If you’ve been looking for a good drone then you’ve probably noticed that DJI dominates the market. Their Phantom drone was one of the earliest drones designed to get incredibly smooth aerial shots, but they recently released the Mavik, an apparent competitor to their own flagship product. This has caused substantial confusion amongst many drone enthusiasts, so let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between these two very capable drones.
Starting with the camera, they are very similar. Both drones have very comparable gimbals that offer equivalent stabilization of the camera. They both also have cameras that can capture 4k resolution video at 30 frames per second. The Mavik, however, has a slightly inferior lens according to some people. The Phantom 4 takes a slight lead when you look at the high frame rate capabilities of each camera. The camera on the Phantom 4, when scaled down to record in 1080p, can record at an incredible 120 frames per second, while the Mavik can only reach 96 frames per second. This is ideal if you plan on slowing some of your footage down while still being smooth.
Both drones sport a 28-minute battery life. The Phantom 4 gains another very marginal advantage over the Mavik when it comes to top speed. The Mavik tops out at an impressive 40 miles per hour, while the Phantom 4 in sport mode can get up to 44. The Mavik, however, has a slightly greater range at 4.7 miles beating out the 3.1 of the Phantom 4. Both drones are incredibly stable and feature some level of collision avoidance and autonomy.
Other Features of Note
One of the major upgrades that was made by DJI to the Mavic comes in the form of portability improvements. The Phantom 4 is a pretty big machine and weighs just over 3 pounds. The Mavic, on the other hand, can be folded up for about the same size as the Phantom 4 controller alone and weighs almost half as much at just over 1.6 pounds. This makes the Mavic much more portable than its predecessor.
Pricing may come as something of a shock to many people considering the upgrades that DJI has made to the Mavic. The most entry-level configuration, which doesn’t come with a controller, is a mere $750 while the basic package is $999. The Phantom 4 is still being sold for it’s original $1199 price point. While the slightly better camera might be great for very specific use cases, the Mavic has substantially more versatility with its improved follow mode, tripod mode, and more. The Mavic presents a better opportunity for new drone enthusiasts than ever before with tons of features at an affordable price point.