If you have the desire to take some stunning aerial video footage and imagery, as well as pretty deep pockets, a camera drone could be for you. They seem to have increased in popularity over the past few years, as prices become less crazy and the technology improves. DJI is one of the biggest names in the drone space, and it's just announced it's most advanced hardware yet.
Two industry firsts were claimed during the live streamed launch event. No need to listen to him droning on (Rita made me do it!), however, as we can summarize the important bits here. The Mavic 2 Pro is the world's first drone with an integrated Hasselblad camera, and the Mavic 2 Zoom is the first foldable drone that features an optical zoom.
Following on from the well-received original Mavic Pro, the second generation was built in partnership with high-end camera maker Hasselblad. A 1-inch CMOS sensor with a 10-bit Dlog-M color profile is on board the Mavic 2 Pro, and this offers four times as many color levels per channel than its predecessor. Hasselblad's proprietary Natural Color Solution (HNCS) technology gives the 20MP camera incredible color accuracy, and its adjustable aperture (f/2.8-f/11) allows for greater flexibility when shooting in various lighting conditions. On the video side, the Mavic 2 Pro can handle 4K capture with 10-bit HDR support.
The Mavic 2 Zoom is the same as the Pro in all but the camera. Instead, it packs a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with 2x optical zoom (24-48mm) and 2x digital zoom. This offers a close approximation of a 96mm telephoto lens but with lossless FHD video capture. Hybrid autofocus makes for 40% faster focus than before, and a special Super Resolution mode can stitch nine 12MP shots together to create a stunning 48MP image. The new Dolly Zoom QuickShot feature is another first for a consumer drone camera, the results of which you can see in the gif below.
Both models are 4K capable, record using the H.265 compression codec, and feature Enhanced High Dynamic Range. As for the drone itself, its autonomous flight system has been upgraded with a more powerful processor, allowing for even better maneuverability. Obstacle sensing is improved thanks to 10 sensors — the most on a DJI drone to date. This makes possible an impressive new Hyperlapse feature. The redesigned frame produces 19% less drag than the first Mavic Pro, and Sport mode now offers a top speed of 44mph (72km/h).
The Mavic 2 is available starting today, and the Pro model will retail for $1,449. That includes the drone, battery, remote, charger, and four propellers. The Mavic 2 Zoom will set you back slightly less, at $1,249, with the same kit bundled except for the varying camera module. You can purchase the Mavic 2 from the follower retailers.