DJI Mavic Pro 2 vs. Phantom 4 Pro: an in-depth comparison

Sep 11, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

DJI Mavic Pro 2 vs. Phantom 4 Pro: an in-depth comparison

Sep 11, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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If you’re in a market for a drone, there are many options to choose from. DJI launched Phantom 4 back in May this year, and two versions of Mavic 2 were launched a few weeks ago. In this video, Parker Walbeck gives you an in-depth comparison of the DJI Mavic Pro 2 and the Phantom 4 Pro. So in case you’re wondering which one to buy, or if you should upgrade from a drone you already own: this video is for you.

YouTube video

As Parker explains, he compared the Mavic 2 Pro to the Phantom 4 Pro because there aren’t so many differences between the drones of the Mavic series. He chose Mavic Pro 2 because it has a much larger sensor than the zoom version. So, let’s get to the comparison.

Price

Both drones are similar in terms of price. The Mavic 2 Pro costs $1,449 and the Phantom 4 Pro is $1,499. However, Parker’s Phantom has a built-in screen, which makes it $300 more expensive than the Mavic.

Size

Mavic weighs 2 pounds whereas the Phantom weighs 3 pounds. Additionally, the Mavic can be folded, which makes way more portable and travel-friendly. So, a point for Mavic again.

Setup time

In parker’s test, it took him 1 minute and 13 seconds to set up the Mavic and start flying, whereas Phantom took 1 minute and 10 seconds. This isn’t much of a difference, plus it will differ for everyone. Objectively speaking, both drones are quick to set up and get in the air.

Focal length

The Phantom gives you 24mm and the Mavic is slightly tighter at 28mm. Additionally, Mavic has a setting 4K HQ which gives you an even tighter focal length of 40mm. So, there’s no winner here. The drones are simply different and it all depends on what you need and prefer.

Performance

Flight time

The Phantom can fly 30 minutes per battery, and Mavic offers you a 31-minute flight. So, there’s a very slight advantage for the Mavic.

Max speed

Both drones have the maximum speed of 45mph, so there’s no winner here.

Range

The Mavic has 8km range, whereas the Phantom’s range is 7km. So, it’s another point for the Mavic 2 Pro.

Obstacle avoidance

Parker gives a slight advantage to the Mavic 2 Pro here, even though both drones do a great job. He couldn’t catch the Mavic with his hand because the drone was sensing it as an obstacle.

Wind resistance

Both drones can stand the wind up to 23mph. However, Mavic is a little lighter so it gets thrown around a little more in the wind.  Therefore, the Phantom gets a point in this regard.

Tracking features

Mavic 2 Pro has Active Track 2.0, and the Phantom has version 1. According to Parker, you can feel the difference. The Mavic has improved tracking abilities, plus it also has three different modes: Trace, Profile and Spotlight. The Spotlight tracking mode is Parker’s favorite because it lets you keep the subject in the center of the frame while moving the drone around it. So, Mavic wins here over the Phantom.

120fps

Since both drones shoot 120fps in HD, Parker tested it out. And is it usable? Well, it doesn’t look too good. Parker suggests sticking to the 4K unless you really need that 120fps footage. Although, the Phantom makes slightly sharper and clearer videos than the Mavic.

Ease of use and learning curve

While both drones will take some time to learn how to fly them and get smooth shots, they are both very beginner-friendly. Parker gives a slight advantage to the Mavic because of the new tracking features, since they’re great for beginners.

Controller functionality

According to Parker, Phantom wins when it comes to the controller functionality. He prefers the built-in screen better than having to use a phone because it saves you a hassle and saves your phone battery.

Build quality and durability

The Phantom feels stronger and less like a toy than the Mavic. Parker crashed it a few times and it’s still going strong. He still hasn’t crashed the Mavic, though, but the Phantom 4 Pro does seem more durable.

Propeller noise levels

Parker tested the decibel levels of both drones standing just a few feet away. The Mavic clocked in around 70db and the Phantom about 80db. So, there’s a slight advantage to the Mavic here, but keep in mind that it’s still not super-quiet.

Internal storage

Mavic has 8GB internal storage, which is great if you forget to take your SD card out of your computer. Hey, it happens! The Phantom doesn’t have the internal storage, so the Mavic is a clear winner here.

Hyperlapse features

The hyperlapse feature is new to the Mavic 2 Pro, and Phantom doesn’t have it at all. Parker likes it and uses it, but it is a bit shaky in the wind. So, it’s best to use it only if you fly in favorable weather conditions.

Overall video quality

Resolution and frame rate

Both drones shoot in 4K, but the Mavic only does it up to 30fps, whereas the Phantom goes up to 60fps. So, Phantom is a winner here, especially if you shoot a lot of slow-motion footage.

Color depth

Mavic sports 10-bit color vs. 8-bit color on the Phantom. So, Mavic gives you more color information to work with, meaning that it wins again. This especially makes a difference when shooting in D-Log and color grading the footage. Plus, The Mavic 2 Pro has a new HDR profile that the Phantom doesn’t have.

In-camera color

If you don’t want to spend too much time color grading the footage, when you shoot in normal color mode on each, Phantom colors seem a little bit richer overall. The Mavic has a bit warmer colors, while the Phantom seems more accurate. But, that’s a personal preference and the difference is, frankly, rather small.

Low-light performance

Parker pushed both drones to ISO 1600 and the Phantom shows slightly less noise than the Mavic. The Phantom can go up to ISO 6400 and the Mavic maxes out at ISO 1600. However, when the Phantom is at 6400, the image isn’t usable so Parker doesn’t recommend going over ISO 1600.

In conclusion, when it comes to the overall image quality, both drones do a good job. As Parker puts it, they’re just different. Each has advantages over the other, but it depends which features are more important to you.

And the winner is…

According to the scoreboard, the Mavic 2 Pro wins with 10 points over Phantom 4 Pro that has 7 points. However, most of the times the differences were subtle, and the Mavic only had a slight advantage over the Phantom. Still, Parker says he would opt for the Mavic 2 Pro because it’s slightly cheaper, smaller, and quieter. Also, it has the 10-bit color for better gradeabilty and it has newer tech so it has got some great new features.

What if you already own a Mavic or a Phantom drone?

If you already own a Mavic drone, is the Mavic 2 Pro worth the upgrade? Parker would say yes. The larger sensor and the 10-bit color are enough on their own to upgrade your gear. But if you already own a Phantom 4 Pro, should you “sidegrade” to the Mavic 2 Pro? Well, unless you absolutely need the 10-bit color or better portability, Parker believes it’s not worth buying a whole new drone. The Phantom 4 Pro will do a great job. But when the Phantom 5 is out… Then we’ll see if it’s worth the upgrade.

[Mavic 2 Pro vs. Phantom 4 Pro In-Depth Comparison via ISO 1200]

 

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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7 responses to “DJI Mavic Pro 2 vs. Phantom 4 Pro: an in-depth comparison”

  1. merkk Avatar
    merkk

    I own both the mavic 2 pro and phantom 4. I have 3 points to mention

    1. The range on the two is not the same, practically speaking. The phantom 4 will lose connection with the remote if you don’t have a perfect clear line of sight. The mavic 2 (and the first mavic too) will maintain a connection over a much greater distance even with some obstacles in the way. For me, that’s reaon enough to prefer the mavic. I only use the phantom if I need 4k60fps

    2. I haven’t measured the sound objectivly, but to me the sound difference between the two is very noticeable, more so when you are moving it around vs just hovering.

    3. Setup time.. this will vary depending on if you store the phantom with or without the propellers attached. I also find that getting a GPS lock on the mavic is much faster then on the phantom

  2. Dusan Avatar
    Dusan

    I wish more people would test STILL PHOTOGRAPHY. Not everyone is a freaking videographer. Everywhere I look everyone’s talking about video quality.
    In fact I rarely even shoot videos on my Mavic 1.

    1. Reuben James Nicklin Avatar
      Reuben James Nicklin

      I agree!!!

    2. Skeptics Avatar
      Skeptics

      Word!

  3. Yardman Avatar
    Yardman

    …mav is a small folding drone compared to phatom 4pro

  4. Xyenz Fyxion Avatar
    Xyenz Fyxion

    When is that Phantom 5 dropping, though?

  5. Michael MS Avatar
    Michael MS

    “Well, unless you absolutely need the 10-bit color or better portability”
    Hmmm misses the point really. Active track 2 and hyperlapse surely more important added features than 10 bit color and makes it worth side grading.