DJI Mavic 2 Zoom vs Mavic Pro: What are the Differences and Which Drone to Buy?

If you’re thinking about buying a DJI Mavic Pro or a DJI Mavic 2 Zoom this is the article you want to read.

Specs

Model DJI Mavic 2 Zoom DJI Mavic Pro
Size (LxWxH)
  • 8,4″ x 3,5″ x 3,3″ (folded)
  • 12,6″ x 9,5″ x 3,3″ (unfolded)
7,8″ × 3,2″ × 3,2″ (folded)
Diagonal Distance 14 inches 13,1 inches
Maximum Speed 44mph in Sport Mode 40mph in Sport mode
Ascent Speed 16.4 feet per second 16.4 feet per second
Descent Speed 9.8 feet per second 9.8 feet per second
Weight 1.99lbs 1.62lbs
Gimbal 3-axis 3-axis
Global Position Systems GPS, GLONASS GPS, GLONASS
Camera 1/2.3” CMOS 12MP; f/2.8-f/3.8, 4K video (3840×2160 24/25/30p) 1/2.3” CMOS; 12 MP; f/2.2, 4K video (4096×2160 24p)
Video Bit Rate 100Mbps 60Mbps
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
Battery LiPo 4S, 3850 mAh, 15.4 V LiPo 3S, 3830 mAh, 11.4 V
Range 5 miles 4.3 miles
Hover Time 22-25 minutes 22-24 minutes
Price $1249 (Discount on Amazon.com) $999 (Discount on Amazon.com)
Release Date August 23, 2018 October, 2016

There’s been a lot of hype recently about the Mavic 2 Zoom and the Mavic 2 Pro both of which are amazing drones. I want to be really clear about one thing: this article is not about the DJI Mavic 2 Pro at all. The Mavic 2 Pro has a highly upgraded Hasselblad camera with one inch sensor and that camera is a lot more in-line with the Phantom 4 Pro.

I’m going to compare the Mavic 2 Zoom and the original Mavic Pro both of which have very similar cameras. If you’re a hobbyist or someone who just likes to travel and take awesome video and photography then the Mavic Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom are great solutions for you so to start with I want to acknowledge that the original Mavic Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom have a lot in common but they also have a lot of differences that I want to go through.

Similarities

Let’s start with the similarities between the original Mavic Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom. First and foremost, they are both very, very portable and very, very easy to travel with. They’re so great if you’re going on a trip to be able to pack them down into a very small size and the Mavic 2 Zoom and the Mavic 2 Pro for that matter are both very similar in size to the original Mavic Pro.

The ratio of quality to portability on all the Mavics including the Mavic Air is amazing for what you pay. You’re getting a really high-quality drone! The original Mavic Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom both have a 1/2.3 inch CMOS 12 megapixel sensor for the camera. It’s a decent sensor. It’s not great in low light and I would say it’s kind of on par with or maybe a little bit better than most modern cell phones. You do get a little bit of noise when you zoom in, but overall if you have plenty of light and you’re shooting big sweeping landscapes or even people the pictures look great as long as the light is good and as long as you don’t blow the picture up too big.

They both have a really solid practical flight time of over 20 minutes. “Practical flight time” means actual flight time before you have to come and land. All the flight times they give you on the box and in the marketing materials is theoretical but both of them will fly easily for 20 minutes before you actually should come in and land them. And land them with some battery left – you don’t want to run it all the way down to zero.

They both shoot 4k, they both have a three axis gimbal for really really smooth video, they both are compatible with the DJI Goggles for that VR – kind of immersive experience and flying which i think is just amazing. They both have GPS that works really well and holds them in place when you let go of the sticks and tells you exactly where they are in the app. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and the Mavic Pro both have some obstacle sensors that help you avoid hitting things as well.

Differences

But now let’s go through the major differences. The DJI Mavic 2 zoom, of course, has the ability to zoom. The drone has an optical zoom that goes from 24 to 48 millimeters and allows you to zoom in and zoom out on subjects without any loss whatsoever. And 2x digital zoom allows you to go over 48mm up to 96mm! The original Mavic pro does not have any sort of zoom.

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom has a 4s battery versus a 3s battery on the original Mavic pro which actually gives you a slightly longer flight time on the Mavic 2 Zoom. The Mavic 2 Zoom also comes with 8 gigabytes of internal storage which means that if you forget your SD card or if your micro sd card is full you can still shoot video and photos to the internal storage and pull them off via a USB cable which is awesome.

The DJI Mavic 2 zoom has also introduced some very bright LEDs on the bottom which are great for spotting the drone in the evening and even in daylight. They are also used for precision landing when it doesn’t have a GPS lock. And in general it actually helps the drone identify where it’s going to land and make smart landing choices and land very precisely.

As I mentioned before, both drones have obstacle sensors. But the Mavic 2 Zoom has sensors on all six sides: front, back, left, right, up and down. Which is really great if you’re going to be using the quick shots, the intelligent flight modes and just generally flying around stuff to know that the drone is helping you out and helping you avoid crashing into something.

While they both use OcuSync the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom actually uses an updated version of OcuSync 2.0. It gives you a longer flight range – slightly – which shouldn’t actually be that important because you should keep line-of-sight on your drone at all times and shouldn’t be flying miles away. But it gives you that ability for one thing. Number two, OcuSync 2.0 actually gives you a stronger video signal all the time. It means that if you’re in a area congested with other transmissions, Wi-Fi and cell phones and that sort of thing it’s going to give you a stronger video signal. Also, you can actually have 1080p video downloaded directly to your mobile device as well as full res photos to your mobile device immediately, without having to pull the card out.

Finally, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom has some improvements on the intelligent flight modes as well as quick shot modes. Also, it has some quick shot modes that are not available on the Mavic Pro: that would be

  • HDR
  • super resolution
  • dolly zoom
  • hyperlapse

Let’s talk about the last big difference which is price. As of September 2018, the DJI Mavic Pro with 2 batteries is running for $879 and the DJI Mavic 2 zoom is running for $1249 on Amazon. That’s a difference of 370 bucks! So bottom line if you already own a Mavic Pro or a Mavic Pro Platinum I don’t know that it’s worth the upgrade to the Mavic 2 Zoom.

What to Buy: Mavic 2 Zoom or Mavic Pro?

The Mavic Pro and the Mavic Pro Platinum are gonna give you great video and photos for the foreseeable future and I think it’s worth holding on to your money until the next generations of drones (Phantom 5? Mavic 3 Pro?) come out rather than buying a Mavic 2 Zoom.

But if you are looking to buy your first drone or maybe upgrade from something like a DJI Spark or an old Phantom I highly recommend the Mavic 2 Zoom. It is an amazing piece of technology! I’ve been flying it now for a while and it’s now my favorite drone. It’s definitely a great drone to get into quadcopter industry at a pretty reasonable price.