The market leader in easy-to-fly drones and aerial photography systems, DJI, has recently released Mavic 2 Pro – DJI’s flagship consumer drone built for pros and enthusiasts. Small, but powerful Mavic 2 Pro embodies all of DJI’s advanced, signature technologies and is able to redefine what is possible for the world of aerial photography within a compact size. How good is DJI Mavic 2 Pro for photogrammetry purposes? Compared to other DJI drones.
Comparing Mavic 2 Pro with other DJI drones
DJI’s new super-portable Mavic 2 is an impressive upgrade from the previous model. Now, you get to choose whether you want a gorgeous Hasselblad-developed Pro camera or a fully integrated 2x optical zoom on your Mavic, also the battery life is greatly improved up to 31 minutes of flight time. For photogrammetry, this can mean that high-quality mapping is now more portable than ever. But is it really that advanced? We’ve now been comparing DJI Mavic and Phantom 4Pro with Mavic 2 Pro, and it’s about the time to give you our first thoughts.
Drone camera capabilities and quality
What’s new with Mavic 2? It mostly comes down to the camera quality and the smarter modes for capturing video and photos. The new Mavic 2 Pro has a brand-new camera which is more similar to the bigger Phantom 4 Pro while maintaining the size of a Mavic. There is a widespread opinion that larger cameras with big lenses are the best choice for aerial photography. When talking about DJI Mavic 2 Pro, the camera is way more advanced than the previous model.
Camera sensor resolution
The received photos in the raw format were later processed with Adobe Lightroom using the exact same adjustments for all images. Let’s take a look at these photos.
When talking about the resolution and volume, as the photos are stacked, and compared to match the actual size, it is obvious that DJI Mavic 2 photos are closer to DJI Phantom 4 Pro. This clearly illustrates the difference between 20 megapixel Phantom 4 Pro/Mavic 2 Pro and the 12 megapixels Mavic 1 Pro.
To compare each drones’ capability while making a photogrammetric scan, almost identical ones were made of the same object within a time frame of an hour. Identical camera settings were used:
The wide open aperture of 2.8
Shutter speed of 1/800 to minimize motion blur
The minimum sensitivity of ISO 100 to minimize noise.
Manual focus to avoid misfocusing and lens micro-variations.
120 m flying altitude.
RAW images for best quality and post-processing.
Photo quality zoomed in
To compare the quality and sharpness of the photos, let‘s zoom them on the same scale (100 percent). Now it is obvious that with DJI Mavic 1 Pro, there is more noise that slightly reduces the quality of 3D model reconstruction in the case of photogrammetry. While image quality is key in photogrammetry, quality differences between these drones might not be the deciding factor when choosing an aerial platform for scanning. This update is also useful for pro photographers that seek high resolution.
Mavic 2 Pro noise and other properties
Noise is usually only a matter of discretion, but there are times when discretion is very important. New Mavic 2 Pro has excellent noise characteristics out of the box. Drone “buzz” is of lower frequency and it is noticeably quieter. Phantom 4 Pro is extremely loud out of the box and buying new low noise propellers are a necessity if any form of discretion is to be achieved. Meanwhile, the Mavic 1 Pro achieves excellent results with new propellers but is kind of annoying with stock ones.
The battery life of Mavic 2 Pro is larger and allows flying longer routes. Mavic 2 Pro and Phantom 4 Pro have noticeably larger batteries which mean that the scanned area can be larger. Fewer batteries mean fewer complications during scanning and lower cost of accessories. Previously, drone flight was up to 15 minutes, but now it can fly for almost half an hour. But how it will affect the process of photogrammetry? With longer battery life one can fly larger areas, less battery swaps means more convenience.
Portability is a huge convenience factor and can sometimes affect scan that might not be even possible with a large kit. Whole phantom 4 Pro kit is much less portable than either of the Mavics’ kits.
Although there are many benefits of the Mavic 2 Pro, some problems may occur – the user may encounter certain limitations, such as wind resistance. Being a lightweight, Mavic 2 Pro uses a lot of battery to withstand the wind. This often means that, even though the battery life has increased, the drone will not always be the best choice for large open areas. Wind resistance is a sum factor of drones’ motor power, weight, and aerodynamics. The more power the motors have and the heavier the drones are, the more it is resistant to wind. Motor power can be determined by drones maximum speed:
Mavic 1 Pro speed: 65 kph weight: 734 grams;
Mavic 2 Pro speed: 72 kph weight 907 grams;
Phantom 4 Pro speed: 72 kph weight 1388 grams;
By comparing the results, we can clearly see that Phantom 4 Pro clearly is the winner here. It also seems “sharper” – Phantom 4 accelerates and brakes faster.
Mavic 2 Pro novelty
Since the Mavic 2 Pro is freshly released (at the time of publishing), none of the flight planner apps on the market supported Mavic 2 Pro yet. This meant that with Mavic 2 Pro, photographs were shot manually.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro for photogrammetry
Nowadays, drones are used not only for aerial photography but more often becomes a photogrammetric tool for accurate measurements of the object. Let‘s see how the new Mavic 2 updates impact the process of photogrammetry.
Firstly, the point clouds are generated from the photos. The point clouds are the cornerstones of reproducing 3D objects. Most often, it is said that the more points, the better 3D model is reproduced. So, let’s compare what we’ve got.
Flights were made on a sunny afternoon with weak winds while flying manually. Ideally, a flight planner would have been used alongside the exact same plan but at the time of the testing, no flight planner compatible with the new Mavic 2 Pro was available. In the end, object coverage turned out similar and the same amount of 36 pictures were taken keeping the 80 percent overlap between the images.
A scanned object in question is a flyover road with green spaces between. Using the Pixpro software dense point clouds were generated using the same settings – mainly medium density. But the number of points did vary. Below dense point clouds side by side with the camera positions above.
Mavic 1 Pro – 1.61 million points.
Phantom 4 Pro – 1.61 million points.
Mavic 2 Pro – 1.7 million points.
It is perfectly normal for dense point cloud points to fluctuate 5 – 10% between reconstructions. Picture resolution seems to minimally influence the quality of reconstruction. With these point clouds, Pixpro offers an estimated GSD (ground sampling distance) of 20 cm for the digital elevation map (2.5D surface of the area) and 5 cm for the orthophoto image.
The resolution might not be that important for the amount of generated points because often software rescales images for optimal sizes before extracting needed information for 3D reconstruction. Therefore, resolution and overall image quality influences the quality of the reconstruction itself. IE, less noise which will affect the final look and accuracy.
Compact package and good image quality – Mavic 2 Pro sets the bar
The Mavic 2 Pro is the first product from the company to sport a Hasselblad-branded camera since DJI bought a massive chunk of the legendary Swedish camera maker. The camera has a 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor like the one found on the Phantom 4 Pro.
With a few tweaks here and there, Mavic 2 Pro is a good choice for those who seek powerful but yet compact drone. Mavic 2 Pro has a better camera, more wind resistance, less noise and a longer flight time while maintaining roughly the same portability. With a starting price of $1,249, it’s not the cheapest on the market, but in terms of class, the Mavic products continue to be unmatched. DJI Mavic 2 Pro for photogrammetry – overall a good choice not yet matched in its compactness.
The DJI M300 RTK drone itself is also exceptionally well suited to photogrammetry. If you're undertaking large missions, there's no drone better suited to the task. The M300 has a transmission range of up to 15km with an impressive max flight time of 55 minutes.Is Mavic Pro 2 good for mapping? ›
The Mavic 2 enterprise is better utilized for search and rescue than for mapping tasks, but it's still a stable and reliable drone, able to capture the necessary images from the sky.Is a Mavic Pro good for mapping? ›
For me, DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the Best Drone for high buildings mapping.How much RAM do I need for photogrammetry? ›
In terms of RAM, 32 gigs is the recommended amount for Metashape but you can get by with less. And essentially the amount of RAM will cap the number of photos you're able to process in a photogrammetry project. So for example, if you have four gigabytes of RAM, you'll be limited to around 30 to 50 photos.Is LiDAR better than photogrammetry? ›
If you're surveying land with dense vegetation where light pulses can still penetrate between branches and leaves, lidar yields high vertical accuracy. This is a significant advantage over photogrammetry, as photogrammetric surveying will only produce high vertical accuracy when there is sparse vegetation on site.What drone do professional photographers use? ›
The best drone for professional photographers: DJI Mavic 3
The wow-worthy DJI Mavic 3 is easily the best drone for professional photographers, but it starts at $2,199. The even-more advanced Cine Premium Combo will run you $4,999.
DJI Alternatives FAQ
If you want a compact and travel friendly drone, the Parrot Anafi or Ruko F11 Pro may be the best DJI alternative for you. For those who want a professional drone, Autel Robotics EVO 2 Pro is definitely the one to go for.
For you, the “DJI Air 2S” is the best camera in the sky. Beginner pilots will enjoy this drone because it is so simple to operate, but more experienced pilots will also appreciate it. It includes a fantastic 5.4K camera, a zooming camera, and industry-leading connectivity, making it the ideal drone for safe flights.Is Mavic 2 Pro a professional drone? ›
The Mavic 2 Pro from DJI is a drone that balances power, portability, and professional-quality visuals with the inclusion of a 20MP Hasselblad L1D-20c gimbal camera.Can Mavic 2 Pro do 3D mapping? ›
Entry-Level Mapping and Surveying | DJI Mavic 2 Pro
For those looking to get started in the drone mapping and surveying sector, the Mavic 2 Pro is an affordable option with a camera that is high enough quality to produce professional 3D models and maps.
The Mavic 2 Pro is one of the best prosumer drones on the market, the drone has a wide range of professional uses in areas such as photogrammetry, photography, and videography.Can Mavic Pro do photogrammetry? ›
Nowadays, drones are used not only for aerial photography but more often becomes a photogrammetric tool for accurate measurements of the object. Let's see how the new Mavic 2 updates impact the process of photogrammetry. Firstly, the point clouds are generated from the photos.Do you need RTK for photogrammetry? ›
However, when it comes to photogrammetry, to get a reasonable level of absolute accuracy, we need RTK data. In RTK-equipped drones, such data is embedded into every image that the drone takes when the RTK signal is available. The photogrammetry software later uses this data to use precise camera center positions.Is DJI mini 2 good for photogrammetry? ›
Even without any SDK, DJI Mini 2 is really good for photogrammetry (3D modeling) !Is more RAM better for 3D modeling? ›
RAM (system memory).
For some 3D rendering jobs, 8 GB of RAM will get the job done, but to be fully optimized, 32 GB is recommended, with a MHz rate as high as possible (ideally not less than 2.2).
For most projects, 32GB of RAM is recommended. When processing large datasets or images of high resolution (projects with more than 1000 images or projects with images of 40 MP or more) a minimum of 32 GB RAM is recommended.What is the best RAM for 3D modeling? ›
Modern systems all use DDR4 RAM. While 3D design programs tend to need a lot of memory, we recommend having at least 16GB to 32 GB of RAM for a professional 3D design. The more RAM you have, the smoother your computer will run.How accurate is drone photogrammetry? ›
Relative horizontal accuracy is 5-10 cm and the vertical accuracy is 5-15 cm. Absolute horizontal and vertical accuracy is in the range of the RTK/PPK drone accuracy, but it cannot be higher than the relative accuracy of the project.What drone Do Navy Seals use? ›
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV): ScanEagle
One of the operational advantages of the ScanEagle is its flexible catapult launch capability and skyhook recovery system, which is essentially a rope hanging from a 50 foot pole. It can be flown from forward battlefields, mobile vehicles and small boats such as the Mark V SOC.
The Best Drones for Photos and Video
After test-flying nearly 25 models, we've concluded that the DJI Air 2S is the best drone because it combines a high-end camera with the latest autonomous technology for less than $1,000. We also recommend the DJI Mavic 3 and the DJI Mini 2.
The DJI Mavic 3 sports the best drone camera of any foldable model. A big Four Thirds format sensor with a Hasselblad color profile delivers excellent footage and stills straight-out-of-camera.Why are DJI drones blacklisted? ›
DJI, which is the biggest drone manufacturer in the world, has been blacklisted by the U.S. Defense Department, due to a claimed ties to the Chinese military. DJI says it will challenge this ban.Do police use DJI drones? ›
There are many different types of drones used by the police, but some of the most common include those from DJI, Yuneec and Autel. Many of these drones are equipped with a dual camera system that includes an RGB and thermal camera.What is the lifespan of a DJI drone? ›
This DJI drone can last up to two years, depending on several factors. These factors include how often it is flown, the flight's aggressiveness, how it is stored and maintained, and most importantly, the weather conditions you fly it in.Can DJI stop you from flying? ›
Most aerial photographers and remote pilots out there currently use DJI drones, and those who do often experience massive frustration around DJI's geofencing that prevents users from flying in certain airspace – unless they've unlocked their drone. We're here to help.What DJI drone flies the farthest? ›
|DJI Mavic Air 2||6.2 miles||34 minutes|
|Autel Robotics EVO 2||5.6 miles||40 minutes|
|DJI Phantom 4||4.3 miles||28 minutes|
|Parrot ANAFI||4.3 miles||25 minutes|
This “DJI Mavic 2 Pro” is the best affordable drone for windy conditions since it is the best for aerial photography and cinematography.Is DJI Mavic 2 Pro discontinued? ›
DJI Discontinues the Mavic 2 Line and Smart Controller.
|Part No||Product Name||UPC|
|Mavic 2 Pro (NA)||CP.MA.00000019.01||190021320598|
|Mavic 2 Pro (NA)||CP.MA.00000279.01||190021027893|
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the best small drone on the market, with superior image and video quality, obstacle avoidance, and excellent battery life. PCMag editors select and review products independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn commissions, which help support our testing.Can Mavic 2 Pro fly in rain? ›
So, can you fly a Mavic Pro in the rain? It's not advised to fly a Mavic Pro in the rain as this will have adverse negative repercussions for longevity and functionality of the drone. However, users may be able to fly a Mavic Pro in the rain with Wet Suits that cover all the components involved.
options for most users using DroneDeploy. The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Pro Zoom offers great quality in photography combined with quality battery life all merged together with a portable light-weight body optimal for travel and storage.What is the maximum range of the Mavic 2 Pro? ›
|Takeoff Weight||Mavic 2 Pro: 907 g Mavic 2 Zoom: 905g|
|Maximum Takeoff Altitude||6000 m|
|Max Flight Time (no wind)||31 minutes (at a consistent 25 kph)|
|Max Hovering Time (no wind)||29 minutes|
|Max Flight Distance (no wind)||18 km (at a consistent 50 kph)|
The new DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced can be equipped with the M2EA RTK Module which achieves centimeter-level accuracy and supports NTRIP, making it ideal for power line inspections.Can you fly Mavic 2 Pro in wind? ›
So can the Mavic 2 handle wind conditions? Absolutely, but fly at your own risk. As mentioned above, it's nice to know the drone can do this but if you aren't comfortable flying it may not be as easy. I don't typically choose to shoot on windy days but sometimes that's unavoidable.What license do I need for Mavic 2 Pro? ›
Once you have your Flyer ID you will then benefit from getting an A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC) from UAVHUB. Once you hold an A2 CofC you will be able to fly the DJI Mavic Air 2 in areas used for recreational, industrial, residential and commercial purposes (what we commonly refer to as congested areas).Can any drone do photogrammetry? ›
Some popular multi-copter drone brands include DJI (obviously), Yuneec, Autel and Parrot. DJI has a number of drones that are suitable for photogrammetry while the rest have 1-3. Multi-copters excel in manoeuvrability, as they take off and land vertically, so they don't need a lot of space when taking flight.What do I need for drone photogrammetry? ›
To ensure that you get an accurate representation, it's important to use a full-frame sensor camera that can take high-resolution photos. After that, you funnel the data into photogrammetry software, which takes the various photographs and compiles a 3D map of the surrounding area.Can Mavic 3 Do photogrammetry? ›
DJI Mavic 3 camera has a brisk 16-millisecond sensor readout speed, no wonder it is capable of 4k120p video capture. For photogrammetry applications, this is good news. 3D scan flights can be reasonably fast without the fear of rolling shutter artifacts.How many cameras do I need for photogrammetry? ›
A DSLR photogrammetry full body 3D scanner normally consists of 70 to 150 DSLR cameras (it can have many more depending on the application) and lighting equipment mounted at specific angles around the subject being 3D scanned.Is photogrammetry still relevant? ›
Yet photogrammetry is still one of the most powerful surveying tools out there. LiDAR is the young upstart. Born in the 1960s and originally used to measure clouds, LiDAR is still an emerging and developing technology.
Drone photography can be quite a profitable job. Professional drone photographers can charge up to $450 per hour. In general, the amount of money you earn depends on the kind of aerial photography you want to pursue.Who needs drone photogrammetry? ›
Surveying and GIS professionals use drone photogrammetry, along with accurate GPS data, to create 3D maps and models for use in construction, waste management, mining, and aggregates workflows.Can a DJI Mini 3 Pro do photogrammetry? ›
The camera is mounted on a gimbal and therefore is stable, like all other DJI drones. The drone has GPS, and location data is embedded in the photo metadata. The Mini 3 Pro meets all essential requirements for photogrammetry.How many megapixels is a photogrammetry? ›
For photogrammetry and many other photography purposes, 12 million pixels is enough. As long as all other image quality aspects are well controlled, and the technique is there. A bigger number is better, but only where it counts – the sensor size.Should I use Flash for photogrammetry? ›
A 400 W/s ring flash battery-powered ring flash is a powerful tool for photogrammetryThe use of photography to survey and map a location from a variety of angles. in situations where ambient is low, or non-existent. It's unbeatable for quickly and evenly lighting objects.How accurate is photogrammetry? ›
At 1 part in 30,000 on a 3m object, point positions would be accurate to 0.1mm at 68% probability (one sigma). This is relative accuracy. To find the absolute accuracy the project must be scaled and or have control points defined. Then the accuracy of these scales and control points affect the absolute accuracy.