DJI Mavic 2 review – Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom

The DJI Mavic 2 has just been released and Peppertype has now spent time with both the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom. In this blog, they will be reviewing the new Mavic 2’s, which is divided up into sections based on the key features that have been added.

The new DJI Mavic 2 Pro and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom are the latest DJI drones to be released. The Mavic 2s are not just new versions of the original Mavic Pro, but are a whole new ball game and are arguably the best drones available today. From new features like OcuSync 2.0 and FlightAutonomy 2.0 to upgrades to the cameras from the original Mavic Pro, these drones are a must-have for any serious drone enthusiast.

The Mavic Pro was a truly revolutionary idea when it was first introduced into the drone market. It has since been dethroned by the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom, which may not be as revolutionary as the first but carries the same spirit of innovation and creativity.

The DJI Mavic 2 was just announced and it is the most powerful drone DJI has ever made. But which drone should you buy? The drone industry is filled with all kinds of confusing terms and features that don’t mean much to the average person. Just because a drone has 4K, or a gimbal, or can fly for 50 minutes doesn’t mean you should buy it. This article will help you learn about the different features of the Mavic 2 and what matters, and what doesn’t when you are looking for a drone.

Overview

Released in August 2018, the DJI Mavic 2 series of folding quadcopters was seen as nothing more than an updated version to its predecessor, the ever-popular DJI Mavic Pro. Even if they look nearly identical on the outside, there are significant changes when looking at them from within – making for what some would call a whole new category of drones – compact and foldable professional drones.

The Mavic 2 series can’t compare to the Inspire 2 when it comes down to flight time, but it still has its merits. Those who are considering purchasing a Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 may want to seriously consider investing in a Mavic 2 Pro instead – after all, it might offer what they need more than the other model does; so why not give it a shot?

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

What I am observing is a minor adjustment to its original design. The drone still folds in the same way and has a similar form factor; it’s just bigger than before. Sure, it may be slightly heavier, but thanks to its removable joystick controllers on the remote – you can bring it anywhere you want without so much hassle.

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

The battery is also a new design. It stands taller and has the connector on the backside, unlike the original Mavic Pro’s design of being on the front of the device. This newer version offers just about exactly what was offered in terms of its lithium-ion polymer content – but will not be able to work across different drone generations due to its different connectors. However, if you are looking for an option that can work across different drones within this generation, then consider either purchasing the Mavic 2 Pro or Mavic 2 Zoom versions for their respective batteries.

While they may look like any other drone when flown, the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom are actually folding quadcopters. It’s possible to fold the propeller arms so they lay flat against the body of the drone, neatly tucked away. For easy transportation and storage, it also folds its own propellers away too – those same efficient props found on the Mavic Pro Platinum Edition.

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

Cameras hung from 3-axis stabilized gimbals built into the frame at different angles so you can always keep an eye on the horizon. With just a few clicks, it was easy to change the angle of sight to straight down or 30 degrees up. In addition, there are also physical buttons that control rotation, and custom software options that could be accessed with ease after only using it once or twice.

In the larger sense, DJI has put much time and energy into developing stabilized cameras. Most of their drones offer industry-leading stabilization for video footage. Drone enthusiasts claim that stabilization for video is one of the most vital qualities in a drone; due to this sentiment, DJI still remains at the forefront of the drone market.

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

The Mavic Pro 2 series has a new style of gimbal for DJI, which offers several levels of dampening and motorized control to produce some of the smoothest videos we’ve captured from the sky. It doesn’t matter if it’s lucky footage or not – its seriously impressive how stable this drone remains when flying through winds in speeds up to 7 mph despite its size.

Safety was not one of DJI’s lower priorities when designing the Mavic 2 series. It may not be the first to create technology for avoiding obstacles and it may only be activated in certain modes, but it is still there. This model also has an illuminated landing gear which allows users to safely land at night without much trouble. Of course, this falls under what America considers acceptable hours or anything past sunset according to its Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

When a collision occurs and the Motor Overload Identification system senses an impending danger, all of the propellers will stop in a matter of seconds. In our testing, it was confirmed that your fingers would still be sore after coming into contact with spinning propellers; however, we discovered that the motors will stop before causing any damage to you or themselves. When one motor is overloading, there will be sufficient resistance when attempting to take off which allows for all propellers to shut down in a matter of seconds.

Even though it is nearly the same size and shape as its predecessor, the Mavic Pro Platinum controller still has plenty of new features. There are folding arms to hold your mobile device; similar to those on the Mavic Air. The foldable antennas now extend from the back rather than sticking out of the top of this controller. And there is an LCD screen that displays vital flight data when you don’t want to glance over at your phone for every little detail- just like it does for DJI’s latest drone!

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

This version of the remote has a 3-stage button on the right side. You can toggle through Flight Modes; Sport, for going up to 45mph, Tripod Mode for super slow and safe flight, or P-Mode which keeps things simple with GPS-enabled navigation paired with obstacle avoidance sensors turned on by default.

What’s new?

December 2018: DJI launched the new Mavic 2 Enterprise line. Using the same base frame as before, they improved some internals and added accessories to make a solid search and rescue drone. A few weeks later they also released the dual camera version of this new Enterprise drone, giving you an infrared camera for all your inspection needs. Those looking for an even larger enterprise-ready drone can check out DJI’s other offerings – like the Matrice 200 series that allows a much bigger drone to fly up high – but these new Mavic 2 Enterprises are far more portable than their predecessors.

January 2019: With the release of its newest DJI Mavic Smart Controller for most OcuSync drones, users can now fly their Quadcopter without having to use an iPhone or Android phone. Not only does this controller feature a built-in screen displaying all the necessary functions, but it also has fewer buttons than the previous model which users will inevitably love or hate at first sight due to its simplicity. Yet regardless of what people think about these changes, one thing’s for sure – they’re getting the best remote available with this latest release.

Summer 2020: Your DJI Mavic 2 drones will soon be receiving new firmware that improves range. After the successful launch of the DJI Mavic Air Pro proved how the OcuSync 2.0 feature can work at distances greater than ever before, the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom models are now capable of connecting up to 10 KM or about 6.2 miles as well.

April 2021: DJI’s new model, the Air 2S, features a camera that is just as large as its competitors- the Mavic Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom. For one-tenth of their price, the Air 2s come with updates for nearly all of its camera modes- including Ocusync 3.0 at 12 KM range or about 7.5 miles– making them perfect for enthusiasts who want a drone without breaking the bank. They’re also smaller so easier to carry around in case someone steals it from you (unlikely) or damages it through no fault of your own (much less likely).

Performance

In the air, there are many similarities to the original Mavic Pro – yet the new Mavic 2 series offers an entertaining and engaging flight experience.

A lot of people might initially underestimate how quickly these Mavic 2 drones can fly. Even though the original Mavic Pro and Air hover around 38 miles per hour, they seem sluggish next to the impressive 33-35 miles per hour for the upgraded version; but when it comes to filming with stability, it really does make a difference. The old models only go about 18 mph max, which is significantly slower than what we experienced with this model–over 30 mph!–and so we realized how much faster one could shoot video without having to worry about camera shakes or movement thanks to this new release from DJI.

Performance

DJI claims that the Mavic 2 series has the same stability at hover as previous DJI drones, though I can’t say for sure if this is true. After moving from my old apartment to a different one – both of which are free of magnetic interference – it seems like these new products are much steadier than any other DJI drone out there.

My last flight with the Mavic 2 Pro, before sitting down to write this was beautiful. It was a less windy day so hovering wasn’t difficult. Average winds were around 4 mph and gusts could reach up to 10 mph – not too bad. But what I learned is that even though the winds outside are challenging for drones, it doesn’t mean they can’t fly smoothly when they’re manned properly by someone who knows what they’re doing!

Performance

Accurately holding its position in the sky, I estimate that the Mavic 2 series drone could go up to 10 inches horizontally and 4 inches vertically. Once you are within 10 feet or so of the ground and within 20 feet of an obstacle this is possible thanks to its sophisticated system made up of both GPS and Visioning Systems.

Having said this, the Mavic 2 drones don’t seem to like being close to objects. They will appear to drift when they are trying to get away from things. I let my drone hover in place and then walked in front of it towards some trees just outside my house. It gave me plenty of warnings that there were objects both in front and behind my drone, but continued moving around nonetheless – presumably to maintain an equal distance between the two without running into anything or anyone nearby.

Performance

The obstacle detection sensor is a nuisance, but necessary at times; sometimes so much so that it could cost me time and money. For instance, on my old DJI Mavic Pro, if I found myself surrounded by obstacles in front of me and behind me – meaning the drone wouldn’t go up or down/backward – I just rotated 90 degrees and went forwards instead of backward to get where I needed to be.

On my new DJI Mavic 2 series, however, there are times when even this isn’t enough; when the drone gets stuck facing forward no matter what direction you try to fly it. When this happens, I worry about getting snagged on the foliage of trees or crashing headfirst into open space during flight.

I experienced an obstacle avoidance issue on my one flight. The pad I needed to use was set less than 5 feet away from large patches of grass and barely visible over 6-foot trees, so when I landed the drone it refused to move left or right while hovering. Instead, I had no choice but to fly back up again and relocate my landing spot. It’s great that you can turn this feature off if you want, but sometimes it would be nice if there were a way for us to calibrate how much tolerance we need instead of leaving everything at 100% all the time (which makes takeoff dangerous).

Performance

Speaking of the obstacle avoidance sensors, did you know that they are not all running by default? That’s right, forward and backward-facing sensors are on by default, but sensor units at the sides are only active when in a particular mode. Fly in Tripod mode or ActiveTrack to enable these side-facing sensor units.

To minimize wasted time while flying around obstacles, the Mavic 2 series uses APAS. This smart mode was introduced in the Mavic Air and is able to fly over or under an obstacle you might come across while moving forward. Flying towards a fence? No problem! The drone will maneuver out of the way before touching it so you can continue on your journey without being slowed down.

The Mavic 2 drones come equipped with ActiveTrack 2.0., which is an upgraded version of their previous tracking system. DJI has even included a more advanced system that predicts the drone’s trajectory, so you’re less likely to lose track of where it is when shooting video or still images. One great feature about this new feature – no matter how fast you fly your drone or how far away from you it gets, you can always find your way back home

Flight modes

In addition to Mavic Pro and other aircraft modes we’ve already discussed, the Mavic 2 drones offer many of the same modes as other DJI models. Quickshots is packed with Asteroid, Rocket and other shooting modes, for example.

Flight modes

New features include Hyperlapse, a Task Library and HyperLight. Old features will continue to be included such as panoramic shots, HDR, multi-shots, timed shots and more.

The Task Library is quite cool. Drones remember a set flight path or position and then you can take video footage from that point but at different time periods of the day, or even in different weather conditions. This type of project usually takes an artist – so it’s perfect for those needing something creative to do while they’re bored!

When comparing pictures taken with this mode, there is greater detail and reduced noise. I was only able to test it during dusk/twilight because it’s illegal to take pictures after sunset, but when looking at bright lights such as cities lit up late at night or a lighthouse illuminating nearby shores – you’ll find that despite being darker, these images will come out much sharper than other types of photos taken without HyperLight enabled.

In addition, we will delve deeper into the various modes available for the Mavic 2 series in their individual reviews. For now, know that the Mavic 2 Zoom comes with an outdated feature known as Dolly Zoom. A technique dating back to older camera models which create warped-looking videos when it’s activated. It can be recreated simply by tapping a single button on your phone or tablet.

Hardware and specification

The DJI Mavic 2 series has been created with the same metallic and plastic materials as its predecessor, the Mavic Pro. Some minor changes can be seen in parts such as the propeller blades being made up of two pieces rather than one whole piece.

Hardware and specification

If one looks closely, they will find a groove running along the silver line that exists on the front propellers and continues through onto the rear propellers. It seems DJI has made it easier to fix these outer arm damages, which may also make them cheaper as well.

Both the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are weighty in my hands, but not clumsy or difficult to handle. They’re light enough for me to lift without straining too much.

The previous model of the Mavic Pro had a clamp-and-cover system for protecting its camera. But this new version has it all contained in one big piece. The clear plastic dome is hard to attach though, since it doesn’t come with a silicone cover and just relies on friction alone. This might not be an issue at first sight if you’re used to other DJI models that have only one piece covers, but when we take away how convenient it was before, what we’re left with really isn’t worth it.

Hardware and specification

A recent update for the DJI Mavic Pro has been one of its most praised features – namely, the included gimbal cover. Folks who have purchased this product are reporting difficulty with learning how to attach it properly and installing it every time before flying their drone. With patience and caution, though, installation becomes second nature – especially when you take the time to flip your drone upside-down so that gravity can assist in lining up the tool correctly inside of its slots and snapping everything shut automatically.

The tiny remote packs all the major components of its bigger counterpart, Mavic Pro. This time around you get detachable joysticks for enhanced maneuverability when connecting a smartphone via one of three different types of cords – micro USB, USB Type-C or Lightning cable.

Connectivity had been vastly improved with OcuSync 2.0, which allows the user access to two distinct frequencies: dual-frequency at both 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz; these frequencies allow for better connectivity during crowded areas while also improving control over devices on the lower frequency of 2.4 GHz as well as video quality of devices on the higher frequency of 5.8 GHz

Hardware and specification

Flying a drone at the same frequency of another person who is using FPV (first person view) can lead to communication problems which will not allow the two people to switch channels so that they may avoid interference. If you see someone else flying around, please communicate what kind of activity you are conducting so as not to disrupt their experience or potentially cause accidents.

And with all that, I can see how OcuSync 2.0 could successfully stream 1080p live video from Mavic 2 drones up to 5 miles away. But considering the line-of-sight limits in America are about a mile radius – it seems like an unnecessary feature for now. In fact, you may find yourself flying through an area of electromagnetic interference (EMI). And me? Well, my home has such things as metals in volcanic rock which causes EMI warnings across any DJI drone I own – but so far neither of these Mavic 2 drones has caused such warnings.

Hardware and specification

Once airborne, DJI’s claims of up to 31 minutes of flight time translate into about 26 minutes of safe flying before needing a recharge. By default, the low battery warning was set to 30% on our Mavic 2 Zoom. I manually reduced that to 20% for my preferred flying style. Most people start out hovering around closer areas, so they too will likely leave it at 30%. Once you start doing long-distance flights – then you might want to change this setting accordingly.

Although the Mavic 2 drones are loud at times, it is nothing compared to other models we have tested. At times when there isn’t a single breeze and the sun doesn’t shine bright – this drone can fly without making too much noise.

Throttle up is something that always makes me smile with joy when I take off in my drone. I can easily go as fast at 30 miles per hour while staying balanced and stable thanks to the Mavic 2 series. And if you want even more speed? Simply switch over to sport mode where speeds max out at 45 miles per hour! With such a fun machine under my fingertips, it’s no surprise how quickly I can zip through any city or town without even breaking a sweat!

Hardware and specification

As for the experience- it is slightly more sensitive than the Mavic Pro but does not come close to matching up against the Mavic Air. The Mavic Air operates at a much higher speed than other models, making it seem like an agile and nimble sports car. The Mavic Pro stays behind while being noticeably slower when operated; they are still trying to maintain enough smoothness with the camera.

If you don’t care for the feel of the Mavic 2, if you believe that its gimbal tilts too far with each turn of the controller’s wheel, or if it rotates too rapidly when you make a movement on its joystick; then there are adjustments available in its settings.

If the adjustments in the settings are not enough, don’t forget about that switch on the side of the remote to bounce between normal flight, Tripod mode and Sport mode.

Cameras

Obviously, these drones are used to capture images from above. While both the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom contain different types of cameras; they still seem to offer many similar features for capturing photographs or videos.

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro has a 20MP, 1-inch Hasselblad camera with 28mm lens. 10-bit HDR video and a 10-bit Blog-M color profile, coupled with the adjustable f/2.8 – f/11 aperture, provide for an exhilarating experience of taking aerial photos.

Unfortunately, due to time constraints and other commitments, we can’t do an in-depth camera review for each drone just yet. But stay tuned!

Cameras

Currently, the Mavic 2 Pro has been hailed as the most advanced of all DJI’s products. It measures up well to it’s competitor – The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0- when looking at the spec sheet; however, we won’t know how it compares until we take a closer look at both machines through hands-on reviews. Bottom line, if you’re deciding between one of DJI’s smaller options but still need an excellent camera, then this is what you’ve been waiting for!

Time to fly the DJI Mavic 2 drones

2018 has been a wonderful year for consumer drones. More players are stepping up their game, healthily competing with some of DJI’s offerings, and DJI keeps pushing forward as well. There is no doubt in our mind, the new Mavic 2 series are the best drones you can buy if you need an all-around drone for hobby flight.

With a variety of camera modes and impressive features, the Mavic 2 Zoom is one of few drones that has an edge over its competition. The Mavic Pro 2 captures breathtaking images at 20MP resolution with up to 4K video recording capabilities – making it one of the most advanced drones on the market.

Time to fly the DJI Mavic 2 drones

These powerful machines combine both speed and stability as well as the ability to capture impressive footage of even the most minuscule detail. It has some of the best camera gimbals that are able to record incredibly smooth video while flying at high speeds in all types of weather.

As avid fans of the Mavic Pro, we couldn’t wait to see what new features would come along with the second iteration -Mavic 2- and needless to say, it was well worth the wait. We’re impressed by the upgrades made from its predecessor; DJI has delivered an iterative update that boasts improved attributes such as folding ability, obstacle avoidance technology, and intelligence- all while still remaining compact in size. It’s true that this drone may not be within reach for many people due to how expensive they are; however if you are able to afford one yourself- go ahead! You won’t regret it!

DJI Mavic 2 Fly More Kit

DJI Mavic 2 Fly More Kit

Earlier DJI drone buyers are familiar with the Fly More combo offers for the drones. This time, DJI decided to break them up and create a different kit instead of including it in the Drone Bundle. The Mavic 2 Fly More Kit supplies you with an additional two batteries – one being an installed battery and one being charging while you fly – as well as a carrying case that allows easy transportation through every step along your journey.

Already reviewed the Mavic 2 Fly More Kit? Check it out – It’s one of the most amazing drone kits we’ve seen yet. The DJI Mavic 2 Fly More Kit is $379 and comes with an extra battery, propeller guards, ND filters and more!

This concludes this article for today. Be sure to tune back in for our upcoming articles which will specifically dive into both the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. When making a decision between these two drones, make sure to watch out for future reviews from us!

Mavic 2 drones vs some competition

For people who are searching for a nice drone capable of capturing photos from various angles, the newer DJI Air 2S is an excellent contender. It offers many of the same features as competitors – its small size, the ability to fly for up to 30 minutes at a time, and its connection range – but does so at a lower cost.

If you want an aerial shot, consider the Inspire 2 or one of its many professional counterparts. If not wanting to spend too much and just looking for something a little cheaper, take a look at the Yuneec Typhoon H3 and H Plus or even DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. They might be bigger than what you’re looking for but they also happen to have great cameras attached – so there’s really no excuse when it comes to getting up high!

The DJI Mavic 3 is the leading competitor of the Mavic 2 Series. Whereas both drones are identical in design, the latest drone has a smoother flying experience and an upgraded camera which yields better quality images than before. Connectivity has also improved considerably which makes this drone more appealing than its predecessor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Mavic 2 drone should I buy?

Your camera needs should determine which Mavic 2 Drone you purchase. Simply put, the Mavic 2 Pro captures better overall images and video because of its large sensor size; however, it has a fixed lens – so what you see is what you get. The Mavic 2 Zoom includes that zooming lens, making it ideal for long distance imagery such as inspections or getting up close and personal to examine specific details – while also reducing drone noise since they can fly much further away from the subject than ever before.

Is the Mavic Air 2 better than the older Mavic 2 drones?

There are many advantages to the newest DJI Mavic Air 2 – size, durability, safety and camera capability being just a few- but it comes at a greater price. Comparing the new Mavics’ sensor quality to that of its predecessors, the former has an advantage when it comes to picture quality while the latter is sturdier and offers better flexibility depending on your needs. All models now offer identical wireless connection ranges. When it comes down to it, there’s no wrong decision in picking which model – whether or not you want zooming capabilities, what matters most is what type of functionality will best suit you given your requirements.

Should I wait for the Mavic 3?

A fun question, is there really ever a disadvantage to waiting for the new version of DJI Drones? What about great picture quality and improved camera controls, which would make buying the Mavic 3 worth it. When do you need a drone? And while DJI doesn’t follow strict release schedules – they release them when they are perfect and ready, even if that means postponing an announced release event – 2020 seems like a pretty far-off date to plan around. Especially considering how early we’re seeing releases from them this year (April). So while the Mavic 3 could come out in fall of 2020, or maybe even the spring of 2021 — who knows!

What’s the difference with the Mavic 2 Enterprise?

All three drones are ultimately the same, save for a few minor details. A thermal camera can be added to the Zoom and Pro models, along with an optional data encryption feature available only in the Enterprise package; which itself is arguably a more powerful search-and-rescue tool than anything else. But whether or not it’s worth it for hobbyists depends largely on what kind of camera quality you’re looking for – though it doesn’t seem like anyone would recommend the Enterprise over other models if they plan to use these tools recreationally!

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