Elia Locardi is Back

DJI Mavic Pro Reviews Are Flying In

DJI announced their newest drone to the world this week, and it’s creating quite a buzz. If you haven’t heard about it yet, jump over to our article on the announcement of this new compact drone. At first, I thought the GoPro Karma looked great, then DJI swooped in with their Mavic which looks amazing as well.

Casey Neistat is back with another hands on review, and from the looks of it, he sure loved the new Mavic. Follow Casey as he tests the Mavic's flight indoors and outdoors; one feature I love from watching is its ability to stay in a fixed position. Not to mention the size of the drone is just incredible, just like the saying goes, the best one is usually the one you have with you. With the new Mavic, it’s now easier to take with you compared to other much larger drones. You can easily fit it most bags and purses, even your pant pockets. It does stick out a bit in Casey’s demonstration, which I wouldn’t carry it around like that, but if you had to you could. Maybe with some baggier pants with deeper pockets you could stuff it in.

As you see Casey was even able to test out the compact drone’s flight in some windy conditions, which is great to see. With the smaller size you wouldn’t think it would be as stable as it was, looks to be a very solid and compact drone from DJI.

DigitalRev Tv also came out with their hands-on review, which does cover some more features and tech specs over the Mavic. Like all other DJI drones, you need to pair with your phone to see what the drone camera is seeing. The new smaller controller is also looks great and has improvements, but there is an option for phone only control. With their review, they show the video both straight from camera and with some color grading applied for reference. DigitalRev Tv even put the flight speed to the test with the larger DJI Phantom 4. I loved that there are no blades shown in the Mavic. For its size, it’s a pretty strong contender, but the Phantom 4 still brings in better quality. 

This is definitely making my decision for my first drone very difficult, I will be following the release of both of these, but right now I am leaning towards the new DJI Mavic. What are your thoughts?

Alex Ventura's picture

Staff writer Alex Ventura is a professional photographer based out of the Houston area that specializes in automotive and glamour with the occasional adventures into other genres. He regularly covers automotive related events for Houston Streets & Spekture with some publications in the United States.

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Man what a week for drone news! I'm so excited about this and the GoPro Karma. We are currently planning something big with landscape photographer Elia Locardi for 2017 and both of these products will revolutionize traveling abroad with a drone.

We have been a huge fan of GoPro stuff from the beginning but considering the Karma is their first attempt and DJI is on drone #6 or 7 at this point, I'm putting my money on the Mavic in terms of battery life, stability, and user interface. All that being said though, Casey's video showing how versatile the GoPro drone is with the removable gimbal might make me more excited for Karma. Sounds like we will have to take both and do a full blown review :)


" We are currently planning something big with landscape photographer Elia Locardi for 2017"
Great news :D
guys if you come to Italy, let me know I can help happily as an assistant :)

Another video with Elia! Take my $300 now!!! Also please add more BTS videos those stories were great. Adds more depth to the images that were taken. The fails and success that come with adventure photography. Keystrokes, add keystroke overlay of what's being used when in PS. Other than that can't wait!!

I think CN is an awesome film creator, having said that...flying over people's head...outside line of sight, near buildings and major roadways...and I saw an aircraft in an extended part of the frame. It was his first time (assumed) flying the UAV and he did it in a pretty populated spot.

This is everything authorities are concerned about as they "over regulate" UAV's...

In contrast the DR guys did their flight in what appears to be a sparsely populated area.

When an operator (who had the best of intentions) kills somebody with a UAV that's when sh*t is gonna get real.

... -_-

Initially I loved the Karma, then I saw how stable is the Mavic and how much it's little.. amazing. Video quality I suppose are gonna be similar, maybe GoPro is better, but my BIG QUESTION IS:

---> are both camera orientable? is it possible to change the view without moving the drone? <--

I would have to assume so. If not that destroys their usability

The Karma's camera is definatly NOT fully orientable. The remote has only vertical tilt control. To move form side to side you actually have to rotate the Drone itself and I think it's the same with the Mavic.

Ok, both this and the Karma have my attention due to size factor alone. However, is it just me or does the footage from DJI looks like crap? Especially given the downscaling from 4K, from the 3 short samples I've seen so far it's mediocre at best? Waiting for more samples.

I kept thinking this as well. It looks hazy to me.

Mavic has variable focus (as opposed to fixed focus for Phantom 4) -- it appears that Casey Neistat's video was taken with focus accidentally tapped to something "closer" rather than focused to "infinity". Of course, infinity would produce the kind of 4K video you'd expect out of a DJI drone.
Here's a couple of good videos showing Mavic footage with actual proper focus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVejCkJFqiI

and https://vimeo.com/184675822

Unfortunately it seems like a lot of reviewers have gone up and flown their Mavic and uploaded quick reviews without choosing the most optimal camera setting lol...

Casey's video is really crappy, but other reviewers have posting some pretty great footage. Though GoPro's video looks better, for amateurs or even simple professional jobs the Mavic seems good enough.

According to DJI, the camera on the Mavis isn't as good as the camera on the P4, partly because the sensor is SMALLER. For those who are particular about their video or stills, better wait until the camera is improved. I had ordered the Mavis, but cancelled that order this morning.

Looking at how the gimball assembly on the Mavic easily shakes just by holding it on your hand may be the answer (Look at the Digitalrev Review). The gimball can easily transfer the rotors' vibration onto the camera itself thus causing micro-blurs.

Looking at 9:40 in DR's video during takeoff it's all over the place, you are right. I can't imagine DJI not thinking this through so I'll sit tight and watch for more feedback which I'm sure there will be a ton of in coming weeks.

Thanks for pointing that out. Yes, I see what you mean. The problem with vibration absorbers/dampers is that they require a substantial amount of mass to absorb those vibration energy. The best solution I can think of is to use optical IS, NOT electronic as the blur is too minute to make EIS effective. Another is to increase the shutter speed but that would create its own set of problems (noise) as higher ISOs are needed for that. I hope DJI can address this as Image Quality is a deal breaker for me.

The best way to get their attention is to not buy it. I ordered the Mavis, but two days later cancelled the order after being told by DJI that the camera on the Mavis is not as good as the camera on the P4. Nice to see they're honest about it. I'll wait until the camera is improved, then I'll buy.

So, more reports are showing much better results... I'm changing my initial reaction, just after seeing this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Tthf4guYCo

This is MUCH better and not just acceptable, but actually really good looking performance, at least in terms of sharpness.


Yes we shared that one this morning, I think the Mavic (or two) will be mine once it comes out.

No discredit to Casey, but these guys' test footage looks far more promising. https://youtu.be/4i9Uo_szlqU?t=2m29s

It's going to get really interesting once both Karma and Mavic are out in the wild and used by the masses. Karma is obviously Gopro's first attempt so that will also be interesting see how it does as well. Damn freakin exciting week in drone news though! I want a Mavic now dammit; same basic camera (on paper) as the P4 and half the size. I'm in!

I am thinking the same thing. I am hoping for some better videos when it's released.

Me too because if the quality is on par with the P4 it'll be a no brainer.

Now looking at more sample footages and I'm almost 100% sure that micro-vibrations (not the protective dome) are what's causing the Mavic's blur when compared to the Phantom 4 and the Karma. Apparently, rotor vibrations easily travels to the gimbal's mountings and into the camera itself. Either that or they have some really crappy lens!

Too bad the camera on the mavic looks inferior to the one on the phantom. Given that the camera on the phantom already kind of sucks, I don't know if i am willing to tolerate a reduced quality, even with all the great features the mavic has.

Finally found some people who are talking about my main concern with the new drones - image quality. Indeed I find DJI's quality poor, which is a shame as the drone seem to be great. Has anyone tried out the GoPro Hero5? How is the quality and specially does the linear FOV fix well the issue with the fisheye- distortion? Waiting for proper comparison from someone of you between the cameras of DJI and GoPro.

By the way, Karma drone is making possible upgrading the camera - this is not possible with the DJI.. Maybe some other producer could make even better camera that would be sitting on the Karma?

I had ordered a Mavis -- but cancelled that order this morning after a note from DJI that the camera on the Mavis was inferior to the camera on the F4. I'll wait until the camera is the same or better quality. The Mavis seems like a slick unit, but I'm interested in sharp videos and stills.

I wonder if collision avoidance can be overridden? What if I want to get in for some close up shots of say the standing rigging connections up my mast? Will I be able to? Also is there any sort of homing beacon for finding it if it should go down while out of sight?