Update: DJI has postponed the July 18th event indefinitely.
Notice the constant barrage of sales featuring the Mavic Pro? It’s obvious DJI is clearing stock for what all signs point to is a new consumer camera drone. What does the camera drone behemoth have in store for the community of drone fans? Unless the company enjoys the Mavic Air taking the current generation Mavic Pro’s lunch money, all signs point to the Mavic Pro II (2).
But that’s about all the company is signaling. Rumors are everywhere. And while some make sense, others are either wild speculation, or DJI has figured out what no other tech company can pull off. And that’s keeping a product under wraps until the unveiling. While it makes a publisher’s life difficult, as an enthusiast, I’m excited we will enjoy a launch event surprise for once. Who doesn’t miss the old days of not knowing what to expect?
DJI Mavic Pro II Expectations
Now we do have a few general ideas of what to expect on July 18. Unfortunately, the announcement date has slipped indefinitely It looks like any chance the Mavic Pro II (2) would make a splash for summer is slim to none. Not all is lost. The delay means plenty of rumors will start to see daylight as more pictures leak out.
Need a picture? How about a Mavic Pro II with interchangeable camera modules. Remeber how the gimbal of the GoPro Karma could detatch and work as an Osmo. Check out this leaked picture below:
If real, it gives a ton of credence to the idea there will be two new Mavic. A Mavic 2 with a new 1/1.7″ Sony sensor. The black module on the table is a black camera module which could be the Mavic 2 Pro sensor sporting the 1″ sensor. The image would also prove my thinking the Mavic 2 drops the ‘Pro’ name in favor of using it again on a more feature-rich Mavic.
Everything in the consumer drone market centers on the camera. The Mavic Pro II will get an upgrade in this department. More on what kind of an upgrade below. New custom shot modes. Since it unveiled the Spark, DJI has been pushing to include more ‘shot modes’ in each new generation of drones. Think along the lines of the sphere, dronie, etc.
Another feature is the Karma-like grip sporting a lightning connector. Either that’s one hell of a coincidence is DJI about to partner more deeply with Apple? It would explain the delay, but also open the company up to an astounding amount of questions of just how deeply a potential Apple partnership would run.
Quieter motors and props. Already available on the Mavic Pro Platinum, expect this feature to be more refined and immediately available on the Mavic Pro II. That’s almost up there with ‘better camera sensor’ in terms of must-haves. The high-pitched whine is by far the biggest drawback to current camera drones.
Safety features. Obstacle avoidance technology continues to mature and expect DJI to focus heavily on the Mavic Pro II’s ability to save its owner from nailing a pine tree. It happens to the best of us.
Battery life. Current gen Mavics (excluding the Air) rate at 27 (Pro) and 30 minutes (Pro Platinum) of flight time. It’s not a giant leap to bet the Mavic Pro II breaks the 30-minute glass ceiling with ease. If DJI manages to get it above the 30-minute ceiling, the company will secure a marketing coup against other drone companies. Portability mixed with serious legs in the sky.
Dropping the ‘Pro.’ Granted, this should fall under the rumors below, but hear me out. DJI’s Mavic Pro II may be called the Mavic II. Why drop the ‘Pro’ name? The easy answer is so the company can use it later. Take a look at the Phantom series. History shows DJI releases the ‘numbered’ variant and follows with a ‘Pro’ and often an ‘Advanced’ version.
I may be wrong but look at it from a marketing perspective. It simplifies the lineup and gives room for an easily marketable higher-end SKU. Does that mean we will see two Mavics next month? That’s definite rumor territory.
Mavic Pro II Rumors
With the expectations out of the way, let’s dive into the rumors. What do we all want to see with the Mavic Pro II? It borrowing the Phantom 4 Pro’s camera sensor. 20MP in an ultra-portable footprint? Yeah, sign me up.
With DJI keeping a tighter lid on leaks, we are left with speculation and rumors. One gaining a bit of traction is the Mavic Pro II is getting two variants, one with the one-inch, 20MP sensor and another with a smaller, 12MP sensor. That comes from noted leaker OsitaLV:
Remenber, my thoughts are only for reference. Everything is subject to the real product.
Maybe there are 2 kinds of Mavic Pro II. pic.twitter.com/fBYRaVN3Dq
— OsitaLV (@OsitaLV) June 20, 2018
It plays to my thinking DJI may reset the naming structure of the Mavic lineup. But will DJI launch two similar drones side-by-side? OsitaLV is entertaining the idea DJI will surprise next month.
I’m willing to grab hold of the idea of the 20MP Mavic Pro II, but another 12MP Mavic? The rumor is it will use the Sony IMX226 CMOS 1/1.7″ sensor, whereas current generation Mavic Pros have 1/2.3” CMOS sensors.
The new Sony sensor is an upgrade, but I’m uneasy over this rumor. Especially if DJI announces only one Mavic next month and it’s the 12MP version. The bump in quality would be just that; a bump.
Another feature rumored is 4K 60fps will make the jump from the P4P to the Mavic Pro II. Contrast that with the current 4K 30fps max, and it’s a nice upgrade which should allow 120fps to jump from 720p to 1080p.
Outside of the various camera sensor rumors, the next has to be the design of the Mavic Pro II. DJI has consistently shown the company is at the forefront of product design in the consumer drone market.
OsitaLV’s drawings of the Mavic Pro II implies it lacks a fresh design. That’s implausible at best. We only have to look at the Mavic Air to see DJI’s direction. No one expects a design overhaul, but it’s safe to assume the Mavic Pro II will get more than a fresh coat of paint.
Other rumors dive deeper into the technical aspects of the drone. With a new design comes a new battery. Rumors have it at 4820 mAh capacity and 15.2 V, which gives the Mavic Pro II a nice bump in power over the current Mavic Pro.
With the increase in power and capacity, the top speed of the Mavic Pro II could hit 45mph in sport mode. Current Mavic Pros have a top speed of 40mph. DJI has been pushing hard into the drone racing and FPV market, so a speed increase is nearly a sure bet.
The rest of the rumors focus on the upgrades to obstacle avoidance, video transmission, improved durability and a redesigned three-axis gimbal.
Mavic Pro II Price?
Rumors have it around $1299 which would be a sharp increase over the original Mavic Pro. The $1299 was how much the Fly More Combo SKU cost when the first Mavic was unveiled. When it was announced, the Mavic Pro retailed for $999. With the Mavic Air sitting at $799, a $1299 price tag gets into Phantom 4 Pro territory. The same Phantom 4 Pro which was just refreshed in a Version 2.0 model.
It’s here where I’m hesitant the most over the rumors the Mavic Pro II will only have a new 12MP sensor. If the price rumors are correct, I’m not sure slightly superior images and video quality alongside tick-tock upgrades are enough. At $999? I’d still prefer a more substantial upgrade, but you can make a compelling case for it sub-$1000. It’s when you factor in the Fly More Combo pricing with the rumored $1299 the argument falls apart. That would be nearly double the cost of the Mavic Air without a generational leap in features.
Outside of the pricing is wrong, it could very well signal two variants launching side-by-side. A cheaper Mavic II with the new 12MP sensor and a Mavic Pro II featuring the Phantom 4 Pro sensor. Then all eyes turn towards the Phantom series and rumors of interchangeable lenses coming to the Phantom 5.
Now it’s your turn. Sound off in the comments with what you want to see in the Mavic Pro II. Would a new 12MP sensor be enough of an upgrade? What about the rumored price?