It has definitely been a banner year for those who love drones, and many have been watching the success of the Dji Phantom 4 model.

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Last week saw the release of the highly anticipated GoPro Karma, a small and savvy machine that folds up into a quite tiny number while you’re on the go. Dji knew well that this product was in development, and fired back with their own version of an on-the-go but out-of-this-world drone.

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This folding drone has the high-quality 4k camera that has become standard, which is stabilized by a 3-axis gimbal. The controls have some pretty insane differences: simple gestures work to pilot it, and you can snap selfies that are completely hands-free.

dji mavic

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The flight time is around 27 minutes, and this baby will climb above the 40 MPH limit when you opt for “Sport” mode.

The price tag on the Mavic is not one that will make you gulp in surprise: it’s just $749, and acquiring it together with the controller is $999.

If you really are on a budget and just want to get a feel for the drone, you can learn to control it with your smartphone and just opt for the $749 spend.

For a grand total of $1,299, you can pick up the controller, spare batteries, handy carrying bag, and other accessories to hit the sky running with.

The Mavic does need to be registered with the FAA upon purchase, which is a very important step to make as soon as you pick up your new folding drone.

mavic size

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At around three times more than the .55 pounds that is the minimum for registration, this is still a pretty light gadget, and this attribute alone is going to score it high in points for those looking to more and more compact options for flight.

folding drone

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One of the very unique features of the Mavic is that it can track and follow its user, which the competing GoPro Karma does not have the ability to do.

Another great feature is an updated ActiveTrack mode that can identify an object such as a person, car, or animal, and follow it. But not only is it just following that will be of benefit, it can lead and circle this object.

With real estate, surveying, action sports, and other subjects in mind that may have a high rate of motion, the possibilities are going to absolutely open up here.

As far as things are concerned in the controller department, the design is quite a bit different then previous Dji models: just like the drone itself, compact is the name of the game.

mavic folding drone

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The overall appearance is a bit like a satellite radio receiver or car stereo, and you can clip your phone right on the bottom. Winds of about 24 MPH are what the Mavic can remain stable in, and the same Dji GEO system is enabled to help identify restricted areas, and prevent flight in locations that have security alerts.

Stability, maneuverability, and the ability to stay safe at all times are duties that the new FlightAutonomy System handles well.

Basically the intelligence and nerve center of the drone, this is a very complex system that is powered by more than 20 computing cores.

It takes the very difficult job of navigating and planning routes, enabling the folding drone to steer clear of trouble, and it does it all without the aid of satellite guidance.

If the battery ever gets low on the Mavic, it will return to its launch location, and there is a brand new precision launching feature that uses stereo cameras to return to only an inch of the exact launch site.

Another great thing about the Mavic is that if the pilot ever lets go of the controls, the drone will hover in one place. The gimbal that comes with the Mavic is the smallest-ever three axis, and is great at providing the means for a very stable and vibration-free image.

mavic drone

What the user gets for recording specs on the Mavic are 4k video at 30fps, and full 1080p HD at 96fps.

Its original 12-MP camera has had some tune-ups that will allow for more amazing aerial images, and the high power of the systems that make Mavic what it is are easy to use for beginners.

If you wish to use Gesture mode, you can have Mavic Pro locate you, place you in the center of the frame, and take the best shot possible. The trusty Dji GO app used with the phantom series is what you put to the test if you want to stream to Facebook, Periscope, or YouTube.

One thing that will excite many pilots is the way the ActiveTrack system is put to use to recognize common subjects like bikes, cars, and animals, and then can very effectively keep the camera focused on these subjects.

It enables the pilot to do a much better job of navigating, and it also means that you can follow the subject you are shooting up a hill, while keeping a steady height of anywhere between 1 ft and 33 ft.

It has been all the rage lately to wear goggles and see a real bird’s eye view of the world from any vantage point, and included is full 1080p view with built in OcuSync.
mavic goggles

With the updates at hand, the goggles receive video directly from Mavic pro, and not after it has passed through the controller: this is one great attribute that makes lag of the video not nearly as severe, and you can share your view with a partner. Look at our ultimate FPV goggles guide here.

This new unit is basically small, sturdy, and very well-built. This is one product that will make drones stay in the mainstream forever, and has the luster and stealth appeal to lure many who thought the Dji Phantom 4 was more like a hovering production studio, and just not as easy to use as this.

When we see just how far technology has come in the production of this folding drone, we can’t help but be excited about the next year, as many mainstream manufacturers such as Dji may be scrambling to make the finished package shrink even more.

You can find more videos like this on the DJI Youtube channel.

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