4K UHD test video and RAW images from the new DJI Mavic Pro look fantastic

by on October 2, 2016

Stephan Jukic – October 2, 2016

As we’d recently covered, DJI has unveiled their brand new and extremely compact Mavic Pro 4K UAV drone for an increasingly competitive and slightly more budget-oriented consumer market. The new drone basically costs about a fourth less than DJI’s most recent previous UAV the Phantom 4 4K quadracopter. Thus while the Phantom 4 retails for about $1300, the Mavic Pro can be bought for just $1000 with controller included or an even more affordable $750 for the drone alone, which can then be controlled completely through a smartphone app.

However, despite this much lower price, the Mavic is absolutely no slouch in the performance department at least if its published specs are anything to go by. It offers the same photo and video sensor power of the pricier Phantom 4, the same 4K video recording chops and with its lighter weight and compact size, the Mavic Pro can stay aloft longer at 27 minutes and offer a greater range at 4.5 miles than nearly any previous drone we’ve seen.


Now, in addition to evidence of the Mavic’s desirability based on published specs and DJI’s own reputation alone, we also have some hard evidence of how well this little drone works through the posted 4K video recordings of photographer and videographer Michael Shainblum, who recently released completely unedited 4K test footage from a flight with the Mavic Pro along with his own impressions on the drone’s performance.

We have to admit, the video and RAW photo sequences Shainblum showed off on his site do indeed look stunning.



Phantom 4 RAW photo still for comparison with the Mavic's photo chops

Phantom 4 RAW photo still for comparison with the Mavic’s photo chops

What’s interesting however is that before Shainblum’s own 4K test video went viral among UAV fans, many other users and tech watchers were under the firm impression that the Mavic actually offers low quality, blurry 4K video. This misconception is apparently the case thanks to earlier test footage releases by other professional videographers who had failed to properly focus and calibrate the cameras on their own Mavic drone units.

One example is filmmaker Casey Neistat, who showed off side-by-side video segments which compared video from the Phantom 4 with that of the Mavic and in his shots, the Mavic clearly delivered an inferior result which looked soft and vaguely unfocused. Neistat later went onto Twitter and corrected his own first impression by stating that the reason for his low quality Mavic recordings was indeed poor focus created by his own calibration efforts and not a problem with the DJI Mavic’s camera itself. After some adjustment, Neistat also managed to get far sharper video from his Mavic.

Moving back to Shainblum, his own videos completely confirm Neistat’s second impression of the excellent quality delivered by the Mavic Pro’s 4K camera. There is no softness at all in the 4K video offered by the Mavic as it flies and to top things off, both color and dynamic range in the footage are downright superb. We have to say, from what Shainblum and others have shown off, the Mavic is an excellent recording drone despite its small size and lower price.


DJI seems to have created one fantastic product in the Mavic Pro and if you’d like to form your own opinion, check out Shainblum’s own footage in the YouTube video below, along with a couple of stills from the video as they appear above.

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