We’ve only just put the controller away for our DJI Air 3 review, but the drone giant is seemingly already cooking up its next release in the form of the newly leaked DJI Mini 4 Pro.
The prolific DJI leaker @Quadro_News has shared the image below on Twitter (“X”) of what appears to be a follow-up to last year’s DJI Mini 3 Pro, which we rate as one of the best drones you can buy.
So far, there aren’t any leaked specs to go alongside the image, but we can make some educated guesses based on what it shows. And the most obvious upgrade appears to be an omnidirectional obstacle-sensing system, like the one we recently saw on the Air 3.
The giveaway for that feature is the tweaked, fisheye sensors above the camera and gimbal, which face outwards to the sides rather than directly ahead like on the Mini 3 Pro.
👉I waiting for you, DJI Mini 4 Pro.)#dji #djimini4pro pic.twitter.com/8q8arzzR0WAugust 5, 2023
Other features are harder to discern from the leaked image, but it looks like the Mini 4 Pro may still only have one camera. One of the main upgrades on the Air 3 was the introduction of a dual-camera system, with one of those cameras effectively offering 3x optical zoom.
Lift the shadows on the supposed Mini 4 Pro leaked image, though, and it looks like there’s still just the one camera, most likely based on the same 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor that’s in both the Mini 3 Pro and Air 3.
If so, that’s most likely a weight-saving decision, as one of the main appeals of the Mini series is their sub-250g weight, which gives fliers a little more leeway in many regions (for example, only needing an Operator ID and not a Flyer ID in the UK).
What other upgrades might the Mini 4 Pro bring? Another highly likely feature is OcuSync 4.0, which is the latest version of the digital transmission system that connects DJI drones to their controllers. It boosts the signal’s reliability and takes the range up to 20km (12 miles), though that isn’t something you can take advantage of in most regions due to drone laws.
This also means that DJI would likely bundle the Mini 4 Pro with its new DJI RC 2 controller, which again came with the Air 3. So while the leaked image suggests it’ll be a minor upgrade, the Mini 4 Pro will likely get most of the quality-of-life upgrades that we saw on its most recent all-rounder, only in a smaller bundle. And that could make it another fine travel companion.
A Mini 4 Pro so soon?
The DJI Mini 3 Pro arrived in May 2022, so it’s only just over a year old. Would DJI really release a follow-up this year? Looking at DJI’s recent launch cycle, it certainly seems possible – and as a Mini 3 Pro owner, I wouldn’t be too annoyed or worried about upgrading.
From the leaks so far, the Mini 4 Pro looks like a minor upgrade that’d likely bring the series in line with the Air 3 and its new controller and connectivity. If the Mini 4 Pro gets an omnidirectional obstacle sensing system, OcuSync 4.0, and a new RC 2 controller, that would be a sensible update in the run-up to the shopping season.
DJI has increasingly been splitting its models into sub-categories, so we could expect to see a cheaper DJI Mini 4 (perhaps in 2024) also arrive with the new DJI RC-N2 controller. That brings a new processor, improved antennas, and support for OcuSync 4.0.
But these upgrades also show that drones are hitting the smartphone problem – after some rapid improvements, it’s increasingly difficult to add major new features. And that’s why, despite rumors of the Mini 4 Pro, I’m perfectly happy with my Mini 3 Pro, which remains a brilliant addition to any travel photographer’s camera bag.
This post originally appeared on TechToday.