DJI announces Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom; One integrates Hasselblad, one can optically zoom


posted Thursday, August 23, 2018 at 9:30 AM EST


DJI has announced the latest addition to their long line of aerial cameras, the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom. DJI is calling the Mavic two series the "most advanced DJI camera drone(s) ever built," designed for professional, aerial photographers and content creators. Featuring a new, Hasselblad-branded camera, the Mavic 2 Pro has an impressive 20 megapixel 1-inch sensor. On the other side, the Mavic 2 Zoom features a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with the first ever optical zoom camera on a foldable drone.

Both these drones have a lot of features they share in common, so before we get to that let's look at what makes them different.

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Coined as having "superior image quality with Hasselblad," the DJI Mavic 2 Pro was co-engineered with the team at Hasselblad and is the first drone integrating tech from the medium format giant.


The camera houses a 1-inch CMOS sensor with a 10-bit Dlog-M color profile that DJI says captures four times as many levels of color per channel compared to the Mavic Pro. This will provide a huge amount of flexibility for photo and video editing. It can also capture 20-megapixel aerial shots with excellent color accuracy using Hasselblad Natural Color Solution technology (HNCS). It also features an adjustable aperture from f/2.8 wide open to f/11 fully closed.


And since video is likely just as important if not more so, the Mavic 2 Pro sports 4K 10-bit HDR support, and can be plugged into a 4K TV with HLG and play back footage with the proper color tones for that medium.

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

The Mavic 2 Zoom uses a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor paired with a 24-48mm optical (that also offers digital zoom up to 96mm) telephoto lensed can capture losses video in full HD resolution. It also features a hybrid auto-focus system combining phase and contrast detection for focus accuracy that DJI claims is 40% faster than before.


The camera captures 12-megapixel photos, but can also use what they are calling "Super Resolution" mode that uses optical zoom to automatically capture and stitch nine photos together for a highly detailed 48-megapixel image.

Example of the dolly zoom effect.

Exclusive to the Mavic 2 Zoom, the new Dolly Zoom QuickShot mode will probably be the easiest and quickest way to achieve an effect that generally is only found in high-end cinema. The dolly zoom is when a camera warps perspective by zooming into a subject (and keeping focus) while simultaneously physically moving away from the subject. This keeps the foreground subject the same size while revealing more of the background. It's often used in cinema as the "ah-ha" moment, realization of a horrible fact, or dramatic reveal of something via introspection. Being able to do it with a quick mode on a consumer drone is, therefore, pretty impressive.

The DJI Mavic 2 Series

So while the two drones are separated mostly by their camera, they do share a lot in common in other ways.

Firstly, both cameras can capture 4K video with a maximum bitrate of 100 MB/s in the H.265 compression codec. That new codec, an advancement from the old standard of H.264, should allow editors more latitude with footage than before.

Next, photographers will find both drones to have enhanced high dynamic range capabilities that will allow them to blend a sequence of photos together for ghost-free images. DJI says the Mavic 2 Pro has 14 stops of dynamic range, which the Mavic 2 Zoom has 13 stops.

Example of hyperlapse captured on the Mavic 2 using "Free" mode.

The Mavic 2 has new intelligent flight modes, including the new Hyperlapse feature. Hyperlapse is a time-lapse that moves, usually detailing the passage of time over the span of great distances (for maximum effect). JPEG and RAW photos can be simultaneously saved on a Micro SD card or the internal storage and you can choose between Circle, Course Lock, Waypoint or Free mode to create these lapses through 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.

DJI says that it should be easier than ever to keep a moving subject in frame thanks to the new ActiveTrack 2.0 technology in both drones. This is an enhanced auto-tracking feature that combines autonomous tracking and obstacle sensing  technologies. By 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).


Speaking of autonomous movement, the Mavic 2 series are able to use a fully upgraded FlightAutonomy system that utilizes a first-time-ever system of 10 sensors on all sides of the aircraft to automatically detect obstacles in its path and prevent collisions (Obstacle Sensing includes left/right, up/down, and forward/backward. Sensing for left/right directions is only available with ActiveTrack and Tripod Mode. Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing does not cover all 360 degrees of the Mavic 2 aircraft.)

The Mavic 2 series also utilizes an improved Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) which allows the drone to analyze its surroundings and automatically fly around obstacles without stopping. Additionally, it has a Bottom Auxiliary Light that turns on automatically to ensure safer landings in low light situations.


Finally, a newly designed OcuSync 2.0 video transmission system enables a more stable connection between the drone and its remote controller via a 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. 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.

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. 

The Mavic 2 houses what DJI says is an "ultra-precise three-axis mechanical gimbal" which will stabilize its camera even during high-speed motion. Photos and videos can be saved directly to the drone using its 8 GB onboard storage.

The redesigned remote controller features detachable control sticks for ease of storage and portability. The Mavic 2 is compatible with DJI Goggles which offers a more immersive FPV flight experience.


Pricing and Availability

The Mavic 2 Pro, including the drone, battery, remote controller, charger, and  four pairs of propellers, will retail for $1,449 USD. The Mavic 2 Zoom, including the drone, battery, charger, remote controller and  four pairs of propellers, come in at $1,249 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.