Last year I purchased my very first drone – the Xiro Xplorer. It was a great drone but had its problems. It didn’t fly very far, the quality of the video was only 1080p and the software was very buggy. It was a scary moment when it would lose connection with the drone mid-flight! However, it did do one thing for me and that was to give the drone bug! Some of the shots I got whilst in Iceland of the waterfalls and building were absolutely amazing. To get shots like that normally, you’d need to charter a helicopter. Getting a drone was definitely the way forward.
One of the biggest flaws in the drone (which is very common in drones) was the space needed to carry around. Although the drone packed relatively flat due to being able to remove the camera and battery, it was still wide and an issue when trying to cram in a bag along with the camera and other bits and bobs. To use the drone, you had to connect the battery, camera and the four propellers. On the remote controller was a Wi-Fi extender which was vital to get the drone in the air. One time in Copenhagen, the situation was fantastic. The wind was low, the scenery was fantastic and I had the place all to myself. As I put the drone together, which took about 5 minutes, I had left the extender at the hotel which grounded my ideas of taking amazing shots. D’oh. I wasn’t happy with myself for the rest of the day!
Then the leading drone company DJI made an announcement Late 2016 that they were releasing the DJI Mavic. It was a breakthrough in drone technology.
The Mavic Pro is an amazing piece of kit. It’s a pretty small drone (83mm x 83mm x 198mm) to start with but one of the main features is that the propellers its arms fold back into itself! When folded, it’s not much bigger than a large can of Redbull and was even shown to fit in a back pocket of a pair of trousers! Even the remote folded up to the size of a small Redbull can.
To ready the Mavic, you just simply unfold the propellers, plug your phone into the remote and away you go. You can be up in the air in under a minute!
The DJI Mavic takes 12mp photos and shoots amazing 4K video. Each shot and video is crystal clear and because of the gimbal, surprisingly smooth. It also comes with some amazing features such as sensors which automatically stops it from hitting objects both in front and underneath. It is all controlled by the DJI app which is very easy to use and has a large range of functions. It can suit the complete novice who has never touched a drone to an expert who has been flying for years. It has a beginner mode which will limit the distance, speed and height. This is perfect to use in an open field to get to grips with the done as my six-year-old nephew put to use.
The Mavic can fly up to 40mph, can stay in the air up to 27 minutes, can fly as far as 8 miles and as high as 5000m! With the small size and these specs, it’s a no-brainer!
Some of the intelligent flight modes on the app allow the drone to become autonomous. One of those that we have used on a number of occasions were the follow me, where it literally follows you from a height, speed and distance you have chosen until you stop it, and the POI mode. This is one of the more interesting modes as it will circle the subject until stopped. This was great for when we were on top of mountains and hills as it pans around and you can see the amazing scenery all around.
Now it’s no issue to carry the drone, along with my camera, action camera and even a laptop in the same bag leaving plenty of room for lenses and food!
I would completely recommend buying a Mavic if you are into travelling and want them spectacular shots very few can get. At just under £1000, it’s not cheap, but it is totally worth it! If you do fancy buying a Mavic, please follow this link to the DJI store where you can not only order one, but I also get a very small commission. Every little helps us continue our travelling dream!