Mavic Mini: The Best SD Cards

by | Jun 27, 2020 | DJI Mavic Mini

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One of the most common questions we get is from DJI Mavic Mini owners who want to know what is the best memory card for the DJI Mavic Mini. There are lots of options for micro SD cards for the Mavic Mini and DJI list over 20 compatible memory cards so choosing the right option is tricky! We’ve tried and tested many different brands of memory cards in our drones and wanted to share our experiences and recommended micro SD cards for the DJI Mavic Mini.

As travel photographers we need our memory cards to work 100% of the time and the cards below are the ones we personally use in our all our drones. We’ve relied upon them heavily over the years and, having tried and tested lots of options, we’re sharing the best SD cards for your Mavic Mini.

DJI Mavic Mini Best Micro SD Cards

Drone shot from our time in Cape Town South Africa

 

Mavic Mini Memory Cards

The Mavic Mini has no internal storage so pilots have to use micro SD cards to store photos and videos captured on the drone. For anyone who is new to drones, this is what a micro-sd card looks like (these are the versions we use in all our DJI drones):

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The Mavic Mini shoots 1080p video at 60 frames per second and 2.7k at up to 30fps. Based on shooting 2.7k at 30fps a 32 GB micro SD card will be large enough to cover three flights (you’ll be able to make three flights with the included batteries if you buy the fly more bundle). This is based on the DJI rated 30 minute flight time. In reality you’re looking at 20-25 minutes after allowing for takeoff, landing, framing and wind conditions.

There are a few key requirements for a good memory card for the DJI Mavic Mini:

  • Cost: Micro SD cards can range from the affordable to the expensive so it pays to do the research and buy the best value micro sd card that will meet your needs. It is important to consider budget as you’ll need to invest in a few memory cards. This will allow you to swap out cards easily for backup. For the Mavic Mini (as it doesn’t shoot 4k) Micro SD cards over 64gb are probably not necessary. We find the 32/64gb cards a good balance of price vs storage capacity.
  • Size: Based on our experience it’s not worth buying a large memory card for your Mavic Mini. The reason for this is simple – a large card will fit lots of footage which can make you lazy to back up regularly. If something happens to your drone (i.e. a crash or flyaway) and you can’t recover your drone then you’ve just lost lots of footage as it’s likely not backed up. We find that 32gb or 64gb cards work the best and we generally prefer multiple 32gb cards. It might seem counter-intuitive but smaller cards ensure that you change the memory card regular. The drone forums are littered with terrible tales of people losing lots of footage on drones which might have been avoided if they used lots of smaller capacity micro SD cards.
  • Reliability: The most important requirement for any memory card. No card will guarantee 100% reliability – at some stage, all cards will likely let you down. However, some cards (like the ones we recommend) very rarely suffer data loss.
  • Transfer speed (read and write): The Mavic Mini requires a micro SD card of UHS-I Speed Class 3 or above which equates to a 30MB/s write speed. Any micro SD card above this write speed are not necessary as you won’t get the benefit of the faster speeds in your footage. If you want to ensure faster read speeds for more efficient back up then it might be worth getting the faster cards.

 

The Best Mavic Mini Memory Cards

Based on the above requirements, our memory cards of choice are the Sandisk Extreme 32gb and 64gb micro SDHC memory cards which we use in our DJI drones. These cards are the best as they provide the best balance of Size, Cost and Speed. Based on our experience, they are the best memory cards for the  Mavic Mini.

Best Mavic Mini Memory Card tip: Thankfully, we’ve never experienced any data loss with the micro SD cards below despite heavy use over the years!.

 

Sandisk Extreme Series Cards

Why these are the best memory cards for the Mavic Mini

  • Speed: Both cards are class 3 micro SD cards so can easily handle the requirements of the Mavic Mini. We have never experienced any issues with these cards despite extremely heavy use in our drones.
  • Cost: Both of the cards are great value for money considering the read/write speeds. You can buy faster cards (see our recommendations below) and these will speed up backup times to your laptop, however they won’t improve the quality of the video or photo recording on the Mavic Mini!
DJI Mavic Mini Best Micro SD Cards

Beehive huts Drone shot from Dingle, Ireland

 

Do you need faster cards?

If you’re shooting a lot of video footage on your Mavic Mini you’re going to generate a lot of video files which can take a lot of time to backup to your computer/laptop!  In this case it might be worth paying the extra for cards with faster read speeds. While this might mean a more expensive card that doesn’t benefit from the Mavic Mini write cap, the benefit is that you’ll have quicker backups to your laptop. In this case, you may want to consider faster micro SD cards for the Mavic Mini like the Sandisk Extreme Plus and Extreme Pro series memory cards.

These cards offer much faster (around 40%) read speeds which will reduce your file transfer time over USB3.0 or USB Type C to your laptop or hard drives. This extra speed will cost you more cash, but for those who need these higher read speeds these memory cards are worth it.

Memory Card Case: Protecting your SD Cards

Having multiple micro SD cards for your Mavic Mini is great for reducing the chances of losing footage due to crash, card failure etc, however keeping these cards organized gets tricky. These micro SD cards are very small and delicate so you’ll need a reliable case for storing and organizing them

Mavic Mini Memory Card Tip: Make sure to number of label your memory cards (we use a fine-tip sharpie pen) to keep track of them and use a carry case. It helps to store them in a micro SD to SD converter for storage as they are so small

The following are the cases we’d recommend:

DJI Mavic Mini Best Micro SD Cards

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany shot on our DJI drone

 

Backing up: Saving your footage!

One of the most important, yet slightly boring, tasks of shooting with any drone is backing up your epic footage to your laptop or external hard drives. Making sure you back up and catalog all your footage is one of the most important tasks when flying a drone and managing multiple cards can quickly become a frustrating and time consuming task. We’ve tried multiple backup work flows and ended up with the system as follows:

For the fastest transfer times you should use a laptop/computer with Type C or USB 3.0 ports for transferring files.

Mavic Mini Memory Card Tip: Not all laptops/computers have USB 3.0 micro-SD card readers installed (check your model) so using the built in sd card slot will be very slow for backing up your footage. It might be worth getting a USB 3.0 reader and or a USB C adapter for transferring your files:

 

Our backup system

To solve this problem we use a simple system with minimal gear in addition to our laptop:

This is a very compact, versatile and super fast solution and gives us extremely fast backups. If your laptop doesn’t support two USB-C connections you can use the hub to connect the Sandisk Extreme SSD over USB 3.0 via the included adapters

How to Store Your Mavic Mini Footage

When traveling with our DJI drones we backup our data to two mirrored external hard drives. We use the 3-2-1 system for backing up files – 3 copies in 2 different locations with 1 being remotely in the cloud. We carry the hard drives in separate bags to reduce the chances of losing both. Having two backups of your footage is super helpful and has definitely saved us heartache a number of times! A third copy can be left on the micro-SD card until we get home when you can then back up to our home backup system.

For reliability and speed we moved to SSD external storage while on the road. External SSD prices have reduced significantly in recent years to the point that they are a viable option now. We’ve been using the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD’s for almost 2 years now and they’ve been fantastic.

They’re super-lightweight, small, rugged, affordable and most importantly, extremely fast over USB-C. We use two of these mirrored hard drives while travelling for storing our footage. They’ve worked great despite heavy use and abuse and we highly recommend them. If you travel a lot with your drone you should definitely consider these for your footage.

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For the better value solution we also recommend the Seagate Backup slim hard drives. The 2tb version of these drives are great value and are the hard drive we exclusively used before going to SSD. Even after heavy, regular use while travelling we never had any issues with these hard drives.Buy now on Amazon!

 

So that completes our ultimate guide to the best micro SD cards for your Mavic Mini – if you have any questions do let us know in the comments below!

 

DJI Mavic Mini Best Micro SD Cards

Happy droning!

 

Check out our other Drone articles:

The Best Drones for Travel

 

 

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