REVIEW: DJI MAVIC 2 PRO DRONE
Chinese company DJI has swiftly risen to dominate the consumer drone market, offering a wide range of camera-equipped ‘copters at various prices, sizes and specs. DJI is the Apple of the drone world, essentially – and sticking with that metaphor, its new Mavic 2 Pro would be the iPhone XS Max.
A compact quadcopter that weighs under a kilo and folds down to the size of a water bottle, the Mavic 2 justifies its hefty price tag (from $2,499) by virtue of a dazzling range of photographic and flight features.
Perhaps most important is its newly-designed Hasselblad-branded camera, equipped with a large 1-inch CMOS sensor capable of capturing 20MP stills and super-sharp 4K videos. Plenty of other drones can record 4K footage, but none we’ve seen so far can do it at this level; straight from the camera both photos and videos boast staggering colour depth, detail and dynamic range, with a notable lack of picture noise. Hybrid log gamma HDR is a video option, as is colour grading-friendly Dlog-M, while stills shooters keen on post-production processing can capture huge RAW files in addition to JPEGs.
DJI includes a number of automated flight and image capture modes, including a new Hyperlapse option that constructs an eye-popping moving time-lapse image at the press of a button. Many of these modes make use of the Mavic 2 Pro’s highly accurate GPS and positional sensors, which will not only bring it home in the unlikely event of a dropped control signal but also prevent collisions in all directions (there are sensors for obstacle avoidance on all sides of the drone, making it virtually impossible to crash).
Despite its small size the Mavic 2 Pro is a stable flier, even in windy conditions, with its three-axis gimbal keeping the camera rock-steady and your footage beautifully wobble-free. Much of this might be down to the drone’s streamlined shape, which allows it to slice through the air at speeds of up to 72km/h and also cuts down on noise; sure, it still sounds like an angry swarm of bees – just a smaller one than the first Mavic Pro. It also has 31 minutes of battery life, which beats DJI’s other folding drones and virtually any rival out there.
The bundled folding two-stick controller has a range of up to 8000m, all while the Mavic 2 Pro is beaming a live 1080p feed from its camera to your smartphone’s screen. You’ll need an Android or iOS device running the DJI Go app to fly the drone, and the controller features connectors for Lightning, USB-C and micro USB ports; in other words, most reasonably new phones are compatible.
The Mavic 2 Pro is DJI’s most impressive drone of the year so far, due to its battery life, portable design, flight safety features and superb image quality. It might be overkill for drone newcomers (they should consider the smaller, cheaper Mavic Air instead), but for anyone looking to make the step up or demanding the very best video and photo performance, this model should be top of the shopping list.
- Hasselblad camera with 1in sensor
- Adjustable aperture
- 4K 10-bit HDR video
- 20MP stills
- 31-minute battery life
- Compact, folding design
- Anti-collision sensors
GadgetNET says: The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is the new gold standard for compact consumer drones!
Having been covering consumer tech since phones were dumb and TVs weren't flat, few things in the gadget world still have the power to surprise Sam – which is why he loves writing about those few things that do. A Londoner transplanted to New York, and now returned to the English coast, he’s a photographer and loving what drones have brought to the hobby.
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