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Posted on Oct 19, 2016 in Reviews | 7 comments

DJI Mavic Pro Drone Review

DJI Mavic Pro Drone Review

dji-mavic-pro-review

While bigger may sometimes be better, when it comes to drones — bigger definitely isn’t better. Smaller drones (also known as quadcopters) are more maneuverable, easier to travel with, and have longer flight timees. That’s why we are seeing a flood of high-end smaller drones like GoPro’s Karma, the Yuneec Breeze, and the DJI Mavic.

It’s hard to build a drone that’s compact and also capable of professional drone photography. We aren’t talking about mini-drones like the Hubsan X4 or the UDI U818a, basically toys that can fit in your hand… we are talking high-end quadcopters that are capable of grabbing 4K video, 20+ minutes of flight time, and autonomous flight features. Think of it like a cell phone. Once big and bulky in the earliest days of development, the race is on for the sleekest and most compact designs.

As quadcopter fans, we are lucky to find ourselves in such an awesome position that DJI, GoPro, and Yuneec were each able to make it to market this year with a compact drone of their own. So before going out to buy one of these drones, we highly recommend reading all three reviews. Each model has its own pros and cons.

So let’s get started! Now introducing… the Mavic Pro from DJI!

Update: DJI pushed shipping of the Mavic Pro to 01/15/17 due to high demand.

 

DJI Mavic Pro Drone Review

Mavic is a culmination of 10 years of technological development crammed into the smallest frame ever produced by DJI. There is no doubt about it, Mavic is a sleek and impressive quadcopter. I mean just look at the thing! It looks like a scientific gizmo you’d find in a high-tech lab. And funny enough, that’s exactly what the Mavic is.

The DJI Mavic Pro is not a toy that’s meant to be learned on and bashed around… this is a precise technical instrument meant for serious business. So if you’re looking for a drone with training wheels head over to our Hubsan 107D review for a good beginner’s drone and save yourself a cool $1000.

But if you’re looking for the top-of-the-line technical gadget, then this is your stop. The DJI Mavic Pro is the cutting edge of drone technology with all the bells and whistles, and guess what? It all fits in your pocket.

The DJI Mavic Pro clocks in at 4+ mile transmission range and 27 minutes of flight time, all giving wings to 4K video and the precision hovering technology from DJI that we have come to know and love.

DJI Mavic Pro Specs
Flight Time 27 Minutes
Camera Video: 4K (30FPS), 2.7K (90FPS
Flight Speed Up to 40 mph in Sport Mode
Range Up to 4.3mi
Features Tap Fly, Obstacle Avoidance, Active Trak, Precision Hovering
Controller DJI Transmitter or Smart Phone Compatible

 

|Click Here to Preorder the DJI Mavic Pro from Amazon |

 

Small but durable

DJI Mavic Pro Drone ReviewThat all being said, DJI is bringing you the most intelligent quadcopter for it’s size. Think of the DJI Mavic Pro as a Macbook air. You can fold that sucker into a water bottle sized box, but it’s fully capable of many of the same thing most drones two to three times it’s size. For instance, the Phantom 4 is 2x bigger in mass and 2x heavier in weight. So you can now just throw it in a backpack or gym bag. You can now forget about the large boxes filled with padding.

Fold It Up

DJI Mavic Pro Drone Review

The Mavic Pro comes equipped with two front arms that swing back and a rear limb that turns down towards the body. Even though it has the ability to essentially shape shit, it’s made with quality parts. It feels so sturdy. It takes some force to move everything around, but that’s a good thing. That’s what makes it feel so solid. Don’t let that worry you though. There is nothing crazy about getting ready for takeoff or folding it up to go home. You’ll have the ability to set it up immediately. No problem. When you hold it your hand, you pretty much forget it has the feature to fold up.

4K Video

With Mavic, you’ll be recording 4K video at 30fps or even 1080p at 96 fps. You can take 12MP still image shots in DNG Raw format and two second exposures.  It can focus up to 19 inches and capture 78.8 degree field of view.

DJI Mavic Pro Drone Review

The gimbal is well designed to provide stable video recording, but were also seriously impressed by the ability to turn 90 degrees. This allows for portrait shots. People are beginning to live stream on social media. With the Mavic, you can participate. It streams at a lower rate of 30fps, but we think it’s going to become a huge part of the internet. Especially with news.

Different from the GoPro Karma, the Mavic Pro comes has a built-in camera. The gimbal cannot be taken off. So if you’re really into photography or want to use your camera on the go as well, then maybe consider the GoPro Karma.

Features

We think it’s fair to say that a lot of people would expect a smaller drone to cut features. That’s a fair assumption to make, but DJI had other plans. It’s still equipped with some of the most important features a pilot could ask for:

  • Object tracking
  • Obstacle Avoidance
    • Sensors located in the front and on bottom
  • Automatic return to pilot
  • GeoFencing (Help stay out of restricted air zones)
  • Flight time – 27 minutes
  • Distance from drone – 4.3 miles
  • Can fly steadily in winds up to 24 mph or 39kph

The DJI Mavic Pro is priced at $999. It’s a fair price seeing as how it has all the smart features of DJI’s other models. The Phantom 4 is going for $1,199. So when you compare the two, it makes sense.

|Click Here to Preorder the DJI Mavic Pro from Amazon |

Fold-able Transmitter (controller)

DJI Mavic Pro Drone Review

You can use the app like all other DJI drones, but they also offer an optional foldable controller making it simpler and pocket friendly. It’s great to have because you’re literally always on the go. It folds open revealing a smartphone clamp while two antennas flip up on top. There is a built in screen on that displays data such as altitude and speed, but in order to fly in first person, you must connect to a smartphone.

 

AR (DJI Goggles Headset)

DJI introduced DJI Goggles headset. When wearing you can view 85- degrees of the drones sigh on a 1080p display.

DJI Mavic Pro – Specifications

 ________________________________________________________________

AIRCRAFT

Folded H83mm x W83mm x L198mm
Diagonal Size (Excluding Propellers) 335 mm
Weight (including battery and propellers) 1.62 lbs (734 g) (exclude gimbal cover)
1.64 lbs (743 g) (include gimbal cover)
Max Ascent Speed 16.4 ft/s (5 m/s) in Sport mode
Max Descent Speed 9.8 ft/s (3 m/s)
Max Speed 40 mph (65 kph) in Sport mode without wind
Max Service Ceiling Above Sea Level 16404 feet (5000 m)
Max Flight Time 27 minutes (0 wind at a consistent 15.5 mph (25 kph))
Max Hovering Time 24 minutes (0 wind)
Overall flight time 21 minutes ( In normal flight, 15% remaining battery level )
Max Flight Distance 8 mi (13 km, 0 wind)
Operating Temperature 32° to 104° F (0° to 40° C)
GPS Mode GPS / GLONASS
Hover Accuracy Vertical:
+/- 0.1 m (when Vision Positioning is active) or +/-0.5 m
Horizontal:
+/- 0.3 m (when Vision Positioning is active) or +/-1.5 m

 ________________________________________________________________

CAMERA

Sensor 1/2.3” (CMOS), Effective pixels:12.35 M (Total pixels:12.71M)
Lens FOV 78.8° 28 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.2
Distortion < 1.5% Focus from 0.5 m to ∞
ISO Range 100-3200 (video)
100-1600 (photo)
Shutter Speed 8s -1/8000s
Image Max Size 4000×3000
Still Photography Modes Single shot
Burst shooting: 3/5/7 frames
Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7 EV Bias
Interval
Video Recording Modes C4K: 4096×2160 24p
4K: 3840×2160 24/25/30p
2.7K: 2704×1520 24/25/30p
FHD: 1920×1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/96p
HD: 1280×720 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p
Max Video Bitrate 60 Mbps
Supported File Formats FAT32 ( ≤ 32 GB ); exFAT ( > 32 GB )
Photo JPEG, DNG
Video MP4, MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)
Supported SD Card Types Micro SD™
Max capacity: 64 GB. Class 10 or UHS-1 rating required
Operating Temperature 32° to 104° F ( 0° to 40° C )

 ________________________________________________________________

REMOTE CONTROLLER

Operating Frequency 2.4 GHz to 2.483 GHz
Max Transmission Distance FCC Compliant: 4.3 mi (7 km);
CE Compliant: 2.5 mi (4 km) (Unobstructed, free of interference)
Operating Temperature 32° to 104° F ( 0° to 40° C )
Battery 2970mAh
Transmitter Power (EIRP) FCC:≤26 dBm
CE:≤20 dBm
Operating Voltage 950mA @ 3.7V
Supported Mobile Device Size Thickness Supported:6.5-8.5mm
Max length: 160mm
Supported USB port types: Lightning, Micro USB(Type-B),USB(Type-C)™

 ________________________________________________________________

WI-FI

Operating Frequency 2.4G/5G
Max Transmission Distance 80m(Distance),50m(Height) (Unobstructed, free of interference)
Max Speed 14 km/h (9 mph)
Max Ascent Speed 6.6 ft/s(2 m/s)
Max Descent Speed 3.3 ft/s(1 m/s)

 ________________________________________________________________

GIMBAL

Controllable Range Pitch: -90° to +30°
Roll: 0° or 90° (Horizontally and vertically)
Stabilization 3-axis (pitch, roll, yaw)

 ________________________________________________________________

INTELLIGENT FLIGHT BATTERY

Capacity 3830 mAh
Voltage 11.4 V
Battery Type LiPo 3S
Energy 43.6 Wh
Net Weight Approx.0.5 lbs(240 g)
Operating Temperature 41° to 104° F ( 5° to 40° C )

 ________________________________________________________________

CHARGER

Voltage 13.05 V
Rated Power 50 W

 ________________________________________________________________

FORWARD VISION SYSTEM

Obstacle Sensory Range Precision measurement range: 2 ft (0.7 m) to 49 ft (15 m)
Detectable range: 49 ft (15 m) to 98 ft (30 m)
Operating Environment Surface with clear pattern and adequate lighting (lux > 15)

 ________________________________________________________________

DOWNWARD VISION SYSTEM

Velocity Range ≤22.4 mph (36 kph) at 6.6 ft (2 m) above ground
Altitude Range 1 – 43 feet (0.3 – 13 m)
Operating Range 1 – 43 feet (0.3 – 13 m)
Operating Environment Surface with clear pattern and adequate lighting (lux > 15)

 ________________________________________________________________

APP / LIVE VIEW

Mobile App DJI GO
Live View Quality 720p@30fps、1080p@30fps(Remote Controller)
720p@30fps(Wi-Fi)
720p@60fps、1080p@30fps(DJI Goggles)
Latency 160-170ms (depending on conditions and mobile device)
Required Operating Systems
  • iOS 8.0 or later
  • Android 4.1.2 or later
Recommended Devices
  • ios: iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7s, iPod touch 6, iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4, and iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular. This app is optimized for iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
  • Android: Samsung tabs 705c, Samsung S6, Samsung S5, Samsung NOTE4, Samsung NOTE3, Google Nexus 9, Google Nexus 7 II, Ascend Mate7, Huawei P8 Max, Huawei Mate 8, Nubia Z7 mini, SONY Xperia Z3, MI 3, MI PAD, Smartisan T1.

*Support for additional Android devices available as testing and development continues.

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7 Comments

  1. This is a great review! I wonder how this drone compares to the GoPro Karma though…

    • if you don’t need ultra portability the Phantom 4 is still better in my mind….the Phantom 3/4 and devices like it only supplement stationary camera’s they already have and/or bring to a film site. All the talk about portability with the Mavic- yes its slightly more portable… but .. you don’t have to lug it around.. my brother and his buddies have one.. they use it with other camera’s and they don’t lug it around.. they also pilot it 2 or 3 miles away and film the shot ! In this sense – how portable does it “really” need to be ? The Phantom 4 may also do better with higher winds because its heavier and wont be moved by slighter winds.

      So…if I don’t need extra portability ..Just how durable will the Mavic be after 9 months of folding an unfolding those arms? Even on “well made” devices things like those tend to get loose and flimsy after a few hundred fold/unfolds.. im sure it has locking mechanisms in those arms that don’t inspire great confidence in inevitable rough landings and falls from you bike ride..the Phantom looks more durable in a crash landing – unfortunately they happen. Anytime you had more moving parts those are another factor in things that can break from the wear of movement.

      Lastly, if you’re using say an iphone in the Phantom i like the idea of still seeing messages or calls come in.. since you might set it to follow mode or have it hovering.. you can take your eyes of it and reply on your phone easier.. In that sense I don’t like the controller of the Mavic.. yeah its smaller.. but its also another device to carry with my phone or tablet. They should’ve made the phone remote smaller where you could still use your phone..

      The Mavic Pro has the Pro features of the Phantom 4, but it seems more suitable to kids riding bikes. Unless you need ultra portability I wouldn’t get one yet. Most Pro’s use multiple camera’s and again you can pilot this thing miles away – so how portable does it need to be ? If you set the Phantom 4 on follow mode you don’t need to backpack it.. all you need is an extra battery for more fun..

  2. What an amazing piece of technology! Can’t wait to get my hands onto it. Would you recommend using Amazon or DJI if I want to get my Mavic delivered asap when available?

    • I have one, and it is even more amazing than I thought it would be and I’ve owned every Phantom generation from DJI. I was one of the lucky ones and got my Mavic Pro Fly More Combo on October 31st and was among the first ordered (from DJI Direct) on September 27th a few hours after it was announced. Your question is really difficult to address. Most people are still waiting who ordered a few days or so after the announcement and later, with very few exceptions. There have been lots of disgruntled buyers because DJI originally said they would start shipping October 15th. They obviously missed that–and there has been MUCH speculation as to why, but no one knows for sure and they aren’t saying. DJI also charges your credit card immediately which a lot of people seems to object to. I didn’t care because I used PayPal and you always get charged right away when you do. I personally think the best option is to order what you want from DJI, you’ll probably be lucky to get it before Christmas at this point, but you can watch the resellers, especially Apple and Best Buy, and if they get them, grab one and cancel the DJI direct. If DJI charging you is a problem, do the same with Amazon. Hope this helps and happy flying.

  3. I have one, and it is even more amazing than I thought it would be and I’ve owned every Phantom generation from DJI. I was one of the lucky ones and got my Mavic Pro Fly More Combo on October 31st and was among the first ordered (from DJI Direct) on September 27th a few hours after it was announced. Your question is really difficult to address. Most people are still waiting who ordered a few days or so after the announcement and later, with very few exceptions. There have been lots of disgruntled buyers because DJI originally said they would start shipping October 15th. They obviously missed that–and there has been MUCH speculation as to why, but no one knows for sure and they aren’t saying. DJI also charges your credit card immediately which a lot of people seems to object to. I didn’t care because I used PayPal and you always get charged right away when you do. I personally think the best option is to order what you want from DJI, you’ll probably be lucky to get it before Christmas at this point, but you can watch the resellers, especially Apple and Best Buy, and if they get them, grab one and cancel the DJI direct. If DJI charging you is a problem, do the same with Amazon. Hope this helps and happy flying.

  4. Would be good to have comparable stats on the camera’s dynamic range. If one were to be in a dark environment (such as indoors) and the drone were hovering and capturing video, how effective would the view be of the lit outdoors? Would the indoors be dark and the outdoors be proper? Vice-versa…?

    I’m specifically interested in doing real estate video and to have the ability to hover in a room and capture video of the room as well as the view outdoors would be crucial…

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