DJI Mavic Pro Review – Incredibly Portable Drone With Less Than Stellar Camera

DJI Mavic Pro is a seriously capable drone. The tiny quadcopter can be folded, enabling it to be carried around in a large pocket, with the price ($1000) that’s a bit too steep, especially if you’re a newbie and don’t want to shell out lots of money for your first drone.

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Nevertheless, DJI Mavic Pro justifies its price with superb flight capabilities, compact size, and a high definition camera.

The drone packs a 4K camera, like the Phantom 4 (although the Phantom 4’s camera supports HDR still photography, and packs wider-angle lens). The Mavic Pro is equipped with a visual tracking, making it able to follow a subject; also, the presence of obstacle avoiding technology will make flying much easier for both newbies and rugged veterans. Tap-to-fly and a waypoint features make the Mavic Pro one very capable drone. Max speed is above 40 miles-per-hour.

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The drone is very small, especially when compared with similarly priced drones, like the Phantom. Its excellent portability can be a defining feature when deciding if the drone is worth a buy. You can carry it anywhere without worrying the drone will break or be too big to fly around parks, narrow streets, or crowded areas.

The Mavic Pro is a foldable device, looking like a large insect during the unfolding process; it looks great, with tightly packed rotors that are invisible while the drone is folded. Once you take out rotors the drone looks fantastic, like a stealth fighter. The controller has two arms able to unfold and hold your mobile device; neat, practical, and cool.mavic-pro-1

The drone can be a bit tough to control while in the air since it has almost the same size as the Phantom 4 when unfolded (the diagonal size is just 15 millimeters smaller than the Phantom 4) with a weight of just 1.6 pounds (more than a pound lighter than its bigger cousin). The presence of Intelligent Flight Modes eases up flying the drone. TapFly and Waypoint features make the Mavic Pro fly perfectly without even touching the controls, which is great. Further, AciveTrack feature allows the pilot to follow a subject, keeping it in the center of the frame while recording. Just don’t expect for the drone to always be able to follow the subject since the drone stop following if the subject is moving too quickly.

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Obstacle avoiding sensors work up to speeds of 22 miles per hour, and they work great. Follow me feature, perfect for bikers, runners, skiers, and other extreme sportsmen is awesome, in theory. It works by tracking the radio signal from the controller, but it can refuse to work at times, especially if you are in urban areas with lots of radio interference.

The camera makes nice shots, but videos look a bit out of place after a drone flies for a while, since the gimbal roll can get out of place. You can quickly adjust it, but the drone has to land in order to do that. A bit frustrating.

Since the Mavic Pro is a pretty compact drone, having a humble payload compared to the large quadcopters, it can’t carry hefty cameras; also, the drone isn’t very sturdy, not able to offer highly stable flight as well as extremely smooth footage. So, if thinking about getting a drone for shooting excellent videos, it’s better to look for the Phantom 4, or maybe even Typhoon H from Yuneec; they can offer a better camera control and are more stable when up in the air.mavic-pro-5

The Mavic Pro’s controller packs relatively short sticks, making circling shots as well as delicate movements tough to perform. Further, panoramic shots can only be taken by rotating the drone, since the camera is placed on the front. Another minus is the fact that the Mavic Pro doesn’t make a quality low-light video; it can be tweaked via ISO and exposure settings, but don’t expect great results.

The Mavic Pro is made for people who travel a lot, who like to carry their drone everywhere but don’t need the perfect video quality. If you’re a video aficionado, it’s better to pick a larger drone packing a more serious camera. Overall, the Mavic Pro is an excellent drone for the price; it’s $200 cheaper than the Phantom 4, offering better portability but also having a camera that isn’t of top quality. If you want a highly portable, highly capable drone that won’t make perfect videos, and have money to spare, the Mavic Pro can be a great choice.

Just be wary of the fact that DJI delayed shipping of the Mavic Pro, meaning that you’ll probably have to wait a couple of weeks for the drone to ship after buying it.

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