DJI Mavic 2 series gets Hasselblad camera, optical zoom
Almost 2 years after the Mavic Pro made an appearance, DJI has announced the next generation Mavic camera drones. The Mavic 2 Pro is the first in the world to feature an integrated Hasselblad camera while the Mavic 2 Zoom is the first foldable consumer drone to come with optical zoom.
"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," said DJI's Roger Luo.
At its press conference today, DJI's Michael Oldenburg called the new drones a marvel of modern engineering. Designed in consultation with camera drone users, the Mavic 2 series benefit from the same pocket-friendly folding design as the Mavic Pro but can fly for longer, faster and quieter.
Flight time has received a bump, with either drone able to stay in the air for up to 31 minutes before the batteries need some juice. DJI says that it has managed to reduce body drag by up to 19 percent compared to the Mavic Pro, which will help it fly to a top speed of 44 mph (72 km/h) in Sport mode. And the new OcuSync 2.0 wireless transmission technology caters for 1080p live view up to 5 miles (8 km) away, with 2.4 and 5.8 GHz frequency band switching built in for signal stability.
The Mavic 2 Pro has been built in partnership with medium format masters Hasselblad. The camera features a 1-inch CMOS sensor with a 10-bit Dlog-M color profile that allows it to capture "four times as many levels of color per channel compared to Mavic Pro." As well as snapping 20 megapixel stills, the drone can record 4K 10-bit HDR videos, and an F2.8 - F11 adjustable aperture gives greater control in various lighting conditions.
Optical zoom is what makes the Mavic 2 Zoom drone stand out, and a combination of 2x optical zoom (24-48 mm) with 2x digital zoom that's reported to offer users the equivalent of a 96 mm telephoto lens. This model has a 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor and hybrid AF for focus speed and accuracy. And there's a Super Resolution feature that can stitch together nine photos to create a 48 megapixel panorama.
The Mavic 2 Zoom has also been treated to a new QuickShot mode called Dolly Zoom, which "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."
Ultra High Definition video from both models can be recorded at up 100 megabits per second thanks to the H.265 compression codec, and Enhanced Dynamic Range blends a series of photos for up to 14 stops of dynamic range in the Mavic 2 Pro and 13 stops in the Zoom. Shakes and jitters during flight are kept to a minimum by the 3-axis mechanical gimbal holding the camera and content can be saved directly to 8 GB of onboard storage with microSD card expansion.
DJI has introduced a new Hyperlapse feature to the series, which adds the element of time to video content. Users can fly a drone manually while this mode is engaged, or have it automatically fly around a subject, keep the camera locked on a target while the drone flies in a straight line or set it off on a pre-programmed flight path based on altitude and GPS coordinates.
An auto tracking mode called ActiveTrack 2.0 can predict a subject's intended path for up to 2 seconds, meaning that the drone will still follow even if the subject disappears behind trees and the like. Improvements have been made to the Advanced Pilot Assistance System so that the drones can analyze their surroundings using 10 onboard sensors to autonomously dodge obstacles in their path, allowing the pilot to focus on getting the shot.
The Mavic 2 Pro is available now for US$1,449, with the Zoom coming in at $1,249. The video below has more.