Consumer drones have recently soared in popularity and are showing no signs of slowing down as the end of 2019 approaches. DJI remains the dominant force in the drone market with their innovative, high performing and affordable drones. This post will compare the Mavic 2 Pro, the Mavic Air and the Mavic Mini to help you choose the best drone for your flying and photography capabilities, creative vision, and price range.
Mavic 2 Pro
The Mavic 2 Pro is perfect for you if you want the best image quality contained in a compact, easy to fly and reliable drone. This flagship consumer drone features a large camera with a 20 megapixel 1" Hasselblad image sensor, variable aperture settings, and 4k video abilities. The Mavic 2 Pro creates stunning photos with great color reproduction and dynamic range. Its’ camera performs the best, out of the three, in low light conditions because of the high maximum aperture of f2.8 and larger sensor and captures high quality video at up to 30 frames per second at 100mbps with wide and narrow fields of view. The Mavic 2 Pro’s high-quality camera and video capabilities set it above the Mavic Pro and Mavic Mini.
In addition to the Mavic 2 Pro’s photography and videography abilities, it is also incredibly reliable. The drone connects to your controller by radio frequency, instead of WIFI, which ensures a steady connection. So, you don’t have to worry about losing your drone because it is less prone to strong signal interference in densely populated areas. This drone has served me well as an aerial photographer in Philadelphia and I am confident in the signal strength each time I launch in center city.
The Mavic 2 Pro can fly for up to 31 minutes per battery, has ten sensors in each direction for spectacular obstacle avoidance, and can fold down to the size of a small water bottle for easy transport. I love this drone because it combines a phenomenal camera, a strong signal connection, and a compact size so I can take it with me on every adventure and feel confident I will capture incredible images.
For all of it’s camera capabilities, safety features and additional perks, this drone retails at $1730. I recommend this drone for drone enthusiasts who want to reach the next level in aerial imagery. For entry-level drone enthusiasts, the Mavic Air and Mavic Mini offer great quality and capabilities for lower price ranges.
Before the Mavic 2 Pro, I started with the Mavic Air. The Mavic Air is a great drone for beginners because it combines a great quality camera in a smaller and more affordable vessel. The Mavic Air features a 12 megapixel sensor that is slightly smaller than the Mavic 2 Pro, but it is still a great performer. The images it can capture are sharp, have fairly accurate colors, and very good dynamic range. It performs well in low light conditions with its’ fixed f2.8 aperture. The Mavic Air also captures 4k video up to 30 frames per second and 100mbps. The field of view is slightly wider than the Mavic 2 Pro for varied composition. The Mavic Air gives you the best footage capabilities for it’s size.
The Mavic Air’s size is arguably the best feature of this drone. It is less than half of the weight of the Mavic 2 Pro and compacts much smaller. The small size of this drone makes it extremely easy to transport. The Mavic Air also has a very similar obstacle avoidance system to the Mavic 2 Pro with sensors in every direction but on the sides. The Mavic Air can fly for up to 21 minutes per battery. The major downsides of this drone are less flight time due to the smaller battery and WIFI signal connection instead of radio frequency connection. Connecting through WIFI makes the Mavic Air more prone to signal loss in dense areas. Overall, at a retail price of $800, the Mavic Air is perfect for entry-level enthusiasts who want very good image quality, an extremely transportable size, and safety features that won't break the bank.
The Mavic Mini is the cheapest option for drone enthusiasts at $349 retail. For this price, you sacrifice image and video quality for convenience. This drone’s largest selling point is its’ weight of 249 grams which falls one gram below the weight requirement for registering your drone with the FAA. This still requires that drone operators follow all airspace regulations and procedures but not having to register the drone makes getting into aerial imagery a little easier.
The Mavic Mini features a 12 megapixel camera and captures 2.7k footage at 30 frames per second and 40mbps. With this drone, images can only be shot as JPEG which is a major downside for photographers looking to shoot in RAW for editing. The Mavic Mini is about the size of the iPhone X so you can take it anywhere. This drone also has a flight time of 30 minutes, longer than the Mavic Air and just about the same as the Mavic 2 Pro. Again, this drone only connects through WiFi, so it may not be the most reliable when flying in dense cities. Another downside for this drone's flight features, is the lack of obstacle avoidance sensors. It has the standard abilities to fly and land precisely, but will not automatically stop for obstacles in it's path. The convenience of this drone is the main selling point and one that works very well for those who want something easy they can take anywhere just for snapshots, at a very affordable price.
There are many great drones on the market but finding the right one is about what best fits your needs and goals. In my opinion, these DJI drones are the best drones for whatever it is you need them to do.They have some of the most well-built and reliable drones, utilize the most user-friendly software, and continue to innovate. Whatever drone you choose, it will not disappoint.