Last week, leading drone manufacturer DJI, unveiled not one but two successors to the DJI Mavic Pro – the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom.
Armed with a Hasselblad-designed camera with a rather large 1-inch sensor, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro costs $1,449, while the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, featuring a 2x optical zoom lens, is $200 cheaper at $1,249.
Here’s a comparative chart.
As you can see from the above comparison, camera and price are the two main differentiating factors between the two new Mavics, and of course, the 3-gram weight difference – everything else is practically the same.
If the company’s claims are anything to go by, the Mavic 2, be it the Pro or the Zoom, is going to be a big leap forward in filmmaking and photography.
The grey industrial plastic body gives it durability and protects the drone in harsh weather conditions; during unusually hard touchdowns; and against collisions, which should be few and far between on this new Mavic 2, considering the array of sensors DJI has equipped it with.
In addition to the robust shell, DJI has included several other features that, as good as, guarantees further insurance for your investment in the Mavic 2, like, for instance, the stiff joints of the foldable arms, or the strategically placed vents to safeguard the machine’s sensitive electronics against dust and moisture.
Not only that, even the exposed-to-the-open cables, connecting the drones’ motors with the inside electronics, have been covered with a protective layer of fabric.
Rubberized landing feet on the bottom of the drone absorb most of the shock on landings.
LEDs on the front-facing arms of the Mavic 2 make for easy spotting of the drone when in flight; however, they automatically turn off when you’re recording video or shooting stills.
LEDs on the rear-facing arms of the drone blink red, orange, and green, to indicate connectivity to the controller, or the lack of it, battery condition, as well as other important information.
The Mavic comes equipped with a micro SD slot on the bottom left of the drone, which is pretty encouraging, considering the meager 8GB of onboard storage on the Mavic 2.
A USB C port on the bottom right of the unit makes it possible for you to download files that were saved on to the integrated hard drive.
The detachable propellers on the Mavic can be attached and removed within seconds, without the need for any kind of tools.
The aerodynamic propellers make the drone more efficient in flight, noticeably quieter, as well as significantly reduce the annoying high pitch noise that drone propellers are typically known to make.
Newly designed ESCs below the propellers have increased the flight time of the new Mavic, compared to its predecessors, and have also made the drone more responsive and incredibly stable.
Like the previous Mavics, the Mavic 2 is also foldable and, hence, highly portable and small enough to fit inside any backpack, even a large jacket pocket, as a matter of fact.
Folded up, the Mavic 2’s dimensions measure 21 x 10.2 x 8.69 centimeters, and when you unfold the drone, which hardly takes a few seconds, the measurements read 25.6 x 32 x 8.9 cm.
Let’s talk a bit more about the Hasselblad camera on board the DJI Mavic 2 Pro version, which houses a bigger 1-inch image sensor – a rarity on a drone as small as this.
It does, however, promise excellent overall image quality, higher color depth, better lowlight capabilities, as well as an extended dynamic range.
The camera takes 20 MP, 5,472 x 3,648 jpeg or DNG RAW photographs, which is a big upgrade, indeed, when you compare it with the previous editions of the drone.
It records video in 4K at a maximum of 30 frames per second, which may not sound as a big deal – not until you take into account its 10-bit filming capability with up to 1.07 billion possible color tones, which is like an editor’s dream come true.
You can record in MP4 and MOV and can use the H-264 or the heavier but better H-265 codec, depending on your production needs.
The fact that the camera’s 100Mbps filming speed sounds like a small talking point in front of the camera’s 10-bit capability, says a lot about the superiority of this Hasselblad creation.
The FOV is approx 77 degrees at a focal length of 28mm – the aperture is manually adjustable between f/2.8 and f/11.
The camera on the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom looks more like a typical drone camera, featuring a 1/2.3 CMOS sensor like its predecessors.
You can use 2X lossless optical zoom that matches a focal length of 24-48mm and gives you a FOV of 83-48 degrees – that is an absolute winner, considering that the camera is 3-axis stabilized.
The aperture cannot be set manually on this one, but, depending on the chosen focal length, it varies from f/2.8 to f/3.8.
It takes jpeg or DNG RAW 12-megapixel photos, which is not really an upgrade from previous versions.
However, a new photography mode called SuperRes allows the drone to take 48MP photographs, which is quite unusual – in a good way, though.
The Zoom can record video in 4K at up to 30 frames per second in, both, MP4 and MOV, while you can choose the H-264 or H-265codec.
10-bit recording is not an option on the Zoom, as it records at standard 8 bits.
Having built-in storage is always handy, especially when you happen to forget your micro SD card at home, but the fact that DJI has allowed only 8GB is rather disappointing; it’s way too low for a drone of this class and price point.
Equipped with ten sensors all around, the Mavic 2 boasts the safest anti-collision system on a consumer drone, yet, protecting the machine from the front and back; left and right; above and below.
The Mavic 2 is capable of autonomously making it back to base during emergencies, like loss of signal, for example, automatically avoiding obstacles along the way – thanks to all those sensors.
The 3,850mAh battery allows for a flight time of 31 minutes, which in real-world situations is more like 27 minutes, which is also pretty decent.
The Mavic 2 can fly at a top speed of 44 miles per hour.