DJI Mavic Pro
The DJI Mavic Pro is hands down my favorite drone. I’ve personally owned one now for several months, and can’t see using another drone; although the DJI Mavic Air is quite the tease. It’s not just about my opinion though, this review will break down the Pro’s, Con’s, Features, and everything else for the Mavic Pro. If you think I missed something, let me know! As always, your comments, opinions and critiques are welcomed!
DJI Mavic Pro: Full Product Review
The design of the Mavic Series was a big step up for DJI. They’ve made the DJI Mavic Pro much more sleak and compact than the previous Phantom series. The Mavic Pro is smaller than the Phantoms, but larger than the Sparks, making it the perfect size. The arms of the drone are much thinner than the previous models, giving the drone a strong and solid feel to it. The propellers and the arms fold underneath and to the side of the drone, allowing the Pro to be even more compact. One of my biggest concerns with the Phantom series was damaging the propellers or arms when travelling as they are stiff and locked in place. I haven’t had a single concern about cracking any part of the Mavic Pro.
Over the last 8 months this drone has made it’s durability overly evident. I traveled to Iceland with the Mavic Pro in a backpack, spending 8 days camping around the country. The drone was forced to fly in High Wind Advisories, Rain, Snow, and even endure quite a bit of bumping around in my backpack. The durability and design of the Mavic Pro are exactly why I can’t imagine taking any other drone on my adventures. Even though the drone was a very recent purchase, I wasn’t concerned for it’s safety as it was obvious it could overcome each challenge it faced. OK, there was one moment in a Fjord with about 40+mph winds that had me sweating, but it made it back to shore safely.
Take-Off & Landing
The Mavic Pro is quickly setting the industry standard for automation in drones. First is the automatic take-off and landing. To take-off, all the pilot needs to do is press a button on the screen and swipe to acknowledge take off. The drone will automatically take-off and hold it's position at a pre-determined height where it will then await input from the pilot. Landing is even easier than take-off, simply take the drone down towards the ground and hold the joystick down. The drone will hover near the ground for a second or two before the sensors realize you want it to land, and it will automatically land.
This feature is unreal at how well it performs. The Pro is capable of detecting and avoiding obstacles up to 49 feet in front of itself. The Mavic Pro is equipped with 2 front facing sensors that are used for obstacle avoidance. It also comes equipped with 2 sensors underneath the drone used for stability, avoidance and auto-landing/take off. Using the 4 sensors, the Mavic Pro takes pictures during flight and uses these images to create 3D maps, telling itself where obstacles are. The obstacle avoidance feature is turned on in most flight modes by default, but can be turned off if you want to fly real close to objects.
DJI drones have always been impressive with their ability to stay put while hovering, but the DJI Mavic Pro has a new sensor system known as ``FlightAutonomy``. This new sensor system allows the drone to remain completely still in air holding it's position. I was truly impressed with the Pro's ability to hover and hold it's position, especially during some strong winds in Iceland.
This feature is pretty much in every drone worth it's money now. It’s a fail-safe program that will automatically fly the drone back to it's ``home point`` in the case of a low battery or some other critical emergency. The home point can either be established by the Mavic, or set custom by the user. There is also an option to have the home point be the controller itself, which is the setting I personally use. As I know, if I am holding the remote, I can make sure the drone has a nice clear path to me. With Return Home, the pilot can also adjust the height at which the drone should fly home. I adjust mine to be taller than any obstacles around me, say 100ft or so. Now, if the drone has an emergency, it will fly up to 100ft and fly directly above me, before lowering itself safely to the ground. Personally, my goal is to never actually NEED this feature, but it’s a must have in a drone.
Rocket Mode will ascend the drone directly upward while the camera is pointing downward. Rocket mode is one that a pilot could do pretty simply manually, but it's nice to know you can focus more on the camera shot rather than the flight controls.
Dronie will fly the drone backward and upward while the camera is locked on the subject. Dronie shots make for some captivating clips that reveal the scenery around the subject. I've found it works well when I am hiking and want to show off my surroundings.
The third QuickShot mode is Circle, which will circle around the subject at a specific height. This flight mode doesn't disappoint and is another entertaining way to reveal the scenery around the subject.
Last but not least is Helix, which will fly the drone upward and spiral around the subject. Helix is similar to Circle, but rather than staying at a fixed height and distance, the drone will start close to the subject and fly further out in a spiral path rather than a complete circle.
This set of features is among my favorite for the Mavic Pro. With Active Track, the drone will automatically follow and film a subject for you. This allows the pilot to focus solely on the film itself and less about the movements of the drone. Active Track can follow objects up to about 30MPH, which is plenty fast for your mountain biking, snowboarding, running, etc. It's an awesome feature for action shots. Active Track can be used to track people, moving objects, or even your dog. It's truly a lot of fun to mess around with, and a great addition to the already feature packed Mavic Pro. If the subject moves too quickly, the drone will lose it's ability to track it. Likewise, if the subject blends in with the background, Active Track will have a hard time finding and tracking it. I highly recommend checking out this feature and using it for action / sports shots. The following definitions are straight from the DJI website.
``The aircraft tracks the subject at a constant distance. You can use the Roll stick on your remote controller or onscreen slider in DJI GO 4 to fly around your subject in a circle.``
``The aircraft tracks the subject at constant angle and distance from the side. Like Trace, you can use the Roll stick on your remote controller to fly around your subject in a circle.`` - DJI. Obstacle avoidance is included with this Active Track.
``The aircraft will not trace a subject automatically, but it keeps the camera pointing at the subject during flight. The remote controller can be used to maneuver the aircraft, but yaw will be disabled. Using the left stick and gimbal dial will adjust subject framing.``
The Mavic Pro didn't only upgrade the design of the drone, but also drastically altered the remote from the Phantom Series. Like the drone body, the remote folds up as well. The antennae's spin and lay down to be flat with the body of the controller. This is a small feature with big improvements. The Antennae's lay flat against the controller making it near impossible to snap them or crack them. Due to it's smaller size, the remote is much easier to carry around and travel with. The remote also comes with multiple different cords to plug in almost any smart device to it in order to live stream directly from the drone. The live stream from the drone can be set to either 720HD or 1080HD resolution, making it so easy to capture stunning footage. There is an option to attach an iPad or something larger if that's desired, but it's an additional purchase from a great 3rd party company. Lastly, the remote has an LCD display built into it that's constantly showing the flight metrics during your flight. This doesn't seem like it would mean much, but now the smart device hooked up to the remote can purely be used for visuals from your drone.
Lens & Camera
The Mavic Pro has a seriously awesome camera and gimbal. The gimbal is 3-axis making it shoot completely stable footage no matter how you move the drone. The Pro is capable of filming 4K resolution videos at 30FPS and 1080HD up to 96FPS. In video mode the ISO range is 100-3200 and for photographs it's 100-1600. Adjusting the ISO is extremely easy as the controller comes equipped with a wheel that spins and incrementally adjusts the ISO. The shutter speed can also be adjusted anywhere from 8s to 1/8000s. You won't be disappointed with the quality of both photos and videos; I haven't been. Lastly, the Pro fully supports Adobe DNG Raw for still shots.
I couldn’t be more pleased with the DJI Mavic Pro. It has everything I want in a drone, and some stuff I didn’t even know I wanted. If you are considering a drone, and the Mavic Pro is in your budget range, get it. From it’s battery life, compact design, durability and video quality, the Mavic Pro is impressing me across the board. The full range of automated features is excellent, and I’d highly recommend using them often. The automated flight modes offer a unique way to film yourself or your subject without having to manually fly the drone. If you are picking up the DJI Mavic Pro, or recently bought a drone – check out our Quick Tips For Better Videos!
If you have any questions or have something to add to the review, let me know! Comment below or send me a message! As always, be happy and fly safe 🙂