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Update 5: OsitaLV tweeted out that there will be two versions of the new Mavic Pro 2. One model will come with the rumored Sony IMX226 CMOS 1/1.7″ sensor and the other will have the larger 1 inch sensor. Autel Robotics will also be coming out with two versions of their EVO drone (a Mavic Pro competitor with different sensor sizes).
As of April 12, here’s what my predictions are:
Two new Mavic Pro models will come out.
The pricing will be $1,199 and $1,499.
The first model will have full obstacle avoidance in every direction, a slightly larger sensor, new design, longer flight time and higher speed.
The second model will have everything that the first has, but with a larger 20 megapixel sensor, and a faster image processor for 10 bit color and higher frame rates.
Update 4: The Mavic Air has been out for a few months now, and many people are starting to speculate again. Due to the recent price drop of the Mavic Pro, it is becoming more and more obvious that DJI has a new replacement coming. We don’t know when it will happen, but we’re definitely getting close. There’s even an official name “Mavic Pro II” but this is just another rumor from OsitaLV on twitter.
The first new rumor is that the Mavic Pro 2 will not be getting a 1 inch sensor. Instead, it will have a new 12-MegaPixel Sony IMX226 CMOS 1/1.7″ sensor. This would be significantly smaller than the Phantom 4 Pro image sensor, but don’t worry. Even if this is true, I think the Mavic Pro 2 will do just fine in low light and here’s why. The Phantom 4 Pro has a 20 megapixel 1 inch sensor. That means there’s going to be 20 million pixels packed into that 1 inch. On the other hand, if you take the 12 megapixel 1/1.7 inch sensor and scale the pixels up by 1.7x you get approximately 20 megapixels. This means that even with the smaller sensor size, the size of the physical pixels on these two sensors is very similar. Unfortunately, if this rumor is true then we won’t get 20 megapixel photos capability, but for shooting video the extra sensor size just will just to more power draw and less flight time. In the image below, the red square is the current sensor size for the Mavic Pro and the yellow square is the size of the new sensor.
One new rumor that I’m excited about is 4K 10 bit video recording. With 10 bit color information, you can adjust and push colors much farther in post production before the video starts to fall apart. If this rumor is true, color profiles like D-log would have much less compression artifacts after color grading. The only downside to this is that you would probably need a very fast and expensive Micro SD card to handle the faster data rate. Cameras like the GH5 for example record at 400mbps while shooting 10 bit video. That’s 3GB for every minute of video!
If you thought the Mavic Air had a lot of sensors packed into a small body, wait until you see the Mavic Pro 2. There are supposedly cameras on the front, rear and bottom (like the Mavic Air) but IR sensors will be added to the sides and top to provide complete coverage. Additionally, the Machine learning and computer vision algorithms could be more advanced than the Mavic Air. The Skydio R1 is a drone cable of full autonomy. It has cameras facing in every direction and uses a Nvidia processor, but with a price tag of $2,500 it’s not affordable and the components aren’t cheap enough to put in an inexpensive drone like the Mavic. I don’t think DJI will have a drone with the same capability as the R1 until next year, but hopefully, we see some incremental obstacle avoidance improvements in the Mavic Pro 2.
Update 3: We're less than an hour away from the LIVE event and photos of the Mavic Air have been leaked all over the internet. These images are from the verge.
Update 2: You know DJI is announcing something big when they come out with a teaser video. We've seen these videos done for the Phantom series, the Inspire, the Spark and even the Mavic Pro. With this new teaser, DJI is showing a lot more of the drone than they usually do. You can actually get an idea of the shape just by looking at some of the product shots. On the last drone shot, you can see what appears to be a landing leg that is upside-down. That could mean that this drone will have folding arms just like the Mavic Pro.
Update 1: DJI recently sent out invitations for a press event in New York. Based on this image that was sent out with the invites, the official date is January 23, 10AM EST. In the picture, you can see that there’s some kind of drone in the background, but nobody knows if it’s the Mavic 2 Pro or not. Some sites like dronedj.com are claiming that this will be a new drone called Mavic Air, but nobody knows for sure. Since the invite says “Adventure Unfolds”, we can only assume that the event will be for a folding drone.
According to a Chinese journalist by the name of OsitaLV, DJI has developed a new Mavic 2 and it could be just what we’ve been waiting for. No, these aren’t leaked pictures, they’re drawings by OsitaLV, but this same writer did some drawings for the Phantom 5 and a month later we discovered a leaked photo that matched up perfectly with the drawings.
This first photo appears to be nothing special. The drawing looks a lot like the Mavic Pro, but if you look closely, there are some differences. The first thing I noticed is that the front section of the drone looks completely different from the old Mavic Pro. In all of the drawings, you can see that the nose is pointy with a chevron shape on it. The propellers appear to be the same as what comes with the Mavic Pro platinum.
This next photo is where things get interesting. If this image is correct, we could be seeing a new 1 inch sensor inside of the Mavic 2! This would be a huge deal, and here’s why. Ever since the Phantom 4 Pro came out with the larger sensor, I’ve been torn between which drone to use. Right now, with the Mavic Pro you get amazing portability, but with the Phantom 4 Pro you get better image quality. The camera on the Phantom 4 Pro isn’t just slightly better than the Mavic Pro, it’s on a completely different level. The only question I have is how they managed to fit such a large camera on a small drone like the Mavic. Based on the larger camera, the overall size of the Mavic 2 will probably get larger to compensate for the extra weight.
Right now, the Mavic Pro uses a 11.4V 3830mAh battery, but the drawing above is showing a larger 15.2v 4820mAh battery. This would increase the flight time, but also compensate for the added weight for the new camera. According to OsitaLV, these new batteries will not be compatible with the old Mavic series.
This drawing shows added obstacle avoidance sensors in the back of the Mavic 2, however the writer is now saying that the Mavic 2 won’t have rear obstacle avoidance. This could mean one of two things. Either DJI decided not to include this feature, or they are going to have two Mavic models. One model could be a Mavic 2 and the other could be a Mavic 2 Pro with more sensors.
Aside from these drawings, there isn’t much we know about the new Mavic 2, but even with this basic info there are some additional features that I can take an accurate guess at.
If the Mavic 2 really does have a 1 inch sensor, it will most likely be the same 20 megapixel Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor found on the Phantom 4 Pro. If they also use a similar image processor, we could see big spec improvements over the original Mavic Pro. Here are some of the camera features we could be seeing.
• 20 megapixel photos
• 4K video at 60FPS
• Mechanical shutter
• Aperture control
• H.265 video format
• Faster bitrate (100 mbps)
• Better low light performance
• Sharper lens with less distortion
We know that the camera will be different, but DJI usually adds more than just hardware updates when they come out with a new drone. If there’s one thing that the Mavic Pro is really missing right now, it’s all of the Gesture control features that DJI added to the Spark. It might seem strange to have more gesture control on a larger drone like the Mavic, but if you remember, the Mavic Pro was the first drone to come out with a basic form of gesture recognition.
Since the camera is all new and there could be added obstacle avoidance sensors, that means the motherboard will probably get redesigned with faster processors.
One of the new processors could be Intel’s Movidius Myriad X VPU. The Spark is powered by the older Movidius Myriad 2 processor which handles all of the gesture recognition and obstacle avoidance. The new Myriad X VPU has more cores, a dedicated neural compute engine, new vision accelerators for applications like stereo depth, and an inhanced image-signal-processor with 4K support.
If the Mavic 2 had this Myriad X processor, that could open the door for even better gesture control, obstacle avoidance, and more machine learning features.
So when will this new Mavic 2 come out? We have no idea when the release date might be, but it will probably come
If the Mavic 2 has all of these new features that are basically stollen from the Phantom 4 Pro, it would make even more sense for DJI to release a new Phantom 5. Check out the Phantom 5 leaks page for more on that.
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