My Best Predictions
By the end of the month, DJI should be releasing their next generation camera drone. It could be called Mavic, Maverick, or maybe even Phantom 4 Pro, but the name doesn’t really matter. What matters is all of the features and new technology that it has, and that’s what I’ll be discussing in this article. First I’ll make a best guess prediction on what features I think we’ll see, and then I’ll talk about what features “I personally” would like to see.
As you’ve probably already guessed, the Mavic should have a foldable design with a much smaller form factor than the Phantom 4. The Mavic will probably get reasonable flight times, however because of it’s smaller size it might not get a full 20 minutes or more like the Phantom 4. This could be an issue for some, but for most people 15 to 20 minutes should be more than enough.
If this drone is going to be an alternative or maybe even replacing the Phantom 4, then forward facing obstacle avoidance is a must. It should also include the active track feature found of the Phantom 4 and Osmo Mobile.
Based on the leaked Photos we’ve seen, it looks like the Mavic will have a 2 axis gimbal, but this doesn’t mean that videos will be less stable than the Phantom 4. If they really have removed the third axis of stabilization (the yaw axis), then the drone will probably just fly so well that the third axis isn’t needed anymore. This would decrease weight and power consumption while possibly allowing for more flight time and making the gimbal more durable.
DJI’s pricing strategy for the Mavic is unknown, but my guess based on all of the features it could have is that it will be around the same price as the Phantom 4. I don’t think it will be any cheaper than the Phantom 4, but it could be even more expensive if they decide to pack it with lots of never before seen features.
What I would like to see in the DJI Mavic
These are some of the things that I would really like to see in the DJI Mavic (or any DJI drone). I don’t think these things will happen but it it would be great it they did.
If our smartphones can be water resistant why can’t our drones be too! Most of the components on the Phantom 4 are already located inside its shell and the motors can run in rain with no problem, so the only thing standing between the Phantom 4 and rain is the camera and gimbal. If DJI placed the camera and gimbal into a spherical dome (like in these leaked images), this could in theory isolate it from wind, rain and dust. All they would need to do after that is put rubber seals and gaskets on all of the areas where water could get in and the Mavic would be able to fly in rain with no problem! Features like obstacle avoidance wouldn’t work, but the GPS and other mission critical sensors would work just fine.
360 degree obstacle avoidance
It would be great to see 360 degree obstacle avoidance. This could make the Mavic a much more impressive drone compared to the Phantom 4, allowing it to avoid obstacles while tracking you in any direction (not just while going forward).
Active Track Animations
Using active track is fun, but it would be amazing if DJI could take it to the next level by adding some animation features. It would be great if you could create key frames or draw a path that basically tells the drone how to fly around the subject that its currently tracking. That way you could achieve truly cinematic tracking shots without having to touch the controls.