The DJI Mavic Pro vs Spark are both excellent drones. It can be difficult to decide which one is best for you, especially with all of the new features released in each model since they first came out.
In this blog post, LucidCam will compare and contrast the DJI Spark vs DJI Mavic Pro so that you can choose which drone is right for your needs.
About The DJI Mavic Pro
The Mavic revolutionized drone technology in an already innovative world. Drones have enjoyed a boom in popularity in recent years thanks to drones like the DJI Phantom Pro series. However, the Mavic was a revolutionary new type of drone.
The DJI Mavic Pro was the perfect DJI Mavic Pro. Excellent video specs, great flight time + battery life, and amazing software features.
Mavic defaults essential features such as obstacle avoidance, Follow-me (Active Track), and many more. These are crucial features for anyone who is a professional photographer or videographer.
The folding drone is also small and can also be folded up so that it is even smaller. This is important for anyone who needs to transport their small drone.
Folded the DJI Mavic measures H83mmxW83mmxL198mm. To put things in perspective, the following picture can give you an even better idea of how large the Mavic is.
When you see it live for the very first time, you’ll be amazed at how small it is.
- Amazingly portable
- Beautiful 4K footage and 12MP photographs
- Decent flight time
- Many smart flight features
- Low light can cause images to suffer.
About the DJI Spark
It’s about half the size of the Mavic Pro, and it can take off and land from your palm. As we’ve seen, size does matter. In many cases, more minor is not always better.
When it comes to technology and gadgets in general, size is often better. It is mainly a matter of portability. Minor is the key to consumer technology, which is what DJI Spark hopes will become.
The folded dimensions for the DJI Spark measure H143mm xW55mm xL143mm.
DJI did the same with Spark. They took everything in the DJI Mavic and reduced it to half its size.
As the above photo demonstrates, we believe that the Spark is a smaller DJI Mavic than the Spark.
To put the situation in a better perspective, you can show something that compares the size of your DJI Spark. Below is an illustration of the size differences between the DJI Spark and the common smart phone. The iPhone 5S was small compared to the iPhones of today.
- Portable: palm-sized drone
- Good Positioning Systems
- Obstacle Avoidance
- Multiple Control Options
- Intelligent Flight Modes
- Obstacle Detection Systems
- Dated Camera
- Very Short Flight Time
- Low Wind Resistance
Read also: The DJI Spark Review: Best Choice For You
DJI Spark Vs DJI Mavic Pro – Comparison
Modes And Controls
DJI’s latest drones are aimed at different markets. You can see more DJI drones by clicking here. The Mavic Pro drone is currently the best choice for drone enthusiasts who want a small, portable, easy-to-use quadcopter.
Spark is for people looking for a compact, portable, easy-to-use machine but not a drone.
The DJI Spark is likely to become the most popular drone for first-time owners quickly. The DJI Mavic Pro has been praised as an excellent machine for beginners and professionals, but it is still the preferred drone for many people.
Although the price difference between the two machines appears to be a significant factor in their market segment, there are many more differences. Even though the specs sheet suggests otherwise, we aren’t prepared to claim that the Mavic Pro has twice the capabilities of the Spark.
The DJI Spark’s new DJI Quickshot autonomous flying modes are a great addition to its features. This is a significant advantage over the Mavic Pro, at least for those who don’t want to fly the routes manually. T
he Spark also offers three ways to control the drone: via mobile device, remote controller, or literally by hand. This is an additional option to the Mavic Pro.
Obviously, the DJI Spark can be launched, operated, and landed entirely using hand gestures. It’s not a bad word, but it’s cool.
The Mavic Pro can also be controlled remotely and via a mobile device. You can also operate autonomous flying modes and use the DJI Goggles VR headset to control the camera.
The Mavic Pro doesn’t require you to connect the DJI Goggles to the Mavic Pro controller because they have built-in OcuSync. It’s a fantastic experience to use the goggles. You should try it if you don’t have them yet. You will be hooked. It’s also very cool!
I hope that you are seeing the appeal of controls to different people. This is just the beginning.
Let’s start by saying that buying a drone for hobbyist aerial photographers is likely to prove difficult.
The DJI Spark drone is the most affordable in the DJI range. You can purchase the Spark by itself without the remote controller for as low as $400. This makes it suitable for children.
The Spark + Fly More Combo is a great option. You get the extra batteries, remote control, and other essentials. The Spark isn’t worth considering without the remote controller, as the flight distance is minimal.
It was amazing to buy a drone with this level of quality for only $600. It is easy to overlook the technology involved in a consumer product that can fly 500m up in a sky or 1.2 miles (2km) away. This allows you to take photos and video, as well as broadcast the results to your smartphone. This is amazing.
You can buy the Mavic Pro for approximately $900. However, I recommend that you purchase the Mavic Pro Platinum for $300 more. Although the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum + Flight More Combo is slightly more costly, I do not believe it’s necessary.
The price was the only reason I purchased the DJI Spark Fly More Combo at first. Realistically, I didn’t intend to use a drone to take photos, so I bought it as a toy. Spark owners will likely feel the same way.
The DJI Spark is the winner in this regard, as it’s less expensive than the Mavic Pro. Next, we will need to determine if the Mavic Pro’s higher price is justified.
In this case, range refers to the distance that the remote controller can transmit the drone and its battery life.
When I bought the DJI Spark, range and battery life were not a significant concern. It was not intended to be used professionally. I only wanted it to provide a bird’s-eye view of a couple at the wedding or lay down somewhere.
The advertised battery life of 16 minutes and the 1.2 miles (2km) range of the DJI Spark sounds more than adequate.
Although you might expect to fly your drone at a close distance, it is tempting to push the limits once you have one.
It was soon apparent that the battery life was less than 12 minutes for moderate flying and that you needed to factor in variables like headwinds on your return flight “back to home.”
The lack of enough battery life made flying the DJI Spark extremely stressful.
I was too concerned about the battery dying and rushed the composition of my photos. This made it difficult to enjoy the experience of flying the drone.
Even with the auto return-to-home function when the battery was low, there was always the risk of a headwind preventing the Spark’s lightweight and under-powered from returning safely.
You’d see some embarrassing footage from me landing the Spark in Spain while I was on Facebook earlier this year. This was because I had miscalculated how much battery life was left and was trying to land it as quickly as possible manually.
I switched to the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum because of the poor battery life.
You can fly for up to 30 minutes, and you have a detectable range of 4.3 miles (7km)! With a little over 10% battery remaining, I bring it home with me on every flight. The battery life for the regular Mavic Pro is 27 minutes.
In recent years, consumer drone camera quality has improved. Drone pilots can capture incredible, high-quality footage using consumer-level drones. Spark has a 1080p 12-megapixel camera with a 1/2.3” sensor.
The Spark can be used alone to capture high-quality aerial shots, despite having the lowest quality camera features of any drone. The Spark doesn’t have the processing power required to capture 4k, 2.7k, or even 3k video footage.
The Mavic Pro can record 4k video at 30 frames per second or 1080p at 95 frames per second. The Mavic Pro has the same 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor used in the Spark and Mavic Air.
The Mavic Air’s camera will produce better quality results than the Mavic Air’s. This is due to its improved HDR algorithms and significantly higher bitrate.
Camera Settings & Modes
The Spark cannot take RAW photos, which is a notable difference from the Mavic Pro. The ability to shoot in RAW is an advantage, especially when it comes to editing.
Editing a JPEG photo can negatively impact its quality. However, editing in RAW will allow users to make more creative edits to their pictures without compromising the quality.
Two drones have camera modes that allow users to create high-quality aerial shots. The Spark features DJI’s most iconic shooting modes and introduces two new modes called Pano and ShallowFocus.
Additional DJI shooting modes, including Panorama and HDR, are available on the Mavic Pro. Comparing the Mavic Pro’s results with the Mavic Air, you will see that the Mavic Air produces better quality photos in Panorama and HDR camera modes.
Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) of DJI Spark is 3 Bracketed Frames at 0.7 EV Bias
I won’t discuss video quality as since I’m comparing the Spark vs Mavic Pro for photographers. The Spark can record 1080p video, while the Mavic Pro records 4k. This is a clear win for the Mavic.
The Spark only offers JPEG, while the Mavic Pro has RAW + JPEG. Professional photographers will want RAW support to take advantage of the extra latitude RAW files provide when post-processing.
However, I must mention that the JPEG quality right out of the DJI Spark, which I reviewed here, is better than the DJI Phantom 4’s.
The image is vibrant and sharp, and the colors are great. It’s a JPEG, so you can easily apply your presets in the post to make the images look great. All photos in this review were post-processed in Lightroom.
Yes, the DJI Mavic Pro RAW files allow more experimentation with white balance and shadow/highlight recovery. However, don’t expect too much from the tiny 1/2.3″ sensor.
You can blow your highlights and crush your shadows forever.
Noise is also quickly introduced by anything higher than base-level ISO, so expect low-light photography (it’s not recommended to fly after sunset).
This image was taken at ISO 800 while I was photographing a Sri Lankan destination marriage reception. This image is acceptable, but I used 1/100 to balance a low ISO and dark exposure. Higher winds may have made this impossible.
You can see the ambient light when I took the photo, even though I didn’t adjust the exposure in the post.
Although it’s difficult to tell if there is any visual difference between a JPEG file saved from Spark and one converted into a JPEG using the Mavic Pro’s editing software, I prefer the RAW option from the Mavic Pro.
I am sure that many other professional photographers will do the same.
For stills, the DJI Mavic Pro offers a 16 to9 ratio. This is much better than Spark’s 4:3. The drone photo has a 16:9 ratio, which gives it a cinematic feel. This is evident in the below image taken at the cave entrance.
Auto-exposure is my default setting for drone photography. This allows me to focus on the flight and not worry about other variables. In the photo below, I wanted to reduce ambient light as a ray from the sun was adequately lighting the couple. I, therefore, shot manual.
The photo above is quite good, but if you want incredible image quality from a drone, you will have to spend much money.
A Phantom 4 Pro has a 1″camera sensor, which allows for better stills photography performance.
Both images from the DJI Spark vs Mavic Pro are professional-ready, even though one drone offers RAW support. Clients will be impressed by their aerial photos. Even slight differences in quality won’t matter.
DJI is known for its highly developed, stable, and smooth gimbal technology. Each drone, including the DJI Spark vs Mavic Pro, and Mavic Air, can take highly steady shots. However, every drone has its unique gimbal system and functions.
The DJI Spark features a 2-axis mechanical gimbal system. It also has DJI’s UltraSmooth technology, which ensures steady shots and minimizes rolling shutter effects. All other DJI drones currently have a full third-axis gimbal system.
DJI’s 3-Axis Gimbal system is also featured on the DJI Mavic Pro for smooth, shake-free shots. The advanced gimbal system on the Pro will intelligently and automatically cancel out any unwelcome shakiness. The Mavic Pro’s camera and gimbal are more vulnerable to damage than other drones.
The DJI Spark vs Mavic Pro have basic flight controls, including two piloting toggles and a Return To Home button. There is also an interface via DJI Go 4 app. The advantage of any DJI drone model is the identical remotes and piloting controls.
The Spark is just the drone that doesn’t include a remote control in its basic kit. The remote control for the Spark uses a WiFi transmission system. It looks similar to the Mavic Air’s remote controller, which has two piloting toggles and a Return button.
There are also two buttons to take photos or videos and two buttons to turn off the display screen. The remote has a Micro USB port, folding clamps that allow users to mount their Smartphone devices to it securely.
The Mavic Pro is the only remote control that uses DJI’s OcuSync Transmission System instead of a Wifi System. The Mavic Pro is the only small one with an LCD telemetry screen built in that displays basic flight information that can be viewed.
The Mavic Pro’s remote features a dedicated exposure knob and two customizable buttons that allow for more personal flight experiences.
Obstacle Avoidance Systems
The DJI Spark vs Mavic both have obstacle avoidance built-in. This is critical if the drone is being flown out of your line of sight (where legal). The Spark’s obstacle avoidance sensors is achieved via a custom infrared sensor capable of detecting obstacles with low resolution.
Mavic’s two RGB sensors have better abilities at detecting obstacles because they can generate better obstacle maps. The Mavic can detect and avoid smaller objects at a greater distance than the Spark.
The Spark can only detect obstacles at speeds of 7MPH and Forward Obstacle Sensing: 0.2 – 5 m. However, the Mavic drones can detect obstacles at speeds up to 22 MPH. This gives the Mavic a critical advantage.
Intelligent Flight Mode
The drones can be controlled in a variety of intelligent flight modes. They also support the most popular DJI modes, including ActiveTrack or TapFly. Drone pilots of all levels can quickly capture dynamic shots to enhance any professional or personal aerial creation with just a tap.
The DJI Spark is the first DJI drone to have new TapFly submodes, including Direction and Coordinate. The Spark features “FaceAware,” a face recognition technology that allows users to launch their drone directly from their palm. T
here is also a new PalmControl Mode that allows users to control their drones using hand gestures. The Spark also features four new Quick Shot modes that allow for more creative aerial photography options.
The Mavic Pro has the most intelligent flight modes of any drone. The Mavic Pro also features new flight modes, including Profile, Tripod mode and Spotlight, Terrain, Gesture, and Spotlight. Pilots can fly their drone in Trace Mode to place it in front of or behind a subject or circle around it as it moves.
Gesture Mode allows users to take selfies by simply waving their hands.
Battery life/Flight time/Speed
The Spark drone is smaller than the Mavic and, therefore, lighter to lift. However, the battery pack of the Spark drone is smaller. Spark’s spec sheet flight time is 16 minutes.
We received warnings to land the drone around 10-12 minutes into real-world flying. However, you might be able to push it a little further in emergencies, of course, at your own risk.
The DJI Mavic’s maximum flight time is 27 minutes, according to the spec sheet. However, you will get 21 to 23 minutes of flight time before you get the 15% warning. This depends on the wind and weather conditions at the location you are flying.
It would help if you bought an extra batteries to increase your flight time for the DJI Spark and the Mavic. This bundle includes the Fly More bundle.
Two drones fly at different speeds. Because the Mavic has larger propellers and more powerful motors than Spark, it can fly faster. The Mavic can fly at 40 MPH max speed in Sport mode, while the Spark can fly at 31 MPH max speed without wind.
My opinion is that drone sound quality is very important. This was, ironically enough, the most crucial factor that led me to upgrade from my DJI Spark to my Mavic Pro Platinum.
A drone can attract many people because it makes much noise during takeoff and landing. The larger drones can attract attention even though they are not in flight.
Photographers will try to fly their drones discreetly as possible. This is to preserve their candid photos (especially if they include public members) and to avoid anxiety. I get nervous flying a drone when large audiences are watching, and I’m sure you feel the same.
The DJI Spark is the smallest and lightest DJI drone, so it makes sense that it is also the quietest. I had seen a Mavic Pro in flight before and was familiar with its noise and potential to draw attention.
All that changed when I discovered the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum. Platinum provides significantly reduced noise levels for an additional 300 dollars.
The original Mavic Pro sounds like a bee swarm, but the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum produces a deep, low sound similar to what you might hear every day.
This was something I had in mind. I am so happy that I found a drone that will not disturb the public, especially at weddings, while still allowing great aerial photos.
It shouldn’t matter how fast or agile a drone is to be used for stills photography. This is what I believed anyway…
The DJI Spark is smaller and more maneuverable than the Mavic Pro and can be flown indoors and through tight spaces much easier than the Mavic Pro. It is also relatively underpowered.
You’ll become more comfortable with your drone and want to fly it farther away so you can get the shot you wish to or simply explore.
I bought the drone to fly over an area far from my current location. This ability is unique to me, and I am blown away by its affordability.
The Spark can handle itself well in normal conditions. However, once the wind starts up, the Spark gets tossed around a lot, and I found myself struggling to get my photo composition right with it than with the Mavic Pro.
The Mavic Pro’s more powerful motor and longer propeller span make it handle better than the Spark. You can also get there much quicker and easier with the extra speed.
DJI Spark Vs DJI Mavic Pro – Which drone is right for you?
We began with the most challenging question and will end with it: which one of these amazing drones should I purchase? Which DJI Spark is better than the Mavic? The Spark is a powerful drone for $500.
This drone has a lot of the right stuff, which is excellent for professional or semi-professional videographers, especially if you’re not focused on aerial video. The Spark is a great value drone if you are looking for value. The Mavic, on the other hand, is more affordable.
The Mavic, on the other hand, is a more sophisticated drone. It is a more advanced drone with many better features.
If you have the money, I would recommend the Mavic. You can check to see if there are any must-have features or specifications and then decide. The Mavic drone is the best choice if you require a 4K video.
Both the DJI Spark vs Mavic Pro drones are great drones. You can’t go wrong with either one!
The DJI Spark is a great choice for beginners, while the more advanced user will go with the Mavic Pro. If you’re still trying to decide which drone is suitable for you, let us know, and we’ll help point you in your direction!