I’m a bit biased when it comes to drones, as I only fly DJI products – but this was after evaluating reviews and considering other options such as those from GoPro, Parrot, and others. ¬†Overall, I have been incredibly impressed with the quality, durability, capability and picture/video quality from all of the DJI drones that I have owned. ¬†Below, I’ll go into a little more detail about the three DJI drones that I own and use.

Benefits of DJI Drones

  • Ease of flying
  • Battery life
  • iPhone integration
  • Programable “Return to Home” feature
  • Obstacle sensing capability
  • High quality mechanical gimbal (image/video stabilization)
  • Redundant controls in case of failure
  • Smart flying modes
  • HD Video recording
  • Portable and folding designs
  • Available Warranty ‘DJI Care’ for low cost replacement in event of crash or damage

Drawbacks of DJI Drones

  • Cost
  • DJI Flying App controls where you can and cannot fly
  • Not great camera for low light
  • Some calibrations can be cumbersome
  • Customer service quality is hit or miss

Drones I Fly

Mavic 2 Zoom

the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, easily handling cold weather flights. Always make sure to warm up batteries prior to flying in the cold

In December, I upgraded to the Mavic 2 Zoom from the Mavic Pro original.  Some of the key improvements over the first gen Mavic Pro model include:

  • 96mm equivalent optical + digital zoom
  • Quieter rotors
  • An extra 4-5 minutes of battery life
  • Upgraded 20.1 megapixel camera with vivid color
  • Obstacle sensing forward, backwards, side to side, above and below (compared to just forward facing on the previous Mavic
  • Toggle to easily switch to tripod mode (smoothed and slowed controls for better smoother video)

Overall, while a bit pricey, this drone offers the best combination of performance, safety, and camera capability, all in a conveniently folding package that can easily fit inside my backpack

Click here to buy the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

Also, it is recommended to have a set of filters for your drone to control color and exposure in different light settings. I won’t go into the details here, but these filters easily screw onto the DJI lens, and help to cut out on glare and washout from bright sunlight. There are various options to choose from and can get quite pricey, but I went with a budget set for $49 that work excellently.

Click here to buy DJI Mavic 2 Zoom ND Filters

DJI Mavic Pro (1st Generation)

The DJI Mavic Pro was the first of DJI’s portable consumer drones to be released. Although this model is several years old, you will still be quite impressed with its features and capabilities. Many of the features that were pioneered on the Mavic Pro were carried over or improved upon for the second generation. For just over $1,000, you can get the Mavic Pro Fly More Kit with extra batteries, a carrying bag, SD cards, charging hub, extra propellers and more (compared to nearly $1,700 for the Mavic 2 Zoom kit).

For that reasonable price, you still get these awesome features and capabilities:

  • Forward and downward sensing obstacle obstruction and avoidance (so you don’t fly into things)
  • Fully stabilized, easy to control flight
  • 4k Camera on a stabilized gimbal
  • Live video feed while flying
  • Portable and compact
  • 41 mph top speed
  • 27 minutes of approximate flight time
  • Ability to fly in strong cross wind
  • 2x digital zoom

As you can see, the DJI Mavic Pro still is an incredible piece of equipment, however, it is not without some drawbacks (which, are still easy to live with)

  • Gimbal and camera cover are a bit cumbersome
  • Included bag is a little cumbersome
  • Doesn’t have side, rear or upward obstacle sensing
  • Zoom is not overly capable

Click Here to buy the DJI Mavic Pro Fly More Kit

DJI Spark

The DJI Spark is DJI’s lowest priced, entry level photography drone. For just around $550, you can get a DJI Spark Fly More Combo (extra batteries, carrying case, and other accessories). For this relatively affordable price tag, you still get these great features that will help you quickly learn how to fly your first drone.

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