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Last month DJI had announced a big event happening on July 18th at 10 a.m in New York.
The name of the event was “See the Bigger Picture”. On July 6th, 2018 the event was postponed.
It's just been confirmed today (August 9th, 2018) by DJI
We suspect DJI could have been adding some last minute software features based on recent drone launches from both Parrot with the Anafi and also Autel Robotics.
Once again DJI keeps us in suspense. Even their invite was shrouded in ambiguity and mystery.
We’ll keep you informed as we find out more.
We’re not sure if DJI is going to stream the event live, but if they do, we’ll broadcast it live right here on MyFirstDrone.com.
On the morning of July 28th, 2018 we received a hat tip from 'Kio in Ireland' letting us know that they just picked up an in-store catalog from an Argos store that shows a listing of the new DJI Mavic 2.
The image shows two drones, one with the name DJI Mavic 2 ZOOM, and the other called Mavic 2 PRO.
One of the most notable items on the page is the "Hasselblad camera"!
The leaked image above is one of the most convincing pieces of evidence we’ve seen so far.
There’s a lot to analyze here, but I’ll first go over the more obvious stuff.
Clearly, this image shows a new drone not currently sold by DJI.
We’re going to assume it’s the Mavic 2 Pro based on the badging located on the arm.
The general design seems very similar to the Mavic Pro, but smoother and more aerodynamic.
There’s a rumor going around that this picture is actually from iJustine (a popular tech Youtuber) but I don’t think this rumor is true.
In the background, you can see one of DJI’s Robomasters robots with their omnidirectional wheels.
These robots are made for DJI’s competition in China and you can’t buy them in the USA, so that leads me to believe that this picture was taken somewhere in China, possibly in a DJI facility.
The elephant in the room is definitely that big square camera.
Making the drones camera square is a great way of fitting a larger sensor on the drone without dramatically increasing the overall size of the gimbal.
It also appears to be built much better than the old Mavic Pro camera.
The only thing that worries me is the lens design.
With a square design, it’s going to be harder for ND filter companies to make filters, so if this image is real, hopefully, DJI will have their own ND filters that are made for the square lens.
Another thing you’ll notice about this drone is the front facing stereoscopic cameras, and what appears to be a side facing camera near the back of the drone.
It’s hard to tell if there are two cameras back there or just one, but it’s possible that DJI could be using only one camera for the sideways obstacle avoidance.
One of the most interesting things about this photo is actually not the drone itself, but that strange device on the left with what looks like a camera attached to it.
It almost looks like an Osmo Mini, so that’s what I’m going to call it for now.
There’s a record button on one side and what looks like a mode button on the other side for activating different gimbal modes.
Above the buttons is a lightning port which I’m guessing folds out so you can use it with your phone, however, there appears to be a small LCD screen on the device for using it without a smartphone.
On the bottom, it also appears to have a USB C port for data transfer and charging.
I think this next picture really tells the full story. It’s a patent drawing leaked from OsitaLV showing that Osmo Mini device from another angle.
This drawing shows the upper half of the device, but the lower half (where the battery would be) is missing.
In the drawing, it seems like the battery is detachable and all of the buttons are up by the screen.
Since this is a patent and patents are usually created over a year in advance, I’m going to assume this is an old illustration and that the current version does not have a removable battery.
This would make the product easier to produce and cheaper for consumers.
Theory number one is that this is a next-generation Osmo Mini with all of the same features of the original but at a lower price in a compact size.
Theory two is that this is an Osmo-like mount for the new Mavic 2 Pro camera and gimbal.
Think of it like what GoPro tried to do with the Karma drone, but this time it could actually work and be useful.
The only thing that doesn’t add up with theory two is the fact that the camera on the Osmo mini looks different from the camera on the Mavic 2 Pro.
It looks smaller and more rounded, like a cheaper camera than the one on the Mavic 2 Pro.
Maybe that just means they will have two different cameras for the Mavic 2 like we previously predicted, but who knows.
Based on another leaked image from @OsitaLV it seems DJI is testing a possible enterprise version of the Mavic 2.
The Mavic 2 Enterprise appears to have an interface port on the top of the drone above the camera, with the ability to have removable accessories.
Our guess would be accessories like an infrared (FLIR) sensor or 3D imaging module.
This first image shows the Mavic Enterprise carrying what looks like an Omnidirectional LED signaling light.
Based on the size, this looks like a very powerful LED (maybe 10 watts) which would be great for search and rescue applications.
It could also be an RGB LED for special forces like police and firefighters.
The large size of the module is likely because of a battery inside for powering the light and maximizing flight time.
A few months ago @OsitaLV tweeted about the Mavic 2 having a zoom lens.
The photo below could be that zoom lens.
Having a zoom lens makes perfect sense when trying to observe objects in a dangerous environment, like electrical transformers, wind generator, etc...
This next picture looks a bit ridiculous, but it appears to be a large speaker module.
If you look closely, you can see the speaker inside covered by a honeycomb and grill structure.
I could see this being very useful for search and rescue if you needed to relay information to the people you’re rescuing.
It’s also possible that this is not just a speaker.
On April 19th, a DJI patent was published that talks about using drones for collecting audio data.
It’s hard to see the inside of this speaker from the photo, but it’s possible that there’s a microphone hiding in there that would allow the drone (you) to talk to other people and hear their response.
After all, drones are loud and the sound coming from the motors and propellers would surely be a problem, but don’t worry.
This patent goes into great detail about how the microphone would work.
Using multiple microphones placed on the drone (possibly under the motors), the drone would use these background microphones to listen to the motors and propellers, then use the speaker to generate a noise canceling sound.
Basically, It would work much like noise-cancelling headphones, but instead of the final generated sound going to your ears, it would be picked up by the main microphone, sent back to the controller, and pushed out through the speakers on the controller or your phone.
The last piece of information that can be gathered from these photos is the black Mavic in the background. People are already speculating about a Mavic 2 Pro black edition, but don’t get your hopes up.
Putting my detective hat on, I realized that this is actually just the old Mavic Pro Platinum with a black shell.
There are no side sensors for obstacle avoidance, the propellers are yellow and have a bent shape to them just like the old drone, and the old style LED lights on the arms are a dead giveaway.
Based on leaked images this month the Mavic 2 PRO is getting a larger 1-inch sensor as we previously thought with a camera by Hasselblad.
It's possible there will be three models, the second drone will have a new 12-MegaPixel Sony IMX226 CMOS 1/1.7″ sensor with zoom capability, and a possible third drone for enterprise/research customers.
This will be significantly smaller than the Phantom 4 Pro image sensor, but don’t worry.
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro has a 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor. This means there’s going to be 20 million pixels packed into that 1 inch Mavic 2 sensor.
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 a smaller sensor size on one of the new drones 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 from both models, but for shooting video the extra sensor size will just have more power draw and less flight time.
In the image below, the red square is the current sensor size for the 2016 Mavic Pro and the yellow and brown square are the size of the two new 2018 Mavic 2 sensors:
The Mavic Pro 2 might have 4K 60fps video.
This would be a major upgrade because the original Mavic has the ability to shoot 60fps, but only at 1080p.
DJI’s more expensive high-end drones can do this, but to have this feature at this price would be great for the prosumer market.
If you are a filmmaker, then you already know why this is a big deal.
But for those of you who may be new to drones, or just don’t know that much about cameras and filming yet, I’ll explain what this is, why this matters and what you can do with this level of video capability.
What does fps, or frames per second mean?
Every second, the camera takes the number of pictures specified.
So if you are shooting at 30fps, the camera is taking 30 pictures every second, 60fps, the camera is taking 60 pictures every second.
Let’s say you want to capture a slow-motion shot. If you start out with 60 pictures and you want to make that 1-second stretch out longer, let's say 2 times as long, you have 60 pictures to spread out over 2 seconds now which if we do the math, that’s 30 pictures per second.
That means when you play the video back in your video editor, the video will be playing at 30fps and look just as smooth as it did in real time.
If you had originally shot in only 30fps and then tried slowing it down the same, you’d only have 15 pictures per second to work with.
This would result in a very choppy, stuttery video.
The old Mavic can shoot 60fps as well, but the difference is when that video is 4K, there is way more information in each frame.
So your video is going to look not only smoother but also more detailed and in super high resolution.
If you want the opposite of slow motion, it’s better for that too.
The more frames you have in each second of filming, the more detailed and realistic your footage will be.
If you’re filming a rally car race in Baja, you’ll see the sand kicking up and the vehicles flying through the air, in smooth high definition video with less motion blur or choppy effects.
Video sites like Youtube allow for uploads of this frame rate now.
Of course, the device the video is played back on will need to be capable of displaying 4K 60fps video in order to take advantage of this.
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 fewer 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!
So let’s hope they take this into consideration and build in a larger capacity faster sd card reader.
We've been waiting for this for two years:
If you thought the Mavic Air had a lot of sensors packed into a small body, wait until you see the Mavic 2 Pro.
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.
Previously, there was no way to avoid an obstacle from above, and an inevitable crash if something happened to be in your flight path that the drone could not see from above.
You could not point the drone up far enough to be able to see that.
This would be a huge upgrade!
Additionally, the Machine learning and computer vision algorithms could be more advanced than the Mavic Air.
The Skydio R1 is a drone capable 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 know if DJI's Mavic 2 will have the same capability as the R1, but hopefully, we'll see some incremental obstacle avoidance improvements when it releases at possibly half the price of the R1.
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 enhanced 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. We could be seeing something very soon that we have only seen in Sci-Fi movies!
Rumor has it that beta testing of the Mavic 2 Pro ended sometime in late January.
So when will this new Mavic 2 come out?
Some have speculated it won’t be out until the end of the year. Some have even said it won’t be coming out at all, but we think it will probably come out either the end of July or mid August.
And one last thought, If the Mavic 2 does have all of these new features that are basically stolen from the Phantom 4 Pro, it would make even more sense for DJI to release a new Phantom 5. More rumors!!! Check out the Phantom 5 leaks page for more on that.
Below are some of the older drawings by a Chinese journalist by the name of OsitaLV, that seem to support the current rumors. It is the new Mavic II (2) that DJI has developed 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. On the other hand, many say he likes to play games with us by tweeting out things to let us think something is true without actually saying it’s true.
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 1/1.7 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.
Right now, the Mavic Pro uses an 11.4V 3830mAh battery, but the drawing below 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
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 1/1.7 inch sensor, it will most likely be the 12 MP Sony IMX226 CMOS 1/1.7″ sensor which is larger than what is in the current Mavic Pro.
The new sensor has a larger unit cell size, 1.85 µm (H) × 1.85 µm (V) instead of 1.55 µm (H) × 1.55 µm (V). This will make the image quality for stills and video even better, more specifically, better low light performance, dynamic range, and less noise.
If they use the image processor OsitaLV mentions In his drawing, Sony’s back-illuminated pixel technology called STARVIS, we could see big spec improvements in low light performance over the original Mavic Pro.
OsitaLV tweeted out that there will be two versions of the new Mavic 2 Pro. One model will come with the rumored Sony IMX226 CMOS 1/1.7″ sensor and the other will have the larger 1-inch sensor. That would be nice. I’m sure they would be at two different price points, but it would allow consumers who really need the better camera specs a choice. Autel Robotics will also be coming out with two versions of their EVO drone (a Mavic Pro competitor with different sensor sizes).
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