Over the years, we’ve seen DJI try different approaches to the memory problem of having very powerful cameras and the large-sized files they produce. Ranging from including a 1 TB SSD in one of their models to some models not having any internal storage, DJI has a variety of selections. We’ll explore some of them in this article.
Except for the Mini series, all DJI drones have internal storage. But this doesn’t mean that the size the drones come with is large enough to not need external storage devices, because, with almost all DJI drones, an extra microSD card purchase is very encouraged.
Internal Storage of DJI Drones
The Mavic 3 is one of DJI’s more popular drones, and that’s for a reason. The standard model comes with 8 GB internal storage, which, with a camera capable of 5.1K/50 FPS at 200 Mbps, is not even nearly enough to store the massive-sized video footage.
Alternatively, the Mavic 3 Cine model is equipped with 1 TB of internal storage, making it the DJI drone with the largest internal storage. While its almost 900-gram weight puts it among the heavier drones on this list, it is a light drone. It can travel at a top speed of 75 kph, and it has a maximum wind speed resistance of 43 kph.
Its OcuSync 3.0 transmission gives it a large transmission distance of 8 km (the CE maximum) — that, coupled with the more than forty minutes of flight time its batteries can afford All these features make it one of the best DJI products and, by extension, one of the best drones on the market.
The 2022 release Avata model packs a surprising amount of internal storage. The 20 GB onboard memory it is equipped with is not something seen regularly. Weighing a little more than 400 grams, it is one of the lighter drones DJI offers.
It has a maximum range of 10 km 1080p video transmission and can produce video footage 4K with 60 FPS at 150 Mbps. With an astounding speed of 97.2 kph, it is an FVP drone to its core.
The 18 minutes flight time it has is clearly too small, but, in our opinion, it more than compensates for it with its fresh design and relatively small dimensions of 180×180×80.
The Mini 2 has a lot of features that make it at the forefront of drone technology— internal memory is not one of them, however. The Mini 2 is completely dependent on a microSD card to store all the video and photos it captures. If one is not inserted in it, it will store all the files on the mobile device it is connected to.
Of the many features that set the Mini 2 apart, weight is the most apparent. It weighs less than 249 grams, a number so small it makes this drone the ideal one for use in heavy to outdoor activity.
Its transmission is OcuSync 2.0, giving it a limited range of 6 km (CE) compared to other new DJI drones. Its camera can produce a standard 4K (30 FPS at 100 Mbps).
Mini 3 Pro
The Mini 3 Pro is an upgraded version of the Mini 2 in more ways than one. For starters, it has been equipped with 1.2 GB internal storage, which, at first glance, may seem too small to make a difference.
But it does help to curb the frustration of forgetting to prepare some external storage on some trips. As a Mini DJI drone, it weighs less than 249 grams. But its top speed has been upgraded to 57.6 kph. It has an OcuSynch 3.0 transmission system, so it can reach the 8 km CE range.
If used with the plus battery, it has a flight time of 47 minutes, which is also a good boost from previous models.
Like the Mini 2 (and Mini SE), the DJI FPV has no internal storage onboard. It weighs almost 800 grams, and it has a maximum flight time of no more than 20 minutes. With these specs, the DJI FVP cannot hope to compete against a lot of other new DJI drones.
But the DJI FPV was designed for a niche consumer circle, and it’s the top speed they’re mainly looking at. The DJI FPV can reach an astounding 140 kph, which lets it serve its purpose as a racing drone.
How to pick the best microSD card
On the official website, DJI has included a set of recommended microSD cards. The simplest option is to get one of the many listed SD cards. The list can be found on the official pages.
If you choose to get a microSD card that is not on the list, it is highly recommended that you’re certain that the microSD card you’ve bought is compatible with the drone.
Things to consider
- SanDisk is a household name for a majority of the drone community. This is also true for other camera-centered electronic devices. That’s enough to attest to the enduring qualities of the brand.
- Luckily, though, these days, it’s hard to be stirred wrong if you pick any of the other well-known brands like Samsung, Lexar, Kingston, etc.
- While what storage size you should go for depends on the specific kind of DJI drone you have, most are completely satisfied with 64 GBs.
- If you can afford it, though, we recommend you choose nothing lower than 128 GB because it is around that mark that the fullest potentials of the cards are expressed.
- When considering the speed of a certain microSD card, there are two indicators.
- Read/Write Speed
- Most new DJI drones have made UHS-I a requirement. UHS is an indicator of how fast the read/write speeds of a card are.
- Having a UHS-I speed class guarantees a minimum of 30MB/s read/write speeds (this figure is a minimum, and thus, UHS-I is capable of reaching much higher speeds)
- Video Speed
- This feature can be used to tell the microSD card’s minimum sustained write speeds.
- It is denoted by a ‘V’ with the speed next to it.
- V6, V10, and V30 are good enough for 1080p recording. V60 is best for 4K and V90 is for anything above.
- Application Performance Class
- MicroSD cards can either be A1 or A2. These indicate the speed at which the card can utilize randomly given inputs.
- A2 technology allows the card to high speeds (above 100MB/s)
- Read/Write Speed
The consequences of using a microSD card that is not compatible with a drone’s storage system range from annoyances like slowdowns, low-quality videos, and glitching videos, to more serious results like corrupted files, data loss, and even boot issues.
A tip to always remember…
When purchasing external storage, it should be a habit to buy a maximum of how much you’re willing to lose at once. That means if you want to buy a 128 GB microSD card, it’s better to buy two 64 GB microSD cards, if you want to buy a 256 GB microSD card, get two 128 GB microSD cards, etc.
This is because it reduces the risk of losing larger data by distributing the storage device should something happen to the card or the drone.