DJI Mavic 2 Pro vs DJI Phantom 4 Pro: Camera and Image Quality Comparison

Today we’re gonna be comparing the all-new DJI Mavic 2 Pro to my current drone the DJI Phantom 4 Pro to help you decide which series you should invest in. The reason we’re comparing my Mavic 2 Pro to the Phantom instead of the Mavic 2 Pro to the other Mavic 2 series is because this Mavic 2 Pro would be all the other Mavics in pretty much every category.

General Specs

Model DJI Mavic 2 Pro DJI Phantom 4 Pro
Dimensions (LxWxH, unfolded) 12,6″ x 9,5″ x 3,3″ 15″ x 11.4″ x 7.7″
Dimensions (LxWxH, folded) 8,4″ x 3,5″ x 3,3″
Diagonal Distance 14 inches 13 inches
Maximum Speed 44mph in Sport Mode 45 mph in Sport mode
Ascent Speed 16.4 feet per second 19.6 feet per second
Descent Speed 9.8 feet per second 13 feet per second
Weight 1.99lbs 13lbs
Gimbal 3-axis 3-axis
Global Position Systems GPS, GLONASS GPS, GLONASS
Camera 1″ CMOS Hasselblad 20MP; f/2.8-f/11, 4K video (3840×2160 24/25/30p) 1″ CMOS 20MP; f/2.8-f/11, C4K video (4096×2160 24/25/30/48/50p)
Video Bit Rate 100Mbps 100Mbps
Live Feed 1080@30fps 720@30fps
Internal Storage 8 gigabytes none
Supported SD cards Micro SD up to 128gb, UHS-I Speed Grade 3 Micro SD up to 128gb, Class 10 or UHS-1 rating required
Battery LiPo 4S, 3850 mAh, 15.4 V LiPo 4S, 5870 mAh, 15.2 V
Range 5 miles 5 miles
Hover Time around 30 minutes around 30 minutes
Price $1449 (Discount on Amazon.com) $1299 (Discount on Amazon.com)

General Comparison

The reason I prefer the Mavic 2 Pro over the Mavic 2 Zoom is because it has the much larger sensor size and overall better image quality. Quick note: DJI does not pay me to make any of these comparisons I purchased both of these drones with my own money so there’s no bias, just giving you my honest thoughts. Let’s go ahead and dive right into the comparison!

First off is the price. Like I mentioned, these are pretty close in price: the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is slightly less expensive than the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, but I have the Phantom that comes with the built-in screen which makes it about 300 dollars more expensive. So Mavic wins on price.

Next up is weight and size. The Mavic 2 weights at 2 pounds and the Phantom at 3 pounds. They both have about the same footprint but the Mavic is about 2 times shorter. So Mavic 2 Pro wins being more portable as it can be folded up and fit in a smaller bag than the Phantom 4 which makes it much more travel friendly.

And speaking of travel friendly, which one has a faster set-up time? I actually tested out both from taking them out of the bag and getting them up into the air flying. Results are the next: the DJI Mavic 2 Pro took 1 minute and 13 seconds and the Phantom 4 Pro took 1 minute and 10 seconds. This was subject to my speed so I’m not going to declare a winner because I didn’t feel like either was quicker than the other, both are very quick to get set up and in the air.

Next question I got was difference in focal length. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro has a focal length of 24 millimeter whereas the Mavic is slightly tighter at 28 millimeter so they’re just different. Plus the Mavic 2 Pro also has a setting called 4K HQ which gives you an even tighter focal length around 40 millimeter. So no winner necessarily just differences in focal lengths.

Both drones claim to go 45 miles per hour so no advantage either way. The Mavic has a slight advantage here claiming 5 miles control range whereas the Phantom claims only 4.3 miles.

Next is obstacle avoidance. After testing both drones out they both seemed to do a great job of avoiding obstacles. However, the Mavic 2 Pro seemed to have a little bit better and newer tech. I could catch the Phantom with my hand but the Mavic wouldn’t allow me to because it was sensing my arm so I’d give a slight advantage to the Mavic 2 Pro. But they both do a great job. Keep in mind, though I have crashed my Phantom 4 Pro into several trees on several occasions so don’t depend on these sensors because they aren’t perfect.

Next my test is wind resistance. They’re both rated at 23 miles per hour wind resistance so as far as being able to function in the wind they both do a great job but because the Mavic 2 Pro is a little bit lighter it does get thrown around a little bit more in the wind, especially while doing slow-moving shots like a Hyperlapse. So I have to give a slight advantage to the Phantom 4 Pro, but not much.

Next test is tracking features. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro has the new Active Track 2.0 versus version one on the Phantom. It has improved its tracking ability. I was super impressed with the active track 2.0 as it kept me perfectly in the center of the frame and did a 360 around me while I just held down the joystick to the side. The Mavic 2 also has three different modes an Active Track: trace mode, profile mode and spotlight mode. Spotlight being my favorite as I can keep the subject in the center of the frame while moving the drone freely which allows for some awesome parallax movements. So Mavic wins here with the newer active track system.

Next question I got was “Is the 120 frame per second quality usable?”. After trying both of them out I would say that neither are very good. I wouldn’t recommend shooting at 1080p on either of these drones it’s just really soft. So use it unless you absolutely need that frames per second. I’d recommend sticking to 4K.

Ease of use and learning curve. They both seemed about the same as far as taking it out of the box and figuring out how to get it up in the air. They are both going to take a lot of practice to get smooth buttery shots and to learn how to control some movements. But they are both very beginner friendly and anyone could pick it up and operate one decently within a short period of time. I will give he Mavic a slight advantage here though, because it does have those better tracking abilities which are great features for beginners to use if they don’t feel comfortable yet getting precise shots with manual controls.

Next comparison is the controller functionality. Have to give this one to the Phantom 4 Pro because I like having the built-in screen better than having to use my phone with the Mavic 2 Pro 2 controller. I just think it’s a hassle plus it drains your phone battery super fast. For example, once when we were shooting one scenery and I had about 60% battery left on my iPhone and after about three hours of shooting it was dead so that was a big inconvenience to me.

Next test is build quality and durability. Overall the DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone feels stronger and less like a toy. Like I’ve mentioned, I’ve crashed my Phantom for a few times and he’s still going strong. I’m not gonna crash the Mavic 2 Pro to test it but I’m sure it would also hold up to some normal wear and tear. They’re both very well-built although the Phantom just feels a little more rugged as it should be since it is a pound heavier.

Next test was the propeller noise levels. I tested out the decibel levels of both drones standing just a few feet away and the Mavic 2 clocked in around 70db and the Phantom Pro about 80bd. Neither of them are discreet by any means and will definitely make a scene wherever you fly your drone so don’t be fool thinking that it’s super quiet, it’s just a little quieter.

Internal storage. The Mavic 2 Pro comes with 8 gigabytes of internal storage which is awesome for those moments when you forget to take your SD card out of your computer which I have done on many occasions whereas the Phantom 4 has no internal storage. The Mavic 2 wins there.

Hyperlapse features. This is another thing that the Phantom 4 Pro does not have that is new in the Mavic 2 Pro that I actually think is pretty cool and I could see myself using a lot. However I did notice, that unless there’s no wind it is shakier than I thought it would be so I don’t think you could use this feature unless you had ideal weather conditions. Just be aware of that.

Sample Images

Ever since the DJI Mavic 2 Pro released with this Hasselblad 1 inch sensor I’ve wanted to put it to the test against the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. So now I did it and here you have it!

Here are the screenshots of the footage I’ve shot yesterday. Auto-balance on all shots are set to auto:

It is hard to say which one of those two cameras is my favorite. The first thing that stood out to me right off of the bat is that the DJI Mavic 2 Pro’s camera is a little bit warmer whereas the Phantom 4 Pro’s camera leans towards the colder side.

I’ve been shooting with the Phantom 4 Pro for the past two years. I know my way around the camera, how to color grade the different videos and how to color grade the photos that I take so that’s not a problem. Also you can just change the white balance – I was shooting in automatic camera settings. Sometimes I shot the manual just to tweak the exposure value a little bit but the white balance was auto across-the-board.

I think that the Mavic 2 Pro showed colors that were a little bit more realistic. When I was there and I was looking at the skyline myself I feel like what I saw was through the Mavic 2 Pro was feeling a little bit more natural.

Camera Specs and Comparison

Spec Mavic 2 Pro Camera Phantom 4 Pro Camera
Sensor Size 1″ CMOS Hasselblad 1″ CMOS made by DJI
Lens 28mm lens 8.8 mm/24 mm
FOV (field-of-view) 77° 84°
Aperture f/2.8–f/11 (adjustable) f/2.8–f/11 (adjustable)
Number of Megapixels 20 megapixels 20 megapixels
Image Size 5472×3648 5472×3648
Shutter Speed 8–1/8000s 8s -1/8000 s
Shutter Electronic Mechanical
ISO in Photo mode
  • 100-3200 (auto)
  • 100-12800 (manual)
  • 100-3200 (auto)
  • 100-12800 (manual)
Color Depth 10-bit Dlog-M, HDR video (HLG 10bit) 8-bit
Still Photography Modes
  • Single shot
  • Burst shooting: 3/5 frames
  • Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7 EV Bias
  • Interval (JPEG: 2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60s RAW:5/7/10/15/20/30/60s)
  • Single Shot
  • Burst Shooting: 3/5/7/10/14 frames
  • Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7
  • EV Bias
  • Interval: 2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s
Photo File Formats JPEG, DNG (RAW) JPEG, DNG (RAW), JPEG + DNG
Video Resolution
  • 4K: 3840×2160 24/25/30p
  • 2.7K: 2688×1512 24/25/30/48/50/60p
  • Full HD: 1920×1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p
H.265:

  • C4K:4096×2160 24/25/30p @100Mbps
  • 4K:3840×2160 24/25/30p @100Mbps
  • 2.7K:2720×1530 24/25/30p @65Mbps
  • 2.7K:2720×1530 48/50/60p @80Mbps
  • FHD:1920×1080 24/25/30p @50Mbps
  • FHD:1920×1080 48/50/60p @65Mbps
  • FHD:1920×1080 120p @100Mbps
  • HD:1280×720 24/25/30p @25Mbps
  • HD:1280×720 48/50/60p @35Mbps
  • HD:1280×720 120p @60Mbps

H.264:

  • C4K:4096×2160 24/25/30/48/50/60p @100Mbps
  • 4K:3840×2160 24/25/30/48/50/60p @100Mbps
  • 2.7K:2720×1530 24/25/30p @80Mbps
  • 2.7K:2720×1530 48/50/60p @100Mbps
  • FHD:1920×1080 24/25/30p @60Mbps
  • FHD:1920×1080 48/50/60 @80Mbps
  • FHD:1920×1080 120p @100Mbps
  • HD:1280×720 24/25/30p @30Mbps
  • HD:1280×720 48/50/60p @45Mbps
  • HD:1280×720 120p @80Mbps
ISO in Video mode 100-6400 100-6400 (Manual)
Max Video Bit Rate 100Mbps 100Mbps
Video File Formats MP4 / MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, HEVC/H.265) MP4, MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)
Supported File System
  • FAT32 (≤ 32 GB)
  • exFAT (> 32 GB)
  • FAT32 (≤ 32 GB)
  • exFAT (> 32 GB)

Two cameras are so similar! They each have a one-inch sensor that can shoot 20 megapixel photos and each has a max bitrate of 100 megabits per second. Each of these drones also has an adjustable aperture from f/2.8 to f/11.

They both shoot a 4K but the Mavic 2 Pro only does 4K up to 30 frames per second whereas the Phantom 4 Pro drone can do 4K up to 60 frames per second. So the Phantom is a clear winner here. I wouldn’t say this is a deal-breaker though unless you shoot a lot of slow-mo because I find that when I shoot at 60 frames I usually end up speeding it back up in post anyway because drone shots already look pretty slow.

The Phantom can also shoot cinema 4k videos so the maximum video resolution is 4096 by 2160 opposed to standard 4k on the Mavic 2 Pro at 3840 by 2160. I tend to shoot video in Cinema 4K most often with the Phantom 4 Pro so it really sucks to not see it on the Mavic 2.

Next comparison is color depth. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro has 10-bit color versus 8-bit color on the Phantom 4 Pro so Mavic wins here giving you a lot more color information to work with. This really makes a difference when shooting in D-log. I’ve never used the D-log on my Phantom 4 Pro because when you apply a heavy color grade to the image it would just fall apart giving you lots of noise and artifacting. But images shot with the Mavic hold up much better to the same heavy color grades and reproduces overall better colors. So the Mavic wins here having much better color grade ability in D-log plus it has a new HDR profile that the Phantom doesn’t have.

The Phantom 4 Pro’s camera has a mechanical shutter opposed to the Mavic 2 Pro’s electronic shutter. Having a mechanical shutter helps a lot when taking photos.

Next question is which one has better straight out of camera colors. This questions is for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time color grading and they just want great color straight out of camera. When you shoot in the normal color mode on each I’d have to say that I do like the Phantom 4 Pro colors a little bit better. The color seemed a little bit richer overall and the Mavic’s Hasselblad sensor seemed to give an overall warmer tone. When tested I had both of these cameras set manually to 5600 Kelvin which should make your whites look white in daylight yet the Mavic’s shots were looking a little warm. So just be aware that you’ll have to bring your temperature down a little more on the Mavic. So personally I think the colors look a little more accurate on the Phantom in normal color mode but that’s more of an opinion to me. They both have great straight out of camera colors.

Mavic 2 Pro shot vs Phantom 4 Pro shots

Next test was the low-light performance I pushed both drones to 1600 ISO and the Phantom 4 Pro shows slightly less noise than the Mavic 2 Pro. The Phantom can actually go all the way up to 6400 ISO however as you can see down below when the Phantom is at 6400 ISO it’s really not usable. So 1600 is about as far as I go. Overall for image quality “Which one is better?” questions the answer would be “They’re just different.”. Each have advantages over the other and it just depends on which features are most important to you. I’m sure you’ll be happy with either one – both do great work on video and photo.

Mavic 2 Pro 1600 ISO vs Phantom 4 Pro 1600 ISO

Conclusion

If I didn’t own either drone I’d have to say overall the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the better choice. It’s slightly cheaper (for me), it’s smaller, it’s quieter, it’s got that 10-bit color for better great ability and it’s just newer tech. It’s got some great new features.

But what if you already own one of the other Mavics like the DJI Mavic 1 Pro or Mavic Air? Is it worth upgrading to the Mavic 2 Pro? If you’re looking for a more professional image quality I’d say absolutely, yes! The difference of this one inch sensor and the 10-bit color makes is enough on its own to upgrade in my opinion.

But what if you already own the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, is that worth side-grading to the Mavic 2 Pro? I don’t think so on this one. I don’t think there’s enough difference between these two, as far as image quality goes and features, for me to encourage somebody to buy a whole new drone. Unless you just absolutely need the 10 bit color or the better portability, of course. Otherwise Phantom 4 Pro owners I’d say just wait for the Phantom 5 to come out – I’m sure it’s gonna be a big upgrade over both of these.