The DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are out and they are amazing
Time to perfect your drone photography skills.
Update: These new drones by DJI are now available for purchase via Amazon!
DJI makes some of the best consumer drones (opens in new tab) on the planet, and today the next two, the Mavic 2 Pro (opens in new tab) and Mavic 2 Zoom (opens in new tab), have finally been released. The original Mavic Pro (opens in new tab) was an excellent drone with crazy good features, but it's a couple years old at this point. Outside of some soft updates like the Mavic Air (opens in new tab), which is still a pretty great drone, DJI has not refreshed the lineup in a while. So the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are poised to be some of the best quadcopters released in a while.
Both of these new drones use the same basic body. Where they differ is in the camera, the gimbal, and some of the features. They both fold up, making them easy to travel with and fit inside backpacks like this lineup from Lowepro (opens in new tab) designed to carry them. Drones that fold up like that are not as common as you think but greatly enhance how easy they are to travel with and use, especially for photography and video hobbyists.
Both drones also have omnidirectional sensors, which is the first time we've seen that from DJI. The ten total sensors will help the drones avoid obstacles on all sides, including above and below. And DJI promises an upgrade to the Advanced Pilot Assistance System, too, which will help it avoid obstacles on its own. You'll also get more flight time out of these drones, which is up to 31 minutes and a nice improvement over previous generations. The body also comes with 8GB onboard storage, a light that faces down for landing at night, and top speeds up to 44 mph. You can watch live feeds in 1080p up to five miles away with OcuSync 2. Hyperlapse Mode will also be a feature on both drones, which is a cool feature that can help you create a moving timelapse.
Like I said before, the differences come in with what's outside the body. The Mavic 2 Pro comes with an onboard camera from Hasselblad that has a one-inch sensor and 20 megapixels for still imagery. That sensor is twice the size of the original Mavic Pro's camera, and DJI said it has "four times as many levels of color per channel." It also has an adjustable aperture and support for 4K and HDR. Considering the Pro is about $200 more expensive than the Zoom, this is where it looks like the money is going.
The Mavic 2 Zoom will be DJI's first consumer-level drone to have a 2X optical zoom, believe it or not. Before this, you'd need to buy something like the $3,000 Inspire 2 (opens in new tab) to get the same opportunity. The camera will capture 12MP stills. It will also have a couple of neat features like Super Resolution mode that will allow you to create a 48MP composite using multiple images and a DollyZoom that will create a Hitchcock-level video effect that's only possible because of the zoom.
The Mavic 2 Pro is going to retail at $1,449, and the Mavic 2 Zoom will only be slightly cheaper at $1,249. For right now, both drones are available through the DJI website (opens in new tab), but you can also pre-order through Amazon (opens in new tab) for when they are released on September 3.
The features are well worth the price, but if you aren't ready for that sort of investment you should look into some budget drones to get you started. The DJI Spark (opens in new tab) is a great place to start in the DJI ecosystem since it's usually less than $350 these days. You could get the Ryze Tello (opens in new tab) for under $100 or go even cheaper with something like the Aukey Mohawk (opens in new tab), which is a great budget drone we see on sale quite frequently.
See at DJI (opens in new tab)
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J.D. Levite has been in the deals game since 2012. He has posted daily deals at Gizmodo, The Wirecutter, The Sweethome, and now covers deals for Android Central, iMore, and Windows Central. He was there for the first Prime Day and has braved the full force of Black Friday. If you cut him, he bleeds savings. But don't try it for real. That's a metaphor.
I'll wait till I can get it either at Costco as a bundle, or at Newegg with no tax.