DJI Mavic Pro 2 Review: All You Need to Know for Your Purchase
If you are like us, you are always looking for the latest tech to round out your adventure capturing abilities and for us it was a drone. While it is illegal to fly them in national parks for the time being, there are still a lot of beautiful places you can fly them to get great footage! After countless hours of research, we landed on the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and haven't looked back on our decision yet!
At a quick glance, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is one of the best small drones on the market as it has superior image and film qualities, obstacle avoidance for the Ani of AniGraham Travels and great battery life. The drones comes in at 3.3 by 3.6 by 8.4 inches and weighs only 2 lbs., with 4 rotors, camera with an integrated Gimbal and ability to shot in 4K. This does however all come at with a price of $1,729 but it is well worth it!
The Mavic 2 mimicked the folding design of the original Mavic Pro, only a little bigger. The compact nature of the drone makes it perfect for packing away on long adventures. We utilize a DJI storage bag that has enough room for the drone, 2 batteries and charger. We elected to go with the DJI Smart Controller as opposed to using the phone and that does not fit in the case. The drone folds out easy as you just have to remember to swing the front arms out first before the bottom ones.
So controller, is it worth spending the extra money on? YES! It is one of those accessories that you didn't realize you needed until you had it. The controller is easy to use and takes seconds to set up when on location as opposed to messing with cords and tablets. The screen is perfect for flying during the day as you can still see the picture clearly. The remote can also withstand a good amount of heat without shutting down, which was a great feature when we used it in the USVI. The remote offers a 2.5-hour battery life, which is the life of 5 Mavic 2 Pro fully charged batteries. Another great bonus is the microSD slot on top, which allows you to expand the remotes storing capacity, do in-the-field backups and makes transferring videos to your computer easy. In addition, the new GoShare function makes it simple for you to quickly transfer images or footage to your mobile device for editing. All of this does come at a hefty price tag of $749 in addition to the cost of the drone. While it is not necessary to have one to fly the drone, the benefits outweighed the cost for us.
Okay, now back to the drone itself. The Mavic 2 leaps ahead of the Zoom with a 1-inch sensor, which is about four times the size of the imager in the Zoom, which allows for more image resolution (20MP) and higher-quality video. The drone is rated for up to 31 minutes of flight with a fully charged battery, which is an 8-minute increase to the original. Make sure though that you have plenty of time left to fly him back to you! Storage wise, 8GB is not a lot and since it shoots in 4K at 100Mpbs, you are limited to a little less then 16 minutes of footage on the internal memory, however, it is equipped with a microSD slot.
In terms of obstacle avoidance the Mavic 2 doesn't disappoint. The drone is equipped with sensors in every direction that are active all the time and will stop the drone in place if an obstacle is detected. They also work in Tripod mode, a low-speed setting that lets photographers move the drone very slowly to better frame shots. The Mavic 2 also has a high-speed Sport setting. It ups the maximum flight speed from around 32mph to just shy of 45mph. All obstacle sensors are disabled when Sport is turned on, so use it with care, especially when you can't see the drone.
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. The 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. We have never used this feature as the DJI Smart Controller provides us with a lot of the information.
The DJI Mavic Pro 2 promises to deliver some of the best drone footage and images of a compact drone. The main reason is the sensor size as most drones utilize a 1/ 2.3-inch sensor, but the Mavic 2 Pro uses a 1-inch imager, about four times the size of what you get with the Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic Air. There are several frame rates available in 4K, including 24, 25, and 30fps. When you drop the resolution to 2.7K, you get an additional 48, 50, and 60fps. When shooting at 1080p, you have ability to shot at 120fps. The lens has variable aperture, configurable from f/2.8 through f/11, and the sensor can range from ISO 100 through 6400 for video. We also utilized an additional neutral density filter when flying in bright light for higher footage quality.
There are also two angles of view to choose when shooting at 4K. The default setting, FOV, is a wide-angle view of the world, about 28mm in full-frame terms. Switching to the HQ (High Quality) setting narrows the camera's angle a bit-it's closer to 40mm. You don't get quite the same range as the Mavic 2 Zoom's camera (24-48mm), but it's close enough. You do lose the ability to perform a dolly zoom shot, but it seems like a fair price to pay for better video overall.
The Mavic Pro 2 is very versatile in terms of imaging capabilities as it shots in a JPG or Raw NDG format. The big sensor makes low-light aerial imagining an easier task with an ISO that can be set as high as 12800, which will help your capture absolutely stunning twilight photos.
While the Mavic Pro 2 has a higher price tag, especially if you decide to add the DJI Smart Controller, it is well worth the money! You will be hard-pressed to find a more well-rounded compact drone that meets your filming needs. Now if you intend for your film to make it to the big screen, then you may want a higher class drone but for everyday capturing of your adventure, you can't beat it!