DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Test: Photo, Video, Image, Flight Time and Distance under the Microscope

Entertainment factor
Flight behavior
Material quality
Recording quality
Price quality
Overall rating 4.9 / 5

DJI introduced the Mavic Pro two years ago, which is considered the most popular drone in the drone community, not least because of its compact size and good flight performance. DJI introduced two new models a few days ago: the Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom.

Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro folded side by side

At 1249 euros, the Mavic 2 Zoom is 200 euros cheaper than its big brother. The 2x optical zoom as well as high quality 48MP photos should convince pilots of this new drone. We’ve taken a close look at the zoom model, and in our Mavic 2 Zoom hands-on test we’ll take you through all the advantages and disadvantages of a quadcopter.

You can watch our detailed video review here:

Mavic 2 Zoom: new drone technology

The zoom version is not much different from the Pro version, mainly due to a slightly weaker camera and the ability to optical zoom twice.

Mavic 2 Zoom Camera Front View

The Mavic 2 Zoom is equipped with a 1 2/3-inch image sensor, which however has a double zoom, 24-48mm focal length and f2.8 to f11 aperture. For Full HD (1920 x 1080) recording, you can quadruple the image losslessly, equivalent to a 96mm telephoto focal length.

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Videos can be recorded at resolutions up to 4k (3840 x 2160 pixels) at 30 frames per second and 100 Mbps in H.265 (HEVC) codec. The following video resolutions are supported:

  • 4k with 30 FPS (frames per second)
  • 2.7k 60fps
  • Full HD at up to 120fps so you can create cool slow motion recordings too

The adjustable ISO range is 100-3200 due to the smaller image sensor. The picture profile is 16 million colors.

Photos can be captured at 12MP and saved in either compact JPG format or RAW format for extensive post-processing. Photos can also be taken with enhanced HDR (dHDR). The zoom version is 13 EV, and the Pro version with Hasselblad camera is 14 EV and thus offers higher dynamic range and sharper images.

In simple terms, this means that each camera can record a large number of bits of data in the overexposed and underexposed areas of the photograph being taken. This means that a lot of details can be fully utilized for post-processing.

In addition, DJI has provided the drone with omnidirectional obstacle detection from all directions, so that the sensors can detect trees or other destructive factors such as forward, backward, up, down and sideways, and can fly around them.

Mavic 2 Zoom Obstacle Sensors for Obstacle Sensing

However, to this day, the side obstacle sensors only work in ActiveTrack mode, but it may well be that DJI will unlock additional flight modes for this through a firmware update. The Mavic 2 Zoom is also still relatively young, so further updates are sure to follow.

In terms of flight safety, the Mavic 2 lineup is currently unmatched in the market and therefore also suitable for beginners, although both models are definitely not among the cheapest drones on the market.

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Despite all the technical sophistication of the new flagship, Zoom impresses with its compactness, which is achieved by retractable rotor blades. If your budget allows, it is highly recommended to purchase the Fly-More package, as the drone can be transported here in incredibly tight spaces.

The kit also includes 2 additional batteries, rotor blades and a car charger. When folded, the drone measures 214mm x 91mm x 84mm (L x W x H) and thus fits into even the smallest travel shift or backpack. When unfolded, the drone is slightly larger and measures 322mm x 242mm x 84mm (L x W x H).

Fly-More-Combo Mavic 2 Zoom Kit

Like the Mavic Air, DJI has provided the Zoom Edition with 8GB of internal storage.On the one hand, this is good, because we can take photos and videos even if we forgot our SD card. On the other hand, there could be a little more memory for this price.

Of course, the drone can use microSD cards up to 128GB. DJI’s SanDisk V30 cards are recommended here. We are using this SD card.

The remote has a display again, and the control knobs can be disassembled so that everything can be easily transported when folded.

Handling, range and flight time

As usual from DJI, the drone behavior is world class in the air. Despite the strong wind, the Mavic 2 stands as if it were carved into the air and immediately obeys all commands sent to it from the remote control.

The video signal is transmitted to the phone in HD (720x480p) format, during testing it never wobbles or disappears. The app works fine after the last update and never crashes. DJI’s advanced AcuSync 2.0 signal transmission system does its job perfectly.

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The obstacle detection sensors work great, even thin branches are recognized by the system, so although we do not recommend doing this, you can fly in the forest. We also wanted to push it to the limit and let ActiveTrack follow us on the bike along a path in dense forest. Despite numerous obstacles, the drone did not crash, but stopped early and avoided even more.

If you are flying in the dark, which is illegal in the USA, and are about to land, the underbody lights come on. This avoids unpredictable landing surprises.

The manufacturer claims a cruising range of 7 km under ideal conditions. We traveled to another country and ran a range test to the limit until the drone forced us to return to the starting point due to low battery. We were able to cover a distance of almost 5.5 km and did a range test in another country outside of Europe.

The Mavic 2 Zoom has a top speed of 72 km / h, which is 7 km / h faster than its predecessor, which reached a top speed of 65 km / h.

In the middle, from time to time, a message appeared that the signal was weak and we had to be careful, but we just kept flying. In this category, Zoom achieves the absolute top marks. Here, however, it should be noted that we flew over the open sea and there were no destructive factors that could reduce this value.

In another test, we flew over a river and flew around old ruins behind a small mountain with a drone. To take an excellent picture, I had to go down a little lower so that the quadcopter practically disappeared behind the mountain. The distance was 1500 m and the connection was excellent.

However, the motto is still valid: Better to be safe than sorry. in the USA, it is legally allowed to fly within line of sight, in practice it is usually about 300 m and no further. Zoom has not found any problems in this range so far.

Flight time should be 31 minutes under ideal conditions. In practice, we were only able to stay aloft for a maximum of 28.5 minutes while moving and using the Mavic 2 Zoom at full load (sport mode, full-time movies and sometimes headwinds). The 3950mAh battery fully charges after charging in just under 45 minutes.

Since we bought the Fly-More combo package, we can fly for almost 90 minutes (3 batteries). This is enough for a hobby, it should suit even professional pilots.

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Dolly scaling, hyper-queries and Super Resolution photos

Due to its dual-sided optical zoom capability, the Mavic 2 Zoom offers a new Flight Mode that delivers immersive video footage without requiring the pilot to have in-depth flight knowledge.

With Dolly Zoom, also known as the Dizziness Effect, the drone pilot can use an optical effect in which the distance to the center object remains unchanged, but the background is either more or les
s.The following video shows this really impressive app that I really enjoyed.

The new Super Resolution function allows you to create high-resolution photos with a resolution of 48 MP. To do this, a picture is taken with a field of view equivalent to 24 mm 5, in which the camera processes nine individual photographs using a telephoto lens and creates a high-resolution image with a resolution of 48 megapixels.

The photographs are truly breathtaking and are suitable for particularly beautiful locations that will later be printed on large canvas. This feature is only available for the zoom model.

Other Intelligent Flight Modes are Asteroid Mode, known since the Mavic Air, in which the drone captures an all-round recording and uses it to create an impressive, short Full HD video. It looks like this:

Even a relatively “boring” environment can be staged effectively. In addition, the Mavic II Zoom has Hybrid AF, which consists of phase and contrast AF and is significantly faster than its predecessor.

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The new flight modes also include the updated ActiveTrack 2.0, which can track objects even better and more accurately thanks to the collaboration of the main camera and built-in 3D sensors. The system works very reliably and can now use its full speed, namely 72 km / h, and even shoot fast moving cars in pursuit.

The point of interest mode has also been redesigned. The object to be shot no longer needs to be flown around and marked, it is enough to outline the motif with your finger. The drone then immediately starts circling and the pilot can fully focus on adjusting the camera.

It’s great at this stage that the drone can use the built-in optical zoom while in orbit to get closer to the subject. This opens up completely new possibilities for creating impressive videos.

The Hyperlapse flight mode is completely new. In this flight mode, the drone takes photos at short intervals and creates an abbreviated video recording that significantly increases its speed. This creates short, immersive scenes that show your city or nature more vivid than ever before.

There are 4 different sub-modes with which you can make Hyperlapse recordings:

  • Free Hyperlapse: In this mode, we can control the drone independently and change the flight direction as well as the altitude.
  • Waypoint Hyperlapse: In this mode, waypoints can be set, which are then controlled by the drone and recorded.
  • Lock-on Hyperlapse: The drone will fly straight in a given direction and create a hyperlapse.
  • Circle Hyperlapse: As the name suggests, the drone hovers over an object and records Hyperlapse. Here you can define the length and direction to be produced.
  • This new feature is one of the best DJI has ever introduced to a drone. This allows beginners to produce cinematic recordings. There is no limit to creativity.

    Overall, however, the number of available flight modes has been significantly reduced. I don’t quite understand why DJI took this step, but it could still happen that DJI ships a lot with new software updates.

    Mavic 2 Zoom Conclusion

    The quadcopter offers a fantastic flying experience and is equipped with the latest technology. Obstacle detection in all directions ensures complete safety and protects the pilot from (almost) every accident.

    The photo and video quality is very good, although it cannot be compared with the Pro version. Lossless upscaling and the ability to create 48MP photos can be decisive selling points.

    The Mavic Zoom is ideal for the amateur pilot and semi-professional filmmaker. After the Pro version, the Mavic 2 Zoom is the best foldable drone on the market.

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    However, it should be said here that demanding photographers or producers should switch to the Mavic 2 Pro, Phantom 4 Pro, or DJI Inspire 2 (for the highest demands).

    P.S .: Mavic 2 Zoom video review will be released soon.