With the recent release of the new Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom, DJI has given us a tough decision on what our next drone purchase should be. Having two amazing options is great, but which drone is the right one for you?
Whats the difference between the Mavic Pro 2 and Mavic 2 Zoom?
Let’s start with how they are similar. Both drones are identical and feature all the same functions and features as far as the drone itself goes. The Mavic 2 now has sensors on all sides of the body, an updated Ocusync 2.0 system for further and better flying experience, slightly longer battery life, stronger motors for increased speed and performance, as well as quieter propellers similar to the Mavic Platinum.
The only differences comes down to the cameras…. This is where the hard decisions come into play. How will you decide which drone is more suited for your needs?
Why buy the Mavic 2 Zoom?
The zoom model is the first drone with a zoom lens which ranges from 24-48mm as well as a 2x digital zoom at 1080p. It sticks with a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor which we are used to seeing on the other DJI drones. The Zoom lens allows film makers and photographers to get a tighter shot while the drone can be a little further away from the subject. This will also allow a little more separation of the subject from the background. Another interesting and fun feature of having the zoom lens is now you can create a vertigo effect or dolly zoom. This will open up a creative new view for videographers and film makers.
Why buy the Mavic 2 Pro?
The Mavic 2 Pro is the first of the Mavic Series to have a 1” sensor. This is a very appealing and exciting improvement for photographers. You can now capture crisp high resolutions 20mp photos – which is a big difference from the previous models and other DJI Drones (other than the Phantom 4 Pro). What also makes the 1” sensor so appealing is it’s low light capabilities. The bigger sensor allows more light to be captured, in turn creating less noisy low light photos and video. It also has better dynamic range and produces beautiful HDR images and video clips.
So now that we’ve ran through the basic differences between the two drones, which one is right for you? It boils down to these simple facts. Do you want the ability to zoom and utilize the new dolly zoom feature, or are you more interested in larger resolution photos, better low light performance, and overall better video capabilities?
Who is the Mavic 2 Zoom for?
The Mavic 2 Zoom is geared more to videographers and film makers in my opinion. The video quality is still amazing with the smaller sensor and can handle 4K@60fps. Having the ability to zoom adds a great new tool for film makers to expand their creativity in the sky. The only downside to the Zoom model in comparison to the Pro for video, is not having that extra low light performance for shooting after sunset. You can still achieve these shots, just like the previous Mavic Pro, but you will need to do more post processing with removing the noise in your editing program.
Who is the Mavic 2 Pro for?
Shooting with the Mavic 2 Pro is like having a Sony RX100 @ 24mm in the sky. This drone is great for video, but the 1” sensor is a huge improvement for photographers. Having the ability to enlarge photos even bigger really is a nice selling point to those who use drones for still shots. Again, better low-light capability is another factor that photographers always want out of their cameras, and DJI delivered with that as well. Another major boost to the Pro is the ability to shoot video in 10 bit Dlog-M color profile which allows for more dynamic range.
Can photographers benefit from a Mavic 2 Zoom?
Of course they can, having the zoom is an excellent new feature! The zoom lens also allows you to stitch together a 48mp photo from 9 24mm photos. This is even larger than what you can get from the Mavic 2 Pro‘s 20mp image. The downside to this though, is it needs to take 9 photos to create one. So it’s not exactly “run n’ gun”, and I wouldn’t really rely on the stitching to be absolutely perfect at all times. You can’t shoot anything moving and the drone needs to be in smooth conditions.
The price of the Mavic 2 Zoom is $200 cheaper than the Pro, which isn’t chump change. But when you are talking about two drones in the Low to mid $1000 range, I wouldn’t let the price be the deciding factor between the two. Decide what your needs are as a photographer or videographer and let that help you make your decision. If you have to save a little more for the Pro, then do it! If the Zoom is more your style, then lucky you, $200 savings from the Pro! Either way, they are both fantastic new drones with great features and will both produce great raw content.
Mavic 2 Pro & Zoom vs Mavic Air
If the debate in your head is between the full size Mavic vs Mavic Air, here are some things to consider.
- Mavic Air uses Wifi not Ocusync. This is a big drawback in performance and range. There is less precision due to more lag, as well as decreased video quality while live viewing on screen. The overall usability and distance you can get with the Ocusync is far superior than the wifi and it’s a shame that they did not use this on the Mavic Air.
- The mavic and mavic 2 series have much better battery life than the Air. Flying a Mavic or Mavic 2 feels like a lifetime of flight time in comparison to what the Air can achieve, and it really helps when you don’t want to feel rushed to get your shots.
- Although the Air shoots great video footage, you wont have any zoom capabilities or a fancy 20mp Hassleblad sensor like the new 2nd generation Mavics.
- The only advantage to the Air is its much smaller form factor and light weight package. I have to say, it is pretty amazing to have such a capable drone that can fit into your jacket pocket. If the wallet allowed, I would say the Mavic Air is the perfect secondary drone to own for when keeping a light load is critical and every ounce counts.
- The DJI Goggles are MUCH smoother and more responsive with the Mavic Pro and Mavic 2 series. This is due to the Occusync of course, and it really does make for an amazing experience.
The Best Drone Is the Drone You Have With You
As the Heading says.. Any of these drones (Including the Phantom or the Spark) are high quality machines that will produce great imagery and video. Shooting and seeing the world from a drones perspective is an amazing experience no matter the model. Just get out there, be creative, be RESPECTFUL, and enjoy 🙂
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