DJI Mavic Pro Review – Quality Compared to Phantom 4 & Inspire 1

Two weeks ago we were impressed when the new ultra-compact DJI Mavic Pro was announced. As a drone enthusiast of course I had to get my hands on this new tech and compare it to the DJI Phantom 4 and Inspire 1. Here is our DJI Mavic Pro review where we look at image quality in particular.

DJI Mavic Pro Review - Camera

If you are interested in our free DJI Mavic Pro LUTs, you can download those here.

DJI Mavic Pro Review – Image Quality

Several early Mavic Pro review videos currently circle the web, where testers claim that the Mavic Pro image is much softer than previous drone generations. In light of the already limited 4K quality of drones like the Phantom 4 or Inspire 1, this claim made little sense, so we set out to get our hands on our own early DJI Mavic Pro review sample to check and here is our observation.

It seems like most reviewers out there were not aware that the DJI Mavic has a built-in “tap autofocus” system, like the Zenmuse X5 and Zenmuse X5R cameras for DJI Osmo and DJI Inspire 1. If you forget to autofocus, your image will eventually be out of focus. And if you compare this out of focus image to other drone footage, of course it will be softer.

So after a tap autofocus and after aligning the image of the DJI Mavic Pro, DJI Phantom 4 and DJI Inspire 1 (Zenmuse X3) I concluded that the image of all three cameras is very similar in quality.

DJI Mavic Pro Review - Camera Quality Comparison: Mavic, DJI Phantom 4, DJI Inspire 1

600% crops of 4K images

For HD productions the image quality of the DJI Mavic is acceptable. If you use a LUT, like our free cinema5D instaLUT for Mavic, or any other grading process, it is possible to get a nice image from the DJI Mavic Pro, just like I showed you in my Mastering Drone Footage series. On the other hand, the image of all these drones is far inferior to other cameras or the DJI Inspire 1 RAW for that matter. (Check out our detailed comparison here: LINK)

Unfortunately the data rate on the DJI Mavic is still 60 Mbps, just like on the Phantom 4 and Inspire 1 and for anyone who is a bit more serious about filmmaking 60 Mbps is hardly enough. Again, for HD productions the image will be mostly fine, but if you aim higher or would like to crop into an image the quality could be better.

Considering the small size and intelligent sensor technology built into the Mavic (read all about Mavic’s high tech here), this drone is still an impressive piece of technology that will be very useful on any smaller documentary style production where weight and size is an issue.

DJI Mavic Pro Review - top

DJI Mavic Pro Review – Pro’s & Con’s

Here is my summary of pro’s and con’s for the DJI Mavic Pro:

PRO’s

  • ultra-compact and lightweight
  • ergonomic and foldable remote
  • 27 minute flight time
  • stability, easy to fly
  • intelligent flight modes and sensors
  • 4K image comparable to Phantom 4 & Inspire 1
  • 65 km / h, fast speed

CON’s

  • Same low bitrate as previous drones
  • Low dynamic range as previous drones
  • Vertical angle of camera is limited
  • Tap Autofocus is a source for errors

In conclusion this is the best compact drone money can buy right now. If you want higher quality get a DJI Inspire 1 RAW. Otherwise, the DJI Mavic Pro is highly recommended.

If you are interested in our free DJI Mavic Pro LUTs, you can download those here.

We hope you liked our DJI Mavic Pro Review and comparison to Phantom 4 and Inspire 1. If you have any thoughts on the matter let us know in the comments.

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