How To Video
Can DJI's Mavic drone fly with the pros?We find out how well DJI's tiny new Mavic Pro drone copes with a professional video shoot on a racetrack.
[MUSIC] Getting great aerial video like this used to mean investing in bulky expensive equipment. But a range of new compact consumer drones let you send great quality cameras into the sky without emptying your bank balance. But how do these entry level flying cameras fare if you're heading out on a professional shoot. To find out I headed to Castle [UNKNOWN] race track with CNET's [UNKNOWN] video crew. And sent the new pocket sized DJI Maverick into the air. [MUSIC] Before the shoot even began, I was struck with how small the drone is. While DJI's popular Fantom 4 needs it's own flight case, the Mavick thanks to its folding arms, is small enough to easily pop into any backpack or even a big coat pocket. The controller too is tiny but folds out to make it easier to hold. It uses your phone as for display except there's no bulky screen to pack away either. I was able to take the drone in same back pack as my DSLR and I didn't notice the extra weight at all. The small size does have some drawbacks though. While DGI reckons you can get 27 minutes of flight time from it, in my experience it was much less. I put this down to the wind. The Maverick automatically adjusts the windy conditions to make sure it doesn't get blown out of the air. But, as it's so small, it has to fight much harder against the breeze. And, of course, the heart of the motors have to work the faster the power drains away, For me, this meant a quick burst of flying followed by an hour of sitting in the car while it charged from the car's power outlet. Then repeat and repeat and repeat. Multiple spare batteries are a must if you want to use this thing professionally. It's incredibly easy to fly, letting you focus on getting creative shots, not just stopping it hurtling into a tree. And those shots do look good. A three axis gimbal for the camera keeps footage extremely smooth with none of the jerky, shaky bits That would ruin your footage. It exposes for the scene well too, keeping the bright sky under control and a 4K resolution makes details nice and crisp. So what's the result? Well, if you're really serious about regular using aerial footage in your professional work, then you'll still want to look toward bigger drones, like the [UNKNOWN] Inspire, that offers greater flexibility in how you shoot. However, if you're keen to take the first tentative steps into the pro drone world, the Mavick is seriously worth considering. While the Inspire's bulky flight case means you'll always need to haul it around, the Mavick's tiny size doesn't require any special effort to get it on location. Simply fold it up and pop it in your kit bag next to your lenses and sandwiches. You can always have it with you ready to go if you decide an aerial shot is needed. Making it a superb, just in case, addition to your gear. [BLANK_AUDIO]