Best Mavic drone

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DJI is so popular among drone enthusiasts that it accounts for 70% of all commercial drone sales. To strengthen their market dominance, the company bought a majority stake in high-end camera maker Hasselblad in 2019.

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Which Mavic drones are best?

A drone is an amazing gadget to have. With excellent camera abilities, you can capture videos and images that were previously thought of as impossible. The visuals are so good that drones have been used in many Hollywood films, reducing the cost of shooting from a helicopter.

DJI has quickly become one of the best drone manufacturers, and its Mavic range is regularly praised for its quality, accessories and ease of use. If you’re looking at a drone for yourself, you definitely can’t go wrong with the newly launched DJI Air 2S.

What to know before you buy a Mavic drone

Register with FAA and get a commercial licence

No matter which drone you buy, you must register with the Federal Aviation Authority before you even take off. This is so the FAA can keep track of where drones are being launched and who owns them. FAA registration costs $6. If you want to take videos or photos to sell later, you must also apply for a commercial license.

Flight times and batteries

A popular misconception is that you can fly a drone for the whole day. Almost all drones have a maximum flight time of around 30 minutes, and you must plan your flying route around that. There are several rechargeable batteries available, so it’s a good idea to stock up on those, but you’ll still need to return to the home point to exchange them. 

Gimbal

If you’re planning on taking professional photos or video with your DJI Mavic drone, a gimbal is a must-have. It’s a little bracket that fits onto the drone’s underside to keep your own digital camera steady. It prevents the camera from swaying and keeps it focused on a particular point. This isn’t possible with most built-in drone cameras.

What to look for in a quality Mavic drone

Image quality and lenses

Depending on which DJI Mavic drone you get, it will be available with different lens options. The Mavic 2, as an example, can accommodate a Pro or a Zoom lens. Each is better suited for different scenarios. A good-quality DJI Mavic drone should have a camera resolution of at least 12 megapixels.

Range

Next to battery life, the range of a drone determines how far it can go before you lose signal to the controller. Hobby drones have a rather short range of a few hundred feet. A quality Mavic drone, however, can fly for several miles before needing to return.

Obstacle detection

When a drone is out of sight, you must rely on your display to see where the drone is going, but you can’t always be sure of what’s around it. For this reason, some Mavic drones have obstacle detection in four directions. The sensors detect when the drone is too close to trees, buildings or poles and moves automatically to avoid crashing into them.

How much you can expect to spend on a Mavic drone

DJI Mavic drones are rather expensive, but with that said, there are some models that retail for much less than others. An entry-level drone will set you back about $400. At the top end of the selection, some models go for $1,500-$2,000. The most expensive is an enterprise model that costs $6,500.

Mavic drone FAQ

Does a Mavic drone automatically return home when its signal is lost?

A. Yes, it does, but there are a few steps involved for that. When it loses signal, the Mavic drone will stop mid-air for a few seconds to reestablish the connection. If that fails, the drone will retrace its steps until a better signal is found. Failing that, it will fly straight back to the home point.

What’s the largest SD card a Mavic drone can take?

A. Capturing 4K video can consume a lot of storage space, and the drone needs to be able to handle that. For most models, the largest capacity SD card that it can accommodate is 256GB.

What are the best Mavic drones to buy?

Top Mavic drone

DJI Air 2S

DJI Air 2S

What you need to know: A powerful drone that has everything you need.

What you’ll love: The new DJI Air 2S has an upgraded version of QuickShots, called MasterShots. This new technology allows you to get the perfect footage in any location with the 20-megapixel camera. The camera on board is capable of recording video in 5.4K at 30fps and 4K at 60fps. The drone has a maximum range of 7.5 miles and a maximum speed of 42.50 mph. It ships with a remote controller, intelligent flight battery and three pairs of low-noise propellers.

What you should consider: Retailing at just under $1,000, it might be out of reach for most.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Mavic drone for the money

DJI Mini 2

DJI Mini 2

What you need to know: Lightweight and feature-packed, it’s a breeze to operate.

What you’ll love: One of the lightest drones from DJI, the Mini 2 comes with a 12-megapixel camera on a three-axis gimbal. The 4K camera can capture 4K footage at 30 frames per second and supports up to 6.2 miles of HD video transmission. The lens is capable of four times zoom.

What you should consider: It only has downward obstacle sensing.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

What you need to know: An excellent camera that can deliver stunning visuals.

What you’ll love: The Mavic 2 Pro is a serious drone for professional footage capturing. It features a 20-megapixel Hasselblad L1D-20c camera on a three-axis gimbal. It has a maximum flying speed of 44 miles per hour, and omnidirectional obstacle sensing. It has 8GB of internal storage and can accommodate an SD card of up to 128GB.

What you should consider: For a better flying experience, it’s recommended that you get the Smart Controller, but that pushes up the overall price to just under $2,000.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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