DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review: Reviewing the Drone and Comparing It to the Mavic 2 Zoom

Model DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Size (LxWxH)
  • 8,4″ x 3,5″ x 3,3″ (folded)
  • 12,6″ x 9,5″ x 3,3″ (unfolded)
Diagonal Distance 14 inches
Maximum Speed 44mph in Sport Mode
Ascent Speed 16 feet per second
Descent Speed 9,8 feet per second
Weight 1,99lbs
Gimbal 3-axis
Global Position Systems GPS, GLONASS
Camera 1″ CMOS Hasselblad 20MP; f/2.8-f/11, 4K video (3840×2160 24/25/30p)
Video Bit Rate 100Mbps
Live Feed 1080@30fps
Internal Storage 8 gigabytes
Supported SD cards Micro SD up to 128gb, UHS-I Speed Grade 3
Range 5 miles
Hover Time around 30 minutes
Price Check Price on Amazon.com
Release Date August 23, 2018

The leading manufacturer of drones – DJI Innovations has done it again! They just released two new drones at the same time: the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom drone upgrading their so far most outstanding drone series. However, what’s new?

A large one-inch sensor as well as an optical zoom, real 10 bit video recording, anti-collision sensors, a range of five miles, an inbuilt backup hard drive, new flight modes for more creative possibilities and 31 minutes of flight time are only a few of the upgrades DJI installed in their new flagship drone. If what the manufacturer promises is true then the two new DJI drones are really a giant leap forwards in filmmaking and in photography.

But we should not just put our full trust into the commercials that we saw and into all these amazing things that we have heard – let’s take the two new drones to the test and let’s just see if they are really as good as advertised.

The Drone

My name is Andrew from djibestdrones.com and in this review I’m going to be reviewing the new DJI Mavic 2 Pro and comparing it to the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom drone. These drones are utterly identical in their flight construction and only the cameras are different. This review shows you everything you need to know about the new flagship drones from the general specs to the most significant advantages, the weak spots of the pneumatics and of course I will take a close look at the cameras for you showing you test footage and pointing out the differences between the two models.

The bodies of the drones are made out of grey and very durable industrial plastic strong enough to protect them in harsh weather conditions or when bumping into an object, or when experiencing a harder landing. But not only the shells are robust and well thought through: DJI goes further and made sure to add a level of protection that ensures a long lifetime of your investment. The joints of the foldable arms are stiff, the ventilation openings protect the drones against dust and moisture and are positioned at the sides and at the bottom of the drones, which makes it really hard for moisture and dust both to reach the electronics.

Next, DJI protected the few visible cables that connect the drones motors with the inside electronics with a fabric net against wear out. Small rubber landing feet protect the drone when landing a bit harder. On the front arms DJI installed LEDs that make spotting the drone in flight easy while taking a photo or recording video they of course automatically turn off. Status’ LEDs that can blink in green orange or red can be found on the back arms. They immediately show the pilot if, for example, the drone is or is not correctly connected to the remote controller, if the battery level is low etc.

Both DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom have a MicroSD card slot at their bottom left. And a USB-C port at the bottom right allowing pilots to download files that were saved onto the inbuilt 8 gigabytes backup hard drive.

The propellers of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom drone can be attached or removed within seconds – no tools are required. The aerodynamic shape of the propellers makes the new drones more efficient in flight, noticeably quieter and it lowers the annoying high pitch.

Tight below the propellers manufacturer DJI hid newly designed ESC’s which not only enhance the flight time compared to the predecessors but they make the flight more responsive and stable. The new DJI Mavic series is incredibly stable – the drones hover incredibly stable even over water – they’re just not moving. It is really a big enhancement over the predecessors.

The new drones are small enough to be fit into any backpack. You can take them anywhere: they measure only approximately 8,4 x 3,5 x 3,3 inches when folded. The drones weight does not entirely match: the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom weighs 905 grams only while the DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone weighs 907 and therefore is a tiny bit heavier.

Camera

DJI designed the camera of the Mavic 2 Pro drone, makes sense right? However they did not do the job alone – Hasselblad is Swedish camera manufacturer that sells cameras that can easily cost you more than a car! But let’s discuss the most impartant specs of this camera.

A built in one inch sensor is the first major highlight off the tiny DJI Mavic 2 Pro. What a hammer! A one inch sensor in such a small drone is like a motor manufactured by Mercedes or BMW inside a FIAT. The camera provides excellent overall image quality, higher colour depth, better low-light capabilities and an extended dynamic range are the result.

The camera takes 20 megapixels 5472×3648 JPEG or DNG RAW photographs which is again a big upgrade. It films in 4k at maximum of 30 frames per second. That is not big news but wait – it films with 10 bit! Instead of 8-bit with its maximum 16.8 million possible color tones the DJI Mavic 2 Pro with its 10 bit camera can record up to 1.07 billion possible color tones! That is a dream of editors!

You can record video in MP4 or MOV format and can use the h.264 or the even better but heavy and rich h.265 codec – it is all up to your production needs. The small camera films with 100 megabits per second – it is a highlight that sounds almost small next to the sensor and the 10 bit and that says a lot about this new camera.

The field of view is approximately 77 degrees at a focal length of 28 millimeters. The aperture is manually adjustable between F 2.8 and 11.

Difference Between Mavic 2 Pro Camera And Zoom Version

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom camera looks more like a typical drone camera. It features a 1/ 2.3 inch CMOS sensor like its predecessor models. However, it has another strength you can use: a 2x lossless optical zoom that matches a focal length of 24 to 48 millimeters and gives you a field of view of 83 to 48 degrees. That is an absolute hammer keeping in mind that the camera is 3-axis stabilized!

The aperture cannot be set manually but it depending on the chosen focal length and varies from F/2.8 to F/3.8. The DJI Mavic zoom drone takes JPEG or DNG RAW 12 megapixel photos, which is not an upgrade from its predecessors. But DJI added a photography mode with which the drone takes up to 48 megapixels photographs which is quite unusual – unusual in a good way though. The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom records in 4k at up to 30 frames per second either in MP4 or MOV. You can choose the h.264 or the heavier, but better h.265 codec, 10 bit recording is not possible – the DJI Mavic zoom records at standard 8 bit.

Talking about bits and bytes the camera of the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom drone records with 100 megabits per second as well.

Besides the cameras the two drones are the same and from now on there won’t be any further differences.

Something else that you should know about the two new drones is that both of them have internal storage which is amazing. If you for some reason forget your microSD card at home you are not stuck – you can still keep on filming and taking photographs. Although DJI only installed 8 gigabytes that is not enough in professional drones and these two drones aim to be professional. I would have wished for minimum 32 gigabytes or even better – 64 gigabytes of internal storage – that would have been a lot better. It is a downside that it is only 8 gigabytes.

Safety Features

An absolute highlight of the new drones are their sensors. Several of them can be found on the drones bodies and they are supposed to prevent crashes from happening. They are very reliable as long as there is enough surrounding light. But where the DJI place all the sensors?

  • 2 at the front
  • 2 on both sides of the drone
  • One at the bottom
  • One at the top
  • 2 backwards facing sensors

So far it is the safest ever anti-collision system in consumer drones. DJI even installed upwards facing infrared sensors that can be useful when, for example, flying indoors close to the ceiling or outdoors underneath bridges trees or whatever other obstacles might be above a drone.

There is something that you should know about the sensors as well: they do not protect the drone 360 degrees. DJI calls the sensors omnidirectional which means that they really point to all directions that is true, but some angles is not protected, so it is not a 360 degrees protection. But for flying it is the most advanced protection so far on the market. It is really good and really reliable, I tested it so many times.

But one more thing you should know is that the side sensors of the two new drone models only work when using intelligent flight modes. In normal flight the two side sensors are deactivated and they do not work. Only the forward, the back, the top and the bottom sensors work in normal flight mode.

When it comes to the question of safety DJI drones always played in the first league. Let’s keep this short: the new drones autonomously fly back home when an emergency appears such as a signal loss on the way back home. Thanks to their sensors they even avoid obstacles automatically. The drones in real-time calculate how far they can fly away from the home point, which usually is the takeoff position, to ensure a safe flight back. Both drones for positioning use the American GPS and the Russian GLONASS satellites.

An inbuilt barometer keeps the height and both a dual IMU and a dual compass ensure that the drone remains functional in case of an in-flight hardware problem. At the bottom DJI installed the VPS: the vision positioning system sensors cameras and infrared sensors and DJI really applied some changes compared to the predecessor models. It is really nice – the system is more advanced – you can see that the drone hover is more stable than all the other drones before did.

It even works above water, which I don’t really know how they exactly do it because over water it’s very hard for the camera to do the tracking because the water is in motion. But it is really amazing! It is working super fine!

LEDs automatically turn on when landing at night when it is dark. By the way you can turn it on manually as well on the app, but the new LED is making the drone not only look super futuristic but it really makes a lot of sense because you can just super safely land. You not only have the barometer and the infrared sensors but you have the vision the camera tracking as well available during nighttime.

Battery

Every single flight battery has a capacity of 3850 fifty milliamp hours. The power is stored in four cells making the new intelligent flight batteries both more sturdy and safe under normal, not perfect circumstances. I measured an average flight time of approximately 27 minutes. Yes, the value is less than the 31 flight minutes that the manufacturer advertises. Still, the number is impressive, keeping in mind that these drones next to all their standard functions have to power up to ten energy-hungry anti-collision sensors.

After the flight it’s time to charge the batteries. It takes approximately an hour and 14 minutes to charge a drained battery from to a full 100%. Accessories like the multiple charger are available and a must for real drone pilots.

Remote Controller

A short word on the remote controller of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. It is made out of a solid material, it just looks like the predecessor models even though the color is a tiny bit different. What is really cool is that the control sticks are detachable for transportation – you can just remove them and then you can attach them again. And by the way, you can put them down in two little shaped holders so they won’t get lost during transportation.

On the remote you have a little screen, a little display that shows the most relevant flight telemetry data. What is really nice is that at the site DJI added a new button with which you can very fast, and without tapping at the smart phone, switch from the normal flight mode (P) to the sport mode (S) or to the tripod mode (T) for very slow and cinematic shots. It is very sweet that that button is installed, I really like to have it here on the side and it is very handy to have.

This remote controller is not surprisingly amazing but it does the job just fine. The drones remote controllers use the 2.4 or the 5.8 gigahertz frequency. DJI OcuSync transmission system unbeaten for a long time has finally been defeated by OcuSync 2.0. It sets new standards allowing pilots and FCC regions, saying in North America, to fly out as far as 5 miles. European pilots due to regulations that are not caused by DJI are limited to five kilometers.

So far DJI pilots received 720p signal from their drones but no more! Pilots of the new DJI Mavic 2 Pro now receive a clear and strong full HD 1080p signal and range of up to 5 miles in the States and up to 5 kilometers in Europe.

I know it sounds like I’m just cherishing the product, but in fact I have never had drones with such a strong and reliable signal. I did not have any interruptions whatsoever. I know I could have probably flown it out super far and at some point the signal whatever interrupted but it is illegal to fly out of sight in most countries. Plus that, I really don’t need it for filmmaking and photography – you usually need 2 miles of range and within that range you just want to have the very trusted and strong signal and that is exactly what these drones deliver.

Again, no range test from my side but what I can say is that the signal is incredibly strong. OcuSync 2.0 – thank you!

Inteligent Flight Modes

Both drones have a long list of intelligent flight modes installed to them:

  • Active Track
  • Point of Interest
  • Waypoints
  • Tapfly
  • Cinematic Mode
  • Tripod Mode
  • etc

Two of these flight modes have been totally redesigned and they functions so much better with the two new Mavics than with all the predecessor drones. Let’s take a closer look at these two modes!

Active Track. Whatever you’re doing the drone follows you based on camera tracking – we all know the principle. However, back in the days there were two problems: the drones could not freely fly, they often were following from behind only because they did not have enough obstacle avoidance sensors to ensure a safe flight. The two new drones solve that issue as that 360 degrees sensors keep them safe even when flying backwards or to the sides.

But DJI did even better and they completely redesigned the algorithm – it now automatically spots trackable objects or people. One click and the drone starts to follow even when the object or person that we’re following is blocked, the drone can regain and continue the tracking.

The second mode the DJI enhanced is point of interest. Do you remember what the point of interest function is good for? The drone autonomously circles objects always keeping them in the center of the frame. Back in the days initializing the mode was quite complicated as you had to hover and set a mark over the exact middle of an object and then based on GPS and GLONASS the drone would start to rotate around it. Now DJI uses the drones tracking capabilities: just select an object like in Active Track mode and then the drone analyzes the object automatically and starts the rotation. In the end you save time battery life and the drones rotate more precisely.

And now the time has come that I introduce to you a new flight mode that is installed to both new DJI drones.

Hyperlapse. Create them with ease: the drone flies capturing time and scenery like never before and the results are amazing. Just tell the drone how long to take a photo. For example, 2 seconds. Then tell it as well how long the final clip is supposed to be, for example 8 seconds. Boom! The drone calculates how long the flight is going to take and just does the job.

Conclusions

There is one more big difference between the two drones that you should check out and it is the price. The Mavic 2 Pro is $1449 and the Mavic 2 Zoom is $1249.

The question is “Which of the two drones should you buy as a photographer or videographer?” It’s pretty simple – get the Pro version with a bigger sensor. But if you are on a tough budget it’s really hard to make a decision – yes, the one-inch sensor version is bringing a lot more quality into the game but the other version just really opens up a new field of creativity being able to zoom in that just looks amazing. Personally I think for my personal projects I will use the Zoom version and maybe for high-class productions, maybe for customers I will use the one-inch sensor Mavic 2 Pro version but it is totally up to you.