The Mavic 2 Pro is a product that showcases how far the technology of drones has come in the last four years with incremental improvements. DJI has done an incredible job with their drones.  We wanted to explore these features for you and inform you if perhaps you can purchase something else in the DJI lineup or elsewhere that satisfy your needs. This truly top line model is raring to go with your money and so we think that for some people the answer will be yes and for some there might be something else.

If you’re wondering if Mavic 2 is the best product, it is safe to say that yes at this price point, for a consumer or prosumer drone, and for this size, it’s going to be the best that you can get for the money. Now the question is whether you need any of these $1,500 drones for your everyday practical use.  Each and every feature of the drone is top of the line. We will explain to you about who would get some use out of those features. Or if you might be better off going with something a little bit cheaper. Something like a Mavic Air, which is about half the price point.

Our Score

[review]

Camera

Mavic 2 Pro has a Hasselblad logo on it, with the Swedish company providing exclusivity for this platform. It has all kind of Hasselblad technology packed into it that’s going to help you create better images with the 1-inch sensor. Why that’s important is basically how it is going to give you better picture quality in general and also in low light.  This is not quite DSLR territory.

If you are the kind of a person that carries around your expensive mirrorless Sony A7 or something like that instead of just taking pictures. Or if you’re the type of person who goes out with their family not lugging around a big huge camera, you are better off going around taking pictures on the Mavic Air. It is like buying rx100.

Mavic 2 has a different color profile than the previous cameras. So one thing you would notice is from the Mavic pro 1- it  is seems a little bit oversaturated. This maybe by default and you would get some more of that color vibrance. With this camera, you can see a lot more and get crisp colors, that aren’t kind of things fixed in post-processing. You would truly understand a lot of the potential of the Hasselblad camera when you start using the manual capabilities.

Mavic Controller

The Mavic controller is pretty standard. It has the rockers on the side and you can adjust with your index finger. Also, you can program that to adjust different types of things- such as your shutter speed, aperture and stuff like that on the fly. Now if you’re the type of person who enjoys manual mode, you’re going to enjoy this Mavic.

It is basically like how flying feels when you first take hold of the wheels-that freedom. It feels like that and it has full manual capabilities and you can change the f-stop. Which is something that you could not do on the original match and you can also just shutter speed and other adjustments, including stuff like white balancing all your standard stuff that you find on most cameras.

Now if you’re the type of person who takes legacy pictures on your phone or maybe even if you do have a camera but you just leave it on auto because you’re going to get good pictures, that’s no different with this Mavic. But if you are that type of person there is  a good chance that you aren’t going to be able to distinguish the difference in the quality of the image compared with the Mavic 2 compared to the Mavic Air.

That’s not to say that there is difference but the Mavic 2 is much better and that it’s going to be more geared towards prosumer to commercial professional people who are actually using this as a tool to fine tune their tasks.

DJI APP

There are other two halves to the camera experience with DJI drone. So you get stunning and beautiful cinematic quality video. The other half of the experience is in the app. You can make all these adjustments on the fly. Image quality camera overall is very good actually compared to the earlier models, using a new color profile and basically what that means is it gives images of higher Dynamic range, giving it a more vibrant contrast to the image and it looks really really good right out of the camera but it also gives you a little bit more flexibility in post.

If you are a video editor and you want to go in and bring out those tones a little bit more, you’re going to have a little bit more flexibility in post from that perspective. That being said, shooting for full 4K at 10-bit, it has 2 different 4-k modes. One is called full FOV and then there is a crop field of view. Both are good and allow 30 frames per second and it can be brought down to 1080p.  The 1080p just doesn’t look as good as the 1080p from the same camera when you shoot at 30 fps because of various reasons for that but it is something to keep in mind.

Occusync 2

One of our favorite things about the Mavic Pro One was the occusync technology. This is a controlling video link combo, which is compatible with DJI goggles, makes incredible low latency high-definition, immersive experience. If you are flying one of these drones a lot of tweaking and updating the has been done on occusync technology. It uses a combination of 2.4 gigahertz and 5.8 gigahertz to communicate with the  drone and also brings the video feedback to the transmitter to display on your cell phone.

The interesting thing about that is that as a hobbyist, you are running at 2.4 ghz. The fpv goggles are running at 5.8 ghz. So a Mavic Photos, which is an ultra powerful transmission system because it can go up to 5 mi in your you’re flying around other hobbyist, you have to be very careful about knocking other people’s radio links out of the sky.

You can go in and turn off 5.8 * so that it no longer interferes with people’s fpv signals but it is still potential that it could interfere with 2.4 gigahertz which is what most people are so it’s kind of a balance you just got to be careful and we will say more often than not it is not an issue as long as there aren’t too many people in the air.

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Flight Range

Flight range in terms of performance is that something where there’s incremental improvements to performance over time. The DJI website says flight time of  31 minutes. We believe that this is the standard range. This is not a huge difference over their previous model. But one thing that we will say, especially for people who aren’t used to flying drones or just flying an RC thing in 20 minutes plus anything around that range that is it a very very long flight time. Long enough to get any kind of shot.

Maybe if you were using this for a commercial job, doing movies, camera drones only fly for about eight-ten minutes in the air to get their work done. So typically you can be up in the air for about 5 minutes and get the job done.

Performance

In general the performance is going to be fantastic on all the DJI products. But more specifically, you’re going to see a little bit bigger and bigger motor so as a little bit more weight to carry around due to the battery. It was at 4 cell battery size and motor size and so we believe that you’re going to see about 70 kilometers per hour or 45 miles an hour which when you’re driving in a car might not sound like the fastest but in terms of driving a RC vehicle of any type it is very very fast.

Especially for somebody who is new, that is one thing to consider, for all of the DJI drones are pretty awesome and fast enough to get most shots.  It would also take an experienced pilot to be able to handle a drone at that speed and get the shot that you want so it’s not necessarily something that everybody has to have a 45 mile-an-hour drone but in specific examples we can see why this is useful.

Computer vision

Another big emphasis that DJI products have is computer vision. It has gotten better and better and is a huge part of the DJI app and camera and sensors. If you’re trying to fly these things in the buildings, it has the sense and avoid turned on. The computer vision with the amount of sensors that are on the Mavic Pro 2 is substantially more than the previous versions. In a lot of ways it navigates through the world and tries to prevent you as a pilot from crashing and that makes it pretty impressive.

However, these obstacle prevention and safety precautions that they’re adding to these drones are usually extra security one wouldn’t give it 100% faith that this is going to prevent your drone crashing no matter what because that’s not necessarily the case and one thing that also kind of took us off guard is they were really boasting the 360° sense and avoid on this thing and while it does work it only actually works in two modes. It actually works at an active track and that’s where you select the subject and it automatically tracks and follows it and also works in tripod mode.

Automatic Mode

So that being said, when you are flying in normal mode of what they called P mode or automatic mode and if you’re sliding to the right, getting a shot, which you are often doing, you don’t have that extra security of knowing that if there’s a tree over there, it’s automatically going to stop there because it won’t. With that being said, something that just was turned on out of a box and after reading into the manual of that was found out that it’s actually not. You have to be using one of those two modes-either active track or tripod.

But that being said, it does give you a little bit extra security, knowing that you’re not going to run into something if you go straight into it. Also, DJI Drones has all of your standard GTI features that has GPS hold, altitude lock. If you let go of your stick, it is going to stop, hold it’s position, hold it’s altitude, until the battery dies and if the battery dies it’s going to come back home and land exactly where it took off. That is the standard across all DJI drones, some of which they’ve had on all of the drones since the early Phantom.

Active track

Speaking of smart features, there is a lot of smart features in the DJI line up. The one that got the biggest refresh is called Active track. Active track is tracking where you select a person or a thing and you hit go and the Drone would automatically not only follow it physically but the camera also follows it. So if the camera has to pan up or down or left or right, it will do that automatically to keep the subject in frame.

Now the difference between Active track 1 and 2 is that One only uses two D imagery, where the camera image uses the subject matter based off of contrast and their internal algorithm. There is a new technology using a combination of 2D imagery and 3D imagery. So it’s actually using the obstacle avoidance sensors to map the space in front of it. 3D and it uses that alongside with the 2D imagery to track it and it just works a little bit better.

Aggressive Mode

We noticed that it also has a little bit more aggressive mode, a little safety button that you can turn off and it allows the Drone to fly little bit faster and also track the subject.

It might come handy during wide open space and if you’re short on hands and you don’t have a drone operator; it is something that could come in handy from a consumer basis or even a  commercial use case. They are not going to do everything perfectly. It is almost like setting your camera all the way to auto settings. So it’s focusing and it’s doing everything on its own as opposed to the user choosing the settings.

Point of Interest Mode

You also have the point of Interest mode and it is basically orbit mode around the point of interest and you can do it at different speeds and different altitudes. That’s something you can do on your own as a pilot. It’s not that difficult to do but if you’re wanting to play with camera settings or if you want to take a video of yourself, having some of these features that help Drone fly are helpful.

Especially if you’re the type of person that is truly considering a Mavic 2, a $1,500 drone, the chances are that your skill level is at a point where you do not need to rely on automatic features. But then you would be flying manual to get the specific shot and that just comes with stick time. You get more time on the stick, you’re going to be more fluid with the controls of the drone, the controls of the camera. You’re going to be able to fly with purpose and get the shots that you really want to accomplish.  

Asteroid

Other than Active tracker, there are a couple of what is called as quick shots. These are more like what you said selfie oriented. There’s one called Asteroid, which is totally a gimmick, but is really really cool. What it essentially does is that the drone pulls out and then once it gets to the top altitude it actually takes a 360 degree Panorama and then morphs the panorama picture into the video and it kind of makes it look like it tiny little planet and it’s just totally totally awesome.

Asteroid

Boomerang

Other than that, they have the typical droney or selfie shot. They have a rocket which goes up and down. The Boomerang is another one where it kind of like goes in outward away from you, outward 360 Degrees around you and comes back and are pretty cool.

They are geared towards like a selfie kind of shot or video where you’re filming yourself and you don’t want to be looking like you’re just holding the control and you can do whatever and it gets the shot. But also to keep in mind is that a lot of the DJI drones such as the Mavic Air- they also have these features and it is at half the price.

Gimbal

One of the other cool features is has it that it almost has a separate camera control from the gimbal standpoint. You can actually use the camera to look around. The way that works is you can be flying the Drone and you can just kind of pin the stick or even just put it into a Hover and then on the app.

Further, you can tap the screen and drag and it will actually allow the camera to look left and right and up and down. This is unique because previous Mavics, Phantoms, and all the other consumer drones, they would only allow you to control the gimbal from a pitch axis. They wouldn’t let you actually allow you to look left and right.

Since it is something new that’s on the Mavic 2, we don’t know how useful it is or the reason you would want to fly the Drone forward and look left with the camera when you could just fly the camera sideways and look left with the whole entire drone. Why fly forward and look left when you can just you know fly the Drone sideways and fly in the direction you want to go.

Codecs

This drone has the much needed capability of recording in a new codec. It does H.265 give basically gives you a little bit more capability in post-production. Traditionally all the older Mavics and most cameras record at H.264 codec, which works just fine and most people won’t even notice the difference but if you are filmmaker or if you are an editor and you want to have that extra capability this does have the H.265 codec.

So the Mavic 2 Pro is the most refined experience that we have come across from DGI yet. We think that the biggest selling point on this gyro is the fact that you just have such robust camera and sensors in a really well integrated flying system.  

Final Verdict

Something that we’re really excited about with the overall DGI platforms is the ease of use that something is cohesive to their whole ecosystem. We feel that this model falls firmly to the top of the group amongst its competitors. For a $1,500 worth of drone, this is a lot of money. But you are buying a really good camera with good overall features and an extremely stable and flying platform. So for somebody that’s looking to invest $2,000 into another piece of equipment, this an excellent recommendation.

The Inspire one which was DJI’s first kind of like larger prosumer to commercial size drone, was the big white one which had all kinds of press. This new Mavic has a bigger sensor. Inspire One came out with a price point of about $3,200. So the fact that you are getting a drone four years later that is way bigger than half a quarter of the size of an Inspire 1 and half the price with a better camera is pretty pretty amazing. So for the people who are out there who are photographers, filmmakers, video, tech enthusiasts, we would definitely steer them towards the Mavic 2.

However, if this is your first Drone and maybe you aren’t necessarily a photographer but you want to get a drone and maybe use it like a family video camera and take it on vacations and get some shots on the road and have some fun flying it, you might want to look into some of the other older models. Something like the Mavic Air, which isn’t technically an older model. It’s still brand new but it just come in at about half the price point and  it has a smaller sensor and still takes amazing footage.

Price Consideration

We would even go as far back as the Phantom 3 professional. This drone which is also 3-4 years old but has a 4k camera and you can find those things on eBay and other parts of the internet for $300-$400, which is pretty incredible for a flying 4k camera. The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter what you shoot it on. You get shots from above at Golden hour, even if it is just cell phone camera, call your cell phone size sensor, it’s still going to look really really amazing. And if this is your first drone, that might be a better route for you.

Product Specifications

  • See the bigger picture: equipped with a Hasselblad l1d-20c camera with a 20MP 1” CMOS sensor, The Mavic 2 lets you capture gorgeous aerial shots in stunning color detail.
  • Up to 31 minutes flight time, 44 mph max speed, 907G takeoff weight, 3-axis gimbal for steady shots, 8GB internal storage, SD card Support up to 128 GB
  • Enjoy live view in real time during flight and record 4K videos at higher bitrates with advanced H.265 compression.
  • Functions include active track 2.0, omnidirectional obstacle sensing, Hyper lapse, low-noise design, adjustable aperture, HDR photos
  • What you get: Mavic 2 Pro, intelligent Flight Battery, gimbal protector, remote controller, 3x propellers (pair), battery Charger, power cable, communication cable (USB3.0 Type-C), USB adapter, spare control sticks (pair), RC cable (Lightning connector), RC cable (standard micro USB connector), RC cable (USB Type-C connector)

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