Time to switch up the blog posts a little bit! I have yet to do a product review, but here's my first and certainly not my last. First up: the DJI Mavic Pro. Above are a few images taken on the Mavic, some images of the Mavic during use, and a short film I made shot entirely on the Mavic during a trip I took with Max to Playa Los Cerritos, Mexico for a wedding.
THE PROS (PUN INTENDED)
- Size matters - The DJI Mavic Pro is has been a turnoff to many people because they think it's too small. Notice how this is the first pro listed? That's because it is so small and how small it is makes it so awesome. It was extremely easy to travel with because with all of the gear needed to make it a functional drone (extra batteries, charger, cords, extra propellers, phone charger) into my carry-on bag. All in all, I was able to pack my ENTIRE setup for the wedding, drone included, into just my carry-on, my backpack, and my suitcase.
- Photo/Video Overall Image - Most of the clips from the short film were shot in 4K and exported out into Full HD. As you can see, the image quality is stunning. Prior to actually getting the drone, I had heard several people saying the overall image was soft, but this was clearly not a problem. I shot in the Cinelike picture profile, reducing the sharpness and contrast by -1, which I felt gave plenty of latitude in post to play with colors, tones, sharpness, and any tweaks I wanted to make. Another thing that impressed me about the image quality was how much latitude the photos actually had. All of the edits you see were done entirely in the VSCO app for iPhone only on the JPEG that saves to the phone's camera roll. I'm definitely not a photographer, I certainly can't edit a photo as well as Max or Miles, but I was so happy with the edits I ended up with that I just decided to keep them!
- Quick Startup/Shutdown - Because the wings of the drone simply fold up, the propellers can just be stored on the drone at all times. I recommend taking a note from Philip Bloom and using some bungee cords with hooks on each end to actually keep the propellers from bending any weird ways during transit in a bag, but that being said the time it takes to setup the drone and get it in the air is simply a fraction of the other drones offered by DJI or really any other drone company. Same thing on the back end when you're ready to pack up and leave.
- HD Compression at 60fps - This was disappointing and yet not surprising. The footage that you see that is in slow motion in the film was shot in 1080p at 60 frames per second. The higher frame rate seemed to lose a TON of quality whenever I actually got it into the editing process. It's so bad that I honestly would say it really isn't worth it to shoot at a higher frame rate than 30fps.
- Focus Drifting - I didn't notice it while shooting, but I did notice on quite a few clips when I went to edit, that the focus would suddenly and seemingly at random try to refocus while filming. I'm not sure if it was the way I was operating from the app, but I will have to continue testing this to make a more solid conclusion. For now, I'm marking this down as a con until I can get out and give you guys an update.
Overall, it's safe to say this has been my favorite purchase of the year so far and easily my favorite drone I've gotten to work with! It's going to be used quite a bit on several different projects coming up and I can't wait to share more of the rad adventures me and this little drone will get to go on soon!