May 25, 2016

Introducing Xiaomi's Mi Drone, Which Boasts 4K RAW Shooting for $460

Xiaomi has been teasing us with the details about its first ever quadcopter, and today the Chinese electronics company has officially unveiled the Mi Drone, which shoots 4K and costs less than $500.

The Mi Drone is one of the most inexpensive drones among its competition, offering two versions, a $460 4K model and a $380 1080p model. Compare these price tags to its biggest rival, DJI, the Mi Drone is cheaper than the 4K and 2.7K models of the Phantom 3, which are $650 and $500 respectively.

Xiaomi provided a full list of the Mi Drone's features on their live-feed today, like RAW shooting, 3-axis gimbal stabilizer, and modular design, which makes easy to transport. Users can also set a flight plan, circle around an object, set endpoints, and avoid flying into no-fly zones.

Key Features

  • 4-propeller system with detachable shields 
  • 17.4V battery 5100mAh, 27 minutes non-stop flying 
  • 1080p or 4K UHD camera, with 104° wide-angle lens 
  • 4K camera at 3840 x 2160 pixels; supports recording of stills in RAW format 
  • 720p live video with low latency from up to 2km distance
  • Camera attached to a 3-axis gimbal, stabilizes up to 2000 vibrations per second 
  • Unbelievably lightweight design 
  • GPS + GLONASS + vision-based positioning for max precision 
  • Autopilot options: automatic take-off + landing, waypoint flight path planning, tap to fly on map, circle an object on the ground
  • Intelligently detects low battery and returns home automatically 
  • Real-time location tracking for easy retrieval even post crash 
  • Hovers automatically at the edge of no-fly zones 
  • Built-in PCB antenna array in remote control for maximum reach 
  • Modular design and foldable landing gear 

The introduction of the Mi Drone into the quadcopter market certainly seems to make aerial cinematography more affordable and accessible to those who may not have a grand to drop on a specialty image capture tool. But don't pull out your wallets just yet. Xiaomi says that the 4K model of the Mi Drone will enter a public beta sometime at the end of July, while the 1080p model will run a crowdfunding campaign later on.     

Your Comment

28 Comments

Sooo it's 4K raw shooting the same way my 550D is 5K raw shooting then; at about 1 frame per second or so, with no audio.
Anyway, it still looks pretty nice :)

May 25, 2016 at 5:44PM, Edited May 25, 5:44PM

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Caspar Kerr
Enthusiast
121

too bad the footage looks shit

May 25, 2016 at 9:43PM

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The title made it seem like it shot 4K video.

May 25, 2016 at 11:50PM

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Click bait

May 26, 2016 at 12:35AM

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Tobias N
Director of Photography
1322

It does shoot 4K (well... UHD) video, but not in raw.

May 26, 2016 at 11:27AM

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Awesome price. Footage loots fine.

Competition is good.

May 26, 2016 at 8:06AM

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Careful dudes, you buy a toy, you'll get toy results.

IMO, not worthy of a NFS post. There are a million of these toy drones, they don't belong in our spheres.

May 26, 2016 at 10:13AM

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Jordan Mederich
Documentarian / Filmmaker
1300

I don't know Mederich, I feel like it is NFS worthy and here's why. They cater their posts to both professionals and beginners alike. So what may not interest you or I, may interest someone else on here. However, I agree with what you said in that you basically get what you pay for.

May 26, 2016 at 11:17AM

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John D. Smith
Cinematographer
292

I'd much rather this post than another F%$#ing Kubrick or Torrantino post. Both overrated examples of if you throw enough money at something you can still get crap (rant over).

People here are quick to shoot down cheap products. Cheap doesn't mean inferior. The lens market is a great example. Access to cheap drones is great for learners and good for the occasional shoot where there might be a risk you could loose it.

May 26, 2016 at 6:45PM

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I think 4K raw in the title was a little deceiving. On another note, I really like DJI products but wouldn't mind seeing more legitimate competition in the quadcoptor world. Thanks for posting.

May 26, 2016 at 11:10AM, Edited May 26, 11:11AM

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John D. Smith
Cinematographer
292

If someone could show me on the internets where 4K is generally accepted as a resolution for still cameras that would be rad. I did check Wikipedia, no luck there.

May 26, 2016 at 11:24AM

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4K is about 12 megapixels. Nothing wrong with 12 megapixels as long as they are good pixels.

The Nikon D3 I had was 12, my Sony A7s is perhaps 13. Both take great photos.

4K is a fine resolution for stills only if they are good looking pixels. The 4K on my Phantom 3 Pro is not the best 4K but it makes nice 1080p when scaled down, and thats all I'm interested in.

May 31, 2016 at 6:50PM

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The price point and specs look great on paper, but I agree that the footage does not impress. It looks like the highlights are really blown out and the color looks terrible. If this can shoot 4k raw, I'd love to know approximately how many stops of DR can be pulled out of this thing for color correction/highlight reduction.

May 26, 2016 at 12:10PM

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Sean Pettis
Filmmaker
470

Like Jordan said ..you buy a toy and you get toy results.... this company produces crap, we tried to use one of their "gopro-killer action cameras" what a POS ... re-gifted it to an 8 year old and he wasn't even impressed. And they have to crowd fund for their 1080p model.... what a joke

May 26, 2016 at 1:48PM

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You know, this is just annoying. I love NFS. Read it every day. But there seems to be a mix of amazing content, and then stuff like this - clickbait essentially. Why? It doesn't shoot 4K RAW video as the title suggests. And why would we care about stills news anyway? We're filmmakers not photographers. Come on NFS... you're better than this.

May 26, 2016 at 3:37PM

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Devin Pickering
Cinematographer/Editor/Composer
147

If you cant buy it yet then it isn't really cheaper is it.

May 26, 2016 at 7:36PM

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Robert W.
166

The title said 4K RAW...
No its only RAW stills...

Also - Xiaomi says it records up to 4K res, but makes the product video only 720p.

May 27, 2016 at 12:45AM

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Nico Saiger
Indie Filmproducer
258

I agree with most of the posts. A bit deceptive the 4K headline, footage looks ok, but I have a couple of the Xiaomi products, and the build quality is quite good. DJI needs some good chinese competition, and these guys can do it. I believe they're actually the 3rd or 4th largest phone manus in the world. Yes I know mainly in China, but still, huge. I'd rather buy this or DJI. Oh it's not an Inspire, but I'm sure they can scale up and make a $2000 drone with better quality/features pretty easily too.

May 27, 2016 at 4:14AM

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Kevin Loh
Creative Director / Videographer / Editor
96

Bullshit title, and useless specs with no codec and bitrate information.

"4K" doesn't mean jack without knowing how it's being recorded; and it's probably a fraud anyway (just like most "HD" is).

May 30, 2016 at 4:55AM, Edited May 30, 4:57AM

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David Gurney
DP
1986

Thanks for the clickbait titles nofilmschool, its a pleasure to find out they are not true every time :) Btw. did anyone else notice the premiumbeat soundtrack? ;D

June 4, 2016 at 2:22PM

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Chinese apple (Xiaomi) seems to be very active on the market last 12 months. Not only they produced few cool phones, but they got into tablets, air purifiers...and finally drones.
I have high expectations of this drone since they promise warranty, USA based support team etc. I'm waiting for it to be available on Amazon. I don't know why are they waiting for so long.

In the meantime, here is great overview of camera drones available for less than $500 : http://www.dronesglobe.com/affordable-list/under500/

August 20, 2016 at 3:05PM

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I'm a little skeptical of this model. Would rather get a Phantom 3 Standard or something with a longer history of use in this price range: http://dronebusinessmarketer.com/best-drones-under-500/

May 4, 2017 at 6:02PM

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If you're looking to get good quality 4K video, you're better off spending some more money on a good DJI drone.

There's a reason why DJI have picked up 70% of the drone business - they make good drones. And we've seen how popular such drones as the Phantom, the Mavic and the Spark have become.

It's simple - excellent drones, with excellent video capability.

Do you have to pay a premium for these drones? For sure. But you know you're getting quality stuff.

If you're looking for recommendations, we at https://www.dronesbuy.net have performed a full analysis and roundups of plenty of different drones for specific reasons, including drones for video.

July 19, 2017 at 6:47AM

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David Attard
Founder
81

I agree that if DJI needs some good competition among themselves (i mean between Chinese company), the Xiaomi guy can do it and it can give the great fight. I am not so fans of Xiaomi but in term of smartphone's market, Xiaomi can offer a premium technology but with a low price and not forget the quality build also is great.

By the way, the king maker today is DJI, but do not forget, other manufacturer or company can give a great fight as well, i mean in the range of that price https://dronepedia.xyz/dji-phantom-3-alternatives/

August 4, 2017 at 12:18PM, Edited August 4, 12:18PM

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Antje Dreher
Freelance videographer
81

Nice post, thanks for sharing. If you want to know more about drones and its cost, you can go through 3dinsider.com/follow-me-drones/. Here you can find all instructions and guidelines.

September 26, 2017 at 3:00AM

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Mi is doing a great job in terms of product range. They have whole lot of products which seems weird for a technology brand. They even manufactures t-shirts which is really weird. Mi Drone is something worth testing. Really excited to see the picture quality of mi Drone. Check Nano drone with camera https://www.thetechtoys.com/best-nano-drones-camera-can-buy/ which are good enough for the family fun and all.

February 20, 2018 at 12:27PM

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Shawn
88

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May 28, 2018 at 8:05AM, Edited May 28, 8:05AM

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October 23, 2018 at 4:45PM

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