DJI is the first name in drones, thanks in large part to the success of its legendary Phantom series DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. But the rigid design of the Phantom has given way to the more modern, foldable Mavic family. The first Mavic Pro prompted videographers or cameramen to rethink the possibilities of a small drone. Other smaller models have joined, but the Mavic 2 is the true successor to DJI’s flagship compact aircraft. Two models are available: the Mavic 2 zoom ($ 1,249), which we’re looking at here, and the Mavic 2 Pro ($ 1,499), which doesn’t zoom in, but has a better camera quality. The Pro wins our pick of editors, but the Mavic 2 Zoom is a great plane on its own.
A Bigger Mavic
Technology updates almost always affect variations that are smaller and more subtle than known. But not with the Mavic 2. The plane is slightly larger than the original Mavic Pro and Platinum Broker Mavic Pro. He is 3.3 by 3.6 by 8.4 inches (HWD) when his arms are crossed and 3.3 by 9.5 by 12.7 inches with his arms outstretched and ready to fly and weighing around 2 pounds. Compare that to the original Mavic Pro, which measures 3.3 x 3.3 x 7.8 inches when folded and weighs 1.6 pounds. It’s hard enough to require FAA registration for recreational use in the United States.
Just because the Mavic 2 is bigger doesn’t mean it’s less portable. I can still find a spot in the camera bag which takes up the same space I normally reserve for a 70-200mm f / 2.8 zoom lens. If you want a smaller drone with some zoom function, don’t throw the Parrot Anafi away. It’s more portable (2.5 x 2.6 x 9.6 inches) and lighter (11.3 ounces), but the structure of the Anafi doesn’t feel as solid as that of the Mavic. The Parrot drone offers lossless digital zoom when shooting at 1080p. However, if you want lossless zoom in 4K shooting, the Mavic 2 zoom is for you.
In addition to the camera, the Mavic 2 Zoom is the same drone as the Mavic 2 Pro. The zoom uses a 1 / 2.3 inch image sensor with a resolution of 12 MP, the same size as many smartphones, and a zoom range of 24.48mm (full screen equivalent) and a variable aperture 1: 2.8- 3.8. The Mavic 2 Pro has a 1 inch sensor camera with a resolution of 20 MP and an image area that is approximately four times the zoom size. The Pro lens has a fixed focal length of 24mm f / 2.8.
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The Mavic 2 remote control is a variation of the previous models. It’s gray, with bendable clips to hold the phone down and a removable USB cable to connect. DJI includes Apple Lightning, Micro USB and USB-C cables. The clip is slightly larger so that I can use my iPhone 8 Plus without removing the thin leather case, but larger cases are not suitable. It also has a cutout positioned so that you can more easily access the phone’s home button when it is mounted on the remote. As for Mavic Air, the control knobs are unscrewed and stored in the lower part.
The remote control has a monochrome display. It’s possible to fly the Mavic without a phone connected, depending on the information displayed on it, but you don’t have a view of the camera so I don’t recommend it. The Mavic must be activated with the DJI Go 4 app (free download for Android and iOS) before flight. It is a one-off requirement. However, firmware updates are done through the app.
In addition to flight control, the remote has direct control of the camera. There are ruffles on the shoulders: on the left controls the tilt of the gimbal, on the right the zoom and the corresponding buttons to take a photo or start a video. A small joystick to the right of the information display is used to lighten or darken photos and images (EV compensation). A pause button on the left stops and locks the drone. There is a switch to change the flight mode on the side as well as the Home button and On / Off button on the front. In the end, you have a few customizable buttons on the back (C1 and C2).
The Mavic 2’s battery is more robust than the original, and DJI claims the drone can fly for up to 31 minutes when fully charged. The words ‘upstairs’ are key here: you can wait a full half hour if you’re traveling locally without much wind, but the actual flight puts more strain on the battery. However, our field tests showed an average of 27 minutes of flight time per charge. You’re only minutes away from DJI’s request, but it’s a more typical experience.
DJI has pioneered the use of obstacle avoidance in its drone series, and the Mavic 2 has sensors that read all around. The front, rear, up and down sensors freeze the drone in its tracks to avoid a collision. There are also left and right sensors, but they only work in different modes. They are activated during ActiveTrack, the automatic pattern tracking mode, so the drone can follow you with the confidence that it won’t fall blindly against a wall or tree.
They are also activated in tripod mode, a low-speed setting that allows you to precisely position the Mavic for aerial photography. If you’re looking for the spiritual opposite of tripod mode, the Mavic 2 Sport mode at 45 mph, the sensors are completely disabled. So use it with caution.
With Mavic 2, you get 8 GB of internal storage. However, if you assume that it supports 100Mbps video recording, the storage space is not that big. You will receive less than 15 minutes of video. You need to add a microSD card to make sure the capacity doesn’t run out before the battery runs out. Considering the price, I would have preferred to see at least 16GB in addition to the memory card slot.
Benefits of Optical Zoom
The zoom lens is the reason to buy the smaller and cheaper Mavic 2 Zoom compared to the Mavic Air. Add some desirable features. The most obvious is the possibility of changing the focal length while shooting. Auto focus for phase detection on the sensor ensures that the video stays in focus even when the drone is zoomed in and moved at the same time.
You can easily enlarge the car Alfred Hitchcock first used in Vertigo. Zoom out when walking or zoom in when backing up. You can take your photos with the disorientation effect where the subject remains constant as the perspective changes.
The other zoom tip is called DJI Super Resolution Photography. The 12 MP sensor of the Zoom Mavic 2 only manages images at the smartphone level. With a little help from the zoom lens, however, you can combine multiple zoom shots for a 48 MP wide-angle image. It takes about 15 seconds to take a photo and you can see the drone as it captures each segment of the image on your phone screen. I am very happy with the result: the exposure is sufficiently balanced even in scenes with mixed lighting, and I saw no signs of phantom distraction along the joints of the images, although they are certainly a problem with any panoramic stitching method. My big gripe is that the mode is only available when shooting JPG: I want the drone to save the original RAW format so that I can use Adobe Lightroom Classic to stitch a high resolution photo together with more freedom of setting.
Now, remember that while losing the ability to zoom during a shot by opting for the Mavic 2 Pro instead of the zoom model, the Pro can still shoot 4K videos with two viewing angles, one wide and one a narrower one, but you have to stop recording and start a new clip to make the change.
DJI Go 4 App and Features
DJI loads its drones with a number of automated flight modes. The Zoom Mavic 2 can fly in perfectly circular orbits, mix panoramic images and videos to create the Little Planet “Asteroid” image, and identify and track patterns with ActiveTrack. Other options include TapFly, which lets you control the drone by touching the phone screen, automated waypoint-based flight routes, and a boomerang shot that circles a subject when it retreats to. reveal its environment. It is a good choice for selfies. .
The app also informs you about no-fly zones and prevents you from taking off in limited airspace. DJI has made progress in simplifying pilot authorization with an FAA Part 107 license that uses an automatic unlock process. DJI works to educate drone owners about permanent and temporary flight restrictions. The former applies to areas such as the airspace around Washington DC and the latter is often used in aerial firefighting. But you still need to be careful before you fly to make sure it’s legal – if something goes wrong, it’s your responsibility.
The app also includes a world map displayed in a picture-in-picture view which can be swapped out for a live video broadcast. Add extra security when flying because even if you accidentally lose sight of your drone, you know where it is. It takes an effort to keep the plane in sight during flight, but the Mavic can fly very quickly and very far. It sends a 1080p signal to the remote and there are no interruptions or interruptions during testing.
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DJI Mavic Pro Platinum
Great Video, Good Images
The Mavic 2 zoom captures crisp, colorful 4K videos. The universal joint stabilization does a great job of keeping things stable even when the drone is in motion and the lens is magnified. Different frame rates are available: you can record at 24, 25 or 30 frames per second in 4K UHD quality. 48, 50 and 60 fps up to 2.7K will be added and it will be possible to push up to 120 fps with 1080p (2K) quality. The Mavic 2 model also doesn’t support the larger DCI 4K format, a surprising omission since it was included in the early Mavic Pro and Mavic Pro Platinum.
The Mavic 2 Zoom supports HDR for still images. When shooting in JPG mode with HDR active, combine multiple exposures for more comfortable photos. It is particularly useful in situations with strong backlighting or on days when the sky is a bit hazy. You can also take RAW (DNG) images to apply your settings. You can see how it works compared to above: the left image is a standard JPG from the Mavic 2 zoom camera, while the right image is the result of HDR mode.
Despite the help of the software, the Mavic 2 Zoom’s image engine doesn’t offer much better results than cheaper drones. It’s definitely in the same stadium as the DJI Mavic Air, and if you want a small drone with great photos, Mavic 2 Pro is worth the extra cost.
Quick and Accurate Focus
The Mavic 2 Zoom’s hybrid autofocus combines phase detection and contrast for higher focusing accuracy with up to 4% faster focusing speed than before. Autofocus locating system makes subjects clear and sharp when zooming in and out
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DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is a great drone, don’t be fooled. It offers long flight times, silky smooth 4K videos, plenty of auto recording modes and 12 MP raw and JPG images as well as the ability to take 48 MP photos with drone points. Obstacle detection, robust GPS, and automated return make this one of the safest drones on the market
However, I don’t call Mavic 2 Zoom our choice of editors. Instead, this applies to the Mavic 2 Pro: $ 250 more, but later in terms of image and video quality. Pro does not have a zoom lens, but it does offer dual viewing angles for videos and images with higher dynamic range and higher resolution thanks to a sensor that is physically larger than the zoom one.
I would say customers who see the DJI Mavic Air Zoom. When we rated Air $ 799, we thought it was worth spending a bit more on the Mavic Pro Platinum, which debuted at a lower price point than the Zoom Mavic 2. Now with more dollars. between models, the Air seems to be a much better buy. No, it doesn’t have a zoom lens, but it does offer a lot of other features at a much cheaper price.
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is distinguished from other drones by an optical zoom lens. With many features including obstacle avoidance, it is a good choice for avid cyclists
Excellent Camera System
Mavic 2 Pro – Hasselblad camera with 1 sensor, iconic image quality
Mavic 2-Zoom – 24-48mm optical zoom, ultimate flexibility
Powerful Fight Platform
72 km / h max. speed, maximum flight time of 31 minutes and low noise design
Intelligent and Easy to use
The only drone that supports Hyperlapse, Active Track 2.0 and more