dji mavic drones
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Now that we have the DJI Mavic Pro 3 out in the wild, we can finally decide what’s the best drone for the money when it comes to DJI. Let’s be honest. Unless you are running a custom camera drone setup, it’s DJI and everyone else.

First, let’s look at the players in this Mavic matchup. First, the flagship is the newly released DJI Mavic 3 Pro. And you best believe it has a flagship price to go along with the release. I always thought the company was Apple-esque. It looks like they borrowed the pricing.

Next up is the DJI Mavic Air 2S. The new camera drone takes the place of the old favorite, the Mavic 2 Pro. 

Following the two prosumer drones are the DJI Mavic Air 2 and Mavic Mini. Consider these your starter camera drones to get used to the friendly skies. It’s a lot easier on the wallet to plow a sub $1000 drone into a tree than a Mavic 3 Pro Cine. 

While not a part of the Mavic series, the DJI FPV System deserves a mention due to its wildcard nature. While there’s a learning curve, it represents one of the more intriguing DJI offerings in years. 

Price

Let’s knock the elephant in the room out of the way first. The flagship DJI Mavic 3 Pro is expensive, while you can find plenty of bargains with the Mavic Mini and Air 2. Unfortunately, price is one of the principal factors in purchasing, but that’s how new gear works. Throughout this article, I want to focus on the value of each camera drone. Sure, we can spend a small fortune and have all the bells and whistles, but does it bring you any new value over a previous generation?

DJI Mavic Pro 3 Price: There are three options for DJI’s latest flagship, with the base Pro model priced at $2199. The FlyMore Combo will set you back $2999, while the Mavic 3 Pro Cine Edition is a wallet-busting $4999. 

DJI Mavic Air 2S Price: The Mavic Air 2S is without a doubt easier on the wallet than the Mavic 3. It starts at $999, with the FlyMore Combo priced at $1299. Are you feeling a bit spendy? You can opt for the combo that includes the DJI Smart Controller for those who don’t want to use their phone, but it will set you back $1749. 

DJI Mavic Air 2 Price: If you have a max budget of $1000, the Mavic Air 2 is the camera drone for you. The base model is priced at $799, with the FlyMore Combo sitting comfortably under $1000. It’s getting a bit long in the tooth, but it will get the job done and take amazing videos and stills. 

DJI Mavic Mini 2 Price: DJI’s starter drone is perfect for those who want to avoid the FAA registration requirements and not pay over $500 to get into the air. Sure, you lose some of the flagship features found in the Mavic 3 and Mavic Air 2S, but the idea is to get you used to flying without breaking the bank. At $449, it’s accessible to most and can still capture incredible moments. 

DJI FPV System: The wildcard of the bunch. While not a part of the Mavic line, it still deserves a spot on the list, thanks to its sheer capability. You can mount an action camera on the drone and get shots you cannot replicate on a Mavic drone. Priced at $1299, it’s marginally more than a Mavic Air 2S, but if you have the experience, the possibilities are endless. 

Camera

The obvious winner for the best camera is the Mavic 3. Having a Micro 4/3 onboard is a gamechanger in the industry. Next up is the Mavic Air 2S, which borrows the one-inch sensor from the Mavic 2 Pro. The Air 2 drops down to a half-0inch sensor capable of 4K/60p, while the Mini 2 sports a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor. The latter two are start camera drones to get you in the air and flying. 

It’s the DJI FPV System that can be intriguing. While the onboard camera isn’t anything special, it’s the ability to add a GoPro or a DJI Action to it and film while performing acrobatic stunts. Want to plummet off a waterfall? FPV offers that. 

Value

You might not want to hear it, but it’s subjective. The Mavic 3 has the latest technology, and the Micro 4/3 sensor is the chief selling point. If you don’t want to drop a mortgage payment on a camera drone, the Mavic Air 2S is the best alternative, with it taking the place of the Mavic Pro 2. 

And then there’s the wildcard of the FPV system from DJI. If you have the experience or willingness to learn, it represents a ton of value considering its capabilities. 

Overall, if you need a well-rounded camera drone that can do most things well, the DJI Mavic Air 2S is your best bet in terms of pure value. Starting at $999, it’s $500 cheaper than the Mavic 2 Pro when it launched with similar specs. Save the money over the Mavic 3, and invest in filters, batteries, and other accessories to take your content to the next level.

Now, if DJI would launch a new Phantom drone, I’d be all over that. I miss the days of the Phantom drone winging across my front yard. Let me dream.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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