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DJI Mavic Pro Review

Review of: DJI Mavic Pro
Price:
$950 - $1000

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On March 14, 2017
Last modified:May 19, 2018

Summary:

The Mavic Pro is our favorite quadcopter of all the the drones you will find on DJI.com or other brands elsewhere. For overall appeal, enjoyment and ease of use, combined with the features offered for a drone under $1000 – it is an amazing, fun and affordable quadcopter!

There are few quadcopters out there offering the reliability and features offered by the Mavic Pro in this price range. We feel it gives you the most value, dollar for dollar over any other drone.

Is it the best choice for everyone? Of course not, but we estimate that 80%+ of people wanting a versatile quadcopter, the Mavic Pro is the best choice. For Professionals the Mavic Pro is a great backup drone and easily carried into any location. It is so compact and light weight you will hardly notice it!

DJI Mavic Pro Review

Of all the quadcopters developed by DJI, none are as exciting, or selling as fast as the MAVIC PRO! DJI can’t produce these fast enough and you currently have to pre-order if you want to get one. This demand in itself say a lot about the DJI Mavic Pro.

There is so much to love about this UAV and little, if not zero, to dislike. And we are not just talking about how it looks and how small it is – this little quadcopter is a powerhouse of the latest drone and film technology.

Great Design & Quality in a Small Package!

You have to admit, the Mavic Pro is a pretty cool looking quadcopter, and its size leaves one wondering if it can do everything DJI claims. Well, let us assure you, it can and then some.

Take It Anywhere!

The Mavic Pro is about 750 grams (26 oz) and 83mm(H) x 83mm(W) x 198mm(L) or about 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 8″ – Tiny and Light Weight. It is easily carried in a Mavic Pro Carrying Case, small backpack, camera bag or in carry on luggage when traveling. This portability is an amazing feature considering what the Mavic Pro can do.

For anyone planning on filming aerial footage in remote locations, in particular the kinds of places you can only hike into, there is really no other option than the Mavic Pro. For us, and our budget, the Mavic Pro is our go to for hike in or remote shoots, and the Phantom 4 Pro if we can drive into a location and we have the extra space.

Quality You Can See & Feel

When you pickup the Mavic Pro, it is very light weight and you’ll question how they managed to pack the technology and features into the Mavic Pro and keep it so light. Nothing on the Mavic Pro feels cheap or fragile.

When you flip open the propeller arms and setup the Mavic, the motion is smooth and solid, the Mavic feels nice and tight! The propellers look a little light duty, but know one anywhere online seems to have had an issue with them. The plastic shell and arms of the Mavic Pro are an engineer grade and apparently very durable and highly resistant to fracturing.

This well designed unit is very easy and fast to setup. In fact, it will take your cell phone more time to boot up than it does to setup the Mavic. All told, you can have your Mavic pulled out of your pack and ready to fly in less than 45 seconds – perfect for capturing those once in a lifetime opportunities!

One of the things we love about the Mavic is the fact that there is no assembly required to prepare the Mavic for flight – the propellers stay on the unit all the time and arms simply fold open – it really is that easy. It will take you more time to mount your cell phone on the controller than it will to setup the Mavic Pro!

 

Premium Features of The Mavic Pro

It may surprise you to learn that the main features of the Mavic Pro are equal to the Phantom 4. In fact, it has some features not included on the Phantom 4, such as the 5 Vision sensors obstacle avoidance system.

  • 27 minutes of flight time (DJI states up to 27 minutes and 20 -22 minutes under average weather/wind conditions)
  • 4K video at 30fps
  • Obstacle avoidance using “5” Vision sensors
  • Precision stabilized 3-axis gimbal
  • HD or Full HD transmission for live streaming
  • Control/transmission range of 4.3 miles (6.9 km)
  • Maximum speed of 40 mph (65 km/h)
  • Satellite Positioning Systems  – GPS / GLONASS
  • Camera based tracking
  • Cell Phone Controller Option
  • 2nd compass redundancy backup

 

Tiny, But Amazing 4K Camera

Mavic Pro camera shoots 4K video at 30fps and no electronic image stabilization provides 100% 4K footage. It uses a miniaturized, ultra-precise 3-axis gimbal, stabilizing the camera even during high-speed motion for smooth video and sharp photos.

Impressive Specs For a Tiny 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
  • ISO Range: 100-3200 (video)100-1600 (photo)
  • Electronic Shutter Speed: 8s -1/8000s
  • Video Resolutions: Cinema 4K 24fps | UHD 30fps | 2.7K 30 fps | FULL HD 96fps | HD 120fps
  • Video Bitrate: 60 mbps
  • Image Size: 4000×3000 – JPG or DNG (RAW)

All of the above features are easily adjusted via the Mavic Pro controller/app

There are 3 primary filming modes, Tripod, Normal and Sport…

Tripod Mode: In this mode, the Mavic Pro can record exceptionally clear footage. However, top speed in this mode to retain quality footage is 2.9 mph (4.6 km/h). When filming 360 the Mavic Pro includes a rotation speed restriction to ensure footage remains clear and sharp (anyone who has filmed while rotating the camera will appreciate this feature) – for aerial footage this should be considered a must have feature!

Normal Mode: Footage is acceptable but small detail like ground cover may appear a little blurred. Objects like house and trees will be clear. The top speed for reasonably good quality footage is 33 mph (54 km/h). Of course, slowing down the unit will help increase quality of the footage.

Sport Mode: At full speed you can film in Full HD video at the maximum speed of 40 mph (65 km/h). Footage is very good but the trade off is a balance between the other 2 modes. In sport mode, depth of field is about equal for both ground cover and large objects and the result is good footage, but not crystal clear as you would see with the Tripod mode.

Mavic Pro Camera Filters: DJI offers a set of filters specifically made for the Mavic Pro. This set includes ND4, ND8 and ND16 filters. These filters reduce the amount of light coming into the sensor, giving you the freedom to create your own work by allowing more control of the camera’s aperture, exposure time and sensor sensitivity settings. ND filter help avoid overexposed photos.

The Filter Set Includes…

  • ND4 filter allows 1/4 of incoming light through, equal to a 2-stop filter.
  • ND8 filter allows 1/8 of incoming light through, equal to a 3-stop filter.
  • ND16 filter allows 1/16 of incoming light through, equal to a 4-stop filter.

 

What Intelligent Flight Modes Are Available For The Mavic Pro?

The Mavic Pro supports an impressive set of flight modes you would only expect to see on a larger quadcopter. Check them out below

  • TapFly
  • Active Track (Excellent tracking via camera, no gps, transmitters or receivers)
  • Terrain Follow mode (One of the best Mavic Pro features!)
  • Gestures
  • Course Lock
  • Home Lock
  • Point of Interest (POI)
  • Follow Me (Useless)
  • Waypoints

We will be providing more details on these soon when we add our Flight School section to the website. In the meantime, you can view our video section below for these features and more.

 

Using Your Smart Phone To Fly The Mavic Pro?

Mavic Pro Controller Adapter For Tablets

Mavic Pro Controller Adapter For Tablets

While this is an option, and a good one if you don’t have the controller with you, it is limited. For one, you don’t have the ease of joystick operation and your control range is seriously limited. The range is about 80m (262 ft) horizontally and 50m (165 ft) vertically – in real life testing it is closer to 50m (165 ft) for both horizontal and vertical range.

Realistically, flying with your cell phone is not as good as use with the controller and should be reserved as a backup should your controllers power level get depleted or you forgot a cable etc.

 

The Mavic Pro Controller

As with the Mavic Pro, the controller is small and portable. It does have a one minor limitation, you can only use a smart phone under 160mm (6.3″) long as it has to fit between the 2 fold out brackets that hold it – that was until recently and you can now buy aftermarket (third party) adapters for the Mavic Pro controller to use tablets over the size previously noted (see image).

The controller displays the power levels of the Mavic Pro and the controller at all times. It also shows how many satellites are available, flight mode and so on. A RTH (return to home) button on the top left (face) is always available should you need it. The controller also includes control for the VR Goggles available for the Mavic Pro.

Video recording and gimbal controls are conveniently locate on the top left of the controller, and photo control options on the top right. 2 additional buttons you can custom program to suit your needs are also included on the controller.

Dual Remote Controllers: The Mavic Pro allows for the use of two controllers allowing one person to fly while the other controls the camera!

 

Indoor Flight & Filming

The Mavic Pro is well suited to indoor shoots. Free from any wind or adverse weather, the Mavic is extremely stable and agile indoors. Its small size makes it a great option for indoor filming as it can easily be maneuvered around obstacles and through small spaces. It is surprisingly stable in hover mode and the 5 vision sensors work exceptionally well indoors.

 

What About Rain?

The Mavic Pro is “NOT” waterproof or sealed, but it can withstand moist fog and a small amount of rainfall should you get caught off guard. However, since it is not sealed, or made for this type of weather, you shouldn’t intentionally take it out in when it is raining – you’d be pushing your luck.

 

Only 2 Negatives With The Mavic Pro

Considering the amount of amazing features packed into the Mavic Pro, there has to be a few flaws? And there is, but they are minor.

Camera Shake: Let’s face it, the Mavic Pro is small and it is only going to provide stable footage when used in reasonably stable weather. If you are flying in windy conditions, you may, on occasion get quirky movements (shake) in your footage. Most users only report this as a seldom occurring problem. For the most part, it should never be an issue, but it is important to know the limitations of the Mavic Pro. If  weather conditions are to windy for the Mavic Pro, it may warrant to use of a larger quadcopter like the Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, or even the DJI Inspire 2 if your budget allows for it.

Dismal Follow Me Mode Via GPS: Why DJI even bothered with this one is beyond us, and a disappointment. First, it has a minimum elevation height of 10 m (about 33 ft) and uses GPS for tracking. At 10 m there is little to get excited about and footage feels way to distant, tends to wander and is constantly re-positioning to keep the target in view – terrible! Maybe if you shooting a car traveling through the countryside at 30m it might be fine, but for people or animals, at 10m it is not a useful function and just takes up hard drive space.

Fortunately the Mavic Pro has Active Track Intelligent Flight – And This Feature Will Blow You Away! It is extremely precise, will follow you through tunnels, between trees and so on. It also does not have the minimum elevation restriction of the Follow Me mode noted above

 

DJI VR Goggles For The Mavic Pro – Where Are They!

When the Mavic Pro was recently showcased at various trade shows, the VR Googles were a big part of the excitement! These offered users of the Mavic Pro, a fully immersive experience allowing you to basically sit in the cockpit (aka the camera) of the Mavic Pro – imagine flying around with the real life view only a bird is able to see!

Now the excitement has turned into anticipation and lots of questions, as know one seems to know when these goggles will be available. You won’t find them anywhere (as of the date this article was posted), we couldn’t find anything online, be it Google, Amazon and especially the DJI website – nowhere!

We have to assume there are issues with these VR Goggles. Knowing DJI, they won’t release them until they are 100% sure they are safe to use, work perfectly, and ensure safe flying for both the user and others in the area the quadcopter is to be flown.

We can’t wait to try these out as soon as they are released!

 

The Mavic Pro Is a Must Have Quadcopter!

The Mavic Pro is our favorite quadcopter of all the the drones you will find on DJI.com or other brands elsewhere. That is not saying it is our go to drone for every application, we are choosy in that respect. But for overall appeal, enjoyment and ease of use, combined with the features offered for a drone under $1000 – it is an amazing and fun machine!

It goes with us everywhere, firstly, as a backup, and secondly, for any shooting we want to do that may not be suitable for a larger drone. It is also very handy if we want to leave our base camp on foot and take it with us – just in case a good filming opportunity presents itself. With the weight and size of the Mavic Pro, you will hardly notice the extra weight, or space it takes up.

And… It is affordable! There are few quadcopters out there offering the reliability and features offered by the Mavic Pro in this price range. We feel it gives you the most value, dollar for dollar over any other drone. Except maybe the Phantom 4, but it is bulkier and intended for use different than that of the Mavic Pro.

Even if you have a larger quadcopter, we recommend buying the Mavic Pro for those times portability is critical, for travel, or remote shooting. You won’t be disappointed with the Mavic Pro!

We have covered a lot of ground here, but if you need more info or wish to purchase the Mavic Pro, check the links below for additional information on the DJI.com website

Visit Amazon.com For Mavic Pro Bundled Pricing & Deals

DJI Mavic Pro Photo Gallery

View high resolution images of the DJI Mavic Pro below.

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DJI Mavic Pro Video & Related Information Videos

 

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DJI Mavic Pro In-Depth Specifications

Aircraft

Folded H83mm x W83mm x L198mm
Diagonal Size (Propellers Excluded) 335 mm
Weight (Battery & Propellers Included) 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 Range 32° to 104° F (0° to 40° C)
Satellite Positioning Systems GPS / GLONASS
Hover Accuracy Range 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)
Electronic Shutter Speed 8s -1/8000s
Image 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: 2720×1530 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 Systems FAT32 ( ≤ 32 GB ); exFAT ( > 32 GB )
Photo JPEG, DNG
Video MP4, MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)
Supported SD Cards Micro SD™
Max capacity: 64 GB. Class 10 or UHS-1 rating required
Operating Temperature Range 32° to 104° F ( 0° to 40° C )

Gimbal

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

Vision System

Vision System Forward Vision System
Downward 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)
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)

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)

Charger

Voltage 13.05 V
Rated Power 50 W

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)
Charging Temperature Range 41° to 104° F ( 5° to 40° C )

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 7 Plus, 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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