DJI Mavic Pro 4K Camera Drone for $999.00

With DJI, we are moving (also priced) in the drone-class, and the Mavic Pro is one of the latest models of the Chinese technology company. The Mavic is about the same technical level as the more famous Phantom 4 of the DJI Phantom series, but is much more compact and follows the trend of the “foldable” design that we can currently observe in quadrocopters of all sizes. DJI Mavic Pro

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Model DJI Mavic Pro
Dimensions 8.3 x 8.3 x 19.8 cm (folded)
33.5 cm (diagonal)
Weight 743g (with gimbal cover)
Max. speed 65km / h
Battery pack 3839mAh LiPo, 11.4V
Max. Flight time 27 minutes
Remote control 2.4GHz; 7km range
Camera 12MP; 4K video

Processing

The one or the other will swallow at the sight of the price: “A drone for over 1000€, I thought technology from China would be so cheap?” China is not equal to China, and DJI now one of the world’s most important names in the drones industry and geography. And for the price you get the appropriate technology delivered.

Collapsed easy to transport.
Folded the Mavic Pro comes to the dimensions: 19,8cm x 8,3cm x 8,3cm

The Mavic is, according to the description, “no larger than a water bottle”, and thus much easier to transport than the Phantom 4 or other video Quadcopter like the Mi Drone. In the “Mavic Pro Combo” is a transport bag directly, smaller (and cheap) bags are also available from third parties.

In the remote control one has thought of something similar, this too is comparatively small and can be folded up. With DJI one can start from a top processing of all components. Another special feature besides the collapsible arms is the extremely small three-axis gimbal of the camera. This provides – if the drone times wobbles – for a stable picture.

Flight behavior and performance

The range of the drone is given with seven kilometers, whereby one should keep in the back head, that one should not fly in Germany easily out of sight. 7km also refers to the (American) FCC mode; In the CE-mode prescribed in Europe the range is 4km. The live image of the camera is transferred to your own smartphone, which is connected to the remote control and is clamped in the intended holder. Therefore in addition, the App DJI GO, which is available for Android as iOS free of charge. The approx. 240g weight of the drone has a capacity of 3830mAh, which is sufficient for a maximum flight time of 27 minutes .

The different flight modes

Anyone familiar with the drone after a certain period of familiarization can try one of the five different flight modes. First and foremost, the sport mode, which can be selected via a controller button and can thus be activated quickly. In this mode the drone reaches a top speed of up to 65 km/h ! On the other hand, in the tripod mode, lower speeds (<2 km/h) are known, which allow precise camera shots. At such a low speed should be synonymous in indoor spaces make good recordings. The active-track mode  is something like the self-drive mode of the drone. On the smartphone live image, a square around the human being or the object to be tracked and follows this. The Mavic Pro not only remembers the outline of the person, but also the colors – very smart.

DJI Mavic Pro drone
The five different flight modes of the Mavic Pro can be seen

Here you can choose whether the drone sideways beside you or completely normal behind you flies. Caution: In the case of lateral flight, no obstacle detection is possible since the sensors of the Mavic Pro are seated at the front. In the Gesture mode, photos can be taken without holding the controller or the smartphone in the hand. The Terrain-Modous lets the drone know whether you are running a mountain or you are generally climbing uphill. Normally, the drone would fly into the obstacle (into the mountain), but in Terrain mode, the Mavic Pro will recognize this and go with her user. This keeps the distance from the ground when she flies behind her pilot.

Mode particularity
Sport mode Top speed of up to 65 km/h
Tripod mode Allows accurate camera shots
Active-track mode The drone follows man or object
Gesture Mode Shoot photos without controller or smartphone
Terrain mode Drone detects slopes (eg mountains)

The camera of the DJI Mavic Pro

The camera records videos up to 4K @ 30fps ; FullHD even up to 96fps and 720p with up to 120fps. The angle of incidence (FOV) is 78.8 °. Through the built-in Gimbal, the camera can be rotated (“roll”) or tilted (“pitch”, -90 ° to + 30 °). In order not to have to fly completely manually and to film, the drone can fly independently predetermined paths by GPS and GLONASS , follow a moving object and avoid collisions.

DJI Mavic Pro Remote Control
Thanks to the detection of obstacles, the Mavic Pro is safe even without a remote control

A further special feature besides the collapsible arms is the above-mentioned, extremely small three-axis gimbal of the camera. This provides – if the drone times wobbles – for a stable picture. The recordings are saved as MOV or MP4. Photos makes the Quadcopter with 12 megapixels in JPEG or DNG RAW format. Depending on the selected modes (Tripod mode recommended), good videos should be possible with soft camera driving. In various pictures, which I could see so far, the pictures were very sharp and contrasting.

Order in China, is that safe?

At such a price you would understandably not take any risk. The China Shop GearBest, which is recommended here, offers payment via Paypal, so you do not need to worry. If the goods are defective or not delivered, you have 180 days to Paypal to report the case. Ordering in China is no longer a lottery, but a ordering process like any other .

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Conclusion

The DJI Mavic  is not a quad copter for absolute newcomers and scares the price by the majority for the most part. If you have a little experience with the intuitive control, which takes you a lot of things, will probably get along very quickly. The article is only intended to provide a first impression of the drone and perhaps you will get the desire to go deeper into the matter. What is your general view on drones / quad rocopters? Have you also interest in more expensive models like the Mavic, or are rather the middle class models up to 100 € interesting? Let us know in the comments.

DJI Mavic Pro alternatives

Whoever is looking for high-quality drones but wants to spend a little less money (possibly because he does not want the all-rounder, but a single function especially highlighted) often has difficulties finding useful alternatives. Why buy drones from China? As a result, almost every drone comes from China and the choice is right – just like the price. So that you have some more options, here are a few suggestions from our test labs:

The little sister – The DJI Spark

The DJI Spark came a little later on the market than the Mavic Pro, and presents itself above all as Selfie drone. It can be controlled by smartphone or even by gesture control and mainly makes recordings of people. Nevertheless, it can fly with the optional remote control, reach a range of several hundred meters (up to 2km), and thanks to a 1080p video camera with 2-axis gimbal make amazing good landscapes. We have tested the mini version of the Mavic itself and are thrilled. The Spark is currently available at around 450 €, the price for the combo with remote control is about 650 €.

DJI Spark Selfie drone
Equipped like the Mavic Pro, but still a mini version – the DJI Spark

Xiaomi Mi Drone

The Xiaomi Mi Drone, which is recorded in FullHD and now also in the 4K variant, is the half-price of the DJI Mavic Pro in the basic setup and the performance is the most similar . In our test, the Mi Drone was convincing and represents a good alternative to the Mavic Pro for those who would like to call a high-quality Quadcopter as well as a good camera.

Drone of the brand Xiaomi
The Xiaomi Mi drone looks simple yet stylish

Cheerson CX-20

Once again one or two price categories lower and a good entry-level model for camera flights: The Cheerson CX-20 Quadrocopter has been tested and found to be very good. In addition to many spare parts available and the possibility of starting without much manual work, the Quadcopter does not have a built-in camera, but it is capable of carrying a FullHD camera of your choice. Thus, for beginners (also thanks to the good flight behavior) many possibilities arise without having to directly access a large, expensive model. With now nearly 200 € a viable alternative in a quite reasonable price segment.

Drone of Cheerson brand
The Cheerson CX 20 plays at the top of its price class

Another league – DJI Inspire

Admittedly a completely different format than any drone that we have presented so far. We mention it only because we get big eyes and soft knees when we see them. The DJI Inspire, which is now available in the second generation, costs even in the older version and without accessories at least € 2000. The current model costs in the premium combo then already 7000 €, and even the one can still beat with some extras. But you get a highly modern drone, which is mainly aimed at professional filmmakers. Videos in 5.2K (4K is sooo 2016), reaches speeds of up to 94km / h and is equipped with more technology than we want to enumerate here. If you want to get an impression of what is possible today, take a look at the drone.

DJI Inspire One
It does not get any better – Inspire offers more than any other DJI drone

Cheap alternatives for beginners

Anyone who has not yet come into contact with drones and would like to know if the flight is like him at all, should look at the Skytech TK110HW drone, which follows the trend of the folding arms. Thus the small Quadcopter is ideal for the pocket and on the road, also brings a camera (720p) with and weighs only 155 g. In terms of ease of transport and interest in Selfie shots, the Selfie droner Zerotech Dobby offers, which follows like the Mavic Pro to make selfs of their pilot. Also here with the Selfie drone JJRC H37 “Elfie” is a pricey alternative, which works however less well than Dobby. All of these drones were tested extensively by us.

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