Today i want to reflect my first impressions with the DJI Mavic Pro, which was bought to get videos and still photography from another perspective.
As stated in the last weeks review i planned to get a drone for capturing videos and stills for quite some time now. The descision for the DJI Mavic Pro two main reasons were essential, first the pretty good quality and second the compactness of the device. With a proce tag of arround 1.200 ,– € we’re somewere in the range of a good system camera or DSLR.
Of course i did a research on the internet and viewed a lot videos on this topic and looking at the technical data only a Phantom 4 Pro seemed to be better because of the larger sensor and the fact that you can close the aparture on the lens. But there are a couple of videos comparing both devices and the gain in image quality for the Phanotm 4 Pro was less than technical data presumed.
I decided against the combo which offers 3 rechargable batteries but i don’t need the case. but i bought an additional battery for the device.
Scope of delivery and preperation
Besides the drone the set included the remoter controller , 3 propeller , a USB cable for charging the remote control and different cables to connect the remote control with your smartphone.
But first of all i had to charge the batteries because they didn’t have full power. The propellers have markers to indicate where to mount them, so there shouldn’t go anything wrong.
Replaving the USB cable in the remote controller to fit my smartphone was sort of tricky, but maybe i was too impatient. Same is true for the Gimbal protection cover, but you’re getting careful if it doesn’t work out right away.
After that i installed the DJGO App on my smartphone, an app with arround 200 MB in size, the largest i ever instalkled on my smartphone. Turning on the remote control and the drone you’ll have to wait for the connection. As soon as the connection between both devices is established the app notifies you about a new firmware being available.
The firmware file is a little over 200MB and after successfull update of the firmware the app wants to update the non-fly-zone database.
But after 15min of downloading i skipped this update, this seems to be an error on Android systems.
Then we get the first connection to the drone:
Now i’m prepared to do the first testing flight in the field.
After the weather conditions weren’t really suitable for a test flight on saturday i could start a first test flight whitout rain and a lot of wind. The remote control is logical structured so even for a beginner like me it wasn’t to hard controlling the drone. The RTH function works pretty good, meaning the drone didn’t land on the place it started from, but this was due to the fact i startet from grass underground.
The optical performance capturing stills is pretty good even the sensor is quite small. Since the drone offers to shoot DNG raw files there are a lot of options for later image processing in Lightroom. The lack of sharpness in the corners is acceptable if we keep in mind that the lens can’t close the aprture a little to improve thie corner sharpness.
Capturing 4K video the small sensor gives better results, but i have to learn to do the movements of the drone and the gimbal more smoothly.
But i also followed the advice to setup video capturing with less sharpness and saturation and added this in post.
As you might noticed at the beginning of the video the drone is right in the grass. This caused two erros while starting, one the gimbal couldn’t initialize and another one the propellers failed. Here i probably have to order those legs extension which will get the drone 2-3 cm above the ground.
The second problem is more a problem of the combination smartphone/bright sunlight. In bright sunlight i had problems to view the image even though i setup the phone the alter brightness according to the surrounding brightness.
Personally i can’t understand why the DJI Mavic doesn’t offer the opportunity to take still photo while capturing a video. Even my pretty old Canon 5D MK II can do this and of course my newer Lumix G81 can do this. I didn’t miss this on system cameras or DSLR but for drone this essential, otherwise you’re either forced to interrupt the video or doing the flight twice.
The DJI Mavic is fanatstic drone with a pretty good camera and a fair price. Of course you can’t compare the optical qualtity with a system camera, the performance is weaker but considering the small sensor its more than acceptable.
I’m so excited about this device but i have to learn a lot now. What do think about such a device, something for you or a toy only?