DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone Quadcopter with 4K Camera Review
DJI has two of the best high-end drones for video and photography. We review the original Mavic Pro, and the new Pro 2 with 4K camera, bringing cinematic features at consumer prices.
The DJI’s Mavic Pro base unit (about $800) has just about everything you could want for under $1,000. The controls are smooth, and easy to operate. We like how light-weight and compact this drone is. It’s a mere 8 x 8 x 8 inches opened (and about the size of a soda bottle when folded up), and 1.64 pounds.
The images, both still photos and video, are crisp and clear. The stabilization does an excellent job with eliminating jitter and blur. You can always get a minimum of 720p HD video, and a maximum of 1080p HD resolution when in “short-range” mode.
Keep in mind that you can fly this line-of-sight for over 4 miles (4.3 is the rated max distance). This is possible with the new “OcuSync” technology DJI includes with the Pro series.
Here’s how it works – OcuSync scans a range of available frequencies to find and use the one with the least interference. This gives you more reliability and control of the drone. It’s tightly integrated with the DJI GO app, so in addition to downloading photos / videos at up to 40 Mbps, OcuSync transfers vital statistics of the Mavic to you in real time.
DJI drone firmware also has “ActiveTrack”, “TapFly”, “Obstacle Avoidance”, along with other smart features, built-in. Combining this with sensor redundancy increases flight safety and reliability, while letting you focus on getting great shots.
Probably the other best feature results from their ground-up design for the energy management and flight systems.
Mavic has custom-designed, high-energy-density batteries coupled with excellent power management software to extend flight times. Optimizing the motors and drive systems, while reducing the weight, results in flight times of up to 27 minutes under ideal conditions and up to 21 minutes for average flights.
With wind-tunnel designed aeronautics, and a tuned propulsion system, the Mavic Pro can fly at speeds up to 40mph (64kmh). This is great for tracking shots and allows for realistic movie production levels.
If you want to get started with true cinematic drone capture, you can order this on Amazon for about $800 using: DJI’s Mavic Pro base unit . There are also bundles and packages available, if you want a full kit with extra batteries, memory, etc.
Mavic Pro 2
Taking it to the next level, is a full professional style film / movie drone, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone (about $1,400). What really sets this apart from everything else is the 20-megapixel camera designed in partnership with Hasselblad.
The Hasselblad cameras (made in Sweden), are known for their iconic ergonomic design, uncompromising image quality, and craftsmanship.
Since 1941, Hasselblad cameras have captured some of the world’s most iconic images – including the first moon landing.
The Mavic 2 Pro comes equipped with the all-new L1D-20c camera, which uses Hasselblad’s unique Hasselblad Natural Color Solution (HNCS), helping users capture gorgeous 20-megapixel aerial shots in stunning color detail.
We are in awe and truly impressed with the image quality that comes out of this tiny camera!
1-inch CMOS Sensor
The brand-new 1-inch CMOS sensor has an active sensing area four times more effective than the original Mavic Pro. It captures more information in every pixel for better dynamic range, signal-to-noise ratio, and low-light performance.
The Mavic 2 Pro supports a 10-bit Dlog-M color profile that yields higher dynamic range for more flexibility in the when editing in post-production.
The system records over 1 billion colors (compared to the 16 million colors from traditional 8-bit color coding technologies) and retains more in-depth details in both highlights and shadows.
4K 10-bit HDR support
The Mavic 2 Pro can be plugged into a 4K TV with HLG and will immediately play back footage with the right color tones, including brighter highlights and increased contrast that make HDR so appealing.
High flexibility to fine-tune images as desired (Color grading required) Instant and high-quality image (Color grading not required) Adjustable Aperture An F/2.8-F/11 adjustable aperture gives you more flexibility in handling different light conditions.
This is DJI’s way of recording time-lapse videos, and is intended to simplify post-processing. With Hyperlapse, the aircraft shoots stable aerial shots and processes them automatically for you. You can create professional-looking time-lapses with a simple tap of a button, which you can share to social media immediately.
Alternatively, both JPEG and RAW format images can be simultaneously saved on a microSD card (128GB max.). The 2 Pro has an 8GB built-in memory as well. You now have more options for editing after the flight is finished.
Another features is that you can save a flight path in “Task Library” to fly the Mavic 2 on the same path as many times or as often as needed. With this enabled, you can do re-take, after re-take until you get just the one you want.
We could write a booklet on all the options, features and controls that are packed into this drone. But we’ll stick with a quick overview, and refer you to the Mavic website for the full details.
Obstacle-avoidance technology and “Omni-directional Obstacle Sensing” help prevent a costly accident by colliding with moving objects like vehicles, people, birds, and other drones. It also helps with stationary things like trees, poles, wires, buildings and mountainsides. It’s never a good thing to crash your drone into a cliff side when trying to capture that perfect sunset over the beach!
ActiveTrack, TapFly and stabilizer software ensure you get smooth, non-jitter video, even when recording in 4K.
The GPS / GLONASS positioning, along with vision sensors, can give you great locationing whether you are indoors or outdoors.
Adjustable Aperture – The f/2.8-f/11 adjustable aperture delivers outstanding image quality both in high and low-light environments. Coupled with the 3-axis gimbal, you are practically guaranteed to get a fantastic picture regardless of the lighting conditions.
At 12.5 x 12.5 x 12.5 inches, the Pro 2 is about 50% larger than the Pro when fully opened. And it’s about 4 ounces heavier at nearly 2 pounds. Folded down, it’s like a small loaf of bread – still very manageable to carry around.
With just over half an hour (31 minutes) of flight time, we found this has plenty of battery life to do multiple takes as well as capturing multiple scenes during a single session.
And the DJI Mavic 2 is quick. When it’s in “sport mode”—which turns off some off the obstacle-avoidance technology in the drone—it can fly up to 45 mph (about 5 mph quicker than the original Mavic), and it can maneuver through air like a racing drone.
The Pro 2 is probably the best cinematic drone for non-industry and professional users. It has more features than we could readily use, and has performance capabilities beyond our skill set. It’ll make your videos a level above what you think you could really do. It you’ve got the budget, or a special project, definitely order one of these on Amazon today DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone and get started working with it.
The Pro is probably closer to what many people will be able to afford, and it’s a really work-horse for all the features and functionality it comes with. Especially if you don’t require 4K and if your flight radius isn’t too distant so you can take advantage of the Full-HD 1080p capture. This is a great starter drone on the way to pro-sumer / professional levels. Buy it for about $800 on Amazon with DJI’s Mavic Pro base unit .
And if both of these are still a little too pricey, or you are just starting out, take a look at the Mavic Spark (about $400) – 12MP Still Photos, 1080p @30fps Video.