The folks at DJI have done great things with their compact, folding drones. It all started with the DJI Mavic Pro in 2016, a machine that, ultimately, revolutionized the consumer drone market. Not only has DJI built upon the success of this smaller format of drone, but many others have followed, building similarly sized quadcopters of their own. Truth is, very few have what it takes to compare to the Mavic Pro, let alone the newer and better Mavic drones.
DJI is a step above the rest in many regards, but we’ll explore the competition another day. Today, let’s explore the DJI Mavic drones, from Mavic Pro to Mavic 2 Enterprise.
Why trust Drone Rush?
I’ve been a fan of flight since a young age; while I’ve had few opportunities at the helm of manned aircraft, the hours on my fleet of drones continue to grow. I enjoy putting cameras into the sky, silky smooth aerial imagery makes me happy. My goal is to help all pilots enjoy flight legally and safely.
What are Mavic drones?
DJI began a successful series of folding quadcopters when they launched the DJI Mavic Pro in 2016. These are smaller drones, able to fit into water bottle holders when folded for transport, but they continue to offer some of the best flight features for consumer drones today. Fully stabilized, 3-axis camera gimbals ensure smooth capture of at least 2.7K, but mostly 4K video, and the higher-end Mavic drones offer OcuSync 2.0 with 6.2 mile range.
Mavic drones are primarily designed for the consumer market, but they are good enough to tackle some inspection and photography needs. There is a commercial-grade Mavic, the Mavic 2 Enterprise, that is designed for tasks like search & rescue as well.
Today, you can choose from a few Mavic drones, starting with the entry-level Mavic Mini for about $400, the Mavic Air 2 for about $800, the Mavic 2 Zoom for around $1200, the Mavic 2 Pro for about $1500 and the Enterprise at about $2000 and up. Right now, mid-August 2020, we think the Mavic Air 2 is the best bang for the buck, but they are all solid machines that serve slightly different purposes.
Know before you fly: Drone laws in your area
DJI Mavic drones
From oldest to newest.
DJI Mavic Pro: The original Mavic
The DJI Mavic Pro impressed the technology community when it launched in 2016. We were accustomed to large aircraft with moderate cameras, but along came DJI with this things that could almost fit in your pocket, and hauled around a smooth 4K camera. The folding design was a first for DJI products, transforming a full aircraft down into a small rectangle, safe to travel.
DJI Mavic Air: Small, yet powerful
The DJI Mavic Air began a trend that DJI is proud to continue, this little drone shook the industry by offering a very compact size with very few compromises. In fact, the Mavic Air rocked one of the very best cameras for a drone under $1,400 when it launched, considering it cost half that price, we were all impressed. The 4K camera with 100Mbps video bitrate is on the lower-end of average today, but at launch, folks were hanging up their more expensive Mavic Pro in favor of the smaller design with smoother video capture.
DJI Mavic Pro Platinum: Introduced high-efficiency motors and propellers
The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum confused people at first – was DJI really just launching a new color?!?! Then the details came out, and the Mavic Pro Platinum proved one of the most important stepping stones for the Mavic line of drones. Behind the new paint was new motors, new ESCs, new power management software, and sleek high-efficiency propellers. These subtle changes made huge results, including much quieter flight, longer flight time, and an increase in stability.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro: Biggest camera on a Mavic drone
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro hit the market in a big way. Fans of the Mavic Pro could now get a larger, more powerful, faster, and stronger folding drone with a far superior camera. The Mavic 2 series offers all-direction obstacle avoidance sensors, downward facing lights, and launched with new self-piloted functions that made them the best drones around for many pilots.
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom: Best optical zoom
The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom launched along side the Mavic 2 Pro in 2018. The Mavic 2 Zoom differs by offering a smaller camera sensor, but with a feature you can probably guess, optical zoom. The glass lenses are able to distort light for 2x and 4x magnification, then you can use digital zoom to double that again, taking the stock 28mm focal length out to 96mm, if you desire to see far, far away.