Today I review the amazing DJI–MAVIC PRO Foldable Quadcopter Drone with 4K UHD Camera & Controller. If you’re into drones, you won’t want to miss this. If you’re into high flying photography, then the following is considered must read material. And yes, the details below will be on the exam! Read on for more info.
Introduction to the DJI Mavic Pro Drone
The DJI Mavic Pro is a lightweight (1.64 pound) flying camera that is feature rich and really reminds me of a Transformer. You know, “more than meets the eye.” And that’s because it actually arrives all folded neatly up in a compact configuration that must be unfolded, or transformed, by you (the user). Once this is done, you simply need to snap on 2 of the 4 rotors (the other 2 come pre attached), charge the batteries (both of the drone itself and the controller), and download the free DJI Go App before ultimately taking to the skies to shoot beautiful video and photos with the Mavic Pro’s high quality (and high definition) 30fps camera. There’s more on that camera below.
Flying the Mavic Pro
Flying the Mavic Pro is about as easy as you’d expect for a professional quality drone. It’s every bit as stable as any high-end drone I’ve every flown (including the DJI Phantom 4 and the Yuneec Typhoon), and it flies as smoothly as any pilot could ever hope for. I found the Mavic Pro extremely easy to use after briefly watching DJI’s helpful tutorial videos, which may be found either on the DJI Go App or through the DJI website. I highly recommend giving these videos a look before taking to the air with your new Mavic Pro. They are very helpful and make things much easier when you finally get flying.
It’s also worth noting that the range of the Mavic Pro is 8 miles (13 Kms), meaning that you can fly that distance away from your point of origin, but for safety reasons you should never fly any drone beyond your own visual range. The maximum speed of the Mavic Pro is 40 mph (or 65 Km/h), so it’s definitely a powerful little drone. Luckily there’s a beginner’s mode where your range is significantly limited. I highly recommend sticking to beginner mode while you initially get used to flying the Mavic Pro, and I also strongly suggest that you learn the rules for flying drones in the jurisdiction you’ll be flying in.
Once you do get airborne, the Mavic Pro can remain in flight for up to 27 minutes on each full charge of its Lithium-Polymer battery (which, incidentally, charges in approximately 80 minutes). The Mavic Pro’s controller, which works in conjunction with your smart phone and the DJI Go App., takes up to 2 hours to charge. The controller actually physically plugs into your phone, and there are 3 different RC Cables included for connecting your phone to the controller (see image gallery below). One of these functions as an adaptor for your Apple iPhone, while another worked perfectly with my Samsung Galaxy 5. You may have issues using the app, however, if your phone and its operating system is older or outdated, so make be sure to check that your smart device meets the DJI Go App’s minimum requirements before you order this drone.
Thoughts on the DJI Mavic Pro’s Camera
The Mavic Pro has an excellent 4K camera with a 3-axis gimbal system that’s capable of shooting extremely stable footage in glorious 1080p (close range filming) and 720p (at longer ranges). There’s also a gimbal dial on the controller that allows you to adjust the camera’s tilt, and you can see everything that your Mavic Pro’s camera sees on your smart phone’s screen as well. The camera is extremely easy to use, with very clearly marked buttons on the controller that allow for either a video (both starting and stopping) or a still photo to be taken. I actually take a more detailed look at the controller in my video review, showing these and other key buttons. By the way, the photo you see below is one of the still shots that I got with the Mavic Pro. I think it came out quite clearly.
Overall I didn’t really think that the video and images I got with the Mavic Pro were quite on par with those of other high-end photography drones I have used in the past. It must be noted, however, that I only got this drone in the air twice, and the first time I was primarily concerned with learning how to fly it and getting some footage of that. On my second time out I concerned myself more with getting a bit of video and some photos from the Mavic Pro’s point of view, so there was no opportunity for tweaking or adjusting of the camera to try and get better results. Still, I thought the footage was more than acceptable, and I suspect that someone with more knowledge of cameras and photography could really get excellent results with this equipment.
Examining the Video Evidence
Please take a few minutes to examine my brief video overview of the DJI Mavic Pro, including close-up footage of the drone, shots of the drone in action, and video shot by the drone:
In the final analysis, if you’re looking for a top quality photography drone, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the DJI Mavic Pro. This drone is compact and easy to carry practically anywhere with you, it flies as smoothly as silk, and it records brilliant video clips. Add to that a whole host of amazing features like communication with the GPS & GLONASS satellite positioning systems, a flight mode whereby the drone follows you (or a pre-selected target) around, a feature called Gesture Selfie (which is exactly what it sounds like), and the confidence inspiring Return to Home feature, to name but a few. Honestly, the Mavic Pro has so many great features and impressive specs going for it, that I simply couldn’t cover them all in this (or any reasonable length) review.
So of course I happily recommend the Mavic Pro for serious drone hobbyists or photography enthusiasts, but I do not recommend it as a person’s first drone. This machine is an investment, and anyone just wishing to explore the drone hobby is much better off starting out with something much more basic. Once you know that you’re a drone pilot for life, you may then be ready to upgrade to something of this quality. Alternatively, if you’re a filmmaker, professional photographer, or anyone else with an interest in shooting high quality HD video & photographs, then the DJI Mavic Pro Drone is sure to satisfy. I especially like how easy it is to tote around, which makes it an excellent photography companion when hiking in the mountains. I could even envision the Mavic Pro helping someone to find their way out of a remote location when lost in the woods simply by flying straight up and using the camera to have a look around for signs of civilization. Of course, that doesn’t even take into consideration that this drone is equipped with GPS. All up, the DJI Mavic Pro is a fine flying camera that is sure to be a hit for the good folks at DJI.