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DJI releases tiny new handheld Mavic Pro drone with built-in 4K UHD camera

by on September 28, 2016
 

Stephan Jukic – September 28, 2016

Right after GoPro finally released its highly compact and very cool new Karma foldable 4K UAV and Yuneec also emerged with its own ultra-minimalist, ultra HD “Breeze” compact budget drone, DJI has now suddenly brought out its own offering in the same size and price range in the form of the Mavic Pro. Based on what we’re hearing about the Mavic so far, it definitely sounds like one cool little UAV.

The new and decidedly insectile looking DJI mini drone includes a stabilized 4K UHD camera and a visual navigation system which can track objects in-camera and thus move around many obstacles. Furthermore, like the Karma and Breeze drones from GoPro and Yuneec, it too is foldable for even easier storage and transport. So compactly foldable in fact that once it’s been tucked into itself, it can fit right in the palm of a person’s hand.

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If these above specs and features aren’t cool enough, the Mavic Pro also comes with a remarkably robust range of 4.3 miles and a remarkably long 27 minute flight time with a single charge. This alone puts it well ahead of rival Yuneec’s Breeze drone which comes priced at an extremely affordable MSRP but can only manage 12 minutes of flight time and a ridiculously narrow range of just under 200 feet.

Additonally, the Mavic Pro comes equipped with a new DJI Flight Autonomy navigation system for maximal airborne independence. This new technology relies on five different cameras, GPS, satellite navigation through GLONASS and dual ultrasonic range finders as a final high tech tough for safe manual and autonomous flight around potential obstacles at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

We should also add that the Mavic Pro offers the usual suite of DJI pilot assistance systems. These include automatic takeoff and landing, automated return to home navigation, and the usual autonomous flight paths like circle and follow-me.

DJI has also introduced some truly robust control features into the tiny Mavic drone, with a compact controller with dual joysticks, basic activation buttons and a more streamlined slot for snapping in a smartphone or tablet for viewfinder display. A further unique twist to the navigation systems of the Mavic Pro is gesture control of a limited sort, which allows you to do things like command the drone to take selfies by simply waving your hand in front of the little UAV. The drone can also be controlled completely via smartphone app within a more limited range through the UAV’s dual-band WiFi connectivity.

Coolest of all however is the new DJI Goggles headset which will soon be available for the Mvic Pro and other drones from the company. This piece of wearable equipment allows for both 85 degree first person and third person viewing of what the drone shows while flying. However DJI hasn’t released either pricing or availability details for the Goggles quite yet.

The DJI Goggles for intimate first-person navigation of the company's UAVs

The DJI Goggles for intimate first-person navigation of the company’s UAVs

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The Mavic Pro’s controller, which is also sold separately from the most basic Mavic Pro package

Finally, moving onto the Mavic Pro’s 4K UHD camera, it too is an impressive little package for such a tiny UAV flier since it comes included with the drone and offers up the same sensor power and size as the 4K camera in the much larger and pricier DJI Phantom 4 drone model. This means 4K video at a very decent 30 frames per second, 1080p footage at a really good 96fps and 12 megapixel still videos which can be captured in the RAW format. The drone can also live stream not just 720p video but also 1080p footage right to your smartphone and the DJI drone app from distances of up to 4.2 miles away (the limit of its range). This last live feed capacity and the drone’s excellent range are both particularly impressive specs in our books.

All of these specs and features in the Mavic put it well ahead of the compact Yuneec Breeze drone in terms of performance and at least from our first impressions, the Mavic also outdoes the Karma in many ways. However, the new DJI drone’s performance comes at a steeper price. This little flier is retailing for a cool $1000 with controller included. This is nearly $500 more than the Yuneec Breeze compact foldable drone and about $300 more than the retail price of the GoPro Karma. There is also a version of the Mavic being sold without the controller included for just $750, for users who don’t mind managing the drone via smartphone app alone. For comparison, DJI’s Phantom 4K 4K UHD camera-equipped drone is retailing for about $1300 and offers both a reduced flight time, fewer navigation features and quite a bit more bulk.

Also, here’s a cool publicity video from DJI for the new Mavic Pro drone

Story by 4k.com

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