Hello fellow droners and those wanting to become one.
I wanted to put together a little article telling you about Drone U’s Year End giveaway, and why I’m so excited about the main prize, a DJI Mavic 2 Pro (the others prizes are awesome too, but to me the M2P is the most exciting part of the first place prize package).
As many of you know, I’ve flown just about every DJI, Autel, and Yuneec bird out there. I really do like most of them, and each of them have their uses. But for my photography business, you would be hard pressed to get me to give up my Mavic 2 Pro. And as Elizabeth Barrett Browning said, “Let me count the ways.” But, maybe a little background is in order before I start counting?
I’ve been a commercial architectural photographer since 1988, and sincerely love what I do. I’ve shot using everything from Sinar 4×5 cameras, to medium format, to 35mm film. And although I’ve also owned Phase One medium format digital systems, I now shoot exclusively on 35mm full frame digital equipment and DJI 1” sensors. While I love the image quality possible from an X7 hung below a DJI Inspire 2, to me the larger files doesn’t justify the additional cost and size when compared to the M2P. Don’t get me wrong, the X7/I2 combination produces a phenomenal file, but it just doesn’t fit my style or workflow. And for me, there is no current substitute for the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
Let’s start counting-
When the Mavic 1 came out, the portability of drones took a huge leap forward. And when DJI released the Mavic 2 Pro, the cameras caught up. The M2P folds down to a very small 8.5×3.5×3.3”. That’s just silly for a drone. It became the go to drone for anyone needing to have quick access and great portability in a flying camera.
Add a GoProfesional Case for that bird, and it’s amazing how small the case is yet will fit the drone, controller, extra batteries, charger and cords, and even your iPad. All that in a case that’s less than 15×9.5×6.5”. Try getting anywhere close to that with a comparable drone. And it has plenty of room for accessories like Firehouse Technology Strobes.
The M2P is absolutely stupid stable. But in a good way. If I’m shooting night or dusk/dawn shots, and keep my longest AEB exposure to under 2 seconds, I have close to a 90% success rate for sharp files. And I mean tack sharp. I was even playing around on a camping trip in the mountains near Gore Pass in Colorado this summer and tried some 8 second exposures after the sun went down. Now of course the success rate fell off dramatically, but almost 20% of the files were still sharp. I didn’t expect that. Even with no wind.
The commercial application of this allows you to fly longer than usual, and get that shot your client really wants. The shot below is a great example from the M2P. It’s a 5 exposure AEB with the longest exposure being 2.5 seconds. I would have probably not been as successful with the files needed to create that shot with any other drone. You can see a little bit of tail lights movement at the intersection on the left of the frame. I know that after I get two or three brackets, I can move on to the next shot. That means more dusk shots to give to your client, and architects and builders LOVE dusk shots. I even have a trick so I can tell if I got the sharp images before moving on. But you’ll have to join Drone U to watch my class to find that out.
~(3) Internal Storage
How many of you have left the house without a micro SD card? You don’t have to worry about that with the M2P. It has an 8GB internal storage drive. While you certainly won’t get a full day of 4K footage on that, it will save your bacon for stills.
~(4) Ease of set up
What other drone on the market can actually be ready to fly in less time that it takes to get your iPad turned on and the App cranked up? When it’s time for me to shoot with the M2P, the first thing I do is pull the tray out of my GPC M2P case and grab my iPad to get it one first. That way it will be ready once I get the M2P fired up and ready to lift off. It’s that quick.
Case in point. I had my Mavic 1 with me as I was traveling through Utah on my way Mexico and came upon a great scene at Black Dragon Canyon at sunset. The only issue was I just had minutes to get the drone in the air before I lost the light. If I had only had the Phantoms or Inspire with me, I would have missed the shot. It was the first time I’d had to move that fast, and assumed I wouldn’t get the shot. And the Mavic 2 Pro is just as fast, if not a tad faster.
This is the shot I got because I could move fast enough with the Mavic:
~(5) Hasselblad (HELLO!)
In January of 2017, it was announced that DJI had acquired a major stake in the iconic Swiss camera maker Hasselblad. As a former Hasselblad user, this excited me greatly. And when I heard the results of that partnership would come to fruition in the M2P, I knew I wanted one!
The first files DJI publicly released cemented my desire to have that drone in my fleet. It was actually the first time I ever pre-ordered a DJI product. I haven’t been disappointed yet. And honestly don’t expect to be.
The color, sharpness, and dynamic range of the files produced by the sensor and lens combination on the Mavic 2 Pro are incredible. And the ability to stretch the RAW files borders on unbelievable. I routinely process my RAW files at 125%, and lose virtually zero resolution. Making this effectively a 25MP camera.
I’m not sure if I could have used any other drone on the market to get this shot, one of the most talked about drone shots of 2019:
You can also see more samples of my work with the M2P, and how I use it to this great drone to its fullest, by joining Drone U and taking my in-depth photography class. Go to our become a member page for more info.
And do check out our Year End giveaway. I started this article by talking about it, so let’s finish by talking about it. All three of the prize packages include at least one yearly membership to Drone U. Enter and share your unique entry link you get with your entry. You get another 3 entries each time one of your friends uses your unique link to register for the contest. You can get your chances to win starting out here: www.droneugiveaway.com.
Fly safe, fly smart, and have fun!
Vic Moss is a commercial photographer with over 30 years experience. He is also a national voice for drone safety and reasonable drone regulation. Vic has worked with numerous cities and states to help craft drone regulations that don’t inhibit safe and responsible drone use. Vic is also a FAASTeam member and one of three UAS specialists in the Denver FSDO Service Area. As a frequent contributor in many UAS forums, Vic keeps tabs on the pulse of all things UAS. Vic’s duties as a co-owner of Drone U include photography instruction, legislative liaison, and Elite pilot instructor. Vic was recently appointed to the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee Waiver Task Group. You can get in touch with Vic by emailing him at [email protected]
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