Drone-maker DJI is on a roll. If you’d asked us a few weeks ago to name our favourite flying camera, we’d have blurted out the words “Mavic Air” before you’d finished the question – but things might have changed now, and it’s all down to this handsome aerial devil: the Mavic 2 Pro.

2016’s Mavic Pro ushered in an entirely new folding design, which many drones since have copied, but the Mavic 2 Pro is the true successor, keeping all the good bits of the original while making impactful improvements in almost every area. Aimed at the enthusiast willing to spend a little more to fly and film a little further, it’s undeniably pricy – but we think said enthusiasts will find it’s worth every penny.

Design: Small but stable

DJI has tweaked the original Mavic Pro design slightly with the Mavic 2 Pro, shaving down some edges and streamlining the body shape a little. But the overall size, shape and weight is very similar: there’s a removable battery at the back, four fold-out rotor arms with folding rotors, and a front camera mounted on a three-axis gimbal.

While there’s no way anyone’s getting this thing in their pockets without a major struggle, when folded down it’s no biggie to slip it into a bag or your car’s glove compartment. The controller also folds down nice and tight, with its thumb sticks twisting off to streamline it further.

DJI has included 8GB of built-in storage, plus a card slot able to accommodate microSDs up to 128GB in capacity. A USB-C port lets you move footage to your computer (necessary if you only use the built-in storage) and make firmware updates, but battery charging duties can only be handled by the bundled AC adapter.

Speaking of adapters, DJI includes a range of cables for hooking your phone up to the controller: USB-C, micro USB and Lightning. The controller can also be charged via micro USB.

Performance: The clearest eye in the sky

Please bear in mind that the video has been compressed slightly; straight-from-camera footage is even cleaner, clearer and punchier.

The Mavic 2 Pro comes with a brand new camera developed in association with the legendary Swedish company Hasselblad. It’s not a huge surprise that this has happened, given that DJI bought a majority stake in the firm last year, but this is the first camera to arise out of the partnership – and it’s fantastic.

With a 20MP 1in sensor and adjust aperture, it performs well in a much greater range of lighting conditions than other DJI cameras: in low light, the sensor’s large size means cleaner, less noisy images; in extremely bright sunshine, the aperture can stop down to prevent images overexposing. As a result, the footage and stills that come directly out of the camera look stunningly detailed, not just in terms of resolution but in colour depth and dynamic range.

Part of our video (the lorry sequence above) shows the updated ActiveTrack tech, which keeps the camera trained on a chosen subject while you fly the drone or a pick one of a range of autopilot modes. This is generally really impressive, although it can lose its lock on subjects against a “busy” background.

Footage can be captured at 4K, 2.7K or 1080p, with available frame rates differing depending on the resolution. At 1080p, for instance, you can record at 120fps for smooth slow motion playback, while 4K only allows 24/25/30fps.

Hybrid log gamma HDR (which we weren’t able to test, not having a TV compatible with it) and Dlog-M colour profiles are supported for video too, the latter being aimed at professionals who want to grade their footage for a more cinematic look in post production.

 

DJI Mavic 2 Pro verdict

This feels like a drone with no real weaknesses. Yes, it’s not as small or affordable as the Mavic Air, but we feel that the battery life, safety features and image quality more than make up for that.

If you’re in the market for a compact drone that flies and films like a dream, and you’re willing to pay a premium for it, the Mavic 2 Pro should be top of your wish list

Stuff says... 

DJI Mavic 2 Pro review

The new gold standard in portable drones
£1,349
Good Stuff 
Excellent image quality
Long battery life
Safe, quiet, nimble flight
Compact design
Bad Stuff 
Slightly janky app