Less than three weeks after their global debut, the new DJI Mavic 2 drones made their way to South Africa. The media event was held at the stunning Nirox Sculpture Park in the afternoon, making the best use of the light and surroundings. The launch event was DJI’s first in Africa, where they hope to officially expand into one day. 

The two newest consumer drones in the DJI lineup are the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom, which cost R29 999 and R25 999 respectively. DJI has the lions share when it comes to the drone market globally, and if you’re looking at buying a drone, it’s essentially the front-runner. Their drones are aimed at professionals, hobbyists, and content creators. With their foldable form, it makes it easier to travel with, too.

Mavic 2 Pro
The more expensive of the two drones features the world’s first Hasselblad camera on a drone, and to get a bit technical here, it has a 1-inch CMOS sensor with a 10-bit Dlog-M colour profile, which essentially means it captures four times more colour than the Mavic Pro. It captures 20MP stills (f2.8-f/11), and has 4K 10-bit HDR support. You can plug the drone into a 4K TV and it will playback footage as captured.

Mavic 2 Zoom
The Mavic 2 Zoom has a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor that is big on optical zoom that combines 2x optical zoom (24-48mm) with 2x digital zoom to simulate a 96mm telephoto lens for lossless video in full HD. If you want to get creative in your videos, we’re told this is the drone to get because of the Dolly Zoom Quickshot; ideal for visual storytelling and not just for professionals.

Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom
Both drones capture 4K UHD footage with a maximum bitrate of 100 megabits per second on the H.265 codec. For aerial photographers who want to capture stills, it has a new enhanced HDR mode. The range on drones are 8km, and unless you know what you’re doing, rather keep it in sight; and offer 31 minutes flight time, with a speed of up to 72km/h in Sport mode.

The drones automatically detect obstacles and when following an object, can deduce the direction it is moving to carry on following it if there is an obstacle – like a car passing a cliff. They have precise three-axis mechanical gimbals to stabilise the camera to ensure shake-free footage that is crisp and smooth.

There are a bunch of intelligent modes that you can use, such as ActiveTrack (to follow you or an object around), Boomerang, Asteroid, Circle, Course Lock, Waypoint (useful to capture hyperlapses in different seasons) etc. I’ve used some of them on the Mavic Air. Both drones also have 8GB on-board storage, and can be controlled with a smartphone using the DJI app, much like the setup with the likes of the Mavic Air.

Fly More Kit
I love what DJI did with the next-generation Mavic 2 drones. You can purchase the Fly More Kit separately now, as in standalone, for R5 800. Previously you had to fork out upfront for the combo pack. You get two additional batteries; a multi-battery charging hub; a car charger; a battery to power bank adaptor; two pairs of propellers; and a carrying bag. You can purchase it at a later stage, just in case you need to -cough- save up after splurging on a standalone drone.

Hands On
I played with the Mavic 2 Zoom yesterday, briefly, and it was fun as always. I didn’t get to try all the modes but it was pretty cool getting close and zooming into the drone closest to mine (we were split into teams). We also tested the various modes like Boomerang, Asteroid etc to take group photos and videos. It takes a bit of time to learn how to operate a drone, so keep this in mind if you are planning to purchase one.

The drones comes with built in Geo Zones, and won’t take off in places like airports – globally, where you are not allowed to operate a drone. You also need to always be aware of where you are flying, and if you are not breaking any laws.

Mavic 2 Pro – R29 999
Mavic 2 Zoom – R25 999
Fly More Kit – R5 800
Available at the iStore
*A gimbal replacement service for the Mavic 2 will be available soon.