It turned out to be a double-embargo weekend in Brooklyn. I was there for a Sony event celebrating World Photography Day and got my hands on the Leica M10-P AND the new DJI drones: Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom.
What you need to know about this release from DJI is the partnership with Hasselblad has resulted in significantly improved optics and a zoom camera.
Combining 2x optical with 2x digital for a 96mm zoom, the Mavic Zoom 2 captures lossless video in full HD resolution. And, that’s not all—Hybrid auto-focus on the Mavic 2 Zoom combines phase and contrast detection for higher focus accuracy with an increased focus speed of up to 40 percent faster than before.
DJI is positioning the Mavics as floating cinematography tools. The Pro is for capturing video with utmost video quality and the Zoom is for, well, zooming, which hasn’t been possible in a drone camera until now. In the hand, the drones’ fit and finish is much improved, and the Hasselblad logo is front and center. Also important in this release is the drones have 10 sensors on all sides to avoid collisions.
While the photos I took of the pair looked a bit clandestine on a truck dashboard, what was really going on was a DJI rep picked me up at my hotel and we were supposed to find a spot to fly the drones for a bit. The weather didn’t cooperate, so we just ended up driving around and talking about the releases. Later, in clearer weather, DJI shot video from the drones, shared it with me, and I created gifs for this post.
Admittedly a skeptic with drones, I think they should be in a creative’s toolkit, and where I’m using them is to set the location for the bicycle-related videos I create. Read this post to learn more about drones.
The Mavic 2 Zoom will retail for $1,249 USD and the Mavic 2 Pro is $1,449. Available now, the drones ship with battery, remote control, charger and four pairs of propellers. A Fly More Kit, including two additional batteries, a multi-battery charging hub, a car charger, a battery to power bank adapter, two pairs of propellers and a carrying bag, retails at $319 USD. A gimbal replacement service exclusively for Mavic 2 was also mentioned. That’s a service that will swap lenses between the drones.
The press release is below.
DJI Introduces Mavic 2 Pro And Mavic 2 Zoom: A New Era For Camera Drones
Mavic 2 Series Features Two Industry First Camera Options With New Intelligent Features And Optimized Flight Performance
August 23, 2018 – DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, today introduced a new era for camera drones with two additions to its iconic Mavic series: Mavic 2 Pro, the world’s first drone with an integrated Hasselblad camera, and Mavic 2 Zoom, the world’s first foldable consumer drone with optical zoom capability.
The Mavic 2 is the most advanced DJI camera drone ever built, designed for professionals, aerial photographers and content creators. Incorporating the iconic folding design of the world’s most popular Mavic Pro, the Mavic 2 is a powerful platform with new gimbal-stabilized cameras and advanced intelligent features like Hyperlapse and ActiveTrack for easier and more dynamic storytelling. With an impressive flight time of up to 31 minutes and a more stable video transmission system, Mavic 2 delivers the optimal flight experience for capturing epic shots.
“When the Mavic Pro was launched two years ago, it redefined the way people looked at a drone and expanded possibilities for creators around the world,” said Roger Luo, President at DJI. “Today, we enter a new era of aerial photography with the introduction of DJI’s new flagship product, the Mavic 2 series. The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom will enable photographers and videographers to take their inspirations to the air quickly and elevate their creative ideas to new heights.”
Mavic 2 Pro: Superior Image Quality with Hasselblad
Co-engineered in partnership with Hasselblad, the world’s leader in medium format photography, the Mavic 2 Pro is the world’s first drone with an integrated Hasselblad camera for outstanding image quality with superior light and color performance. Housing a 1-inch CMOS sensor with a 10-bit Dlog-M color profile, the camera captures four times as many levels of color per channel compared to Mavic Pro to provide maximum flexibility for photo and video editing. The Mavic 2 Pro can capture 20-megapixel aerial shots with utmost color accuracy using Hasselblad’s unique Hasselblad Natural Color Solution (HNCS) technology, while an adjustable aperture from f/2.8-f/11 provides more control across a wide variety of lighting conditions. With 4K 10-bit HDR support, the Mavic 2 Pro can be plugged into a 4K TV with HLG and will play back footage with the right color tones.
Mavic 2 Zoom: A Dynamic Perspective with Optical and Digital Zoom
Powered by a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, the Mavic 2 Zoom is DJI’s first foldable consumer drone with zoom, providing a dynamic perspective that ushers in a new era of creative storytelling. With the Mavic 2 Zoom, you can get closer to your subject at a moment’s notice by combining two-times optical zoom (24-48mm) with two-times digital zoom to simulate a 96mm telephoto lens that captures lossless video in full HD resolution. Hybrid auto-focus on the Mavic 2 Zoom combines phase and contrast detection for higher focus accuracy with an increased focus speed of up to 40% faster than before. Shoot vivid 12-megapixel photos or take advantage of the new Super Resolution feature that uses optical zoom to automatically capture and stitch nine photos together for a highly detailed 48-megapixel image, making it an ideal option for landscape photography.
Exclusive to the Mavic 2 Zoom, the new Dolly Zoom QuickShot mode opens a new visual language for storytelling that was previously reserved for professional cinematographers. It creates an otherworldly warped perspective by automatically zooming in as it flies away from its subject, keeping the subject the same size while the full background of the scene is revealed.
Mavic 2 Series: DJI’s New Flagship Consumer Drone with Powerful Camera Options
Both cameras capture vivid 4K ultra-high definition video with extreme detail, recording at a maximum bitrate of 100 megabits per second using the H.265 compression codec to give you an exceptional degree of latitude in post-production workflows. For photographers, new Enhanced High Dynamic Range capabilities blend a sequence of photos for ghost-free high dynamic range, giving the Mavic 2 Pro an impressive 14 stops of dynamic range and Mavic 2 Zoom up to 13 stops.
New Intelligent Tools For Epic, Cinematic Shots
The Mavic 2 is the ultimate tool for aerial content creation with new intelligent flight modes that make capturing professional-quality results almost effortless. A new Hyperlapse feature produces establishing shots that show the passing of time, which you can share to social media immediately. JPEG and RAW photos can be simultaneously saved on a Micro SD card or the internal storage, leaving more room for post editing. Choose between Circle, Course Lock, Waypoint or Free mode to create timelapses with a simple tap of a button in the DJI GO 4 Mobile App:
- Free – pilots the drone manually while shooting a Hyperlapse video.
- Circle – automatically flies the drone in a circular pattern around a subject you select to create a timelapse video that captures the action.
- Course Lock – keeps the camera fixed on shooting subject while the drone flies in a straight direction to create a unique perspective.
- Waypoint – plans a complex flight path based on both altitude and GPS coordinates to capture complex shots.
Keeping a moving subject in the frame is now easier than ever with ActiveTrack 2.0. This enhanced auto-track feature delivers a powerful combination of autonomous tracking and obstacle sensing capabilities never before seen in a DJI drone. Using the main camera and the front dual vision cameras, the Mavic 2 creates a three-dimensional map of the area in front of it, and uses new trajectory algorithms to analyze motion and predict the subject’s path up to three seconds in the future. When tracking a target, the Mavic 2 can recognize and avoid obstacles while shooting your target without interruption. It can stay on target, even if your subject momentarily goes behind an obstacle, and can track the subject at higher speeds of up to 44 mph (72 km/h).
Safer, Smarter and Stable Flight
The Mavic 2 delivers autonomous flight capabilities that help you capture shots with even more confidence in complex environments. A fully upgraded FlightAutonomy system transmits data to a more powerful central processor for more accurate obstacle sensing and safer flight. For the first time ever in a DJI drone, Mavic 2 has 10 sensors on all sides of the aircraft to automatically detect obstacles in its path and help prevent collisions, allowing you to focus on capturing the perfect shot.
An improved Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) allows the aircraft to analyze its surrounding environment and automatically fly around obstacles without stopping. In addition, the Mavic 2 has a Bottom Auxiliary Light that turns on automatically to ensure safe and precise landings in low-light situations.
A newly designed OcuSync 2.0 video transmission system enables a more stable connection between the drone and its remote controller. The system features stronger interference resistance and auto-switching capabilities that supports both 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequency bands with the capability to use different frequencies for uplink and downlink data streams. It delivers 1080p video transmission feeds at a distance of up to 8km, allowing you to instantly edit and upload Full HD footage directly from the video cache in the DJI app in a wider variety of situations. Original resolution photos in JPEG can be saved directly to your mobile device, so you can immediately share what you create without the need to transfer files from the drone.
Aerodynamic Design and Extended Flight Time
The Mavic 2’s redesigned, more aerodynamic airframe reduces body drag by up to 19% compared to the Mavic Pro, allowing the Mavic 2 to fly at speeds of up to 44 mph (72 km/h) in Sport mode. Combined with a more efficient, quieter propulsion system and noise reducing propellers, the Mavic 2 has a maximum flight time of up to 31 minutes.
To ensure crisp photos and smooth, shake-free footage, the Mavic 2 houses an ultra-precise three-axis mechanical gimbal to stabilize its camera even during high-speed motion. Photos and videos can be saved directly to the drone using its 8 GB onboard storage. All DJI users have control over how their data is stored and managed, as part of DJI’s commitment to protecting its customers’ data.
A redesigned remote controller features detachable control sticks for ease of storage and portability. The Mavic 2 is compatible with DJI Goggles with the gimbal (yaw) control range up to -75°¬– +75° in Head Tracking mode, offering users a more immersive FPV flight experience.
Price and Availability
The US retail price of a Mavic 2 Pro, including the drone, battery, remote controller, charger, and four pairs of propellers, is $1,499 USD. The US retail price of a Mavic 2 Zoom, including the drone, battery, charger, remote controller and four pairs of propellers, is $1,199 USD. A Fly More Kit, including two additional batteries, a multi-battery charging hub, a car charger, a battery to power bank adapter, two pairs of propellers and a carrying bag, retails at $319 USD. A gimbal replacement service exclusively for Mavic 2, will be available soon.
Starting today, the Mavic 2 is available for purchase at store.dji.com and the four DJI Flagship Stores. For more information on all the new features and capabilities of the Mavic 2, please visit their site.