Dji’s Mavic Pro
Bringing aerial photography and cinematography
to the palm of your hands.
Photography is one of my main spare time hobbies. After finding John Coates’s Apple TV screensaver for OSX I became interested in aerial photography and cinematography. Benjamin Mayo’s aerial footage was used for this screensaver and is available for download on his website. I found out he was using DJI’s Mavic Pro. This triggered my attention for this drone.
Being a rookie in piloting drones I wasn’t sure the Mavic Pro was a good choice to start with. After reading some articles and reviews about the device, the Mavic seemed to tackle the gap of professional use and rookies pretty well. I decided to buy one, start flying and make some test footage with it. This article is purely based on my first experience using the Mavic. If you do not agree, just let me know. But please keep in mind, I’m still a rookie 😉
Camera & Drone Specs
Most important specs
- Video Resolutions
- 4096×2160 @ 24 fps
- 3840×2160 @ 24/25/30 fps
- 2720×1530 @ 24/25/30 fps
- 1920×1080 @ 24/25/30/48/50/60/96 fps
- 1280×720 @ 24/25/30/48/50/60/120 fps
- format: mp4 & mov
- bitrate: 60 Mbps
- Photo Resolution
- 4000×3000 in JPEG or DNG (Raw)
- video 100-3200
- photo 100-1600
- 8 – 1/8000
- Ascending 5 m/s
- Descending 3 m/s
- Flight 65 km/h (Sport mode)
- Folded 83mm x 83mm x 198mm
- Radius 335 mm (no propellers attached)
- With gimbal cover 734 g
- No gimbal cover 743 g
- System GPS / GLONASS
- Max altitude 5000m (above sea level)
First rookie mistake
Shutter speed vs. frame rate
Preventing overexposed footage
Make us of ND-filters
Choosing your colorspace
Luts and Colorspace
Conclusion so far
DJI’s Mavic Pro really nails it when looking at controls during flight. In my experience it is hard to crash the drone when flying with focus.
When chosing style profiles, go for custom. Although I’m having some problems with sharpness lately. When settings sharpness below 0, it seems noise in the footage is mostly gone but causes trees to gain some waterpainting-like-blobbyness. Setting it to +1 prevents this effect but needs noise reduction in post production.
These are my findings on the usage of the Mavic for the time being. I will post more specific blog posts in the future when relevant.
Some pro’s and cons:
- Compact and easy to carry with you: fits in your regular photography lenses bag
- Compact controller: literally fits in your pants
- Easy to control during flight
- Active track let’s you focus on moving (non)human targets. This also pretty well works with cars etc.
- Durable design.
- D-Log and DNG format for best post production results
- Did I mention compact?
- Takes some time to get the best video and style settings right
- Angle of camera only goes from 0 to 120 degrees compared with the Phantom (0 – 130 degrees)
- If it really matters: price, although for me it was worth every hard earned penny 😉