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 the smaller format, 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.
Introduced in 2016, the DJI Mavic Pro redefined portability for consumer drones. The folding design made for a drone that could safely slide into a backpack...
- 27 - Minutes
- 4K - 30 FPS
- 40 - MPH (65 KPH)
- 4.3 - MILES
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is the first "air" to look like a Mavic drone. It's the perfect midway between the Mini and larger Mavic...
- 34 - MIN
- 4K - 60 FPS
- 42.5 - MPH
- 6.2 - MILES
The DJI Mavic Mini is the smallest Mavic drone released to date. Offering 2.7K video and great flight features in a package small enough to...
- 30 - Minutes
- 2.7K - 12MP
- 29 - MPH
- 2.5 - Miles
DJI called the Mavic 2 Pro an iterative update over the original Mavic Pro; It may look like a simple upgrade, but the Mavic 2...
- 31 - MIN
- 4K - 30 FPS
- 44 - MPH
- 6.2 - MILES
Along with the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, the Mavic 2 Zoom is one of the safest drones in the sky. You'll enjoy the flight with...
- 31 - MIN
- 4K - 30 FPS
- 44 - MPH
- 6.2 - MILES
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.
Newest drone: May 2020, DJI Mavic Air 2
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.
DJI Mavic drones
From oldest to newest: Mavic drones
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.
DJI Mavic Air
January 2018Release Date
DJI found great success with the Mavic Pro, they followed that up with the far less expensive Spark. The Mavic Air bridges the gap between these two, offering all the fun features from the smaller Spark as well as all the pro flight features of the Mavic Pro. Better yet, the Mavic Air introduced a 100Mbps data rate for video capture on a DJI drone under $1500. That sounds like a mouthful, suffice to say that the Mavic Air instantly took the crown for the best video at the lowest price of any drone on the market.
After the launch of the Mavic 2 series of drones, we had to recommend the newer Mavic line as the best camera on a compact drone, but the Mavic Air still remains our top pick if ultimate portability is your concern. The Mavic Air manages to pack down to almost fit comfortably in your pocket.
DJI Mavic Pro Platinum
September 2017Release Date
The original DJI Mavic Pro was one of our favorite drones, it introduced a new segment to the consumer drone industry, the compact, folding quadcopter. No matter what level of credit you give it for the segment, the is no question that the Mavic Pro Platinum took thing to the next level. Improving the ESCs and adding more efficient propellers made for a quieter flight and more air time. What's not to love in that. Of course, the newer Mavic 2 series overtakes them both.
The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum sells for about $1099 still.
Other DJI drones:
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
August 2018Release Date
Introduced in August of 2018, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro instantly became the best consumer-class folding drone that DJI had to offer. A marked upgrade over the original Mavic Pro, the Mavic 2 Pro rocks a 1-inch camera sensor for 4K video capture at 100Mbps, multi-direction obstacle avoidance sensors for some of the safest drone flight possible, and much more. OcuSync 2.0 enhances connectivity to the remote control and other accessories, now able to transmit 1080p live stream video well beyond the legal line-of-sight.
With an initial launch price of $1449, plus another $319 to get the Fly More kit with extra batteries, there is a barrier to entry with this machine, but if the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is within your budget, we think you will not be disappointed.
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
August 2018Release Date
If you run down the spec sheet, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro are the same machine, with one major exception, the camera. The folding quadcopter design offers great portability, the multi-direction obstacle avoidance sensors assist in safe flight, and the new capabilities of OcuSync 2.0 add versatility for control and accessories. That is true for both of the drones, the Mavic 2 Zoom, on the other hand, rocks a 2x optical zoom lens on top of a 12MP camera. It shoots 4K video at 100Mbps and can digitally double that zoom for an impressive close-up.
DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise
October 2018Release Date
After finding success with the second version of the Mavic Pro, along came the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise, using the same platform as the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom, but adding mounting points for accessories. The accessories are designed for tasks such as search and rescue, with a spotlight, loud speaker, beacon and more. Available in two versions, the Zoom Edition uses the same camera as the Mavic 2 Zoom, and the Dual Edition adds a thermal camera to the mix, but removes zooming from the visual camera.
DJI did not initially display the purchase price for the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise, we understand it has a starting price of $1999, the accessories are added from there.
DJI Mavic Mini
November 2019Release Date
With a long list of drones that start with the name Mavic, DJI has launched yet another consumer machine, perhaps their most consumer friendly yet, the new, very compact, folding DJI Mavic Mini.
As the name implies, the DJI Mavic Mini is a very small machine, and in true DJI fashion, it has few compromises to make it all work. The first thing to note is that the Mavic Mini weighs less than 0.55 lbs, which means you do not need to register it with the FAA before flight. Registration is quick and easy, but not requiring it at all is a bonus.
Related reading: DJI Mavic Mini review
Don't let the small size fool you, this drone packs a 12MP camera, shoot 2.7K video from a 3-axis stabilized Gimbal and has all of the flight features you'd expect from a Mavic drone today.
DJI Mavic Air 2
May 2020Release Date
The DJI Mavic Air 2 drone is more than just a successor to the original Mavic Air, it's more of a transition from its own form-factor into a true Mavic drone. The Mavic Air 2 maintains its place as a mid-tier drone in DJI's lineup. In terms of size, price, and capability, the Mavic Air 2 sits almost perfectly in between the Mavic Mini and the Mavic 2 series drones.
In the same way that the Mavic Air stepped up the camera game for small drones, the Mavic Air 2 is an exciting update in the camera department as well. You're looking at a new 1/2-inch sensor that shoots 12MP stills, but does so from a 48MP sensor! You can capture 48MP stills as well, but the 12MP shots are better, using pixel binning managed by Quad Bayer technology. Photos are great, but the new 4K video capture at 60fps, and a data bit rate of 120Mbps, are more exciting to many users.
Check out the DJI Mavic Air 2 for a starting price of $799 for the base package, $988 for the Fly More combo at launch in May 2020.
More to come?
We expect that DJI will continue the Mavic line for years to come, but what is the next machine on deck? After seeing the capabilities of the DJI Mavic Air 2, we can’t but want new Mavic 2 series drones. The Mavic 2 Pro is still good, but the newer 48MP sensor would be pretty great in the Mavic 2 Zoom. Here we go again with the concept of interchangeable payloads for the Mavic series. Our Mavic 2 Zoom is still in great shape, it flies as good as the day we bought it, and it’s more capable as an airframe than the Air 2, but our Zoom is collecting dust because we like the camera on the Mavic Air 2 better. See my point?
The rumor mill is churning with talk of the DJI Mavic 3 series of drones. Speculation is more prevalent than leaks, but we have every reason to think a Mavic 3 drone will be quite similar to the Mavic 2 series, just with more flight features and upgraded cameras. The biggest rumor is for a pro-class Mavic 3 that will offer interchangeable cameras, or at least lenses, and will take over for the aging Inspire 2 in professional drone fleets. That’s super exciting, we can’t wait to see if it’s true.
Which is your favorite DJI Mavic drone?