Montag, 28. November 2016

DJI Mavic

DJI did a really good job on marketing this one! Never did I see so many of the big youtubers show you a drone with full excitement. What's left to say? I won't show you all the features again - you've probbably seen most of it yet. Instead I will give you my opinion to it:

I bought this drone, didnt get it from DJI but ordered it via This is my trusted shop (I ordered my firest FPV set back in 2008 at this shop). I have a lot of drones - the Mavic makes most of them obsolete now! I started with the Tricopter in 2011, got the TBS Discovery with DJI Naza in 2012 (which was my first GPS position hold, return home platform back then!). Later got into AP ships with brushless gimbals (DJI Phantom2, Black Snapper, Xugong). I still fly the Phantom 2 from time to time - but a 2axis gimbal just doesnt look good anymore :) Tried the Inspire1 and the Phantom4 when I had the chance to - but after the first playing around with it I didnt actually buy one (cause I had so many similar drones already).
Now since I skipped P3 and P4 I thought it was time to get this really tiny, backpack friendly, worry free drone. It's ready for flying in 2-3mins and has so many functions built in - a few years ago you would have needed a whole trunk full of expensive FPV gear to yield the same results (if possible at all).

What I love about this one:

  • very easy to handle
  • small, compact, backpack firendly is a joke here - this one get's lost in your backpack :)
  • super cam quality (best in this size cat) you can print stills to large format and even can take RAW pics!
  • great range / video transmission
    You just have a smooth 720p image, without intereference, without the permanent fear of flying blind suddenly. you can switch to 1080p live video - but then the recorded video is also 1080p.
    I even flew it from inside my car to a nice distance (more then enough) without even loosing signal or stuttering video!
  • flighttimes - 20mins for sure - which is really more than you need normally!
  • very well designed remote controller
  • bright display (ok this is rather depending on your phone - I have the Galaxy S7 which is very bright)
  • DJI Go app: great functions!

    highlight: it records downlink video in great quality directly on your phone as well (ok that's not new with the mavic). Also records all flight data in a log file! so you can even replay the GPS data and see how you flew, where, what happend, how you moved the sticks... really great log functions (cool for a statistics nerd like me).
  • easy to catch with the hand (carefully though!) - landing in grass or dust is not optimal. Having to use a landing pad would also kill some of the ultra portability...
  • silent, doesnt draw a lot of attention on you

some problems I found:

  • DISCONNECT problem
    this is maybe the biggest issue I had, but maybe they already fixed it (not happend again yet):
    what happend? on a flight, the app went into black/white and said it's disconnected. Restarting the app didnt help. While this happend my Mavic was far away, I was blind. But I could use the remote still. So I pressed the RTH button and luckily it came back reliable!
    things I do now to prevent this:
    - close all apps on the phone before using DJI Go app
    - have it in airplane mode
    - try to run it with as much phone battery as possible
    also got 2 DJI go app updates since then, and on 7.Nov. they published a new mavic firmware - INSTALL this asap!
  • sometimes cam/gimbal does shake (on sudden change of flight direction - so go smooth!)
    regarding smooth: there are some guidlines out yet, how to finetune the YAW endpoints, YAW expo and also smoothing out the gimbal movements - this all helps to get much smoother shots. Best yet I find it to just fly straight "like on rails or a cable cam" and let this impress your viewers - stunningly smooth and crips clear 4k footage!
  • gimbal looks very fragile! It hangs on weak rubber (for vibration dampening) and if not protected with the plastic part for locking the gimbal - the cam shakes a lot - so DONT transport it without this plastic protection!
  • obstacle avoidance can get irritated by sunlight or fog as well - if this happens - SWITCH to sport mode and be able to come home thru these invisible obstacles that your drone wants to avoid :)
  • in higher winds normal GPS mode is to slow - also switch to Sport mode to fight the headwinds!
    NEVER fly too far away with tailwind - you might underestimate the distance and power needed to come back against a strong wind. This might lead to an unplanned landing far away from you (in worst case you're flying home over the water against wind!)
  • GPS / compass error if you want to start from the roof of your car
  • DJI Go app: IOS has better language support (german available), Android version has NO german language...

Advice "fly more!":
I bought the "fly more" package - you should too!
When you buy the normal package - you will end up ordering a 2nd maybe 3rd battery soon after (because only one batt is never good).
If you buy 2 batteries seperatly - this is almost the same price than the "fly more" pack!
(and this pack includes also: the car charger, the 4x serial charging hub, the nice carrying case, powerbank adapter, props).

Of course you also should do enough training flights with the drone on safe grounds (large field) before you start taking it with you and fly anywhere (which isnt strictly legal in most countries btw).


Anonym hat gesagt…

I have a question about the antenna's of the mavic
the dji mavic has much shorter antennas like the Phantom, but a much larger range of up to 6km. They are probably the rubber duck types and no advanced clover leave, patch or spiral.
How can you get such a range with high definition video with, I presume legally transmitter.

It seems we are al doing the wrong thing with our sofisticated diversty, traking FPV divices

realy like to hear your opinion about it

best wishes Peter
the Netherlands

Kristian Appel hat gesagt…

Very Nice Pictures, Kristian!