Cameras


Aerial Awesomeness: Meet DJI’s New Mavic Pro 2 and Mavic 2 Zoom

August 23, 2018

By Greg Scoblete

DJI has updated its foldable Mavic drone with a pair of new flying cameras-the Mavic Pro 2 and Mavic 2 Zoom.

Both Mavic's will share several core characteristics. First, they're more aerodynamic and efficient. They can hit a top speed of 44MPH in sport mode, fly for up to 31 minutes and are quieter than their predecessors. They're also slightly larger and heavier but also more rugged, with a new 3-axis camera gimbal that's enclosed against the elements.

Both Mavics now support the FAT 32 file system, which enables them to store longer video files up to 32GB at a time to an SD card. They can both capture 4K video at 30p, 2.7K video at 60p and HD video at 120p.

The new Mavics are DJI's first consumer drone with omni-directional sensors for object avoidance, though the side sensors are only engaged when using DJI's intelligent flying features in ActiveTrack mode. Speaking of which, ActiveTrack has been enhanced to use both front-facing sensors and the main camera to create 3D maps of objects--the better to avoid them in flight (prior drones created 2D maps). The processing power devoted to obstacle avoidance has also been improved.

The new drones use DJI's OccuSync 2.0 technology for beaming a 1080p video signal from the drone to a ground-based receiver from up to five miles away. They also feature new auxiliary lights on the bottom to improve landing in dimly lit conditions.

DJI has also created a new Hyperlapse mode with four flying options: circle a given subject, course lock (where you choose the direction and the drone flies it); way points and free flying.

Mavic Pro 2

The Mavic Pro 2 sports a 20-megapixel, 1-inch sensor in a camera co-developed with Hasselblad (DJI owns a majority stake in the medium format camera maker). According to DJI, Hasselblad's input can be seen in the lens, image processing and in the incorporation of Hasselblad's Natural Color Solution.

The Pro 2's camera records 4K video with an option to record 10-bit HLG or 10-Bit D-Log format video straight to a MicroSD card. It delivers 14 stops of dynamic range when shooting still photos in a new Enhanced High Dynamic Range mode, which blends a sequence of still images in-camera for improved tonal reproduction.

The Pro 2 has an ISO range of 100-6400 and a fixed 28mm f/2.8-11 lens.

The Mavic Pro 2 will retail for $1,449.

Mavic 2 Zoom

As the name suggests, the Mavic 2 Zoom sports an optical zoom lens (24-48mm, equivalent). It has a 12-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor and a new hybrid autofocusing system that DJI says is 40 percent faster than the earlier Mavic.

It can deliver 13-stops of dynamic range.

Thanks to its optical zoom lens, the Zoom has a few unique features all its own. One of them is Dolly Zoom which will zoom in on a subject while the drone flies backwards from it. This way the subject stays the same size but the background gets revealed.

The other new mode is SuperRes, which takes nine images at maximum telephoto and merges them in camera to create a 48-megapixel image.

The Mavic 2 Zoom will retail for $1,249.