DJI Mavic Review Roundup – Best Footage & Comparisons

This straight-and-to-the-point DJI Mavic review roundup summarizes what the critics have been saying about DJI’s latest photography quad.

Mavic vs the Competition

DJI’s biggest competitor right now may very well be itself.  Before the Mavic came out, its older bigger brother Phantom 4 was king of the consumer drone world.

Aside from the Phantom 4, the only other drone that can compete with Mavic Pro is the GoPro Karma.

Almost everyone agrees that the DJI Mavic Pro is a better all around quad compared to GoPro Karma.  However, the GoPro Karma might be worth checking out if you’re on a budget or if you’re a GoPro fan.  The GoPro Karma is significantly cheaper and it comes with a free GoPro Grip.

Here’s a quick breakdown that explains the differences between the world’s 3 most cutting edge photography drones.

Mavic Pro vs Phantom 4

The most in-depth head-to-head video review out there right now is iPhonedo’s.  Here are a few of his most interesting observations.

  • They both cost about the same.  You might expect the Mavic Pro to cost a bit more than the Phantom 4 because the Mavic is newer, but actually they are pretty much equal.
  • In terms of color richness, Mavic outperforms Phantom 4.  At dusk, colors look especially deeper and more realistic on the Mavic.  I think Phantom 4 footage looks a bit washed out in comparison.

DJI Mavic review: night shots

  • Phantom 4’s factory settings give its camera a slight edge out-of-the-box.  Phantom 4’s cam seemed a little bit steadier and sharper compared to Mavic’s, but that’s only because the Mavic’s factory settings aren’t quite ideal.

DJI Mavic review: resolution

  • Phantom 4’s remote is much bigger and bulkier.  The Mavic and Phantom 4 have similar remote controls.  Both are designed to interface with smartphones.  However, I think most people will prefer the Mavic’s because it’s smaller and much more compact.

DJI Mavic review: controller size

  • Both Mavic and Phantom 4 do a great job of handling wind.  In windy conditions, both drones held their own and maintained their positions.
  • Mavic has gesture mode and terrain mode, but Phantom 4 does not.  Terrain mode allows the Mavic to auto-adjust to terrain features like hills and valleys.  Gesture mode allows you to snap selfies with a wave of your hand.  Gesture mode seems a little bit gimmicky to me, but it does seem to work pretty well.
  • Tracking works better on Mavic.  iPhonedo was able to run away from both drones, but the Mavic did a better job of locking in on its target when it caught up.
  • Both drones are about the same size.  The Mavic is a whole lot smaller when its folded up, but when its unfolded its almost as big as Phantom 4.
  • They are both equally easy to use.  No matter which quad you choose, you won’t have any difficulty switching out the battery or the memory card.

Full video (21 minutes)

Mavic Pro vs GoPro Karma

YouTuber Dom Esposito recently sat down to compare the DJI Mavic to the GoPro Karma.  In the end he couldn’t decide which one he liked better.  However, in my opinion DJI Mavic seems like a much better deal.

Here are the main highlights from the review.

  • GoPro Karma is a little bit cheaper than DJI Mavic. GoPro Karma is older, so it’s a little bit less expensive compared to DJI Mavic Pro.
  • GoPro Karma comes with a bag and accessories.  The GoPro Karma base kit comes with a GoPro Grip stabilizer a backpack and a case.  You can even strap the Grip to your backpack to take video as you walk around.  The Mavic Pro base kit only comes with the basics, and you have to pay extra to get the Mavic bag.

DJI Mavic review: accessories

  • DJI Mavic is much smaller than the GoPro Karma.  Both are collapsable, but Mavic is way more compact when you fold it up.

DJI Mavic review: size

  • The GoPro Karma controller has a built-in touchscreen.  DJI Mavic’s remote is a lot smaller and more compact, but you have to use it with your smartphone if you want to take advantage of its advanced features.  You don’t need to have a smartphone to use the GoPro Karma because it has a built-in screen.

DJI Mavic review: karma controller

  • Karma has a removable camera.  Mavic has a built-in one.   Both the Mavic Pro and GoPro Karma have awesome 4k capable cams, the Karma’s is removable.

DJI Mavic review: vs gopro karma

  • Mavic Pro is easier to use compared to GoPro Karma.  It takes some skill to handle a GoPro Karma, but Mavic Pro is nimbler and has features like obstacle avoidance that make it more beginner friendly.
  • Mavic Pro has “follow me” mode, but GoPro Karma does not.  The GoPro Karma won’t follow you around.  (However, you can use its “passenger app” to allow a friend to take over control of your Karma.)
  • Mavic Pro is a bit more stable compared to GoPro Karma.  Both quads are pretty steady, but even though its larger GoPro Karma tends to get tossed around more in strong winds.
  • Mavic Pro can fly for 7 minutes longer.  GoPro Karma runs out of juice after 20 minutes, but you can squeeze 27 minutes of flight time out of a Mavic.
  • Mavic Pro is slightly faster and has much better range.  The Mavic’s max range is 4.3 miles, but you can only go .62 miles with the GoPro Karma.  In sport mode, Mavic can travel at 40 mph, but Karma maxes out at 35 mph.

Full video (15 minutes)

DJI Mavic Review: Who Loved It?

Everyone is saying that DJI Mavic is a game changer.  But do their observations and comments really make sense?  Let’s take a look.

Casey Neistat thinks Mavic is the “GREATEST DRONE EVER!!”

Love him or hate him, you can’t argue with Casey Neistat’s stats.  The guy’s got a huge following– and top gear makers beg him to review their stuff.

Neistat earned credibility because he doesn’t hold back if a company sends him gear that doesn’t measure up.

If it sucks, I’ll tell ya it sucks.

– Casey Neistat

When Neistat gave the Mavic a great review ahead of its release, the internet caught on fire.  Here’s why Neistat fell in love with the Mavic.

  • “It literally fits in my pocket.”  The Mavic is actually designed to be carried around in a backpack, but Neistat was able to jam one into his pants.  Most portable quads require you to take the propellers off before you collapse them down, but you can leave the Mavic’s props on if you want.
  • Sturdy construction.  Even though it is tiny, the Mavic looks and feels tough and durable, “like a transformer from the future.”
  • Compact controller.  Neistat hated the Phantom 4’s bulky controller, but he loved the Mavic’s tiny one.
  • Super steady.  The DJI Mavic is so steady that it looks like CGI.  Most quads that can hover need satellites for positioning, but the Mavic stays in one place just fine without GPS.

DJI Mavic review: Casey Neistat

  • Super easy setup.  All you have to do is flip out the Mavic’s arms and set it down on the ground.  Then, you can use the auto takeoff feature to get it off the ground.
  • Very responsive control.  Like other reviewers, Neistat was impressed by the Mavic’s agility.
  • Performed well in windy conditions.  Even though it was super windy, Neistat was able to pluck the Mavic out of the air with his hand.
  • “That might be the coolest piece of camera equipment I’ve ever used.”  That’s a pretty remarkable comment, coming from a guy who tries out and tests photography equipment for a living.

Full video (12 minutes)

DigitalRev TV’s first look

According to DigitalRev TV’s YouTube about page, they are “the most subscribed and viewed photography show on the internet.”

DigitalRev TV were among the very first to get their hands on the Mavic Pro.  Here is a summary of what they said about it.

  • They were blown away by the small size.  The reviewers couldn’t believe how small the Mavic is.  “There are smaller off brand drones on the market, but they don’t have nearly as many features.”
  • Easy setup.  You don’t have to position the props in a certain way prior to liftoff.
  • No props in the picture.  The Phantom 4 proved to be just a little bit faster and stronger, but you could see its props in the footage at high speeds.  The Mavic didn’t have that problem.

DJI Mavic review: vs phantom 4

  • They liked that you can control with Mavic with or without a smartphone.  If all you want to do is fly around and take some basic footage, you can use it without a phone.
  • Does everything the Phantom 4 can do, but better.  Even though the Mavic Pro is cheaper and smaller than the Phantom 4 was when it debuted, it can do more.

Full video (11 minutes)

DJI Mavic Review: Who Hated It?

So far, the only major YouTuber that’s hating on the DJI Mavic is Serpentza.

Serepentza is really a travel blogger, not a photography geek.  Maybe that’s why he didn’t setup the gimbal properly before takeoff.

DJI Mavic review: clickbait

Why Serpentza doesn’t care for the Mavic

DJI did not send the Mavic to Serpentza.  So to test it out, he relied on a nameless friend…  some random guy that insisted on identifying himself only as “brown eye.”

Despite his “click bait” headline, Serpentza seemed to have more good things than bad things to say about the Mavic.  My feeling is that Serpentza’s anonymous friend had some kind of grudge against DJI and talked him into making the video.

Here is a summary of Serpentza’s complaints about the Mavic.

  • Phantom 4’s factory settings are better.  As many reviewers have noted, Phantom 4 looks a bit better out-of-the-box.  You have to play with Mavic’s settings a bit to get the best out of it.
  • Couldn’t figure out how to use it.  He had trouble landing the Mavic, maybe because its autopilot features got in the way.  (Apparently, he’s used to using the Phantom 4.)

Full video (6 minutes)

About Alex Munkachy

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