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Meet 2018’s Most Portable and Powerful Drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review ($1,449) and Mavic 2 Zoom Review ($1,249)

BY Alan Perlman
23 August 2018

This morning, juggernaut drone manufacturer DJI launched their latest 2018 drone models — the Mavic 2 Pro ($1,449) and Mavic 2 Zoom ($1,249).

Each model delivers (big) improvements from the first-generation Mavic Pro—like enhanced performance, camera upgrades, and more intelligent features to help you capture 4K video and HDR photos from any angle.

We signed an NDA with DJI several weeks ago and have been mucking around with a demo unit — and BOY ARE WE EXCITED about this launch.

More on our personal experience unboxing and flying the DJI Mavic 2 Pro below, but first let’s highlight some of the stand-out improvements and specs.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom Review

DJI Mavic 2 Pro Pricing and Specs

In many ways, the Mavic 2 Pro is a step up from the existing Mavic Pro, Pro Platinum, and Air models. Improvements include a more sophisticated camera system, a fully upgraded vision system, and other intelligent features.

Here’s what stands out:

  • 1-inch CMOS sensor Hasselblad camera — a much higher quality camera system that offers 20 megapixel photography with enhanced HDR and color sensitivity. You’re basically getting the camera power from the DJI Phantom 4 Pro on the smaller, more portable Mavic body. It’s the best of both worlds.
  • Longer battery life — while not a game-changing improvement in LiPo battery technology, it’s still nice to see a more efficient system (body drag reduced by 19%) with an advertised flight time of 31 minutes compared to the 27 minutes of the first-generation DJI Mavic.
  • 60% quieter flight — like we saw with the DJI Phantom 4 Pro upgrade earlier this year, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro boasts low-noise tapered (and more aerodynamic) propellers. Those, plus newer FOC ESC drivers offer improved noise control and sinusoidal current for increased stability. According to DJI, aircraft noise has been reduced by up to 4dB (60%) for quieter, more enjoyable flights.

dji mavic 2 pro propeller

  • Omnidirectional obstacle sensing — Unlike the DJI Mavic Pro, which only had sensors on the front and on the bottom of the aircraft, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro offers obstacle sensing in 5 directions (forward, backward, downward, left, right). We’ve made it to the big leagues now. All praise to our powerful drone overlords.
  • Intelligent Flight Mode upgrades — We’re getting upgraded versions of Active Track, Waypoint, and Point of Interest modes. There’s also a new Hyperlapse mode that looks REALLY fun and creative. TapFly is still there, and Tripod Mode is now Cinematic Mode.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom Hands On Review

Along the journey in creating Mavic 2, countless prototypes were made and evaluated. The result is a new drone that’s been optimized in every way. It flies longer, faster, and quieter all in the same shape as the Mavic’s iconic folding design. Like Mavic Pro, it’s almost the same size as a water bottle, letting you slip it in your backpack or camera bag to take it anywhere.

— Michael Oldenburg, Senior Communications Manager, North America at DJI

DJI has set the Mavic 2 Pro to retail for $1,449 ($450 more than the existing Mavic Pro).

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Pricing and Specs

Pound for pound, the Mavic 2 Zoom shares the same swagger we’re seeing with the Mavic 2 Pro — the same improvements in more precise and safer flight operations, a more efficient and quieter system, and oodles of intelligence and automation.

But there are two big differences:

  • A zoom camera (you probably figured that one out by now) — the 24mm – 48mm zoom lens offers 2x optical zoom and 2x digital zoom, giving photographers and filmmakers more flexibility when it comes to framing the shots.

dji mavic 2 zoom camera drone

  • QuickShot mode — we saw this Intelligent Flight Mode in the DJI Mavic Air, but it appears to have gotten an upgrade. Not only are we getting the fun and creative Dronie, Circle, Helix, Rocket, Boomerang, and Asteroid flight modes, but we’re also getting a new and sexy Dolly Zoom mode.

Like a professional photographer who pulls out a long-focus lens when they can’t get close enough to the subject, now, so does your DJI drone. We call this new drone Mavic 2 Zoom—it’s the world’s first foldable consumer drone with optical zoom. With an equivalent 24-48 mm optical zoom, plus 2x digital zoom, it gives you an effective 96 mm telephoto lens for 4K lossless zoom at full HD video resolution.

— Michael Oldenburg, Senior Communications Manager, North America at DJI

DJI has set the Mavic 2 Zoom to retail for $1,249 ($200 less than the Mavic 2 Pro).

DJI Mavic 2 Pro vs. Mavic 2 Zoom

What else differentiates the Mavic 2 Pro and the Zoom?

Both models are light, but the Mavic 2 Zoom is slightly lighter at 905 grams vs. the Mavic 2 Pro at 907 grams. Each is ideal for travel due to the quintessentially Mavic foldable design.

So what would motivate someone to choose one model over the other? What it seems to come down to is the complexity of shots the user wants to create. The Zoom’s impressive lens will add a new angle to your creative videography. And the QuickShot modes are fun to play with and great for creative types.

Both the Mavic 2 Pro and the Zoom have advanced tracking capabilities, but the Zoom takes it up a level. With Hybrid Autofocus, the Zoom improves auto focus speed by up to 40% with better accuracy.

If camera is your priority, then you might opt for the Mavic 2 Pro over the Zoom. The 2 Pro is equipped with a 1” CMOS, 20 megapixel camera co-engineered in partnership with Hasselblad, the world’s leading manufacturer of medium format cameras and lenses. The Zoom’s camera system is still professional grade however, with a 1/2.3” CMOS, 12 megapixel sensor.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro vs. DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

If choosing between the Mavic 2 Pro and the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, there are some important differences between the two to consider.

The camera sensor specs align at 1” CMOS, 20 megapixels for both, but the Mavic 2 Pro comes with increased video capabilities and color sensitivity. You get about the same amount of flight time out of each, but, with slightly increased efficiency, the Mavic 2 Pro technically runs for an extra 60 seconds. Finally, when it comes to traveling with your drone, the Mavic 2 Pro has a more favorable, lightweight build with foldable arms for portability. Take a look at the side-by-side comparison between the Mavic 2 Pro and the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 below.

Mavic 2 Pro v Phantom 4 Pro

DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review & Flight Demo

dji mavic 2 zoom demo unit

We rubbed elbows with the kind folks over at DJI and scored a demo DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. Here are some quick insights to share. We’ll be posting a more detailed video review soon.

  • The “link” (previously called the “Function”) button is hard to find — only really important when initially syncing your aircraft with the transmitter, but it wasn’t on the back of the model where I thought it would be.
  • It’s heavy — not as heavy as a Phantom or Inspire of course, but with the first-generation Mavic Pro at 734g and the Mavic Air at 430g, the Mavic Pro 2 Zoom at 905g felt noticeably heavier than the Mavic Pro.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the DJI Mavic Air (left), DJI Mavic Pro (middle) and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom (right):

dji mavic 2 vs. dji mavic pro vs. dji mavic air

  • But still portable — it still fits snuggly in my LowePro ViewPoint backpack
  • The ports have upgraded covers — a small (but very welcome) design improvement. I found that over time the covers for the SD card or micro USB ports on the side of my first-generation Mavic Pro would pop off. These new port covers swing open and shut and feel a lot more stable.
  • More sensors — not that I ever rely on obstacle avoidance when I fly, but it’s nice to see the increased number of sensors and improved Vision Positioning System.

dji mavic 2 zoom sensors

Our Prediction— The #1 Best Selling Drone in 2018

While DJI already dominates the global commercial drone market with a number of impressive models for both consumers and professionals, the company has managed to deliver two new models with never-before-seen features. With the new generation Active Track 2.0, DJI claims that these two models will track your subject better than any DJI product before.

We expect the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom to become the best-selling drones this holiday season. These two models allow you to capture creative footage from new angles, at higher speeds, and from farther distances, so you can see the bigger picture. You can pre-order the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom over here:

Want to hear what other drone pilots have to say about DJI’s latest release? Head over to our community forum to share your thoughts on the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom.

 

Alan Perlman

Founder & CEO

Alan is an FAA-certified drone pilot and founded UAV Coach in 2014 to help connect drone enthusiasts, to provide world-class sUAS industry training courses, and to help push the drone community forward with a focus on safety and commercial opportunities.

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