DJI Mavic 2 Pro VS Mavic Zoom Review

With the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, DJI has introduced the successor to its very popular DJI Mavic Pro drone. The DJI Mavic 2 takes up the strengths of the DJI Mavic Pro and has been further improved in critical points. For example, the drone’s flight time has increased, the camera has been enhanced, and signal transmission has been optimized. Within the DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Zoom Review we will find more about the two drones.

The DJI Mavic 2 is also available in two different versions and it comes with a 1-inch sensor, which offers a resolution of 20-megapixels. Alternatively, the DJI Mavic II is being provided as the DJI Mavic II Zoom model, which has a zoom lens for lossless zooming over long distances. In terms of price, the two models are close together. 

Innovations in the DJI Mavic 2

The DJI Mavic 2 has taken many of the functional advantages of its predecessor and improved them further. The DJI Mavic Pro drone was incredibly popular due to its foldable propellers and the associated compact size. 

This feature was adopted in the Mavic 2 and upgraded a little. The outriggers of the DJI Mavic 2 have been aerodynamically improved – for the variant DJI Mavic 2 Pro as well as DJI Mavic 2 Zoom – to reduce the air resistance by approx. 19% and to extend the flight time at higher speeds. 

The improved aerodynamics can also be seen in the maximum flight speed, as this could be increased to 72 km / h in the sport mode. The housing’s geometry and the mechanism for folding the arms have also been revised and slightly changed.

Visually, the DJI Mavic 2 remains mostly faithful to its predecessor in terms of color. The housing is kept in a gray shade, although it is lighter than the DJI Mavic Pro. The housing was made of plastic and is, therefore, both light and very robust. 

The drone’s well-thought-out concept is also continued with the camera, as the gimbal has been revised here. This is much more robust and less sensitive to touch, especially in relation to its predecessor, the DJI Mavic Pro.

DJI has also revised the DJI Mavic II rotors and improved them in terms of noise development. In the current model, the so-called low-noise propellers are installed as standard. In the previous model, these were only included in the Platinum version. 

The difference between the standard propellers of the DJI Mavic Pro series is clearly audible. Due to the new propellers installed in both the Pro and the Zoom variant, the drone’s flight is more pleasant and less disruptive for the environment.

Another change can be seen in the area of ​​the battery. Like its predecessor, the DJI Mavic 2 has a charge level indicator on the battery, but this is no longer realized by several LED points arranged one below the other but by a light ring around the on / off switch of the battery.

Similarities between the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and the DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Except for the camera, both models are the same in their dimensions and have the same housing. Therefore, the folding propellers are also available on both drone models and work identically. Thus, both models are ideal for vacations, trips, or hiking tours, as they are light in weight and require little space.

Regardless of the camera chosen, both models – DJI Mavic 2 Pro and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom – have a bit rate of 100 Mbps and support the H.265 codec. With a resolution of 1080p, both cameras can record an incredible 120 images per second. With a resolution of 2.7K, 60 frames per second are possible, and with 4K recordings at least 30 frames per second.

When recording images, you can choose between recording as JPEG or alternatively in Adobe raw data format DNG, as usual.

If the drone is flown using a live image, it will be transmitted in 1080p resolution. The improved signal transmission system DJI OcuSync 2.0, which is built into both drone models, achieves ranges of up to eight kilometers (according to the FCC standard) or five kilometers (according to the CE standard).

Another innovation in terms of signal transmission was first introduced in the DJI Mavic 2 model. The drone supports the automatic change between the 2.4 GHz frequency band and the 5.8 GHz frequency band during the flight. The OcuSync remote control or, alternatively, the DJI Goggles, the DJI Goggles RE, or the upcoming DJI Goggles II can be used to control the drones.

Both models have the same batteries and chargers. The charger has changed visually, making it rounder and more compact and a bit more modern in terms of design. 

The new power supply offers an additional intelligent function. An integrated USB cable has been added, with which the flight controller or remote control can be charged without a separate USB cable or the appropriate power bank adapter. This idea is probably not revolutionary, but the gain in comfort is enormous.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro controller

The controller is revised, and the new model’s joysticks can be removed, similar to the one known from the Mavic Air model. The transport of the controller is made much easier because it is much more compact.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro Accessories 

In addition to the battery and charger, the package includes the usual accessories, such as replacement propellers and various cables. If you wanted to fly longer with the previous model DJI Mavic Pro, you could buy the Fly More Combo. This is no longer available with the DJI Mavic 2. Still, a DJI Mavic 2 Fly More Kit is available, including additional batteries, a car charger, a shoulder bag, a power bank adapter, a charging station, and a spare propeller.

Both drones have gained over 20% in weight. While the DJI Mavic Pro had a flight weight of 734 grams, both models of the DJI Mavic 2 are significantly higher at over 900 grams. 

The DJI Mavic II Pro (907 grams) is slightly heavier than the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom (905 grams). Both drones, therefore, require identification in the form of a drone sticker. You can find more detailed information on this in our corresponding article on drone identification.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro folded compactly, and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom folded compactly

The drone has been optimized in many ways, and progress has been made concerning the possible flight time. The DJI Mavic 2 drone has a maximum flight time of up to 31 minutes and exceeds its predecessor by 4 minutes. This may not sound like much at first, but that is just under 15%.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro camera

The new DJI Mavic 2 offers two different models. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the DJI Mavic Zoom. We will introduce both models and explain the differences accordingly.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro camera

The camera of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro – 1-inch sensor & Hasselblad camera

The Swedish company Hasselblad is known within the industry for professional cameras and camera systems in the high-end area, which is why most end customers will not be familiar with the brand. DJI took over large parts of the company in mid-2017 and has now equipped the DJI Mavic 2 Pro with a camera from this collaboration.

The built-in Hasselblad camera has a 1 inch CMOS sensor with a resolution of 20 megapixels. This puts the new camera of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro on a similar level as the DJI Phantom 4 Professional camera. However, the DJI Mavic II Pro camera has an adjustable or variable aperture from f2.8 to f.11.

The camera does not offer a lossless zoom, as this is reserved for the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. Compared to the previous DJI Mavic Pro drone, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro offers four times the reserve, enabling better image and video results.

HDR videos, especially in the 10-bit HLG standard, are also easily possible with the camera and offer spectacular image material without the need for extensive post-processing.

However, if you are planning high-quality post-processing of the material, you will be particularly pleased with the flat color profile called Dlog-MT introduced in both drone models, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom.

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom camera – up to 4x lossless optical zoom

It is difficult for beginners to find a good drone with a reliable zoom lens. These camera systems are usually located in the field of professional drones and are significantly more expensive in terms of price. 

With the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, DJI is offering a drone with a lossless zoom for the first time in the entry-level area. The drone’s zoom version is equipped with a 1 / 2.3-inch sensor, which offers 12 megapixels with a fixed aperture of f2.8. Depending on the resolution, the camera can be used to zoom without loss. 

With a 4K recording, a double zoom is possible, and with a FullHD recording, a fourfold lossless zoom is possible. This quadruple lossless zoom is made up of a dual optical zoom and a double lossless digital zoom.

The possibility of zooming allows the photographer to generate entirely new images. This makes it possible to film in dangerous areas, such as crevices, or to bring hazardous objects such as predators close up as a theme. The desired item can also be brought closer by skillful zooming, thus saving flight time to bridge the distance. This function is particularly useful when taking pictures of landscapes.

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom has also been equipped with new hybrid autofocus. This hybrid AF consists of form and contrast functions and is around 40% faster than the autofocus of the DJI Mavic Pro and, according to the manufacturer, significantly more accurate.

Review of the sensors

Drones are being equipped with increasingly sophisticated assistance systems to facilitate control, adopt standard processes, and make it easier for beginners to operate the drones. The new DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom’s assistance systems have also been overhauled, and additional sensors have been added.

New sensors and flight modes were introduced, particularly in the area of ​​collision warning and avoidance. The housing of the DJI Mavic 2 was equipped with visual camera sensors on the left and right sides, and there is also a dual 3D camera sensor below the housing.

The sensors on the drone side are mainly used to support smart flight modes such as ActiveTracking mode. Here, the sensors are used to avoid colliding with obstacles when moving sideways. The sensors are currently only used in ActiveTracking and not yet in other flight modes. Their functionality may be expanded in the future through appropriate firmware updates.

There are also sensors on the front of the drone and on the back to detect the environment and warn in the event of a possible collision. Also, there is a 3D sensor system on the top, which protects the drone from above.

The extended sensor package protects the DJI Mavic 2 drone from collisions much better and increases safety when flying. Even beginners can trust riskier subjects after a relatively short period, but they should not rely solely on the security systems.

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom’s downward-facing sensors for stabilizing the flight altitude and position via the Vision Positioning System (VPS) have also been improved. 

For this purpose, LED lights were attached to the underside, ensuring better illumination, allowing more stable take-off, landing, and hovering at low heights. The LED lights support the built-in sensors, especially in low lighting conditions, such as at dusk.

Thanks to the new and revised sensors, the DJI Mavic 2 drone can be flown much more safely and comfortably, as the drone detects impending collisions independently and reacts accordingly. Despite all these advances, one should not rely solely on the sensors, but keep an eye on the drone.

Flight behavior of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

With the DJI Mavic Pro, DJI has presented a drone that offers an outstanding flight experience despite being easy to use. This principle has been taken up again in the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom drone and further improved. 

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro impressively surpasses its predecessor drone in terms of stability and accuracy and continues to offer the drone’s intuitive and straightforward operation and the camera system.

In terms of flight performance, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom are unchallenged. The Mavic series from DJI is mainly characterized by the very stable take-off and landing maneuvers thanks to the Vision Positioning System (VPS) improved with LEDs and the drone’s fast response speed. 

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone achieves even higher rates than its predecessor and remains stable at all times thanks to the very well implemented GPS positioning in flight and hover mode.

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom drones have a whole range of assistance systems, which on the one hand, enable breathtaking recordings and, on the other hand, protect the drone from crashes. Well-known functions such as returning to the starting point and landing the drone when the battery is shallow are also included. 

Flight modes such as ActiveTrack, FollowMe, or waypoints for flying a defined route, which is incredibly popular with athletes, are also mastered by both drones. The flight modes for panorama shots, Point of Interest (POI), and TapFly are particularly suitable for landscape shots.

The new sensors’ advantages are immediately apparent when flying with the new DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. Thanks to the optimized Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) in conjunction with the extended sensor system, obstacle detection is significantly improved and faster. 

In contrast to the previous model, the DJI Mavic Pro, ActiveTrack 2.0, also works with the DJI Mavic 2’s primary camera and uses the 3D sensors. This makes the detection more reliable and accurate. The improved technological solution also allows objects to be tracked at the drone’s top speed of up to 72 km / h.

The Point of Interest (POI) mode has also been further developed and improved. With POI 2.0, it is sufficient to provide the item to be encircled with a frame and then define the object’s radius. Similar functionality is already known from the ActiveTrack flight mode.

The two models of the DJI Mavic 2 series also get a new flight mode. The so-called Hyperlapse offers the pilot new possibilities to create creative aerial photographs. 

It was almost impossible or only possible with excessive post-processing of the video material to create Hyperlapse recordings until now. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom models now make such Hyperlapse videos entirely independently from the air.

The recording interval for both models is between 0.5 and 2 seconds. By using additional modes such as Free, Course Lock, Waypoints, and Circle, different sub-modes can be created within the Hyperlapse recording.

However, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom does not have a flight mode. In the Dolly Zoom mode or the Vertigo Effect mode, the drone moves like a train on rails, while the subject remains unchanged in size, and the focal length changes simultaneously. This creates a vertigo effect, whereby the background becomes larger with “Dooly-In” and smaller with “Dooly-Out.” The viewer has a spectacular, so-called effect.

Conclusion on the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

With the second generation of the Mavic drone, DJI has again managed to develop an exceptionally versatile and easy-to-control drone. The drone has very compact dimensions and can, therefore, be conveniently stowed in a backpack or bag for your travel adventures. This means that the drone is with you everywhere and, despite its small dimensions, offers an enormous range of functions.

Whether you choose the DJI Mavic 2, Pro, or the DJI Mavic 2, Zoom depends on the desired area of ​​use. If you want to take many pictures with zoom or use the Dolly Zoom flight modes, you should use the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. 

Otherwise, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is more versatile thanks to its better camera and adjustable aperture and offers enough reserves for subsequent image processing.

The assistance systems to support the pilot are available in both models and offer safety and some comfort functions. Due to extensive processes, robust design, and powerful drive, the drone is suitable for both hobby and professional use.

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