The Winner of our UK Drone Show Free Prize Draw,
with a free 2.5 hour one-to-one flying lesson,
worth £250, as the Prize, is…..
There has been more interest from new and existing customers around the launch of the Mavic Pro than we have experienced with the launch of any DJI drone, ever. The excitement has been mixed with an increasing amount of frustration, as delivery date promises have been broken, timelines have slipped, and only tiny quantities of the Mavic Pro have shipped.
So you can imagine how happy we were when our first Mavic Pro arrived here at the end of last week (2 December). But I was so busy with the UK Drone Show and then flying lessons that today (8 December) was my first opportunity to actually fly it.
The Mavic Pro certainly looks the part. In your hand it is compact, solid, and beautifully constructed. But it is once you take off that the magic really begins.
It is almost silent. As steady as a rock in the air. And the flight controls are beautiful. Even better than the Phantom 4 and the Inspire. The way it responds to stick inputs is sublime. It picks up speed very rapidly, and with no fluster. It maintains altitude no matter what you do in terms of pitch and yaw, perfectly. I felt more in control of the flight path with the Mavic Pro than with any other drone I have flown. Half way through the flight, I found myself flying fast, much closer to the ground than I would feel comfortable with my Phantom 4 or Inspire 1, with a broad grin on my face. Oops Proto – playing catch with an expensive camera!
Even Sport Mode is not the “monster raving looney party” experience that it sometimes feels like with the Phantom 4. Just a very fast way of getting around the sky. And because of its dark colour, I was able to keep it in sight when flying all the way out to 300 metres from where I was standing – about the same distance where I start to struggle to spot my Phantom. Battery life was every bit as good as we have been led to expect. Landing it is a doddle, because the VPS system keeps it locked on as you reduce height. And interestingly, in a new innovation, with the left joystick pulled only part of the way down, the Mavic stops about 30cms above the ground. Then, when you pull the joystick all the way back, there is a small “click”, and the Mavic auto-lands and switches itself off. Very neat.
As a flying experience, this was a Spinal Tap moment. It definitely scored 11 out of 10.
Unfortunately, I have some issues with the Mavic Pro. One set of problem has to do with the compromises inevitable in miniaturising a full-featured drone. And there is another class of problem where DJI appear to have made life more difficult than it needs to be.
For me, at the moment, the DJI Mavic Pro is therefore a Flawed Genius, not the Ultimate Drone. Some of the problems, with the app, with the auto-focus, will be fixed by DJI in forthcoming firmware updates, I am sure. But the compromises DJI have had to make to get the Mavic down to its tiny size we are stuck with. At least until a Mavic Pro 2 arrives.
So if I could only have one drone, it wouldn’t be the Mavic Pro. It would be the Phantom 4, or if I could stretch to it, the formidable Phantom 4 Pro.
As a second drone, or if portability is the only thing that matters to you, then the DJI Mavic Pro is a tour de force. I know I will be taking one with me if / when I go away on holiday. It is so compact, taking it on tour becomes a no-brainer. And I know that like everything with DJI, it will simply get better and better as time goes on. The speed at which DJI innovates continues to take my breath away.
Alan Proto 8 December 2016
Helen Pidd, Technology Reporter for The Guardian Newspaper, came to the UK Drone Show at the NEC on 4 December. As well as talking about drone racing, she interviewed our own Alan Proto, about flying lessons, and how much fun it is taking drone enthusiasts on holiday to Spain to fly their drones. As he said to her “It just struck me that flying drones can be quite a lonely pursuit. Standing in a field in England on your own is not as fun as much fun as standing in a field in Spain with five soon-to-be mates”.
Read the full article HERE