Two years after the Mavic Pro, DJI have now introduced the Mavic ‘2 Pro’, which embeds a new 1-inch camera, and the ‘Zoom’, which keeps the old sensor size but is equipped with a 2x optical zoom. With a new feature-set, we’ve outlined our initial thoughts on the launch below.
We were almost waiting for the announcement like the messiah. We simply didn’t know what to expect, so to have the news that DJI were to launch two new models was well received by us, and with additional and enhanced features for both stills and video work. Keeping the folding concept that made the Mavic a success in the first place is a real plus for us!
Mavic 2 Pro: the headlines
The flaws identified on the original Mavic appear to have been addressed. The Mavic 2 Pro has a 1-inch sensor from Hasselblad, with an adjustable iris from f/2.8 to f/11, and supports image capture in 10-bit HDR. The built-in codec goes from 60 Mbps in H264 (on the previous Mavic) to 100 Mbps in H265 on the new one, which guarantees the end of compression artifacts on complex images as found with the Mavic. DJI have also released their own form of log (D-Log), and have reinforced its 3-axis stabilisation to accommodate ND filters.
The Mavic 2 Pro is also equipped with anti-collision sensors on all sides, which allows it to anticipate obstacles but also to predict a trajectory when it is in automatic tracking mode – known as Active Track. Despite all these benefits, the limitations come in the form of both weight and cost, with the 2 Pro now weighing 907g and costing almost 1,500 EUR.
The Zoom version is the cheaper of the two, at a price point of around 1,200 EUR. The Zoom benefits from a x2 optical zoom (24-48mm) and x4 lossless zoom in HD with a crop from 4K. This helps maintain pilots with a safe distance from the subject. The Mavic Zoom sensor is again from Hasselblad, although it will be the same size as the original Mavic sensor.
DJI have added a”Dolly Zoom” mode, which brings the drone closer to a subject while de-zooming to give a moving background effect. Another “Super-Resolution” mode takes 9 shots and automatically stitches them together to get a 48 Million pixel image.
DJI has also updated its automated flight modes to improve the overall package, and include:
- 6 sensors to cover all angles, including above, meaning that obstacles are no longer a problem when flying backwards or indoors. Some flight modes might however disable some of the sensors.
- LED lighting to support landing in low-light conditions
- The”Tripod” mode is very useful in cinema (the drone is clamped in all directions to make slow and cinematic movements) is accessible directly from the remote control (and not only the app).
- Hyperlapse: the UAV automatically generates this effect following a path predefined by the user. The flight is then configured on a map and Mavic will follow the route.
- Active Track is predictive according to the trajectories, making it an useful option to film cars on a circuit for example
- Additional ready-configured camera movements including Orbit, Thiny-Planet, Course Lock and so on.
- Range is about 30 minutes.
So, is it worth it?
Let’s be honest, DJI offers pretty much the best aerial video capture that is accessible to most. Replacing the first Mavic wasn’t going to be easy, but the improvements made justify the enthusiasm for its launch. However, the absence of 4K/60P and the price increase means an upgrade for those that already own a Mavic may not be necessary. The Mavic 2 Pro however offers a much higher image quality and functions that secure and automate all shots, allowing us as content curators to match drone images a lot easier with those taken with a real camera.
…And the unboxing by Philip Bloom