The Mavic Pro 2

Chi Lin Nunnery

In recent weeks, pursuant to a leak, we got some more details on the upcoming Mavic Pro 2, the replacement for the Mavic Pro. We will most likely get two Mavic aircrafts, one gifted with a Hasselblad camera, the other with a zoom function.

Upgrade of the camera

So far, while simply the change of angle gives already an interesting possibility for the Mavic Pro, the camera and the sensor are a bit short. Dynamic range and image quality suffer hugely when it gets a little bit dark or there is a contrasted scene.

Devil's Peak sunset
The lack of dynamic range of the Mavic Pro is cruelly evidence in this picture with huge contrasts.

The new Mavic Pro 2 would have now a 1 inch sensor, which would make it comparable to the Phantom 4 Pro, currently in Dji’s range. While this was not made very clear, it seems the Mavic Zoom would instead be stuck with the reduced size sensor.

Obviously, a larger sensor would probably give more dynamic range and probably also a better image quality in low light (one of the weak points of the Mavic Pro).

Direction sensors: multi-sided obstacle avoidance

One of the big subjects for most users was the inclusion of multi-sided obstacle avoidance on the Mavic Pro 2. This would mean that the drone would avoid obstacles even flying backwards (one of the most popular drone cinematic moves). Right now, the Mavic Pro only sports forward obstacle avoidance sensors and this was a great complaint among chiefly amateur users. Personally, I try to avoid flying into danger zones or relying blindly on automatic modes (I actually think I used only once an automatic mode).

Some issues with the product line

I initially wanted to talk about the product lineup, but in fact, the original announcement by Dji for the Mavic Pro 2 was scheduled somewhere in July. They pushed back the announcement, apparently because their production lines were not able to satisfy the demand yet. So, yeah, there is an issue with the product(ion) line too.

But similarly, the Mavic Pro 2 and its 1 inch sensor bring into question the existence of the Phantom 4 Pro and its 1 inch sensor and 20 MP camera. If performances are similar, I expect most users to ditch the Phantom for the reduced size of the Mavic (which is very convenient for any photographer).

It could be that Dji may also announce a new Phantom 5 with upgraded capabilities for professional drone pilots now. While bulky, the Phantom line probably provides a top class flying experience for pilots. Nevertheless, if you are a photographer, you will have to make a choice between bringing a camera or a drone. With the mavic pro, you can bring both!

Time to upgrade?

To be honest, I will sit on the fence on this one. My drone is less than one year old, and while I flew quite a lot this year, I still feel it has some life in it. Not to mention that while I am flying it, I am still “amortizing” its cost.

The cost of replacing a drone is quite high. So, just like I advised for the Nikon D850, never mind the great capacity of the cameras, if you are not making money out of them, you don’t really need to upgrade until your camera is really obsolete.

In the meantime, as the Mavic Pro will be phased out, you may watch out for special offers by Dji via this (affiliate) link. And if you want some special discounts on Dji products, just go here.

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