Why we chose the DJI Mavic 2 Pro:
This drone seriously has it all. It’s powerful. It’s portable. It can dodge obstacles autonomously. And to top it all off, it has a camera that produces some of the best-looking aerial imagery we’ve ever seen. Truth be told, you can get a lot of these features in the original (and still very good) Mavic Pro, but the Mavic 2 Pro just does everything better.
For example, whereas the first generation Mavic Pro could only sense obstructions in front of itself, the Mavic 2 Pro is equipped with a full omnidirectional environmental awareness system. That means it can see forward, backward, upward, downward, and even left and right (although the latter two are only switched on in certain flight modes).
The Mavic 2’s camera also blows the previous generation out of the proverbial water (or maybe the air?). Thanks to its larger 1-inch image sensor and better processing tech, the Mav 2 Pro can capture 4K video in 10-bit color — which essentially means it can capture nearly a billion more discrete colors than its predecessor. It also has aperture control, which gives you far more control over exposure and depth of field.
All that, and it’s still nearly identical to the original in terms of size, shape, and weight.
DJI has always been the king of drones, and the new Mavics are almost perfect
STANDOUT FEATURES AND SPECS
To be perfectly honest, the Mavic 2 series isn’t a massive improvement on the original Mavic Pro when it comes to raw flight specs. The drones can stay airborne for a couple minutes longer (31 instead of 29), and can fly a few miles per hour faster (44 instead of 40) than their forebears — but that’s about it. The most significant improvements are the Mavic 2’s software, sensing abilities, and cameras.
Really, the Mavic 2’s only card-carrying competitors are other DJI drones.
On the software side, the Mavic 2 ships with DJI’s new ActiveTrack 2.0, which allows the drone to follow moving subjects autonomously, and with more precision than ever before. Additionally, both the Pro and Zoom are equipped with OcuSync 2.0: the latest version of DJI’s video transmission technology, which allows you to see what the drone sees in real time — now in full 1080p.
DJI has also outfitted the Mavic 2 series with a drastically improved environmental sensing system. Whereas the original Mavic Pro only sensed obstacles in front of it (and the Mavic Air added behind and down), the second generation boasts omnidirectional sense-and-avoid, thanks to 10 sensors positioned on its front, back, left, right, top, and bottom.
Last but not least, the Mavic 2 boasts one of two new cameras. The Mavic 2 Pro carries an integrated Hasselblad camera with a 1-inch CMOS sensor and adjustable aperture, while the Mavic 2 Zoom boasts a smaller 1/2.3-inch sensor, as well as the ability to zoom from 24mm to 48mm. We’ll delve deeper into the camera specs later.
All things considered, the Mavic 2 line is definitely more evolutionary than revolutionary — but in this case, that’s a good thing. It appears that DJI kept all the things that worked well in the first-generation Mavic drones, and only worked on areas with significant room for improvement. We appreciate that. There were a lot of good things going on in the original Mavic, and we’re glad DJI didn’t try to fix what wasn’t broken.
When it comes to design and build quality, the Mavic 2 line is an apple that hasn’t fallen far from the proverbial tree — so it’s built like a brick outhouse. The original Mavic Pro is one of the sturdiest, most well-built drones we’ve ever flown, and the Mavic 2 series is no different.
The original Mavic Pro is one of the sturdiest, most well-built drones we’ve ever flown, and the Mavic 2 series is no different
In terms of form, not much has changed. The Mavic 2 series looks and feels nearly identical to its older siblings, save for a few minor changes. This generation is slightly larger and heavier, and also has a few more sensors built into its hull — but that’s where the differences end. Thankfully, the new fleet still has the same awesome folding-arm design and rock-solid construction.
We didn’t crash our test units this time, but due to our extensive experience with the first-generation Mavic (which is substantially similar in terms of build quality) we’re confident that both the Pro and Zoom could barrel into bushes, bump into branches, and bounce around in your backpack — and live to fly another day.
BATTERY LIFE AND RECHARGE TIME
DJI says that the Mavic 2 can hover for 29 minutes in optimal conditions, and thanks to its aerodynamic design, can stay airborne for a maximum of 31 minutes if flying at a constant 7 miles per hour (25 kph). As usual, these stats were achieved in conditions that you’re highly unlikely to encounter in the real world — so we ran both drones through our own series of endurance tests to get a better read on the Mavic 2’s true flight times.
The first of these was a static hover test, where we let both drones hover in place until they drained their batteries and automatically landed themselves. Our two hover tests lasted an average of 28 minutes and 14 seconds — which isn’t very far off from DJI’s claimed 29 minutes..
Next, to get a sense of how long the Mavic 2 lasts during normal flight, we recorded the flight times from every other flight test we conducted and averaged them out. Over the course of 16 different flights that went from 100 percent battery to emergency low-battery automatic landing, the Mavic Pro and Zoom (which are functionally identical) averaged a flight time of 28 minutes and 44 seconds. That’s not quite as long as DJI’s claimed the maximum of 31 minutes — but we did log a couple flights that broke the 30-minute barrier, so the Mavic 2 is certainly no slouch in the battery department
When it comes time to recharge, you can expect about 45 to 50 minutes to juice up each battery from empty to full — which is slightly quicker than previous generations.
PILOTING, CONTROL, AND AUTONOMY
In the air, the Mavic 2 feels almost exactly the same as its predecessors — and by that we mean it’s tight, athletic, and supremely responsive. If you’ve ever flown a DJI drone before, you’ll feel right at home with the Mavic 2. Hell, even if you haven’t flown a DJI drone before, you’ll still be able to fly this one like a pro. DJI’s flight software is top-notch and extremely reliable, so the Mavic 2 only goes where you tell it to go — no drifting, wandering, or slippery controls. To borrow a phrase we’ve used in the past: These drones are practically bolted to the sky.
These stellar manual controls are just the tip of the iceberg, though. Thanks to the Mavic 2’s beefy omnidirectional obstacle avoidance system, you can fly these drones with more vigor and confidence than ever before. If you’re about to crash into an obstacle, DJI’s software will beep and alert you as you approach. If you ignore these warnings and keep flying, the drone will even auto-brake to avoid a crash. It’s worth noting, however, that this only works from the front, back, top, and bottom of the drone. Unfortunately, the left and right sensors are only switched on when you’re in ActiveTrack mode and the drone is flying itself.
Still, even with sideways sensing disabled during manual flight, both Mavic 2 drones feel extremely safe and reliable. You really have to go out of your way to crash them — and that kind of in-air confidence is ultimately what helps you get better footage.
CAMERA AND ACCESSORIES
As we’ve said before, the camera is the only feature that separates the Mavic 2 Pro from the Mavic 2 Zoom. The Mavic 2 Pro is outfitted with a Hasselblad camera and a 1-inch CMOS sensor, whereas the Mavic 2 Zoom is equipped with a smaller 1/2.3-inch sensor and a 24-48mm optical zoom lens.
The Mavic 2 Pro’s shooter is arguably the better of the two. In addition to the larger sensor (which gives it a better resolution, better dynamic range, and better low-light performance), the Pro’s Hasselblad camera comes with an adjustable aperture — which is a huge new addition. Aperture control allows you to fine-tune how much light enters the camera, and also change the depth of field. Casual users will probably just stick to automatic mode, but for photographers and videographers, this is a massive feature that greatly expands the level of creative control you have over the images you capture.
This zooming ability is an outrageously fun feature to have on a drone.
Unfortunately, one thing that the Mavic 2 Pro can’t do is zoom, and that’s where the Mavic 2 Zoom comes in. This beast has 2x optical zoom (24-48mm) and 2x digital zoom, which effectively means it can simulate a 96mm telephoto lens that captures lossless video in 1080p.
As we discovered during our testing, this zooming ability is an outrageously fun feature to have on a drone. Not only does it allow you to get closer to your subject without actually flying closer; it also gives you access to a bunch of fun creative effects. For example, if you shoot at 48mm and orbit yourself while you stand triumphantly on a hilltop, the camera will compress the perspective a bit and make the background appear to move at super speed. You can also zoom in or out while flying to create the infamous Dolly Zoom effect popularized by Alfred Hitchcock, which gives your videos a really cool look. Ultimately, the Mavic 2 Zoom just gives you a greater degree of creative freedom — and it’s enough to make you forget about the smaller image sensor.
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
If your main goal is capturing great footage, then you might want to consider DJI’s Inspire 2. It’s bigger, more expensive, and far less portable, but it can carry a more powerful camera. It also comes with the aforementioned camera swapping system, which allows you to upgrade your shooter without buying a whole new drone.
If you’re on a tighter budget and you don’t necessarily need the top-tier video performance or obstacle avoidance that the Mavic 2 line provides, then DJI’s original Mavic Pro and Mavic Air are still solid choices. Both are significantly cheaper, yet are still capable of shooting 4K video and auto-dodging obstacles. They’re just not quite as robust as the new Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom in those regards.
Finally, if you’re intrigued by the creative potential that the Mavic 2 Zoom provides with its zooming abilities, but you aren’t prepared to spend $1,249 to get them, you might want to check out Parrot’s Anafi drone. It’s not nearly as reliable or autonomous in the air, but it’s only $700 and boasts a very similar zoom function. It also has a unique 180-degree gimbal, which opens up even more doors for creativity.
https://www.tech2teach.in/the-best-drones-of-2019/DJI Mavic 2 Pro
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