DJI is absolutely the best producer of drones, and their latest Mavic series are nearly perfect. Two new drones were introduced by DJI earlier this month: The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom.
These newly introduced drones are the most advanced consumer drones ever produced by the company at the moment.
Although these are the most powerful drones ever made, they still have similar features with the original Mavic produced by DJI in many aspects. To know how these newly produced drones differ from their predecessor, as well as the differences between the two drones, we carried out a rigorous flight test on both drones for a week. Continue reading to know how it went.
Standard Features and Specs
Before going deep into this review on DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom, it’s important you to know that both the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom have the same specs, and the only difference between them is the cameras they carry. Therefore, anytime we are talking about a feature that is not related to the cameras, it’s okay to assume that the feature in discussion is present both in DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom.
What’s New Comparing to Mavic Pro
To be completely honest, there is no significant or major improvement in the latest Mavic 2 series from the original Mavic Pro regarding the raw flight specs. The flight difference between the latest series and its predecessor is that they can stay in the air a few minutes longer (31 minutes instead of 29) and they can go a few miles per hour faster (44 miles per hour instead of 40).
The software that comes with the Mavic 2 Pro & Zoom, cameras and the sensors form the most significant difference between the Mavic 2 series and the original Mavic Pro.
Active Track 2.0
Speaking of software, the latest Mavic comes with a new Active Track 2.0 created by DJI, allowing the drone to follow objects in motion autonomously and also with greater precision than the previous models.
In addition, both the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom come with OcuSync 2.0, which is the latest version of video transmission technology produced by the company. It allows the users see what the drone captures in real time –in FullHD.
The latest Mavic series drones are also equipped with an improved sensor (a better environmental sensory system). The original Mavic Pro could only sense obstacles/objects ahead of it, while the Mavic Air could sense object down and behind. However, the latest Mavic 2 series comes with an omnidirectional obstacle detection and avoidance systems; this is possible because the drones are equipped with 10 sensors placed in the drone’s front, back, top, bottom, right and left.
Another improvement is that the Mavic 2 boasts one of two new cameras.
- DJI Mavic 2 Pro comes equipped with an integrated Hasselblad camera with a 1-inch CMOS sensor and aperture that can be easily adjusted.
- DJI Mavic 2 Zoom comes with a smaller sensor, about 1/2.3-inch and it also has the power to zoom from 24mm to 48mm.
We will talk more about the cameras later.
Putting all things into consideration, the latest Mavic series is more of an evolution than revolution – that’s a nice thing in this case. It looks like DJI maintained all the features that functioned well in previous drones and only developed areas that welcomed improvement. Kudos to them on that. The original Mavic model has several nice features that required no improvements or adjustments, and we appreciate the fact that DJI had no plan in fixing what wasn’t faulty.
Build Quality and Durability
Talking about the design and build quality of the newly introduced drones, I must say they are strong and well-built, just like the original Mavic Pro, which is one of the sturdiest and well-built drones I have ever flown.
There is no much difference regarding form. The Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom feel and look similar to the original Mavic Pro, except for some minor changes. Not only are the newly introduced drones slightly larger and heavier than the original Mavic Pro, but they also have more sensors attached to their body – that’s the only difference between these latest drones and its older siblings.
Another good thing about the new series is that it still maintained the awesome folding-arm design as well as the rock-solid construction as seen in the original series. Although we did not run a crash test, we are so confident that the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom can survive obstacles (like branches, bushes) it comes in contact with just like the original Mavic Pro – so you can fly with confidence, you have nothing to be scared of when flying.
Battery Life and Recharge Time
According to the manufacturer, the latest Mavic 2 can hover in optimal conditions for good 29 minutes, thanks to the drone’s aerodynamic design; it can stay in the air for a maximum of 31 minutes if flown at a constant 7miles/hour (25kph). Normally, these statistics were achieved in conditions you may not experience in the real world. So we did our own endurance test for both drones to get a better stat on the latest Mavic 2 series.
Our Own Hover Duration Test
The first test we carried was a static hover test. We allowed both drones hover in the air till they used their batteries completely and landed themselves automatically. We performed two hover tests that lasted an average of 28 minutes 24 seconds – almost the same as the 29 minutes the manufacturers boasted of.
Our Own Flight Duration Test
After that, we did another test to know how the Pro and Zoom last during normal flights. The flight times were recorded from every other flight test we carried out, and we averaged the result. We performed about 16 different flights, starting from when the batteries were fully charged until they drained out and landed automatically, both the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom had an average flight time of 28 minutes and 34 seconds. This differs from the maximum 31 minutes claimed by DJI – although we recorded some flight that lasted for 30 minutes. Also recharging the battery from zero till it is completely charged will take about 45 to 50 minutes – slightly faster than its older siblings.
Piloting, Control, and Autonomy
Controlling the Mavic 2 in the air is almost the same as controlling it predecessors, it has the same athletic, tight and responsive feeling. You will not have any problem flying either the Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom if you have flow a DJI drone before. And you will still find it easy fluting these drones even if it’s your first time flying a drone produced by DJI. Drones produced by DJI are incredibly reliable and have high-quality flight software, so expect these drones to fly only in the direction you control them to go – no slippery controls, no drifting, no wandering. DJI drones, as well as their elder siblings, are perfectly fit to fly in the sky.
Even More Confidence. Even Less Stress.
You should expect more in the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom drones besides the stellar manual controls. You can fly these drones with more confidence and efficacy than ever, all thanks to its omnidirectional obstacle avoidance system. The system will alert you if the drone is heading towards an obstacle. And if you choose to ignore and continue flying, it activates an auto-break function that prevents the drone from crashing. This function only works from the front, back, top and bottom.
Unluckily, the only time the sensors on the right and left side are active is when the drone is in Active Track mode and it if flying automatically.
Nevertheless, flying either the Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom is safe and reliable even when the sensors on the sides are disabled in manual flights. To crash these drones, you really have to go out of your way – this type of flight confidence is what will help you in getting better video coverage or footage.
Camera and Accessories
As stated earlier, the only difference between the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom is the camera. The Mavic 2 Pro comes with a Hasselblad camera with a CMOS 1-inch big sensor, while the Zoom comes with a smaller sensor of 1/2.3-inch and an optical zoom lens of 24-48mm. However, the Mavic 2 Pro’s cam is better than the Mavic 2 Zoom.
The large sensor in the M2P gives the drone a better dynamic range, better resolution and better performance in low-light. The adjustable aperture is another new addition to the Mavic 2 Pro that gives you control over the amount of light that enters the camera, as well as control over the depth of field. Casual users will be okay with the automatic setting, but videographers and photographers will really enjoy this feature because it gives them more control over images.
Dlog for Cinematic Footage
The Mavic 2 Pro also features a Dlog M 10-bit color recording, which allows it to record over a billion discrete colors. The Mavic 2 Zoom is about 16 million pale when comparing it with the Mavis 2 Pro. Well, you will enjoy this feature more if you are a professional photographer or filmmaker – you will notice the difference between both cameras even if you are not a professional. Unluckily for the Mavic 2 Pro, it lacks the zoom feature, and that is where the Mavic 2 Zoom comes in.
Having Fun With Zoom
The Mavic 2 Zoom features a 2x digital zoom and 2x optical zoom (24-48mm); this means the camera is capable of stimulating a 96mm telephoto lens that captures lossless footage in 1080p. While testing the drones, we discovered that this zoom feature is really fun and amazing to have on a drone. The zoom feature allows you get closer without flying closer to the subject and also gives you access to several great creative effects.
For instance, if you are shooting at 48mm and orbit yourself while standing on high ground, the camera will compress the perspective a little and also make the background look like it is moving at super speed. The camera also allows you to zoom in and out during flights to create the Dolly Zoom effect popularized by Alfred Hitchcock, giving your videos a nice look. The Mavis 2 Zoom offers you a greater degree of creative freedom; the zoom feature can easily make you forget that it has a smaller sensor.
Modular System Suggestion
Lastly on cameras, the cameras on the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are excellent and amazing; this makes selecting just one drone a difficult task. The only fault we found in the drones is that DJI should have provided a modular camera system for the Mavic 2, instead of forcing the users to choose between the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom. DJI can equip its drones with suitable cameras, as seen in the Inspire 2. We can’t really tell why it failed to do so with the latest Mavis series.
If you want a portable drone with a great camera, then you should consider getting the Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom. Finding a better camera (compact UAV) with similar features may be a difficult task, especially if you are checking on drones provided by other manufacturers (not DJI). You will only find the latest Mavic competitors in other drones produced by DJI.
DJI Inspire 2 is a better choice if your main aim is to capture great footage; this drone can carry a more powerful camera, but it is larger, more expensive and not that portable. It is also equipped with a camera swapping system, which gives you access to upgrade your shooter without purchasing a new drone. But that’s where DJI draws the line between top-notch consumer drones and filmmakers who make a living on video production.
However, if your budget is tight and you don’t need obstacle avoidance or high-quality video performance as seen in the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom, then you can go for the Mavic Air or original Mavis Pro. Both the Mavic Pro and Air are much affordable, and they can still shoot 4k videos and dodge obstacles automatically. But, they are not that strong as the latest Mavis 2 in those regards.
Lastly, if you are fascinated by the creative features offered by the Mavis 2 Zoom, but you are not ready to pay $1,249 for it, you can go for the Parrot’s Anafi drone, it cost just $700, and it has similar zoon function, but it is not that reliable or autonomous during flights. Nevertheless, this drone also gives room for more creativity with its unique 180-degree gimbal.
How Long Will It Last?
We have no doubts that these drones will last you for years as long as you use them the right way. The company still provides software support for drones produced about five years ago, so we are certain that both the Mavis 2 Pro and Zoom will receive firmware updates as well as bug fixes for years to come. If you have a Mavic Pro you won’t get much gain with Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom: selling an old Mavic for half price and buying a new one will cost a pretty penny.
Should You Buy It?
As long as you can afford it, get yourself one. The Mavis 2 Pro and Zoom are currently the best drones you can buy on the planet. The only problem will be deciding on which to buy. But that should not be a problem after reading this review. Both drones have the same specs but different cameras. Thus, make your choice according to your preference. You can get any of these drones on Amazon. The Mavis 2 Pro cost about $1,449 and the Mavis 2 Zoom cost $1,249.