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Mavic Mini Night & Fireworks Videos
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Dirty Bird
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I decided to use the Mavic Mini to capture the 2020 New Years fireworks display in Baltimore.  This was a good opportunity to test her night recording capabilitlies.  As it turned out, it was also a good test of her stability in windy conditions!  Baltimore fireworks are generally launched from two barges in the harbor.  One barge is located at the Inner Harbor near Harborplace.  A much larger barge, bearing the Big Guns, is located about 3/4 mile further out between Eastport & the Domino Sugar plant. I planned my launch from the lot near McHenry Row where I captured the 2017 Independence Day display with a Phantom 4.  This is a great launch point as the main barge is only about half a mile away & well within range of even a WiFi-based drone like the Mini.  The lot is discrete, empty at night, & also avoids the problems of traffic & scrutiny at locations closer to the harbor.


I arrived about an hour early so I could take a test flight with the Mini.  The winds had been steadily increasing throughout the evening & were listed as "Westerly @ 13-15 mph" by 11 pm.  This would be the Mini's forth flight.  I was a bit concerned about the winds but, knowing the Mini would be flying out to the North & returning towards the South, I was confident "Micron" could handle the wind in Sport Mode if needed.  I was correct in my assessment & the bird set out on the test flight without a hitch.  She handled the wind fine & held her position even at 300', but she could only manage 1-5 mph heading due west directly into the wind (towards the city).  I flew around for a bit & returned to prepare for the fireworks.  The video of the test flight is available as a night recording sample reel so Mini owners can get an idea of the bird's night recording capabilities in a city environment.


A few minutes before midnight I prepped the bird for the main event, lifting off & hovering behind the McHenry Row water tower for a dramatic reveal of the opening salvo.  I was puzzled at midnight when I began hearing hearing bursts but wasn't seeing any fireworks.  It turns out Harm City skimped on the display this year & only had a single small barge directly at the Inner Harbor!  Not sure if this was due to budget cuts or the barge operators were victims of Baltimore's murder spree?  This put me in a bit of a predicament for recording the event.  Getting closer was directly into the 15 mph winds where the Mini could make little progress, I also had several building preventing me from maintaining signal at low alititude, as well as three police helicopters circling above forcing me to stay relatively low.  You can see my vantage point in the launch of the night recording sample video.


This, coupled with the unusually small display, made the event less than spectacular.  Most bursts were at or below building heights & I was recording from about half a mile distant.  Of all the Baltimore fireworks displays I have attended, this was the worst. (Except perhaps the 2016 display when they launched the usual dual-barge display during low fog & misting rain.  All the bursts occurred within the clouds which made for some neat fog illumination effects but a terrible fireworks display!)   I decided to post the 2020 video despite the less-than-spectacular results for historical purposes.  I have also included the 2017 Independence Day display, recorded with my Phantom 4 from the same location, for comparison.

Mavic Mini - Night Recording Sample Reel:



Mavic Mini  - New Year Fireworks 2020 - Baltimore, MD:



Phantom 4 - Baltimore Fireworks - Juy 4, 2017:



1-2 15:23
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Woe
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Nice set of videos Dirty Bird. I have to say I'm pretty impressed
with the camera on the MM. Btw nice flying as well.
1-2 22:14
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Dirty Bird
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Woe Posted at 1-2 22:14
Nice set of videos Dirty Bird. I have to say I'm pretty impressed
with the camera on the MM. Btw nice flying as well.

Thanks!  I am pretty happy with the Mini thus far.  Can you imagine having this available, at this price point, 6 years ago when the Phantom 2 came out?
1-2 22:32
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Woe
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Dirty Bird Posted at 1-2 22:32
Thanks!  I am pretty happy with the Mini thus far.  Can you imagine having this available, at this price point, 6 years ago when the Phantom 2 came out?

If this was available then, we probably would have never
seen the P3 or P4.
1-2 22:36
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