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DJI as a learning monster: Mavic 2 Case Study
644 25 2018-9-3
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Mike-the-cat
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After some niggles with shipping delays my Mavic 2 Pro arrived.

I won't be flying for a few days but wanted to post a few things about this product compared to its predecessor. There are so many [url= out there that I won't add to them but for those of you sitting on the fence, I hope this post nudges you along.

DJI learns and implements well. Competitors are simply KO'ed. I'll start with a few points and add along later.

The obvious pluses
1. The 1 inch sensor on the Pro 2 with 100 Mbps bit rate and h.265/HVEC codec puts P4P imaging capability on a Mavic form factor product. Effectively a flying, stabilized RX-100. The 10 bit color depth for video should make for better grading. DJI is likely to introduce a P5 with interchangable lenses in a few months ( I believe it was teasing / testing market interest a few months ago with a planned 'leak') but for now, this craft will be a dream to travel with. Also, the Hassleblad input involves a slightly different color science. Will test more over the next days but that seems to be a nice addition.
2. Ocusync 2. The original was clearly better than LB already in terms of range and interference resistance and IMO better than the LB2 on the Inspire 2 and P4P (although slightly inferior in video quality, most users with a smartphone screen would never notice). This version has incredible data bandwidth.
3. Collision avoidance and anticipatory flight intelligence. Flying backwards can be achieved with greater confidence and object tracking is much improved. Flying over water has improved because of improved downward sensor implementation (optical instead of ultrasonic). Flying around trees and buildings benefits from all round and upward sensing (and how many of us have bumped into branches on ascent!!!).
4. Improved flight endurance. Remember, hovering consumes more energy than horizontal flight at around 7-10 m/s (optimal endurance speed)
5. Hyperlapse and better tracking performance. Lots of work on the vision AI front went into this. WOW!

The small things are where DJI has really listened to users
1. 8GB of internal memory. How many times have your rushed out excitedly to a location only to find you forgot to bring along a microSD card? Or run out of space when that perfect sunset unexpectedly appears mid flight.  I've ended up taping a spare card to the bottom of each of my aircraft but this is a great feature to have.
2. Removable control sticks. Want to travel fast and light and have those pesky sticks poke into things in your bag. I know you can buy a plastic protector but this is a great feature to have. There are thoughtful little docks on the remote to store these and DJI has even provide a spare pair of sticks for us careless people.
3. Tripod mode on switch - important feature when transitioning to flying to position / scouting a site, to smooth camera moves for high quality video.
4. Previously, gimbal camera protection came in two pieces and the gimbal securing mechanism was flimsy and messy to apply. The new integrated camera and gimbal protector is one unit. The plastic is thinner and likely to crack with rugged use but the design is more functional.
5. The gimbal itself looks much more solid and from all the vids posted reviews to date is super steady.
6. The charger has a slotted cable assembly for the remote charger. Saves carrying another cable on your travels...
7. To protect against over eager customers who want to fly long range straight out of un-boxing, a brand new battery CANNOT be turned on until it is first fully charged!
8. The RC claws that hold on to the smartphone have rubber grips so that the frame that holds the phone connector plug doesn't run around - a good illustration of attention to detail

For those wondering about fly more kit - its improved
1. The bag is roomier and comfortably fits the aircraft without the legs snagging the bag (requiring a separate 'glove' or sock to store the aircraft before slotting it in. It has been redesigned to accomodate two spare batteries, props, charger and cables internally. I was pleasantly surprised.
2. The multi-battery charger is a slim stick like object that can charge up to 4 batteries.

As with the launch of the original Mavic Pro, DJI waited for the competition to release its product first, allowed buzz to develop and then crushed it. The Parrot Anafi is a better contender than GoPro's Karma which was a lemon but it will go to the ground given the strength of this Mavic 2 release.

In sum this is a carefully calibrated upgrade of a great aircraft to travel with. It will be the new king of the consumer drone market.

Oh yes and this time round. DJI learned a ton about inventory managment. They have lots of birds waiting to ship out of Shenzhen to avoid the fiasco they encountered with the original Mavic. Their sales and forum moderators have also been tuned to manage expectations and testy customers better than before.

This is one awesome company. They keep learning and improving.

Edit 4 September: Looks like one company is really feeling the heat and feels the need to go dirty to block DJI. Autel Robotics, started by a former DJI distrubutor is seeking a blockade of imports of DJI craft into the US. I hope the community here responds












2018-9-3
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Dirty Bird
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I concur with your assessment.
2018-9-3
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Mike-the-cat
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-9-3 07:44
I concur with your assessment.

That was quick... Aren't you glad we are their customers and not their competition?
2018-9-3
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hallmark007
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Well put together Mike good job, and I also back everything you have said. Enjoy your craft.
2018-9-3
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Mike-the-cat
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-9-3 13:10
Well put together Mike good job, and I also back everything you have said. Enjoy your craft.

Thanks buddy... You too. Saw your post about your having 10 aircraft now (at least)
2018-9-3
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HereForTheBeer
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note about #3.  it really isn't using anything special to track you.. dji's active track 2.0 on mavic 2 series is still very much a "reactive" system not a "proactive" system.  meaning it doesn't actually anticipate where your going it just has a 3 second window of self relocking subject and continuing to follow.   it is way better than active track 1.0. many of the drones on 1,0 could be upgraded to 2.0 if dji really wanted to..  

as for its avoidance system, they are fantastic too, sad that much of them are limited or disabled outside of intelligent flight modes... would be nice to have them enabled in P-GPS mode as well to added safety..
2018-9-3
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Mike-the-cat
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HereForTheBeer Posted at 2018-9-3 15:50
note about #3.  it really isn't using anything special to track you.. dji's active track 2.0 on mavic 2 series is still very much a "reactive" system not a "proactive" system.  meaning it doesn't actually anticipate where your going it just has a 3 second window of self relocking subject and continuing to follow.   it is way better than active track 1.0. many of the drones on 1,0 could be upgraded to 2.0 if dji really wanted to..  

as for its avoidance system, they are fantastic too, sad that much of them are limited or disabled outside of intelligent flight modes... would be nice to have them enabled in P-GPS mode as well to added safety..

The disabling of avoidance systems in manual mode is response to user input... Many users esp of the I2 and P4P wanted these turned off by default. Its also to avoid lawsuits when crazy pilots flying at full speed want license to fly extreme but not crash. (think drone racing without having to have the skills to fly expertly)

Let's see how DJI responds to your note
2018-9-3
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HereForTheBeer
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Mike-the-cat Posted at 2018-9-3 16:08
The disabling of avoidance systems in manual mode is response to user input... Many users esp of the I2 and P4P wanted these turned off by default. Its also to avoid lawsuits when crazy pilots flying at full speed want license to fly extreme but not crash. (think drone racing without having to have the skills to fly expertly)

Let's see how DJI responds to your note

so wait, you can able all the sensors around the drone in P-GPS mode?   meaning position mode... being able to enable them is important, if i buy into mavic 2 pro myself, i would like to turn all sensors on in position mode for added safety.  
2018-9-3
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Mike-the-cat
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HereForTheBeer Posted at 2018-9-3 16:28
so wait, you can able all the sensors around the drone in P-GPS mode?   meaning position mode... being able to enable them is important, if i buy into mavic 2 pro myself, i would like to turn all sensors on in position mode for added safety.

As I understand, the sensors are 'on' and get proximity warnings on PGPS, just not the evasive action. When I said 'user input' I meant 'user feedback'. (so its not a featue we can enable, DJI can do it in subsequent firmware if there are enough requests)

Lets see how DJI responds. This fine aspect of OA should not be a dealbreaker for a purchase decision IMO. The craft, camera and control systems are a significant upgrade from the older birds.
2018-9-3
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jacksonnai
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Very nice thanks for sharing
2018-9-3
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HereForTheBeer
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Mike-the-cat Posted at 2018-9-3 16:38
As I understand, the sensors are 'on' and get proximity warnings on PGPS, just not the evasive action. When I said 'user input' I meant 'user feedback'.

Lets see how DJI responds. OA should not be a dealbreaker for a purchase decision IMO. The craft, camera and control systems are a significant upgrade from the older birds.

no, not a deal breaker, just nice added feature.  the drone sounds fantastic as it is. im just waiting out the early adopter issues find there way out and get fixes... i may get it after xmas or if they go on the refurb page..

priority one for me tho is i want a mavic air then a mavic 2 pro and mavic air will be direct replacement for my mavic pro, i can sense my mavic pro wont live to see next summer, the arms on back getting loose, plastic is getting creaky, i have a few cracks in plastic wear my battery clips in, just overall the drone feels meh..
2018-9-3
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Lucas775
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Somebody had some extra time in their hands great review regardless.
2018-9-3
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Mike-the-cat
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HereForTheBeer Posted at 2018-9-3 17:05
no, not a deal breaker, just nice added feature.  the drone sounds fantastic as it is. im just waiting out the early adopter issues find there way out and get fixes... i may get it after xmas or if they go on the refurb page..

priority one for me tho is i want a mavic air then a mavic 2 pro  and mavic air will be direct replacement for my mavic pro, i can sense my mavic pro wont live to see next summer, the arms on back getting loose, plastic is getting creaky, i have a few cracks in plastic wear my battery clips in, just overall the drone feels meh..

Curious - do you fly in the sun a lot? or leave the drone out in the sun. The plastic is pretty durable. As for the arms, they can be tightened I'd imagine. Sounds like your craft served you well..
2018-9-4
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HereForTheBeer
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Mike-the-cat Posted at 2018-9-4 19:09
Curious - do you fly in the sun a lot? or leave the drone out in the sun. The plastic is pretty durable. As for the arms, they can be tightened I'd imagine. Sounds like your craft served you well..

i fly mostly mid day and evening.  and no not left it outside baking more then once or twice..  once im down i put it in my bag and take it inside or put it in my car.     i dont know why my plastic is not holding up as well.. and i havely had a few crashes but none of the crashes broken anything..    so ya im not sure why my plastics are not as good as others.   

when i first got my mavic pro was no creeks or squeaks and everything was tight and nice..   but ever since the plastics on mine have worn down as have both rear leg hinges... they still work lock outward but they are way looser than used to be.    plastic issues remind me of the early examples of the mavic pro some percentage of them had easily scuffed and breakable plastics..  my plastics scuff easily and the plastics are creaking and cracking on pinch points..

i dont think my mavic pro is early example model i only owned it for about 1 year, its dated 2016 though so i bet it is :/
2018-9-5
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Mike-the-cat
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HereForTheBeer Posted at 2018-9-5 08:30
i fly mostly mid day and evening.  and no not left it outside baking more then once or twice..  once im down i put it in my bag and take it inside or put it in my car.     i dont know why my plastic is not holding up as well.. and i havely had a few crashes but none of the crashes broken anything..    so ya im not sure why my plastics are not as good as others.   

when i first got my mavic pro was no creeks or squeaks and everything was tight and nice..   but ever since the plastics on mine have worn down as have both rear leg hinges... they still work lock outward but they are way looser than used to be.    plastic issues remind me of the early examples of the mavic pro some percentage of them had easily scuffed and breakable plastics..  my plastics scuff easily and the plastics are creaking and cracking on pinch points..

Interesting. I do know that the P2 and p3 series had thin shells but my retired P2 is still structurally so so- has cracks around the motor mount. The P4P's shell is a tough polycarbonate and tolerates a beating.

DJi might inquire of you. My Mavic Pro was an early model and has traveled some but its still in good shape. It will be going to the display cabinet now that the Mavic 2 Pro has superseded it.
2018-9-5
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HereForTheBeer
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Mike-the-cat Posted at 2018-9-5 08:40
Interesting. I do know that the P2 and p3 series had thin shells but my retired P2 is still structurally so so- has cracks around the motor mount. The P4P's shell is a tough polycarbonate and tolerates a beating.

DJi might inquire of you. My Mavic Pro was an early model and has traveled some but its still in good shape. It will be going to the display cabinet now that the Mavic 2 Pro has superseded it.

i dont know if Dji is really that interested in my mavic pro now that Mavic 2 is out and mavic pro is probably near end of its life...  also im outside of any coverage.  

wouldnt mind it if DJi was interested and willing to do something. here is a little list of issues that maybe of concern for my drone (keep in mind that my drone is going on 1000 miles and is a 2016 model according to the serial number)

1. plastics are definitely degrading with cracks and creakiness
2. hinges are weakening/loose
3. gimbal mount system probably on its way out (maybe just wear and tear though?)
4. may need a new motor either the front or rear left side as my drone walking to that side and weird buzzing sound comes from the drone when under high load (full throttle take off) sounds like failing bearing or rubbing bushing, but it actually otherwise flies fine.. just not completely straight or as quiet as it should.


2018-9-5
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3-D
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This was very well put together.  Thanks for this.
2018-9-5
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A CW
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Very comprehensive review - good post.
2018-9-5
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Wachtberger
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You have made a very good and comprehensive summary, that I can fully share from my first but still very limited experience with the new bird, thank you very much for that! The video to be honest I do not like for a number of reasons apart from the inaccuracies in there. Nevertheless, thank you very much!
2018-9-5
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DJI Tony
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What a comprehensive review! Thank you for the support.
2018-9-5
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Anthony566
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I agree with everything you have said and I do plan to buy a M2P however I am holding off until DJI update the Crystalsky. ...

I am still really surprised at how DJI support and update the Crystalsky, right now it would be the only aspect of DJI that I would really complain about .... the EU support is fantastic and the M2P is true product progression and I am really looking forward to getting my hands on one soon.
2018-9-5
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Mike-the-cat
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HereForTheBeer Posted at 2018-9-5 10:54
i dont know if Dji is really that interested in my mavic pro now that Mavic 2 is out and mavic pro is probably near end of its life...  also im outside of any coverage.  

wouldnt mind it if DJi was interested and willing to do something. here is a little list of issues that maybe of concern for my drone (keep in mind that my drone is going on 1000 miles and is a 2016 model according to the serial number)

Wow - a thousand miles is quite a bit for a single aircraft. The bird has served you well!

DJI Tony posted after you so he would have seen your post. Also, many of the posters to this note are senior contributors to this forum so someone is taking notice.

My experience with DJI is that they are quite cut throat when it comes to legacy hardware. They won't go out of their way to correct issues on THAT line, but they will for the next. Those of us who have been around long enough to recall how they ignored pleas to have an official iOS app for the initial Lightbridge 1 and the electronic failures of that product are under no illusions. So I have two suggestions.

1. Refurbish. If you are not in a hurry, spares and replacement of parts is quite inexpensive. Here is where I've found DJI to be quite fair. Unlike the situation with many companies, they seem to make their margin on sales of aircraft and accessories. But when it comes to parts / repairs, you might be pleasantly surprised. Only problem is you'll have to send your bird in for a quote. The plastics and joints won't  cost much. Gimbal replacement (with camera) would be the costly item but the original Mavic's issue is the mount, not the gimbal itself so it might be worth a try. Motors: they'll change whole arm. DJI publishes a price list of their repairs DJI spares price list.

2. Don't wait, get a Mavic 2. Looks like you are going to anyway Your old bird looks like it has earned itself retirement

Good luck
2018-9-5
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Mike-the-cat
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Anthony566 Posted at 2018-9-5 15:03
I agree with everything you have said and I do plan to buy a M2P however I am holding off until DJI update the Crystalsky. ...

I am still really surprised at how DJI support and update the Crystalsky, right now it would be the only aspect of DJI that I would really complain about .... the EU support is fantastic and the M2P is true product progression and I am really looking forward to getting my hands on one soon.

Aw, go ahead and order.
Even the pros with Inspire 2's are getting these birds.
CS support will come but DJI is hoping you'd spring for the Goggles if you don't already have them.
These guys have calibrated sales to a 't'.
I have a CS 6.85 UB and to be honest, its a pain to lug around except when taking the I2 out. For the Mavic x, lightness is everything....
2018-9-5
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Mike-the-cat
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3-D Posted at 2018-9-5 11:14
This was very well put together.  Thanks for this.

Thanks for your feedback!
2018-9-5
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Mike-the-cat
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A CW Posted at 2018-9-5 11:22
Very comprehensive review - good post.

Appreciate your reply!
2018-9-5
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A CW
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My pleasure   
2018-9-5
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