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DJI Mavic 2 Pro review

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is an easy-to-use prosumer drone offering excellent stills and video capabilities

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a modern classic thanks to being the first consumer drone featuring a 1-inch sensor and adjustable aperture. With multiple flight modes, intelligent safety features and the ability to capture professional-quality stills and video, it’s suitable for drone pilots of all levels of experience.

For

  • Lightweight foldable design
  • 1-inch 20MP sensor
  • Adjustable aperture
  • Shoots Raw stills, 10-bit Dlog-M & 10-bit HDR video

Against

  • You must register with the FAA (US) CAA (UK) to fly
  • ISO noise is visible above ISO 100
  • Battery life could be better

Space Verdict

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a modern classic thanks to being the first consumer drone featuring a 1-inch sensor and adjustable aperture. With multiple flight modes, intelligent safety features and the ability to capture professional-quality stills and video, it’s suitable for drone pilots of all levels of experience.

Pros

  • + Lightweight foldable design
  • + 1-inch 20MP sensor
  • + Adjustable aperture
  • + Shoots Raw stills, 10-bit Dlog-M & 10-bit HDR video

Cons

  • - You must register with the FAA (US) CAA (UK) to fly
  • - ISO noise is visible above ISO 100
  • - Battery life could be better

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro was launched in late 2018 and was the first consumer drone to feature a one-inch sensor and adjustable aperture. The camera fitted to the Mavic Pro 2 is a Hasselblad L1D-20c, providing a full-frame equivalent focal length of 28mm with ISO 100-12,800 available for stills and ISO 100-6400 available for video.

Key specifications

Weight: 2.00lb/907g
Folded dimensions: 3.6 x 3.3 x 8.4 inches
Unfolded dimensions: 9.5 x 3.3 x 12.7in
Battery: 3850 mAh LiPo 4S / up to 31 minutes 
Charger type: AC mains / 100-240 V, 50/60 Hz, 1.8A
Modes: Sport, Positioning, Tripod
Camera sensor: 1-inch CMOS
Video transmission range: Up to 4.97 miles / 8km
Video resolution: 4K, 2.7K, 1080p (FHD)
Frame rates: 4K up to 30fps / 2.7K up to 60fps / FHD up to 120 fps

Taking these impressive specs further, the camera also features an adjustable f/2.8 to f/11 aperture which is great for controlling exposure when shooting both stills and video. But this is most useful for video because you can make instant exposure adjustments without having to land the drone and change the ND filter, which is something you have to do with drones with a fixed f/2.8 aperture.

These features make the Mavic 2 Pro a compelling option for professional photographers and videographers, but less experienced drone pilots can also enjoy an incredibly easy flying experience thanks to GPS positioning, intelligent safety features and collision avoidance as well as geofencing. 

This isn't a toy, so when you're flying this model you'll have to comply by all drone regulations in your local area. And if you're new to the field, we also recommend you have a look through our list of drone photography tips and tricks, so you can capture sharp images from the get-go.

Design

DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone

(Image credit: Future)
  • Foldable design for easy transportation
  • Lightweight at just 2lb/907g
  • Foldable controller

The Mavic 2 Pro is designed with convenience and mobility in mind thanks to its folding design that’s incredibly easy to set up or close down. The main body is rigid with the battery attached at the rear/top, while the gimbal and camera are located at the front/bottom of the drone. To open the drone, you simply rotate the front propeller arms out and twist up and rotate the rear arms.

This clever design takes the drone from a diminutive 3.6 x 3.3 x  8.4 inches to 9.5 x 3.3 x 12.7 inches and it allows you to ready the model for flight or storage in a matter of seconds. The drone weighs just 32oz with a battery fitted and the battery itself weighs 10.48oz. For comparison, the newer Air 2S model has a lighter take-off weight of just 21oz, but the professional-tier Phantom 4 Pro V2 is a much chunkier 48.50oz – so this model sits somewhere in the middle.

Overall build quality can’t be faulted, and you quickly realise that the Mavic 2 Pro is a high-quality device that’s built to last. Although with any drone, the most likely cause of damage is user error so you have to take care during flights, even with all the useful safety features it provides.

Moving onto the controller (shown below) this is also compact and foldable in keeping with the design of the drone itself. The controller features two arms at the bottom where smartphones of various sizes can be attached and connected to provide a camera feed and access to camera and drone settings, while a small LCD screen provides useful flight information. 

To access those settings and the camera feed, you'll need to download the DJI Go 4 app. It's a relatively straightforward piece of software to use, although recent reports from Android 12 users suggest that there are some current issues with the app. Newer devices, with newer operating systems, might come across the same problems, so DJI advises sticking to this list of recommended devices to use in conjunction in with your Mavic Pro 2. 

Functionality

DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone

(Image credit: Future)
  • Top speed of 44.7mph/72km/h
  • Collision avoidance sensors
  • Multiple flight modes

In terms of flight performance, the Mavic Pro 2 is capable of speeds up to 44.7mph/72kmh in Sport Mode (S), which is highly responsive and uses GPS positioning but forward and downward facing collision avoidance sensors are disabled. Positioning Mode (P) is slightly slower with all collision avoidance sensors active, while when flying in Tripod Mode (T) speed is severely restricted and controls are made less sensitive to help pilots to shoot more cinematic-looking footage. 

In terms of safety, the Mavic 2 Pro features GPS positioning that holds the drone in position and stops it from being blown off course by the wind, while Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing sensors on all sides of the drone body help to avoid collisions. These will force the drone to break when an obstacle is sensed and generally works well, but it’s not perfect. 

The Mavic 2 Pro features a selection of automated flight patterns that make it incredibly easy to capture interesting video footage without the need to perform complicated manoeuvres. Many of these have a generic look that you can tell is pre-programmed, so they’re best for beginners until they learn how to perform more unique manoeuvres manually. The drone can also follow selected subjects when selected in the app, and this works well for tracking shots of people and vehicles.

Performance

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DJI Mavic Pro 2 Images

(Image credit: James Abbott)
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DJI Mavic Pro 2 Images

(Image credit: James Abbott)
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DJI Mavic Pro 2 Images

(Image credit: James Abbott)
  • Great overall image quality
  • Raw stills and video are available
  • Professional video options

Overall image quality is impressive, although images are sharpest in the centre with some fall-off towards the edges. There is a small amount of lens distortion, but not much, and chromatic aberration can also be identified along subject edges in high-contrast situations. For stills, this can be easily remedied with some of the best photo editing apps and software.

ISO noise is an issue and all settings above ISO 100 exhibit noise. You can easily reduce this during editing, though, as long as you're shooting in the Raw DNG format. And for video, noise is generally less visible at identical settings to stills because the movement in the video masks noise to a degree. 

In terms of video, the Mavic 2 Pro provides options for both beginners and professionals with standard video and the Dlog-M (10bit) Raw profile and HDR video (HLG 10bit). Video is available in 4K at 24/25/30p, 2.7K at 24/25/30/48/50/60p and FHD at 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p so lots of options, although frame rates are limited at the highest resolution.

Cost

DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone

(Image credit: Future)

The Mavic 2 Pro kit comes with the drone, controller, all cables, a charger, one battery and spare propellers for £1349/US $1,599. The Fly More bundle provides a considerable saving compared to buying everything included separately. The Fly More Bundle can be added on and includes a carry bag, two additional batteries, a battery charging hub, a car charger, A USB connector and spare propellers. This costs £299/US $399 on top of the cost of the drone, and is well worth considering.

Should you buy the Mavic 2 Pro?

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a fantastic option for beginners and more advanced drone pilots alike, thanks to easy-to-use controls, impressive safety features and the ability to capture professional-quality stills and video. It’s a great option for photographers and videographers who typically carry other equipment on shoots thanks to its foldable design and low weight. 

The Mavic 2 Pro is particularly useful for video because not only can you control shutter speed using ND filters, but the adjustable aperture means you can respond to changing light conditions while the drone is in the air.

However, rumours abound at the moment about the eminent arrival of the Mavic 3 Pro. It's likely to land in early November with a bunch of new features. Some are even speculating that when new model does come it will pack two cameras: one with a telephoto lens, and the other with a larger Four Thirds sensor. That's not to say that it's not worth buying the Mavic 2 Pro – we still rate it as one of the best drones around – but it might be worth holding out until the launch of the latest model to see if prices drop. 

If this product isn't for you

If you’re an absolute drone beginner, the DJI Mini 2 is a palm-sized option that weighs just 0.55lbs / 249g. This tiny drone is a top performer with the ability to shoot Raw stills and up to 4K video.

With similar specs and image quality to the Mavic 2 Pro, but in a more compact and lightweight package, the DJI Air 2S is a newer model with a 1-inch 20MP sensor but it doesn’t feature an adjustable aperture.

If you’d like a 1-inch sensor drone with even bigger specs than the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, look no further than the Autel Evo II. With an adjustable aperture, 48MP stills, up to 8K video and up to 40 mins flight time, this is an impressive option for more demanding users.

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James Abbott

James is an award-winning freelance landscape and portrait photographer, as well as a highly experienced photography journalist working with some of the best photography magazines and websites with a worldwide audience. He’s also the author of The Digital Darkroom: The Definitive Guide to Photo Editing. www.jamesaphoto.co.uk