Images have leaked of what appears to be the upcoming DJI Mini 4 Pro drone. It offers some pretty significant upgrades over the Dji Mini 3 Pro (buy here), including 4K video at 100fps and omnidirectional obstacle avoidance.
It also offers features typically only found on more more expensive enterprise and high-end consumer drones, such as waypoint flight with 20KM HD video transmission. It’s an impressive set of skills for a <250g drone.
4K Video at 100fps
The DJI Mini 3 Pro shoots 4K video at up to 60 frames per second (or 30fps for HDR video). The box shown in the leaked images shows that the DJI Mini 4 Pro ups this to 4K at up to 100fps.
Why does it show 100fps and not 120fps? Well, it’s possible that this might be due to the fact that it looks like an EU drone. The bottom section of text is obviously written in French. In the EU, the standard TV frame rate is 25fps (25fps x 4 = 100fps).
It’s possible that on the US version, this may be 4K 120fps (30fps x 4). But it’s equally possible that this is a global limit and it’ll be 4K 100fps everywhere. Until it’s officially announced or we see more leaks stating otherwise, assume it’s limited to 100fps.
Omnidirectional Obstacle Avoidance
This is going to be a big one. The DJI Mini 3 Pro only has obstacle avoidance in the front, rear and downward directions. Omnidirectional obstacle avoidance means that it should also see to both sides and above the drone.
This means that it can effectively see in all directions. Hopefully, this will prevent so many posts in various Facebook groups stating that their drone crashed into a tree during takeoff or while tracking and following a subject through potentially busy environments.
New Video Transmission tech with 20km range
This one isn’t likely going to make a difference to most people, given that most countries limit you to flying within visual line of sight. The DJI Mini 3 Pro has a 12km range, which is already more than plenty. The DJI Mini 4 is expected to have a 20km range.
The one benefit of such a strong signal, however, is that it should help to overcome any potential interference. It also means that you should be able to still get a strong signal behind objects like buildings. Again, you’re probably supposed to fly within visual line of sight, but those rules aren’t the same everywhere.
Waypoint flight mode
This one’s a biggy. Waypoint flying has traditionally been the domain of enterprise and very high-end consumer drones. It’s often used for mapping and 3D scanning. Essentially, it allows you to set a bunch of waypoints on a map and a path is created that allows the drone to hit all of them on its flight path.
It’s a feature I often see requested on smaller drones like this, usually for things like documenting property when it goes up for sale, or to generate 3D models of an environment. I’ve seen a number of farmers over the years who use this feature to check on their fields. A kind of aerial security camera to give the area a quick scan.
I am curious to see how popular waypoint flight mode will be in the Mini 4 Pro amongst general consumers. It’s a feature I’ve used in my drones a number of times, typically when location scouting for photo shoots so that I can build up a 3D map that’s a little more detailed than that which we see on Google Earth.
When’s the release date?
There have been no hints or teasers from DJI yet about a new drone. While DJI doesn’t always stick to the schedule as the rest of the tech world, we do often see new gadgets being announced by various large companies during September.
The fact that a retail box appears to exist suggests that they’re fairly close to a release, though. So, it’s possible we could hear an announcement before the end of this month. Of course, we may not.
I do expect that we’ll hear an announcement pretty soon, though. After all, if DJI’s this close to a final product, they’ll want to get those Christmas present sales.