DJI Officially Announces Mavic 2 Drones, And They’re Stacked

Lately, the rumor mill has been pretty spot on, as I mentioned with the announcement of Nikon’s full frame mirrorless cameras. But although I knew what was coming at today’s live event with the DJI Mavic 2 drones, the hardware spec really wasn’t the exciting part. It was all the cool new flight modes that bring some old school camera techniques to aerial cinematography.

“When the Mavic Pro was launched two years ago, it redefined the way people looked at a drone and expanded possibilities for creators around the world,” said Roger Luo, President at DJI. “Today, we enter a new era of aerial photography with the introduction of DJI’s new flagship product, the Mavic 2 series. The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom will enable photographers and videographers to take their inspirations to the air quickly and elevate their creative ideas to new heights.”

Thanks to images leaked by UK catalogue ARGOS, we knew that the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and  Mavic 2 Zoom were coming, with an 24-70mm optical zoom lens camera on the Mavic 2 Zoom, and a 1″ 20MP CMOS sensor, powered by a Hasselblad L1D-20c camera on the Mavic 2 Pro. Both come with quieter rotors, and an expanded 31 minute flight time. We all saw that coming, and both hardware feature sets look pretty amazing:

Mavic 2 Pro features:

  • Hasselblad 20MP / UHD 4K Gimbal Camera
  • 1″ CMOS + f/2.8-f/11 Adjustable Aperture
  • 10-Bit Dlog-M + 10-Bit HDR Video
  • OcuSync 2.0 Transmission Technology
  • Up to 31 Minutes Flight Time
  • Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing
  • Hyperlapse Time-Lapse Mode
  • Top Speed of 44.7 mph
  • Enhanced HDR Photos with 14EV
  • Remote Controller Included

Mavic 2 Zoom:

  • 12MP 1/2.3″ CMOS Sensor
  • 2x 24-48mm Optical Zoom + Dolly Zoom
  • 48MP Super Resolution Photos
  • OcuSync 2.0 Transmission Technology
  • Up to 31 Minutes Flight Time
  • Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing
  • Hyperlapse Time-Lapse Mode
  • Top Speed of 44.7 mph
  • Enhanced HDR Photos with 13 EV
  • Remote Controller Included

That’s the hardware set, and as you can see, there is what you’d expect from DJI with a new product announcement. Steady improvements in GPS enabled control, obstacle avoidance, and expanded flight times. WiFi connectivity is also improved thanks to DJI’s OcuSync 2.0, which chooses between 2.4 Ghz and 5.0 Ghz wi-fi bands that have a stronger connection and separates telemetry and video signals to keep a more consistent signal. The result is an 8KM range (which really isn’t all that big a deal here in the states, since we have to keep our drones within line of sight).

The Mavic 2 drones also sport omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, which will see that it’s heading towards a potential crash, and recalculate your flight route to both avoid the obstacle and keep your subject within the frame. DJI also has added features that take advantage of the Mavic 2 Zoom’s 24-70 optical zoom lens.

The first is Dolly Zoom mode. You know, that iconic reaction shot that was made famous by directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg, where you zoom in and dolly out. In Dolly Zoom mode, the Mavic 2 Zoom will automatically flight a dolly back route, while zooming in the lens to compress the image for a very smooth and professional look that before now, was only pulled off by a seasoned drone pilot and cameraman.

The other feature, combines the 2x 24-70 optical zoom lens with the 2X digital zoom to create a longer, hybrid 96mm telephoto lens shot that captures in full HD without loss of resolution.  Hybrid autofocus uses phase and contrast detection for keeping your focus sharp, and can focus 40% faster than in the previous Mavic Pro.

Not to be outdone, the Mavic 2 Pro, offers 10-bit D-Log-M color profile for four times the color gamut, and up to 12 stops of dynamic range. It also offers HDR support and has a cool stitching feature which enables you to shoot up to nine different aerial images of your landscape, and then the Mavic will stitch it together in camera and download an impressive 48 MP master image. Ideal for landscape photography.

Both drones also have intelligent flight modes including Circle Hyperlapse, Course Lock (for keeping your camera fixed on a subject while the drone flies straight), WayPoint for creating complex flight paths incorporating altitude and GPS coordinates, and Free flight mode to fly fast and loose why doing more complex camera shots like hyper lapse.

And in what could be my favorite feature because it’s so simple, the Mavic 2 has a bottom auxiliary light that will turn on when coming in for a landing, so that the pilot can see his landing pad in fading light. As a private pilot, I love that.

Prices break down as follows: The Mavic 2 Pro is $1449, and comes complete with drone, battery, remote controller, charger, and  four pairs of propellers. The US retail price of a Mavic 2 Zoom, including the drone, battery, charger, remote controller and  four pairs of propellers, is $1,249 USD. DJI has also unbundled the Fly More Kit, so you can now purchase it separately, and for $319, you get two additional batteries, a multi-battery charging hub, a car charger, a battery to power bank adapter, two pairs of propellers and a carrying bag.

There are some, however, that are annoyed with the fact that DJI has chosen to split the feature set of the Mavic 2 into a pair of drones, rather than one.  Much like the last chapter of a long awaited epic movie saga, the creators opted to split the final story into two, in order to offer twice the detail (at twice the price). And those critics aren’t wrong, I agree.

It’s a bit annoying to have to  lay out $3,000 in order to get all the features that are stacked into these two models. But as a filmmaker, I think most won’t hesitate to must go with the flow and get both for when they have the need. We’re used to such things. On the bright side, DJI also has started up a trade in program, so you can trade in your old drones for a better price on your new Mavic 2.

Both drones are available today from DJI.colm and flagship DJI stores. For more information on all the new features and capabilities of the Mavic 2, please visit https://www.dji.com/mavic-2.

About James DeRuvo 671 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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