Earlier this month rumours surfaced to suggest that DJI had a new drone in the works that it planned to announce later this month. The drone was reportedly going to be a fully foldable device aimed at a more hobbyist entry-level market. Now DJI has unveiled the Mavic Pro, and it’s not quite as entry-level as we first thought.
So, what is the Mavic Pro?
In short, the Mavic Pro is DJI’s attempt at bringing portability to drone enthusiasts. Much like Yuneec and GoPro’s foldable drone’s the Mavic is much smaller and is capable of folding up as small as a bottle of water.
What makes the Mavic Pro pretty special though is that while the drone is much smaller in size it’s still big on features and doesn’t sacrifice the many things which makes DJI drones some of the top drones on the market.
There’s still plenty of sensors on the front and bottom of the device bringing obstacle avoidance to the drone, there’s also subject tracking, autonomous landing, and stability control both indoors and outdoors without GPS.
But what about the camera?
The good news here is that the Mavic Pro has the same sensor as the Phantom 4, meaning that it’ll be able to shoot 4K video at 30fps, and full 1080p at 96fps. Its 12 megapixel camera with support for Adobe DNG RAW means it’ll also take some fantastic shots.
The only real down-side here is that the field of view has been dropped slightly shrinking from 94 degrees to 78, which may be too much for some, but perfectly fine for others.
It’s also worth noting that the camera is encased in a little clear bubble, likely making it easier to store in bags without damaging the sensitive hardware.
How does it fly?
Well, you’d think with a smaller form factor it’d lose both flight time and speed, and in some respects, yes it does. But according to DJI there’s still plenty to offer in terms of flight.
The Mavic Pro will offer around 27 minutes of flight time on a single charge, and will offer speeds of around 40 miles per hour, just shy of the 45 miles per hour you’ll get from the Phantom 4.
It’s also got some decent range on it too thanks to the new OcuSync transmission system which offers around 4.3 miles of range to the drone.
Chock full of improvements…
DJI have however managed to cram even more into the smaller drone making it in some respects, more powerful and intelligent than DJI’s flagship Phantom drones. The Mavic can stream live video from upto 4.3 miles away – as mentioned above. Which is over the 3.1 miles range on the Phantom 4.
The new system will also allow video to be streamed at 1080p to YouTube, Periscope, and Facebook.
In addition, the new computer vision system allows for the aforementioned obstacle avoidance and tracking, but now it’ll also allow the drone to be controlled by gestures. Waving your hands will get the drone’s attention, making a Y shape with your arms will activate tracking, and making a frame with your hands in front of your face will start he timer for a selfie shot.
Finally, the Mavic has also allowed DJI to do away with the massive controller found with the Phantom, this time offering something similar to a standard game controller. The controller has its own little screen which shows off basic telemetry, but also offers a more compact slot for your smartphone.
The drone will however fly with just the remote control, or with your smartphone, or both combined.
How much does it cost?
Well here’s the disappointing part. While the previous rumours suggested that DJI would be aiming the drone at a more hobbyist entry-level market, the Mavic Pro will actually retail for $999 with the remote or $749 without the remote.
Of course, it’s hardly shocking as DJI have never really been one for offering products at a more entry-level market, it’s just not a part of the company’s DNA, and that’s fine. However, we’re yet to see how robust the Mavic Pro really is considering the additional movable parts available on the device.
In terms of availability, the DJI website states that shipping will begin mid-October on a first come, first served basis. So if you’re looking to get one before Christmas, I’d pre-order now.
UK customers can also pre-order the Mavic Pro from Heliguy.