DJI has renewed its best public drone. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro has benefited from many technical improvements since the first generation, while recovering some advanced features of other models since released, such as Mavic Air. But is the mixture good? here is our complete test.
This test was done with a drone loaned by DJI.
In September 2016 DJI released the Mavic Pro. The arrival of this new drone on the market was in its day a real small revolution. Small, handy, with video quality and a 7-km flight envelope, it suddenly offered photo enthusiasts an unparalleled tool for making quality aerial images. Where, at the time, the competition was called Bebop. DJI was once again above the fray, by dint of innovations and technologies, for the sole purpose of giving everyone the power to fly and film "like a pro".
The mission was successful, and for two long years, the Mavic Pro remained the reference for "Pigeon Drones": because of their compact size, they are stored everywhere, to fit in a trouser pocket! Today, DJI revisits its Mavic range with two new models, the 2 Pro and Zoom. As its name suggests, the Zoom offers a zoom camera, but leave it to one side to focus on the lineage of the Pro with this new Mavic 2 Pro.
What's new in Mavic 2 Pro
The main innovation on the Mavic 2 Pro is seen at first glance: the camera. For the first time, the manufacturer DJI entrusted to a third mark the realization of its camera, and it is towards the Swedish manufacturer Hasselblad that this one turned.
A well-known brand among medium-format enthusiasts, Hasselblad is a name, a quality label, and it owes nothing to chance if we find it involved in the development of the Mavic 2 Pro with its camera, the L1D-20C, specially designed for the occasion.
With its 1 inch 20 MP sensor, DJI clearly enhances its image quality standards for its Mavic range.
Some technical features for the camera:
- CMOS sensor 1 "20 MP
- Adjustable aperture f / 2.8 – f / 11
- 10-bit Dlog-M color profile
- 10-bit HDR videos
- L1D-20c utilizes Hasselblad's unique Hasselblad Natural Color Solution (HNCS) 5 technology
Another major innovation introduced on this new version: the presence of sensors all around the device, to allow a 360 ° obstacle detection.
Even if the intention is good, it is not infallible, and I take this opportunity to remind you once again, the best obstacle detection are your eyes and your common sense. Do not trust automatisms, in case of bug, it's always too late to react. Build self-confidence through the experience you build and trust your judgment, electronics is an accompaniment and must remain so.
We continue in the more discrete innovations, but equally significant:
- The radio link switches to Ocusync 2.0 instead of the classic 1.0 with greater range and lower latency and 40 Mbps throughput for file transfer.
- A Hyperlight photo mode for night shots.
- Additional lights under the drone to increase the efficiency of obstacle sensors.
- The arrival of USB-C for image transfer.
As usual, DJI products are delivered in a set that knows how to highlight them, and this one is no exception. In the box, we find:
- Drone Mavic 2 Pro from DJI
- Remote control handle
- Two replacement control sticks
- Smart Flight Battery
- Four pairs of silent propellers
- Battery charger
- Communication cable (USB 3.0 to Type-C)
- Type-C to Micro USB adapter
- Three remote control cables
- Platform Protector
For the regulars of the Mavic Pro, who have all struggled to put the locking clip of the basket without damaging the tablecloth of the camera, this new protection module is what we have always dreamed of having on the Mavic Pro. Brilliant simplicity it is very easy and stays in place.
What we notice when we are used to the classic Mavic Pro is that the 2 Pro is more massive (32.2 x 24.2 cm unfolded), thicker (8.4 cm), heavier (907 grams, against 800 grams) without this tainting its lines. The reason behind this change is that it contains many more sensors than its predecessor, which obviously affects the size and weight.
The propellers are easily mounted, with a system of twist'n clips. On this point, DJI made good progress with the system found on the Inspire 1, where propellers often departed in flight. Here, everything is well maintained and the center of the propellers is colored to avoid making mistakes in the editing.
On the remote control side, some cosmetic retouches, with the principle of removable sleeves found on the Mavic Air. It also comes with a built-in screen that will have the merit of settling once and for all the software problems between iOS and Android, because even at DJI we are not immune to a bug.
The application remains DJI Go 4 without new additional function. You will find all the classic modes namely:
- P (Positioning) Mode: Works with GPS and sensors to provide greater stability and navigate between obstacles.
- Mode S (Sport): the drone can reach its maximum speed – about 72 km / h – the obstacle detection systems are deactivated.
- T mode (tripod): the speed of the drone is limited to ensure a better fluidity of the shooting.
Regarding the intelligent flight modes, without surprises we find:
- Active Track (new version)
- POI (new version)
The Active Track is a much better bill than the previous version of the Mavic Pro. This one is able to identify up to 16 subjects in the same scene, thus offering a better choice on the target to choose for the follow-up.
The hyperlapse offers several options:
- Free: the drone takes photos automatically and generates a video file of type timelapse.
- Circle: the same thing by turning around a selected point.
- Trajectory locked: either the orientation of the drone is fixed, but the subject can not be selected, or the orientation is fixed while the drone revolves around a selected subject.
We find quick shots with the presence of the famous asteroid mode present in the Mavic Air, here is the list of available modes:
- Dolly Zoom
Concerning the waypoints, it is no longer necessary to fly above the space to mark the points, you can freely add points and create a flight plan on the fly, and even save it for a future flight.
Note, however, that the remote control is mandatory and you will not be able to use only your smartphone to control the Mavic 2 Pro. The opposite is however possible (without smartphone).
Excellent flying sensations
If you are familiar with the Mavic Pro, the first thing that will immediately be felt is the stability of the beast. Already the Mavic Pro was locked, there is clearly a notch above. Thanks to all the sensors and all the computing embedded who do their job extremely well.
Whether there is wind or not, it's simple, the Mavic 2 Pro does not move. It's just amazing to have reached such a level of stabilization, and this coupled with an exceptional camera, you have a combo necessarily win.
The driving comfort of the Mavic has been further improved making this machine really pleasant in flight. The Ocusync 2.0 guarantees a greater range than the reasonable, everything is there to put the driver safe, the recipe is successful.
Once again, DJI has raised the quality one step higher, the Mavic 2 Pro is a true evolution of the first of the name. Keeping the fundamentals, DJI knew how to correct imperfections on the one hand and enhance flight safety on the other.
Image quality: the magic of the big sensor
With its one-inch sensor and adjustable aperture, the camera achieves exceptional work in all light conditions. In a low light situation, the solid sensor brings an image with much less noise than its predecessor and, in the opposite case, in very bright conditions, with the opening of the adjustable diaphragm, you can always have the expected result. No more problems of dynamic range that we can meet with small sensors, here the sensor is huge. His mission: to give you the best picture whatever the situation, and he does it very well.
Being equipped with a large sensor regulates many of the recurring problems of small conventional sensors, such as lack of detail, or light problems. All this is a thing of the past, and that's where we understand that this new Mavic 2 Pro is a real evolution.
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Files out directly from the drone are impeccable, no need to go through an editor to make corrections, everything is well balanced. However, if you wish, you always have the possibility to film in Dlog-M to be able to take the colors without losing the details of the image.
Available formats are:
- 4K to 24, 25 or 30 frames / s
- 2.7K to 24, 25, 30, 48, 50 or 60 frames / s
- 1080p at 120 frames / s for slow motion
The available output formats are MP4 and MOV whether in H264 or H265, all with a bit rate of 100 Mb / s. Too bad it is impossible to shoot in 4K at 60 fps. Maybe this format will be reserved for the future Phantom 5 …
For photos, you have a 20 megapixel format with an ISO range from 100 to 12,800 for good quality rendering. Note that its 8 GB of internal storage allow you to do without a memory card at first before expanding it with a microSD of up to 128 GB.
With its autonomy of 31 minutes (10 minutes longer than its predecessor), you have in your hands the perfect tool to achieve all the plans you want.
The battery has a button to know the state of charge, which is very convenient if you have several and you want to quickly know which are full before flying.
Count 1:30 for a full charge.
Who is the Mavic 2 Pro for?
When we look at the DJI range, between the Phantom and the Mavic, things were simple. On the one hand, the Phantoms were the "Pro" drones and the Mavic the "amateur" drones. But now the Mavic 2 Pro, offers the quality of Phantom 4 Pro (roughly) with a minimum footprint: it blurs the cards, but not really.
In the long term, the drones will have to be more and more light, but also compact, because easier to take away. The Mavic 2 Pro is for me the pioneer of this new era that will soon arrive, the drones that will be able to deliver quality broadcast and that fit in the pocket. To this, you add the regulations with the symbolic limitation of the weight of 800 grams above which the paperwork is necessary, the evolution of drones towards the small with an extraordinary camera makes all sense.
I would say even more than that for the DJI range continues to make sense between Phantom and Mavic, to date, DJI is doomed to evolve its Phantom to a range with interchangeable lenses. Without this, it will no longer make sense in the long run.
If you already have a Mavic Pro and you are an occasional pilot, jumping is not a necessity, but if you are thinking of buying a drone and you have the budget, then choosing this model, you do not take any risk.
One thing to remember, as its weight is 900 grams you will now report to the authorities.
Price and availability
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is already available at a price of 1499 euros. It can be found at resellers like Amazon or Darty.
Pictures taken for FrAndroid by Dronemotion.tv