Recently I decided it was time to upgrade my drone for my travel and social photography. I went up to the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Of course a big purchase like this is not to be taken lightly but I was finding myself really finding a whole load of benefits of having the drone my armoury plus It added a whole new perspective on looking at the world around me.
Take the image above. I was climbing Helvellyn and Striding Edge. Usually you get the looking down and out image from the summit or looking up from below. But with the drone I was able to get a completely new view looking across and down to the mountain itself that in the past would have needed a helicopter or something.
For the past 2 years I had been using the DJI Mavic Air and was absolutely pleased with it. It was smaller, lighter, and fit in the backpack so easily. Plus it did great photos too for my needs.
So why upgrade? For me it was to learn more, improve my options more and a few little technical advances in the Mavic 2 Pro. Enough to make me switch to a slightly bigger and heavier drone. For a start, the camera! It comes with a Hasselblad 1″ sensor so you know that quality in something of this size is going to be great!
Technically though as well I am getting now around 30 minutes flight time in a battery compared with 15 minutes before plus the connection from the controller is a whole lot better making my flying safer and letting me concentrate on what I am doing, enjoying taking photos and being in the great outdoors.
Selfies or getting yourself in the picture. Most often I am out and about hiking and wandering by myself. To get yourself in the picture normally you would have say a phone at arms length or try to ask someone nearby to take the pic of you. But with the drone you can take a pic from wherever you want and actually get whole new perspectives and views from places and angles that nobody could stand from.
It is not about getting height. Everybody that has owned a drone has that initial ‘get high and take a photo’ initial excitement. But very soon you realise that you can get some interesting shots by just going up a little bit. For instance, some of the photos I did in this post above Dovestone Reservoir in Winter.
Here is another example of use. You are on the tops and want a pic from the edge, so you get the drone out in front of you looking back. hovering in the air.
Looking down! I enjoy learning some creativity and not being a pro photographer does not mean I can learn and learn. The camera on the Mavic 2 Pro has a fantastic smooth gimbal that allows the camera to point straight down as well as outwards.
It also, being heavier and more powerful, has a great capability in the wind. I have found that it hovers steadily for a clean photo even when winds of over 20 mph are in play. That is great when on the high hills and mountains for sure.
The drone code. Yes there has been some bad press recently due to irresponsible people flying where they should not, near airports etc. The Mavic 2 Pro will tell me if I am in a restricted area even before I take off but there is no harm taking the responsibility yourself as you should!
Never fly above 120m, it is illegal. Always keep the drone in sight (even though the drone can do miles), this is for pros who have licences and permissions. Be at least 50m away from people and properties, 150m from crowds and built up areas. And definitely keep well away from airports and flight paths!
I have only had the new drone a couple of months and yet have had so much use out of it! From mountains, to Morecambe Bay..
Once I get even more time with it I shall do a more technical review along with many more photos. Plus there is so much more the DJI Mavic 2 Pro can do of course. 4K video, hyperlapses, asteroid videos and lots more to show you to come.
If you are on the lookout for drone for photography I would stump up for a DJI like I did. I have said before that yes, other brands are cheaper but you will lose quality on photos and not be as safe in the air.