We covered GoPro’s announcement of their new Karma drone last week, and already it looks like incumbent drone maker DJI has an answer to it that we probably need to pay attention to. The Mavic Pro is a foldable drone, like the Karma, but it sets a new standard when combining features and portability. Every drone has its selling points, and for DJI, the Mavic Pro edges ahead with its extreme foldability — to the size of a drink bottle, says DJI — and the inclusion of its advanced drone features like collision avoidance to automatically fly around obstacles at speed (up to 36kph, in fact).
Of course, there’s more to the Mavic Pro than this. DJI boasts its 7km range (though in Australia you can’t really fly it that far away from you), its top speed of almost 65kph, and its “follow-me” feature called ActiveTrack which allows it to follow you, a car, or animal while you focus on flying the drone. There’s another twist on this called Terrain Follow, which makes the Mavic Pro follow a subject while maintaining a steady height above the ground.
All this adds up to a very fancy way to get a 4K 30fps camera to do some amazing stuff in the air, and with relative ease. With 27 minutes flight time, and being able to take it out of your bag and have it in the air in less than a minute, the Mavic Pro is clearly designed to go places. Unlike previous DJI aircraft which have come with rather large, cumbersome remotes, the Mavic Pro comes with a new compact remote which you can use without a paired smartphone, which can display key flight data on a built in LCD screen.
Of course, you can (and probably should) use a smartphone with it to see what the drone sees, but why stop there? DJI has announced DJI Goggles to go with the Mavic Pro, which allows you absolutely idiot-proof first-person view for your flight. Again, this isn’t strictly legal in Australia with current regulations (you have to be able to see your drone, not see AS your drone), but if you’re away from large numbers of people, and you’ve got a spotter to help keep tabs on the drone, you can probably get away with using something like this — and it will be VERY fun.
Australian pricing is expected at $1699 with a launch mid October.