In this blog, our DJI specialist Matt Dugard brings us his 6-month review of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
Matt is a qualified drone pilot with a passion for aerial photography and videography, with a particular fondness for being able to capture a familiar location from a unique angle. Matt has also previously worked with brands such as Ford and Jaguar Land Rover, and is our drone expert at Park Cameras.
6 months ago DJI released what I would argue was their best product to date, the Mavic 2 Pro - combining the Mavic series’ signature compactness with the Phantom’s 1” sensor. All with a lovely Hasselblad-shaped cherry on top - who’d of thought they’d be making drone cameras?
Prior to Mavic 2 Pro I had a DJI Inspire 1 Pro which had a Micro 4/3rd camera suspended underneath it. The Inspire was an amazing machine but I feel that only 3 years after its launch, the Mavic 2 Pro has gained a lot of features that were previously the domain of professional drones only. With double the flight time, half the size, a plethora of additional cameras for obstacle avoidance, and all the new flight modes, there is a lot to admire.
This isn’t a product review so let’s not focus on a technical overview. Instead, I am just going to cover what I have found particularly impressive when using the Mavic 2 Pro. It is worth noting that I use it primarily for stills photography.
This image has been compiled from 20 photos, all taken with the Mavic 2 Pro at ½ second exposures, then stitched together in Lightroom.
Top of my list of favourite features must be the dynamic range - it's just incredible! With drone shots you can often end up with lots of highlights and lots of shadows (mainly because everyone loves shooting sunset and sunrise) but the 1” inch sensor in the Mavic Pro 2 performs amazingly well. There is also a bracketing and HDR mode, but even without these features the dynamic range from this sensor lets you lift details from the shadows without introducing noise.
My favourite type of photography is long exposure. When I had the Inspire, I could never manage a long exposure longer than 2 seconds without blur creeping in. When I got the Mavic 2 Pro one of the first things I noticed was how stable it was when hovering - even in a breeze. This got me thinking...
I’ve tested the Mavic Pro 2 for long exposure numerous times, and have found I can comfortably hit an 8 second exposure. Let’s not forget that this is from a device that is hovering at 120m above ground level - which is frankly astonishing!
8 seconds is the longest that DJI currently allows the shutter to be open, I wonder how long could be possible in the future as stability continues to improve.
At around 30 mins the Mavic 2 Pro has brilliant battery life compared to other drones I’ve used. This gives more than enough time to get the shot you want without rushing, or move to another location while using the same battery.
Even with this improved battery life, however, I would always recommend a spare battery. As with any form of photography, you’ll kick yourself if you run out of juice at the crucial moment.
When I had my Inspire, I found I was somewhat limited as to where I could take it because of its size and weight.
The Mavic 2 Pro, however, folds up to a similar size to a 24-70mm lens. I’m a keen mountain biker, and have always wanted to take a drone out with me. As you can see from the picture below, this is now possible.
|An ND filter (4 stops, shutter speed 1/4) was used here to balance the exposure during sunset|
I’ve found that this has helped encourage my creativity – quite simply, I have it with me in more situations than I did with the bulkier Inspire Pro.
Overall, the Mavic 2 Pro is the drone I hoped it would be: it’s portable, takes stunning images, probably a lot more intelligent than a border collier, plus it looks pretty cool! I will be taking every opportunity to take shots from new angles, while eagerly waiting to see what DJI will bring out next
Matt's recommended drone kit:
You can see more of Matt's images here.
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By Park Cameras on 11/04/2019