DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review: Best Small Drone

DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is an upgrade over the original Mavic Pro. It features a new camera, better battery life, and improved obstacle avoidance technology.

With many others features of this drone, Lucidcam wants to introduce it to you.

Let’s look at this in-depth DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review in order to get clear about this value drone.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro – Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Superlative 4K video.
  • 20MP Raw and JPG still imaging.
  • Great battery life.
  • Compact, foldable design.
  • Obstacle avoidance sensors.

Cons

  • 8GB internal memory isn’t much.
  • No DCI format support.
  • Expensive.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review

Release Date and price

Since its August 23, 2018 release, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro was available for purchase. It began shipping along with its Mavic 2 Zoom sibling.

DJI MAVIC 2 PRO KEY SPECS

  • Sensor: 20MP one-inch CMOS
  • Focal length: 28mm (full-frame equivalent)
  • Shutter speed: 8-1/8000sec
  • Aperture: f/2.8-f/11
  • Video features: 4K MP4 & MOV, 10-bit D-Log M & 10-bit HDR
  • Weight at take-off: 907g
  • Flight time: Maximum 31 minutes

The Mavic 2 Pro’s original price of $1,599/PS1,349/$2,499 has not been lowered despite its age. It’s actually gone up at times – prices rose by as much as 13% towards the end of 2019 in the US due to higher tariffs on Chinese products.

The Mavic 2 Pro is incredibly easy to fly and with some of the most advanced flight and camera technology currently available in the consumer drone market, it’s capable of producing professional-level stills and video.

A lack of competition has been another factor. This has changed with the introduction of the DJI Air 2S. We believe that it now offers greater value. However, we are now hopeful that we will see long-awaited price drops on this older drone.

Build and Quality Construction

The Mavic 2 Pro’s build quality is as high as you would expect from DJI. The drone has survived in extreme desert conditions in Jordan, Turkey, and New Zealand so far. The drone’s sensors have prevented me from ever crashing it.

The Mavic 2 Pro maintains the foldable design debuted by its predecessor. This allows the drone to almost halve its footprint for transportation, making it the most portable drone with a one-inch sensor available. Folding is simple and requires the front arms to be rotated out and the rear arms to be twisted up and into position. Each arm is home to one of four propellers.

However, I can be certain that the impact speed and height would greatly affect the damage. The drone and controller feel durable thanks to their lightweight, high-quality plastic construction.

The included remote control is similar to what you get with other Mavic models. It’s gray, with a short, changeable cable to connect to your smartphone, which mounts below the controller.

The remote control for the Mavic 2 Pro controller is better than the one for the Mavic Air. The joysticks can be operated on both the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic Air controllers. However, the Mavic 2 Pro controller’s display shows all messages and warnings.

The controller looks similar to a standard radio controller, but the sticks are used for very different maneuvers to an RC car, so it’s worth familiarizing yourself with them before your first flight. The bottom of the controller opens up to provide a phone holder that can accommodate even the largest smartphones (up to a max length of 160mm, or max thickness of 8.5mm).

Since the release of the drone, DJI released an even better “Smart Controller” that has a built-in display. It is a very expensive drone at $649, but I think it would be worth it for people who don’t want to have to connect their smartphones to it to control it.

The Air 2S has now replaced the Mavic 2 Pro at the top of our guide to the best drones, but this older model is still worth considering, particularly if you mainly shoot video.

The LCD screen is 1000 cd/m2, long-lasting battery and ability to operate in extreme temperatures make it ideal for outdoor use. There are also a lot of features like the ability to record live streams and share videos.

The standard Mavic 2 Pro package does not include a case, unlike the Mavic Air. The retail box contains everything you need to fly the drone, including extra propellers.

You will find a Mavic 2 Pro charger with one extra USB slot and a micro USB cable to charge your controller. The charger integrates the charging cable into the Mavic Air, so you don’t lose anything. You cannot choose from different colors with the Mavic 2 Pro, as it comes only in gray.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Features and flight

It’s easy to fly the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. GPS keeps the drone in place and prevents it from being blown off by the wind. Safety features such as collision avoidance that uses omnidirectional obstacle sensing to help you avoid crashes are also part of this system.

These features are amazing, but they don’t stop the drone from hitting objects.

The drone will stop if it sees you getting too close to any object. But, accidents can happen and this is not always the case.

The Mavic 2 Pro’s flight time is 31 minutes. This is much longer than the real thing, which is 20-25 minutes. It can fly at a maximum speed up to 45mph/72kph, so losing control of it or crashing could have serious consequences.

The safety aspect of the drone is not the only thing that matters. There are many shooting modes and automated “Intelligent Flight” modes. These modes aim to make it as simple as possible to get specific stills or videos.

The Mavic Air 2 comes with front, rear, and bottom sensors for obstacle detection, and an improved Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) for obstacle avoidance, 34 minutes of battery life, and DJI’s proprietary OccuSync 2.0 instead of Wi-Fi for controlling the drone wirelessly.

It’s best to approach all techniques manually, taking full control over the drone’s flight. However, these automated modes are great options for beginners who want to learn their craft.

Timelapse (and hyper-lapse), Quickshot, and Active Track are available. Point of interest, Waypoint, TapFly, Cinematic, and Waypoint are also available.

There are many options for stills photography, including Single Shot, Burst Mode (and hyper-lapse), HDR, AEB and HyperLight (night mode), Interval, Pano, which allows you to capture a variety of panoramic shots.

You can access the three main flying modes of the Mavic 2 Pro from the app, or by using the switch on the controller’s side. Tripod Mode (T), which slows down the drone and makes it more responsive, allows for smoother video.

The standard flight mode is Positioning Mode (P), which provides medium control and allows for a good level of maneuverability. Sports Mode (S), however, makes the Mavic more responsive and flies much faster.

The Mavic 2 Pro’s battery life is pretty superb for what you get, especially when compared to DJI’s predecessor. My tested netted average was anywhere from 26-28 minutes to concrete flight time, that’s quite good and better than the recorded 23 minutes on the original Mavic Pro.

DJI claims the drone pilots up to 31 minutes in the air, but unless you want your sub $1,600 device in the drain, it is best to keep it up for just a tad shorter. In addition, the Mavic 2 Pro’s obstacle avoidance system is pretty dang awesome, to put it casually.

Kit options

DJI launched the Mavic 2 in late 2018 and has continued to improve the range with new models. DJI is currently in a patent dispute so the only clue to the timeframe is the quick-release propellers.

If you purchase one of DJI’s latest models, you will be forced to use screw-on propellers. This still feels like the top model in the range.

If you have the budget, the “Fly More” bundle is a better choice. It includes two extra batteries, a car charger, and a charging hub. A battery to power bank adaptor and more spare propellers. The charging hub charges your batteries sequentially without you having to be present to switch them.

Unfortunately, you cannot buy both the Mavic 2 and the cameras. However, the batteries that provide a generous 31 minute flight time (because the drone itself remains the same) make it possible to save some money if you need both cameras.

DJI GO4 App

As with other DJI drones, the Mavic 2 Pro works with the DJI Go 4 app, available as a free download for Android and iOS devices.

My iPhone was able to fit the drone easily onto my hand. I had no issues with the DJI GO 4 app. The app prompts you to update your firmware when you first use the drone. The process went smoothly for me and both remote control and drone.

The manual mode in the drone’s app DJI Go 4 is pleasingly familiar to lifelong photographers.

This app does a lot of things, but most importantly it gives you control over the drone’s camera and shows its point of view at 1080p quality. It also shows a map of the world, inlaid in the video feed, which you can swap to if you need to ascertain the Mavic’s position relative to you.

Sometimes, the drone would prompt me to do the “Precise Fly Safe Database Updating”, especially when I was moving between regions. The aircraft was now ready for flight.

You might need to wait for the GPS to start-up, to ensure that it knows exactly where to the take-off point. This is in case the drone gets lost and has to return to its original location. It is easy to take off.

Simply touch the top-left corner of the screen to initiate a recording asking if you would like to pinpoint the exact location of the takeoff point so it can return to that spot after the flight. After you make your selection, the drone will start to take off.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro review

In Operation

The Mavic’s basic design is based on the 2016 Mavic and continues to be the basis for the new models.

It folds out to 354mm (motor to motor) and is sturdy and portable. It fits nicely in a camera bag, taking up about the same space as a typical 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens. Because the legs of the Mavic are very short at the back, it is essential to have a flat landing area. It’s not propellor-friendly to take off from grass.

The control is easy and DJI’s companion app, DJI Go 4, provides useful tips for non-pilots. So you can expect to be up and running quickly. There are three speeds available, with Sport allowing the drone to fly at up 72 kph (45 mph).

The lower speeds are better for photographers. When flying at a slow speed of 11m/36ft, the drone’s downward-facing vision system allows for stable hovering. DJI claims it is within 10cm.

Images and video are recorded to a MicroSD card or a built-in 8GB memory – not a lot but useful in emergencies. You can download them to the App (except if you have chosen to shoot in H265), review them in the field, transfer via USB-C cable or read the MicroSD cards in traditional mode.

The app also handles occasional software updates. One tip is to ensure you have done it the night before your flight. If you begin the process in the field, it can take some time.

Camera Performance

With the Mavic 2 Pro’s camera, you can capture 5472 x 3648 pixels stills using that 1-inch CMOS. This is more than four times the sensor area of the Mavic 2 Pro, which means it can get an ISO up to 12,800. The manual mode is more useful for photographers than most consumer drones because it has software access to an aperture adjustment.

Although the camera can shoot 16-bit RAW stills at 16-bit resolution, JPEGs can be converted to JPEG using a Hasselblad Natural Colour Selection profile (HNCS). HNCS is a fantastic tool for aerial shots, edging towards the warmer end of the scale. Many may save time and choose HNCS over their own RAW processing.

Image and Video Quality

The DJI Mavic Pro 2 captures the most stunning images and footage in a small package. To better it, you’ll need to think about moving up to a big, expensive aircraft with an SLR-sized sensor and changeable lenses, like the DJI Inspire 2.

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro’s photo quality is very good overall, as long as you don’t expect quite the same level as you’d get with a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

Its 4K footage is sharper than other drones. This is due to its sensor size. The sensor size of most drones is 1/2.3 inches, which is similar to the one you get on a smartphone. The Mavic 2 Pro has a 1-inch imager. This is four times larger than what you get with the Mavic 2 Zoom or Mavic Air.

DJI has leveraged color science tech from its partner Hasselblad for the Mavic 2 Pro’s camera. I mostly use the standard color profile, as it’s easy to use and manipulates super well for post-production.

This is not the first DJI drone to use the sensor size. It is also available in larger Phantom 4 Pro models and Phantom 4 Advanced models.

They’re both still available and do offer some advantages–notably, support for the wider 4K DCI format. But if you’re fine with UHD, you’ll find the Mavic to include many of DJI’s more recent innovations–including more robust automated shots and APAS–which are not available in the Phantom series.

You get 4K UHD footage at 100Mbps with H.264 compression or H.265 compression. Ready-to-edit footage can be shot with a standard profile color.

DJI used color science technology from Hasselblad to create the Mavic 2 Pro’s color profile. All of our test footage was shot using the default profile.

If you prefer a different profile, such as a baked-in profile, you have the option to choose from or shoot flat with the Dlog-M profile. Flat shooting gives you more control over color corrections, as Dlog-M is a 10-bit file.

Dlog-M is not recommended for video professionals. You will need to have both the software and the skills necessary to make Dlog M footage stand out. It also supports HDR video, using the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) profile.

There are many frame rates. You can get 24fps for 4K, 25fps, and 30fps for 5K. You can drop the resolution to 2.7K for 48, 50, or 60fps. All of this is available at 1080p (2K), plus 120fps. You can adjust the aperture from f/2.8 to f/11 and you have the option of ISO 100 to 6400 for video.

For flights in bright sunlight, I recommend adding a neutral density filter to the lens. However, if you don’t have one you can stop the lens down further to preserve the proper shutter angles.

You have two options for viewing the 4K video. DJI does not do a good job of identifying them in their app. This is a shame as it gives the Mavic 2’s 4K camera the same coverage range as the Mavic 2 Zoom. FOV is the default setting. It gives a wide-angle view of the world. This is approximately 28mm in full-frame terms.

The angle of the camera narrows a little when you switch to the HQ setting (High Quality). It’s closer than 40mm. Although you don’t have the same range of the Mavic 2 Zoom’s zoom (24-48mm), it is close enough. Although you lose the ability for a dolly zoom shot it seems like a reasonable price to pay to get better video overall.

Imaging can also be used in a variety of ways. The 1-inch sensor size has been found a home in compact cameras. It delivers better results than what you can get from your smartphone.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro can shoot in DNG formats and raw images. Most serious photographers will use the latter. Low-light aerial photography is easier with a large sensor. The ISO can be set up to 12800 for images. Although I recommend ISO 3200 for this sensor, it will still produce stunning twilight images.

The dynamic range is clearly superior to its sibling, while the Pro is blessed with all but one of the Zoom’s photo features – Super Resolution mode – which is dependent on the Zoom lens.

Image quality

One-touch Creativity

These include a variety of autonomous flight modes. Although flying is not difficult, it is quite challenging to fly while simultaneously capturing cinematic video. You can improve your videos with practice.

DJI offers a variety of pre-programmed flight modes that can send the drone on a cinematic path in relation to any point of interest.

Hyperlapse

There are four types: Circle, Course Lock, Waypoint, and Waypoint. You can set the time between each shot, the length of your video, and depending on the mode, choose a path or altitude.

In addition to Hyperlapse, there are plenty of other automated flight modes and options. They include Asteroid, which mixes panoramic imaging and video to turn a normal view of the world into a Little Planet projection, which we first saw with the Mavic Air.

ActiveTrack

DJI’s sensors and the camera will track any subject you choose – typically a vehicle or person – in any of three modes.

  • Trace holds the drone behind the subject or in front.
  • The profile keeps the drone at the side of the subject
  • Spotlight – You control the flight path but the camera will continue to track the subject

ActiveTrack can be launched in Safe mode. This turns on all sensors to prevent accidental accidents.

QuickShots

A variety of creative shots can be activated in seconds.

TapFly

Just tap the view you wish the drone to follow.

POI

Choose a point of interest, and the drone will fly according to your flight settings. The subject will remain in view.

Verdict

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is still the best drone for videographers and photographers who want a lightweight drone that can be carried around with other equipment.

The Air 2S is smaller and more affordable than the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, which means it’s taken the number one spot in our guide to the best drones. The Mavic 2 Pro is still the best small folding drone around, with variable aperture, and has very few competitors.

There are still alternatives, such as the Mavic 2 Zoom, which features an optical zoom lens. It also features an optical zoom lens, but it has a smaller sensor that does not allow for aperture control.

The Mavic Pro 2’s nearest competitor is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 in sensor size. However, it’s a larger, more powerful drone aimed at professionals, making it a completely new proposition.

The Mavic 2 Pro is extremely easy to fly. It also features some of the best flight and camera technology available on the market for consumer drones.

Although it isn’t as portable as the DJI Air 2S, and the image quality is not as good as the DJI Inspire 2’s Micro Four Thirds camera (DJI Inspire 2), the Mavic 2 Pro is still a great option if you require an adjustable aperture.

Conclusion

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a fantastic drone for everyone from an amateur photographer to someone who’s looking to get into aerial shots. It offers the best of both worlds in terms of portability and performance, making it an excellent choice for anyone on your list. We hope you find this article useful!

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