The DJI Mavic 2 Pro was launched in August of 2021 as part of an exciting double-act with the Mavic 2 Zoom. Despite its age, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro remains the flagship option for both hobbyists and professionals who need compelling aerial photography in a travel-friendly package. The Mavic series Drone has been around since 2016 and began with the original Mavic Pro, which came with a game-changing foldable design that made it much compact and lighter than the DJI’s Phantom series. This is our DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review.
It is also the first and only drone to date that has been able to rotate its camera 90 degrees to capture in portrait format. Although the Mavic 2 Pro, unfortunately, misses this feature due to its much larger sensor, it more than compensates for this with a host of advanced photo and video functions. Also, the intelligent flight modes that have made it one of the most popular drones in the world since its release.
New drone laws have been introduced in many regions since the release of the Mavic 2 Pro – including registration schemes in both the UK and the US. However, as long as you follow the new guidelines, it’s still a great way to get pro-level aerial photographs of your local landscapes or travel adventures.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review: Design
The Mavic 2 Pro continues the foldable design debuted by its earlier model. This allows the drone to halve its footprint for traveling, making it the most portable drone with a one-inch wide sensor available. Folding is simple and needs the front arms to be turned outward and the rear arms to be raised and into position. Each arm is home to one of the four propellers.
The main part of the Mavic 2 Pro is compact and rectangular, with the gimbal and camera mounted on the front/bottom of the drone. The camera and gimbal benefit from an elevated position when the drone is on the ground, so there is room to take off or land. However, there is not much space, so when taking off and landing on, for example, wet grass, it is worth using a landing mat to ensure that the lens of the camera does not get wet when the gimbal automatically calibrates after the drone is turned on.
To turn on the Mavic 2 Pro, simply press the button on top of the battery that clicks neatly into place at the top of the drone. For the controller, it’s just a matter of briefly pressing the power button before turning it back on again. And don’t forget to connect your smartphone to the installed DJI Go 4 app, which gives you access to drone settings, camera control, and camera view.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review: Controller
The controller itself is also compact and collapsible, with joysticks that are safely stored at the bottom of the controller and must be screwed down before use. The controller resembles a standard radio-controlled controller, but the sticks are used for very different maneuvers than an RC car, so it is worth getting acquainted with it before the first flight. The bottom of the controller can be opened for a phone holder that can hold even the largest smartphones (up to a maximum length of 160 mm, or the maximum thickness of 8.5 mm).
And when the controller is turned on, it automatically opens the DJI Go 4 app, making the whole process of getting everything up and running a breeze. Many camera controls need to be accessible via the app, but the controller also offers 11 direct access controls, giving you quick access to several commonly used functions. Many of these functions can also be customized, such as function keys on a DSLR or mirrorless camera, so you can configure the controller in a way that works for you and your photography.
The DJI Go 4 app offers similar layout and camera functionality to a compact camera so that most photographers will feel right at home here too.
Features and Flight Time
Flying the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is not that easy. This is partly thanks to GPS, which keeps the drone in position and prevents it from being blown out of position by the wind, and safety features such as collision avoidance, which uses omnidirectional obstacle detection to help prevent you from crashing. These functions are incredible, but don’t let them soothe you in a false sense of security – even though they are active by default, they won’t necessarily stop the drone from colliding with objects.
In many situations, when you get close to an object, the controller will display visual warnings, as well as sound alarms to alert you to imminent danger, and the drone will slow down to prevent a collision. However, this is not always the case, and collisions can and will happen, so care and awareness are essential to avoid any collisions. On paper, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro can fly for around 31 minutes, but actually, it is 20-25 minutes, with a max speed of 45mph/72kph.
In addition to the safety aspects, the Mavic 2 Pro offers numerous recording modes and automated ‘Intelligent flight modes to make obtaining specific types of photos and videos as easy as possible. As with any camera, it is better to approach techniques manually by taking control of the drone’s flight. However, these automated modes are ideal for beginners who are learning their trade. You get Timelapse (and hyper-lapse), Quickshot, Active Track, Point of Interest, Waypoint, TapFly, and Cinematic.
Still, image capture modes include Single Shot, Burst Mode, HDR, AEB, HyperLight (Night Mode), Interval, and Pano, which offer several different panoramic recording options. The Mavic 2 Pro also has access to the three main flight modes from within the app or via a switch on the side of the controller. The tripod mode (T) slows down the drone and makes it less sensitive, allowing for smoother video recording. Positioning mode (P) is the default flight mode and provides an intermediate level of control, while Sports mode (S) makes the Mavic the most responsive and faster to fly.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review: Quality
The picture quality of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is generally excellent, as long as you do not expect the same level as with a DSLR or mirrorless camera. Most drones have a sensor similar to that of a mobile phone, but thanks to a 20MP one inch Hasselblad sensor, the Mavic’s sensor is much closer to a premium in terms of size and overall quality. Despite the bigger sensor than many other drones, noise is still a problem and is visible even at ISO 100.
This is certainly not a deal-breaker, but it does mean that shooting at higher settings will inevitably introduce even more noise, which ultimately means reduced image quality. Still, the image quality is good enough for large prints in the order of 16×12 inches without interpolation. And although the sharpness at the edges of the image decreases slightly, it’s not so bad that it detracts from the picture as a whole. Lens distortion is minimal; however, chromatic aberration is often visible along the edges of the subject with high contrast, although this is a one-click fix in Rough editing software.
With the ability to take photos in DNG format, Rough images can be processed using your favorite Rough editing software. If you prefer your images to be processed in the camera, saving in JPEG format is also an option. One of the main features of the drone in addition to the sensor and its 28mm equivalent focal length is the adjustable aperture that offers f/2.8 to f/11. This not only means that you can control exposure and depth of field, but it also allows you to shoot with aperture priority, shutter priority, or manual mode.
The variable aperture is mainly useful for video compared to drone cameras with a fixed aperture of f/2.8 for many reasons. It means you do not need to use durable ND filters in bright conditions, and you can also counteract light changes while the drone is in the air, instead of having to land and change the ND filter. Video options offer something for everyone, whether you’re a complete beginner or a professional looking for Raw aerial footage in a professional movie or video, with the ability to match the color and color gradation of the images.
Video is available in 4K at 24/25/30p, 2.7K at 24/25/30/48/50/60p, and HD at 1920×1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p. HD, of course, offers most options, including slow motion, but it is a pity that 4K is limited to a maximum of 30p. However, for the majority of users, including professionals, this will not be a problem. Video can be recorded in MP4 or MOV, 10-bit D-Log M, and 10-bit HDR or using image profiles for in-camera processing (such as a JPEG).
Price and Availability
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is available to buy since its release date on August 23, of 2021, when it began shipping alongside his Mavic 2 Zoom sibling. Despite his age, the price of the Mavic 2 Pro’s hasn’t dropped from its original $1,599/£1,349/$2,499 level. The price has sometimes even risen – by the end of 2021 in the US, for example, prices rose as much as 13% due to higher tariffs on Chinese goods. Another factor is just a lack of competition for the Mavic 2 Pro, and it remains a good buy at the current price if you look at the tags of many non-flying cameras with one-inch sensors.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review: Conclusion
For photographers who need a highly portable drone that can easily be carried along with other photographic equipment, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is, without a doubt, The Best option currently available. Its small size and lightweight make it an attractive option even compared to professional drones and the DJI Phantom series. The Mavic 2 Pro stands alone effectively in many ways. Of course, you have the Mavic 2 Zoom, which, as the name suggests, is equipped with an optical zoom lens, however, as a result of this functionality, it also contains a smaller sensor without any control over the aperture.
The new Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is the closest competitor of the Mavic Pro 2 in terms of sensor size. Still, it is a much larger and more powerful drone aimed at professional use, so again an entirely different proposition. The Mavic 2 Pro is quite easy to fly. With some of the advanced flight and camera technologies currently available on the consumer drone market, it is capable of producing photos and videos at a professional level.
And while the image quality isn’t equal to that of the DJI Inspire 2’s micro-fourth, it’s a lot cheaper and more than capable of meeting most people’s needs. For more options, check our list of the Best Drones that you can buy right now.
The Mavic 2 Pro remains DJI's most impressive consumer drone to date and is still The Best all-rounder for most people. The 20MP one-inch sensor is capable of producing outstanding Raw stills and 4K video, while a host of automated recording and flight modes complement the highly portable form factor.
- Easy to fly
- Intuitive app for camera control
- Large one-inch 20MP sensor
- Aperture control
- Foldable design
- Battery life is limited
- Noise is problematic above ISO 100