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Detailed "Consumer Drones Comparison" page by DJI

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Detailed "Consumer Drones Comparison" page by DJI

Postby George Tyndall » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:24 am

For reasons that remain obscure, DJI never mentions that the 28mm lens (35mm equivalent) on the Mavic Pro can zoom up to 2x -- and that at 28mm it already has a narrower field of view (78.8 degrees) than their other consumer drones, which means it's not quite as good for landscapes but better for, say, selfies.

For example, the new Mavic Air's lens is 24mm equivalent with a FOV of 85 degrees. The page does not say whether it can zoom.

There is also a difference in the fixed aperture: f2.2 for the Pro, f2.8 for the Air. When it is recalled that the Pro is capable of zooming out to 56mm (see the below image), this once again means the Pro is better for selective focus, not to mention better low-light capability.

Add the fact that the max ISO with the Pro is 3200 for the Pro but 1600 for the Air, and the difference between the two becomes more clear (pun intended).

The DJI page omits that the Pro, like the Air, has an HDR setting -- but does point out that only the Air has automatic "32MP" Pano mode. In reality, for photos the Pro can bet set to Portrait view if one wishes to make a panoramic image.

During the presentation this am, the DJI rep said the Air is capable of 4K@60fps, but the page says 30fps, same as the Pro.

The Fly More (3 batteries) package for the Air lists for $999, whereas the list price for the Pro alone is $999 -- however, DJI is currently selling the Alpine White Pro Fly More package for $1099. Both prices include tax and shipping.

Here's an important difference between the Air and the Pro: while the takeoff weight for the former is 430g, for the latter it's 734g. But the max flying time for the Air is 21 minutes, while for the Pro it's 27.

Re Intelligent Flight Modes (automatic settings), the Air has 7, the Pro 11, the most important of which is Course Lock: Point the nose in the direction you want the aircraft to travel, activate Course Lock, including the desired speed in meters/second (as low as 1.0), and push Go. The result is that as the drone travels forward, its forward sensors will both warn the pilot and halt the aircraft if there is an obstruction.

What that means is that pilots are free to point the camera in whatever direction they please while moving forward. The 3-axis gimbal handles -90degrees (straight down) to +30degrees (30 degrees above the horizontal) in landscape view, which means pilots can capture interesting cloud formations, for which the Philippines is famous, in their images.

I've set my Pro's gimbal at the maximum setting in terms of slowness and smoothness during tilting (moving up and down). Imagine traveling along a chosen direction at 1m/s while tilting from -90 to +30 and back again and then playing that later at on a 1080p TV-- especially when made in a country like the Philippines, where most of the scenery continue to be pristine.

The tilt of the Air is -90 to 0 -- which means the below image would not be possible.

The DJI comparison page mentions other differences that I've not covered here.

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