One of the trends at CES is if you walked around long enough you would see a bunch of TVs, a bunch of VR headsets and a bunch of drones. It wasn’t always this way you know. drones have come a long way in the past couple years, since we first started messing with them.
DJI and Mavic Pro that came out a couple months ago. Despite a couple of issues that has had pretty much represents the pinnacle of consumer drones and how far they’ve come and in. Just a couple of hours of playing with one I can pretty quickly see, why so. all the innovation in quad copters and tiny cameras and stabilization, propellers and sensors and communication, technology all of that stuff comes together to make this bad ass. Little thousand dollar toy and it’s a lot of fun to play with as it should be.
I try to guess when new smartphones come out, how they can be complete, you know good display, good battery, good camera etc. Well for a drone basically what I’m looking for is good performance, good controls and then of course a good camera first of all the drone itself.
On the Maverick Pro it’s super small.That’s kind of what it’s known for even compared to other drones from DJI and others.So many other drones with cameras acquire like their own carrying case or box because they’re too big to travel with. Otherwise the Mavic pro is small enough that, it can fit in pretty much any bag or a backpack or a travel bag or even a big enough jacket pocket. So it’s definitely small and then performance wise it happens to be right up there with the best. You never really find yourself limited by the speed or acceleration or stability. You can use it up to four miles away and basically the biggest challenge there when keeping it so far away is just keeping an eye on it on the horizon, keeping your orientation so you can fly it back. How the controller is actually pretty clever, it’s part drone controls and part video controls and they put a lot of that power on your smartphone.
So, you grab the DJI app for Android or iOS and clip your phone in there and then it gives you recording controls for the camera. Then all kinds of information for when the drone is on plus the top part of controller itself is just your typical joystick controller, so going up, down side, side for backward turning all that.
Now fun fact, the Matic Pro has a 38 hundred mAh power battery that you can remove. So not really that much bigger than the smartphone you might be reading this on. But that battery can power the drone for a 25 minute flight time before it starts wanting to come home and land. That might not seem like that much at first, but that’s actually way on the upper end of longer drone flight times on a single battery. The battery is recharged pretty quickly too, so basically if you want to fly for a while you got to have a couple batteries ready to swap out.
But all this to me is kind of secondary to the main reason I would get a drone which is having a camera in the air. So the Mavic Pro has a built in 4k 30fps camera and this is kind of what DJI does best. They’re great with stabilization of larger cameras that translates pretty well here too to the gimbal on the Mavic Pro. The camera itself is so small that it’s basically a smartphone sized camera sensor with a super wide lens. That’s actually not a bad thing at all, because you already know how good smartphone cameras have gotten in the past couple years. So, having a camera too small is no problem for 99% of uses so you can imagine like a galaxy s7 edge or an iphone 7 camera up there in the sky. For this review I just messed around with flying this thing for a couple of hours. I didn’t mess with focus points or a manual mode. I was basically just getting my feet wet with flying. I took it out a beginner mode but the video stuff was in Auto but it immediately showed its potential as a video tool. I just turned it on and took it in the air and was immediately getting shots that obviously you can’t get with any other camera or tool.
Sure there are other bigger drones I can take, you know GoPros and even larger cameras up in the air. Those exist but obviously those aren’t going to fit in the backpack or be able to go with you in a bunch of place. So we got the zooming out of Google Maps looking shot which is actually one of my favorites. The first couple meters look like you could maybe pull it off with a big in of jib. But then obviously as you keep zooming it becomes pretty obvious, this camera is not connected to the ground. We got the rising up the side of a cliff to reveal a mile score city shot. this is Hoboken so for those of you who know how Wendy can be up here on the cliff though. Maddock was pretty rock solid, looks good! then we got the the movie opening cityscape shot over the river. Was pretty easy just from pointing in the right direction and hitting record.