There are many drones on the market, satisfying many different needs; as far as putting a camera in the air is concerned, DJI has a solid offering on their hands. Following our full review and a focus on the camera capabilities of the high flying DJI Mavic Pro, we are here to explore the ten top reasons to consider this quadcopter.
In the early months for this new drone, the Mavic Pro was hard to find, it then became very popular, and was found in many places, but the drone has since been retired and is no longer in production. In its prime, popularity of this folding quadcopter skyrocketed, pun intended. DJI has released a few updates as well since initial release, including the new Mavic Pro Platinum, which offers longer flight time and is quieter in the air, if nothing else.
This is a highly-rated drone, and one that we endorse, so let’s dive in and see just what there is to love about it.
DJI Mavic Pro
November 2016Release Date
The DJI Mavic Pro is a compact, folding drone that was a pioneer for portability. This quadcopter folds down to fit easily in a backpack, or large pocket, while opening up to take 4K video to over 40mph in the sky. The 3-axis stabilized gimbal offers very smooth footage and OcuSync enables long range and HD live video streaming. The Phantom line of drones may have established DJI as a leader in the consumer drone market, but the Mavic Pro made high-quality aerial photography fun and highly accessible.
Reasons to choose the DJI Mavic Pro
- OcuSync connectivity
- Available parts and accessories
- Great remote control
- Excellent range
- Portable folding design
- Great flight modes
- Solid flight characteristics
- Overall usability
There are newer drones than the Mavic Pro:
Since the DJI Mavic Pro is retired, it might be best to check out one of these newer drones that offer most, if not all, of the same great features.
Before we start our numbered list, we are eager to say the word OcuSync. OcuSync is a powerful connectivity protocol for some DJI drones, we took to it on the Mavic Pro. Primarily, the power of OcuSync is the ability to connect multiple controllers or video devices to one drone. This allows you to help people learn how to fly, if you connect two remotes, setting one as primary that can override the second in a pinch. This allows the second remote to connect to a video streaming machine, like for a news crew, and more popular, OcuSync allows the wireless connection to the DJI Goggles, we’ll talk about that below.
Bottom line, OcuSync provides many ‘pro’ functions to your drone. The new Mavic Air may be a good machine for casual pilots, but the Mavic Pro with OcuSync allows some advanced functionality.
11. Trusted brand
For those that are new to the world of quadcopters and other consumer class drones, allow us to say that DJI is a leading brand in the industry. They do not offer any toy class, or really any inexpensive drones, with most of their current lineup exceeding $1000. That said, this is a company that caters to high-end and professional markets, just take a look at the Inspire 2, which we attended the launch event for at the Warner Brothers Studios recently.
With drones like the Mavic Pro starting around $999, and fully equipped Inspire 2 models running you north of $6000, not everyone can put a DJI product into the sky. If you are serious about a flying camera, however, we can think of no better brand today.
10. Parts & Accessories
Not that we think you are going to need extra propellers all that often, but even with the drone itself still hard to find, we’ve ordered and DJI has delivered a set of replacement propellers. It may not be as easy to order in or repair and replace things like motors, lights or the camera, but as long as DJI continues the parts trend they started for other drones, the Mavic Pro should prove well supported in the days to come.
Update: DJI has added a bunch of new accessories for your drone. A few things are pretty simple, from a slim and soft carrying pouch and replacement cables, but the new advanced charger is a treat. No longer does your Mavic Pro charger power one battery at a time, power four at a time. I ordered up the ND filters for the camera as well as the hood for the controller, both in preparation for sunny flights when the clouds break around here.
We have talked about how the Mavic Pro is actually a great drone for beginners, (sort of,) DJI had the same in mind, adding some protection to the drone. There is a propeller guard now available, just a simple bumper, but there is also a serious update in full propeller cages. The kit provides four cages that encapsulate your new, slightly shorter propellers, for ultimate protection. Admittedly, battery life suffers greatly with these cages in place, but if safety is the concern, DJI has got you and your Mavic Pro covered.
Update: In the last few months, popularity of this drone has led to many third-party accessories as well. Everything that DJI provides for this drone you can find 3D printed or other out there. We cannot say how safe these accessories are, or reliable, but there are some slick ideas out there for sure.
9. 4K camera
4K is the new HD, and drones, for some reason, seem to be leading the curve. Admitting that 4K resolution on a full frame DSLR camera is an entirely different beast than the 4K on the 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor of the Mavic Pro, we are again reminded of the Inspire 2, rocking 5.2K resolution.
The Mavic Pro does more than just offer 4K, it offers Cinematic 4K as well – that is, where “4K” denotes a resolution of 3840×2160, Cinematic 4K is for the full 4096×2160 resolution. These resolutions are captured at 24 fps each, with ‘normal’ 4K bumping up to 25 or 30 if you wish.
There is more to like about the camera on the Mavic Pro, be sure to check out our full feature focus on the topic for more details.
Update: DJI has updated their DJI GO 4 app to include new camera control capabilities whilst in mid-flight and recording. The real highlight is the added continual auto-focus option, no longer do you have to mess up your perfect arc to tap the button on the back.
8. Remote controller
We are particular fans of the remote control for the Mavic Pro. I mean, we’ve handled better and more feature packed controllers, but this is easily one of the most powerful and compact devices we’ve seen. The small LCD display offers up more than the basics to keep you in the air, and get you safely back home all while capturing top notch 4K video. Okay, some of the credit goes tot he dedicated return to home button, video capture, photo capture and auto focus buttons and more.
Best of all, at least for risky and new fliers, there is a pause button. No, you can’t really pause reality, but if you don’t like what’s going on, tap pause and the drone comes to an immediate halt and remains hovering right where it is. That hover capability is on our list here today as well, but let’s get back to the controller.
Now, to be sure, the law in the U.S. says that the drone must remain in line-of-sight at all times. Sadly, this means that one of the crowning achievements of the Mavic Pro and controller are all but wasted, I’m talking about an operational range of 4.3 miles. Where law permits, enjoy live streaming 720p video to your connected smartphone, attached to the remote via handy folding mount, from nearly 7 KM away. Remember that your battery will only barely make it out that far and back, but this offers an assurance of connectivity in short range, to be sure.
Update: DJI Has added the ability to simultaneously connect two remotes to the same Mavic Pro. The primary remote takes precedence, but the second remote can fully operate the drone. This is the perfect way to teach a new pilot, or to just leave the remote untouched as an additional receiver for the live stream video.
Like the drone itself, the controller folds in nicely and tucks away.
I may have spoiled this point in the controller segment above, but that range again is up to 4.3 miles from drone to controller. DJI says you should be able to travel up to 8 miles on a charge, so you are not likely to make the full 8.6 miles that would be a max distance out and back again. Not to worry, unless you have your remote pilots license, you will be sticking to the law in the U.S. and not going that far away anyway.
This amount of range allows many fliers around the globe to achieve amazing things, taking photo and video of amazing and never before seen locations. This should prove immeasurably helpful in search and rescue situations, or commercial inspection flights, but again, please check local law before putting your Mavic Pro to the test.