked the footage quality of the Air 2S. Compared to the Mini 3 Pro I notice richer colors and more definition in the shadows for the Air 2S. After a series of firmware updates, the quality of footage with the Mini 3 Pro has improved considerably, but there is still room for improving the detail in the shadows

DJI Air 2s vs Mini 3 Pro Footage Quality with the 10-bit Modes

Let’s move to the flat profiles, the ones meant for serious post-processing

8-bit files are able to display about 16 million colors, while 10-bit ones can reach over 1 billion colors. In difficult light conditions, 8-bit files may show some artifacts like color banding in uniform areas. Another advantage of 10-bit files is that they make it easier to obtain the exact color scheme of a specific project

Here is my in-depth analysis of the color modes of the Air 2s

The Air 2S has two 10-bit modes: D LOG and HLG, and they are both excellent. D Log is the most widely used and with the correct LUTs works extremely well, so it is the one I will show you

The Mini 3 has D Cinelike. At first, It was an 8-bit mode, but after a firmware upgrade, it is now recognized by several video editors as a 10-bit mode

The 10 bits color modes in the Air 2s and Mini 3 Pro

While Normal mode works very well with both models with just a very slight advantage for the Air 2S, things change drastically with the flat profiles. D log in the Air 2S responds extremely well to post-processing and it is possible to reach any color theme with excellent results

D Cinelike in the Mini 3 Pro has improved after several updates, but in most cases, I don’t get the exact results I am after. There is still detail missing in the shadows and the color rendition cannot compete with D Log in the Air 2s. At times I notice a bit of chromatic noise in the sea or the sky, as well as some color banding. I wonder if it is a true 10-bit color space

DJI Air 2s vs Mini 3 Pro Footage Quality Against the Sun

The dynamic range of the Air 2S is much wider. In this difficult clip against the sun, I manage to recover a good deal of detail in the shadows. While with the Mini 3 all we can do is leave the element on the ground as a silhouette, there is just nothing in the shadows

In extreme situations some noise may appear in the shadows, I use the excellent denoiser Neat Video, I have done an in-depth article about it

Footage against the sun with the Air 2s and Mini 3 Pro

So, there is still a place for the Air 2S in the current Mavic line for users who are very serious about videography and photography

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I am Vittorio Caramazza, aka Vicvideopic, the founder of this website and author of all the posts. I am a videographer and photographer contributing to several stock agencies. I am an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and Lightroom. I have 10 years of experience with dron videography and photography. I was struck by drone syndrome in 2013. I have owned and tested in depth the following drones: Phantom 3, Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic Mini, Mini 2, Air 2, Air 2s, Autel Evo Nano Plus, Mavic 3, Mini 3 Pro, Mini 3. My home has turned into a breeding ground for drones. I am the owner of two YouTube channels specializing in Videography and Photography, with a focus on drones My main channel is VicVideopic (in English): My other channel is Drone Mitico, the Italian version.: I am currently based in Sicily (Southern Italy), but I tend to move quite often. After all, this is one of the main benefits of being a digital nomad…

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