Ever since its release in 2016, the DJI Mavic Pro has been one of the most popular, portable drones on the market. It's camera quality, size, and ease of use helped it become one of the best selling drones ever.
Today, DJI announced that it has updated this fan favorite and added a few great features. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of seeing the Mavic Pro 2 a few days prior to its launch when I went to visit DJI Headquarters in NYC. I was able to hold the drones, fly them, and even test some of the new features they have to offer. Here is my hands-on experience with this new beauty.
Two New Versions
Not only did DJI upgrade the original Mavic Pro, now called the Mavic 2 Pro, they added a new model, dubbing it the Mavic 2 Zoom. Both versions sport the new beefier design, but with the same folding portability.
Mavic 2 Pro
Let me start by introducing some of the new upgrades for the Mavic 2 Pro, which now offers a Hasselblad camera, 1-inch sensor shooting at 20 MP, an adjustable aperture (f/2.8-f/11), 14 stops of dynamic range, and it also utilizes Hasselblad's unique Natural Color Solution (HNCS) technology. On top of that, video capabilities have been improved, and this version of the drone is able to shoot in H.264 and H.265 at up to 100 Mb/s in full 4K UHD. The truth is, this drone doesn't only open a new world to photographers, but it opens up one for videographers as well.
This drone is a little beast of its own. Take the Phantom 4 Pro and pack it into the size of a Mavic Pro. Sold. This is literally the perfect camera for aerial photography. This drone will also be capable of shooting video in some new color profiles, one being 10 bit Dlog-M, providing pilots with up to four times more color than the previous version. Being able to hold this drone and compare it to my Mavic Pro, I thought about how convenient this is about to be. Preorder the Mavic 2 Pro for $1,449.
Mavic 2 Zoom
The Mavic 2 Zoom is a little bit of surprise, because it offers an optical zoom of 24mm-48mm, with the digital zoom taking it to 96mm. The CMOS sensor size of the Mavic 2 Zoom is the same size as the original Mavic Pro at 1/2.3 inch. Photos are still at 12 MP, but this version can now utilize a new "Super Resolution" feature that uses optical zoom to capture and stitch nine photos together for a 48 MP image.
After flying the Hasselblad version, I think the zoom version kinda blew my mind. Having the ability to use this optical zoom makes me feel as if I'm flying my Inspire 2. Since I've been doing so much more video lately, I feel like the zoom is going to be a blast to mess around with when it comes to adding motion to my video work. Preorder the Mavic 2 Zoom for $1,249.
New QuickShot Modes
This is an exclusive feature on the Mavic 2 Zoom that is used with the optical zoom. A dolly zoom is an effect common in movies that keeps the subject the same size while the background appears to be moving. In order to create this effect, the drone must fly backwards while zooming in to create that warped look. Though this is technically considered a QuickShot, it can also be controlled on the top right of the controller by the pilot in any manual mode as well.
This has to be something a lot of drone pilots have been waiting for. A hyperlapse is capable of producing a shot that pretty much shows the passing of time. All in all, a hyperlapse is a moving time-lapse, but now, you will have unlimited space to create any sort of motion you want to add. In this mode, you have the option to control the movement of the drone manually, fly in a circle, use a course lock, or even set a waypoint. With all these options, creating a hyperslapse with your drone will now be easier than ever.
This drone now has 10 sensors, which means obstacle avoidance on every single side. This adds a lot of safety for pilots and can be beneficial to use in a lot of situations, one being the updated APAS mode which allows you to fly in a straight line as the drone senses obstacles and avoids them using its new technology.
With a new design, the new gimbal on both the Mavic Pro 2 and Mavic 2 Zoom is much stronger and more well designed than the previous version. This allows for better movement when traveling at higher speeds, which can be a huge plus for achieving certain shots.
A few months ago, the Mavic Air was announced, and one very unique feature it had was 8 GB of onboard memory. The Mavic 2 will now offer 8 GB of onboard memory as well, which really can come in handy.
Motors and Props
The motors on this version are now slightly bigger for additional power when needed, and the props are built to be quieter like they are on the Mavic Pro Platinum. The Mavic 2 is capable of speeds up to 44 mph (72 km/h)
With a sleeker design, this new drone's aerodynamic build can reduce body drag by up to 19 percent. With all of these new design elements, this drone is said to fly for about 31 minutes. Realistically, I think people will average out around 25-minute flight times, which is far from something to complain about.
Aside from the slight change in color, this new controller offers a few more unique features. In fact, the whole drone offers a lot more unique features, but the most important one when it comes to the controller is OcuSync 2. If you are unfamiliar with this, it is the video transmission between your drone and your controller that is able to show you what your drone is seeing. On top of having a little bit more interference resistance, we will now be able to see a 1080p video transmission to our screens over the previous 720p. With a range up to 8 km (4.97 miles) and the clear signal they claim this new drone has, it's going to be hard to not want to fly it all the time.
Like the Mavic Air, you can now unscrew the knobs and tuck them away if you want (I find this really helpful if I ever need to stick my controller in some sort of tight space). There are now cut-outs on the phone holder for access to the home button, along with an added control on the top right for zoom control. You can also download everything directly to your phone if you are shooting in a compatible file format.
I cannot wait to test both versions of this drone out. I think they are about to be two of the best, most unique drones on the market strictly because of the Mavic's reputation for setup and portability. I'm also very excited to see which drone will be more popular. For me, I'm thinking I may really like the zoom feature for video work, but I also know I am going to want that awesome photo quality on the Hasselblad version as well.