A Look At The New DJI Mavic Pro Drone
The Mavic is DJI’s first compact, personal flying camera. Ultimate image quality and ultimate portability combine in one revolutionary device that will stay with you, whenever you need it to capture that sudden burst of inspiration.
Small, foldable design. Obstacle avoidance system. Sharp, distortion-free stabilized 4K video camera. 12MP Raw and JPG stills. Records in portrait or landscape mode. Compact remote control. 23-minute flight time. Strong operating range. Orbit, follow, and other intelligent flight modes.
With a sharp, stabilized, distortion-free 4K video camera, the $999 DJI Mavic Pro is much more capable than you’d expect given its size. It’s an excellent choice for pilots looking for a more portable drone. Requires a smartphone to operate.
DJI managed to not only retain the Phantom 4’s obstacle avoidance and intelligent flight capabilities, but updated them for the Mavic Pro. It can sense objects in front of it up to 49 feet (15 m) away while traveling at up to 22 mph (36 kph), while optical sensors on its belly help it fly indoors and keep it from hitting the ground even on a slope. In fact, a new Terrain Follow mode will keep it at the same height even if you head up a steep slope.
ActiveTrack, DJI’s name for its subject-tracking mode, can be used for people, animals and vehicles and will now allow the drone to follow from behind, in front or along side a subject as well as circle one. Selfie fans will appreciate the new Gesture mode, which lets you use hand motions to get the camera to focus on you and snap a photo.
The drone has a top regular speed of 24 mph (38.5 kph), but has a Sport mode which will let you take it up to 40 mph (64.8 kph). There’s a Tripod mode, too, that takes your top speed down to 2.2 mph (3.6 kph) so it’s easier to get the drone into just the right position for photos and video.
If all of that’s not enough, the Mavic Pro has a new Precision Landing system that uses the video and GPS information captured at takeoff to guide it back to land within an inch of where you launched from. So when you’ve reached the end of its 27-minute flight time, it will return right to you.
The DJI Mavic Pro will start shipping October 15 priced at $999 (about AU$1,300 and £750) with the controller or $749 by itself. You can pick it up in Apple Stores in early November. You’ll be able to tack on DJI Care Refresh for $99, which gives you accidental damage insurance for aircraft, gimbal or camera during normal use for up to 12 months, and for an additional charge will get you up to two full replacements if you total it.
When it comes to consumer drones, in my experience, smaller is better. Take a big quad like the Yuneec Typhoon H out to a public park and you’ll get more looks and questions than you do with a Parrot Bebop. The Mavic Pro seems to be the perfect solution: a quad that’s as portable and easy to fly as a Bebop, but with the performance and image quality of a larger model.