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DJI announces new foldable Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom drones

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DJI has gone drone crazy.

The leading drone maker announced not one, but two new powerful, foldable consumer drones — the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom — at a special event at the Brooklyn Navy Yards in New York City.

Unlike the Mavic Air, released earlier this year, which touted its ultra-compact design, the two new Mavic 2 drones are all about performance: They’re faster, quieter, smarter, safer, fly longer, and capture more impressive aerial footage than the original Mavic Pro.

First and foremost, the new drones have improved cameras. The Mavic 2 Pro has a 1-inch CMOS sensor made by renowned camera company Hasselblad. With an adjustable f/2.8-f/11 aperture, the drone’s camera is more versatile for shooting in more conditions, especially low-light situations where the larger aperture (smaller f-stop number) comes in handy.

The Mavic 2 Zoom, on the other hand, has a smaller camera sensor that’s capturing closer footage using its optical and digital zoom. Combined, the Mavic 2 Zoom has an equivalent zoom focal length of 96mm.

Both drones can record 4K video. This time, however, footage will have four times the color range compared to the original Mavic Pro thanks to a new 10-bit Dlog-M codec. 

Along with the better cameras, the drones come with a couple of new recording modes, including hyperlapse and a dolly zoom feature. Both allow content creators to shoot more cinematic aerial footage without additional equipment, which is a welcome bonus.

Besides the improved cameras, the drones are also improved across the board, says DJI’s product communication lead Michael Oldenburg.

The Mavic 2 series drones have a top speed of 44 miles per hour,  31 minutes of flight time (the longest battery life on a Mavic), and they’re quieter in the air. Both drones also have 8GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot to expand that.

But those aren’t the only impressive improvements for the Mavic 2 series drones. The cameras can stream high-quality 1080p video directly to connected smartphones and tablets from up to five miles away (a big jump from the 1.2 miles on the Mavic Pro). DJI says it achieved this by redesigning the antennas inside — they automatically switch between 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies.

Additionally, the new Mavic 2 drones are even smarter. Using a total of 10 sensors mounted all around their bodies, the drones are able to better detect and avoid obstacles. The upgraded sensors also allow for better subject-tracking in 3D instead of 2D; DJI says the drones still track subjects even when they move behind objects like trees.

All of these new features don’t come cheap. The Mavic 2 Zoom is priced at $1,250 and the Mavic 2 Pro at $1,450. Both drones are available starting today from DJI.

We’ll be testing the Mavic 2 drones shortly and will update this story after we’ve tried it out. Stay tuned.

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