DJI Mavic Pro camera review!

The modern drone captures great aerial images and video, these high flying quadcopters capture a view of the world we may have never seen before. DJI is one of the leading drone manufacturers to put cameras in the sky and their amazingly capable Mavic Pro is one of the easiest drones to fly.DJI Mavic Pro review

Want more options? Here are the best drones for taking photos and video from the air.

The compact size and light weight make the Mavic Pro an ideal drone to pack around, but a small size means a small camera, which means poor photos and video quality, right? Let’s find out in this feature focus on the camera of the DJI Mavic Pro.

We will regularly update this article, particularly when there are new features or accessories that change how the camera operates and performs on the DJI Mavic Pro. The new Mavic Air is an update on the same camera sensor, DJI may have outdone the Mavic Pro, but we still like the thing.

Final update: This will be the last time we bring forward this review. Now that we have the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom in hand, and the DJI Mavic 2 Pro arriving soon, it’s time to start retiring the original Mavic Pro. It’s still a great drone, tons of fun to fly, but as far as the camera goes, the Mavic 2 Zoom and definitely the Mavic 2 Pro are far superior. 

Stay tuned for more coverage of the new DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and DJI Mavic 2 Pro! Here is one unedited shot (but compressed to 1080p) from the DJI Mavic 2 Pro from the launch event in New York, enjoy:

Unedited DJI Mavic 2 Pro photo

DJI Mavic Air

The newly announced DJI Mavic Air combines the best that the DJI Spark and this DJI Mavic Pro have to offer. The new drone uses the same size of camera sensor, but increases the bitrate from 60Mbps on the Mavic Pro to 100Mbps on the Mavic Air. We’re still working on our full comparison of these two drones, but I can give you a quick Mavic Air camera sample here, to get you started.

The DJI Mavic Air is also a little less expensive than the Mavic Pro. They serve different needs, but there is enough overlap in their capabilities you should consider carefully before buying one or the other. Stay tuned for plenty more coverage of the new DJI Mavic Air.

Update: DJI Mavic Pro Platinum now available

It’s not a big thing as far as the camera goes specifically, but the newly announced DJI Mavic Pro Platinum makes some improvements to one of our favorite folding drones. The new flight controllers, with the new propellers, make for more efficient flight, which makes for more stable image capture and improved battery life to capture more footage. The Mavic Pro Platinum is a pretty exciting new drone, but it’s the same camera as the original Mavic Pro, so this camera review is still valid.   

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Mavic

DJI Mavic Pro

November 2016

Release 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.

 

The DJI Mavic Pro is available in several packages, but mainly you can get the drone alone or bump up to the Fly More combo, which includes extra batteries, a carrying case and more.

Technical details

With a starting price of about $1000, the DJI Mavic Pro is not exactly a toy, rather, it is a serious flying package for consumer level fliers that want to put a camera in the sky. The camera in question this time out is a 12MP shooter that captures 4K video.

Diving deep, the camera on the Mavic Pro handles a handful of shooting resolutions, and speeds, with video capture up to C4K (4096 x 2160) at 24 fps (frames per second,) down to 720p capture, but that 1280 x 720 resolution starts at 24 fps and can boost up to 120 fps.

If slow motion video is your desire, you can capture, as I say, up to 120 fps at 720p and up to 96 fps at full HD, 1920 x 1080.

DJI Mavic Pro review

The camera itself is a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with a total pixel count of 12.71 M, capturing photos at 4000 x 3000 pixels. The lens is a 28 mm focal length with 78.8 degree field of view at f/2.2.

Truth is, the camera spec sheet is almost as long as a full sized camera. Let’s lay it all out for you.

 DJI Mavic Pro
Camera1/2.3" CMOS 12MP 4K
LensFOV 78.8° 28 mm f/2.2
(Roughly equivalent to 35 mm)
ISOVideo ISO 100 - 3200
Photo ISO 100 - 1600
Shutter8s - 1/8000s
Video recordingMP4 or MOV
Cinematic 4K - 24fps (4096x2160)
4K - 24/25/30fps (3840x2160)
2.7K - 24/25/30fps (2704x1520)
FHD - 24/25/30/48/50/60/96fps (1920x1080)
HD - 24/25/30/48/50/60/120fps (1280x720)
Photo capture4000 x 3000 resolution 4:3
4000 x 2250 resolution 16:9
Single shot or burst 3/5/7 fps
StorageUp to 64GB micro SD
Class 10 and/or UHS-1 minimum, UHS-3 recommended for 4K video
Remote controllerMax 4.3 mile operating range
Video record button
Photo capture button
Camera tilt scroll wheel
Camera exposure value scroll wheel
Center focus and auto exposure button
Mobile supportFPV video streaming 720p by default, 1080p optional
Tap to focus
Full manual controls available
GimbalShock mounted
3-axis motorized
-90° to +30° vertical pitch
0° or 90° roll (Landscape or Portrait)

Camera sensor capabilities aside, the camera itself is a little metal cylinder attached to a highly capable 3-axis motorized gimbal. The whole assembly suspends with shock absorption for ultra smooth video in flight.

The gimbal articulates a full -90 degrees down, to shoot straight at the ground, and 30 degrees up. You have control of this pitch, to a certain extent, use the left wheel on the controller to tilt all the way down, but only up to level, the remaining 30 degrees are reserved to maintain forward facing video capture when the drone is tilted in flight.

Out of your control is a slight yaw, again managed by the drone itself to keep the camera pointed ‘straight’ and used to ease video movement when the drone turns.

Finally, instead of using software to rotate your capture between landscape and portrait, the camera actually spins itself a full 90 degrees, ensuring the best use of the sensor.

Flight modes

One of the key uses of the camera on the DJI Mavic Pro is as an FPV camera for your sortie. That’s a 720p stream to your connected mobile device to see what your drone sees. Better than this, however, is the possible Full HD stream and view from the sky using the new DJI Goggles. These VR goggles are proving a powerful flight tool and excellent way to consume your recorded flights. Check out the Goggles at the links below: