By Steve Dorst
Creative Director, Z-Channel Films, Los Angeles Google+
Wow! If you’re keen on DJI’s aerial cameras like we are at Z-Channel Films, then you’re sure to love DJI’s two new performance-driven, foldable drones: the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom.
We do a lot of aerial video production in Los Angeles and beyond. Some of our shoots require the performance of a DJI inspire with ZenMuse, but some require the small footprint of a Mavic.
Overall performance is the key word for the two new drones. Unlike the Mavic Air, which was all about being small, the new Mavic 2 drones pack a performance punch. They are also smarter, safer, faster, quieter, and capture more impressive aerial footage that will take your video production to the next level.
Let’s check out the specs. It’s all about the cameras here. Both new drones have new and improved cameras. They are the same in design and weight, and the cameras are mounted on the same three-axis motorized gimbals.
The Mavic 2 Pro (retail price: $1,449) is the world’s first drone with a Hasselblad camera. It has a large 20-megapixel 1-inch CMOS sensor (like the Phantom 4 Pro!). The variable f/2.8-f/11 aperture makes the camera more versatile for diverse lighting conditions, especially low-light situations where the first Mavic suffered.
The Mavic 2 Zoom (retail price: $1,299), alternatively, has a smaller camera sensor that’s capturing closer footage with the digital and optical zoom. Together, the Mavic 2 Zoom has an equivalent zoom focal length of 96mm. This is a game changer when you need to get closer to your subject (but whirring blades were a bit of a, how shall we say, safety hazard!)
Both drones record 4K video.
Both models have a Hyperlapse option for creating a motion timelapse video. There is also a Dolly Zoom mode: the lens zooms in on a subject and at the same time the copter goes in reverse. For you photographers out there, you’ll want to check out the new Super Resolution mode, as well, which zooms to 48mm, shoots nine photos and then sews them together to make a 48-megapixel photo.
The Mavic 2’s reported max flight time is an impressive 31 minutes. And the top speed is 44 mph. Both drones also have 8GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot if you want to expand that.
How big are they? The new Mavics are slightly larger than the original Mavic Pro, but more aerodynamic. The new electronic speed controllers and motors means they operate more quietly as well. And with 10 new sensors built into their bodies, they better detect and avoid obstacles.
The remote control is a smart update too. The cameras can stream high-quality 1080p video directly to connected smartphones and tablets from up to five miles away (way further than the Mavic Pro’s 1.2 miles range). DJI also added landing lights to help the Mavic land in low-light conditions.
In conclusion, whether you choose the Pro or the Zoom, you’ll have identical bodies and flight capabilities. Both drones are available as of today at the DJI store. If you’re a video production professional, the prices are astonishingly reasonable: The Mavic 2 Zoom is priced at $1,299 and the Mavic 2 Pro at $1,499.