The DJI Mavic 2 Pro – Is There a Sensor Issue Affecting Image Quality?October 9, 2018 14 By Scott Hinkle
OK, so the DJI Mavic 2 Pro has been out for a little while now and people are starting to report in an all sorts of topics from capability to image quality. There have been a few reports of poor image quality which is just shocking to hear, considering this latest flagship release from DJI is sporting a Hasselblad camera. Is there a sensor issue affecting image quality? Let’s take a closer look…
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Let’s Get Right to It
Disclaimer – I don’t own a Mavic 2 (Zoom or Pro). This post is based on research, comparisons and word of mouth. That said I’d like to provide you with three videos, one that compares image quality in general and another that covers resolution only, but in great detail and the third giving an opinion as to why DJI did what they did with the Mavic 2 Pro.
The general image quality video was produced by Max Yuryev, is just under 12 minutes long and provides good comparisons between the Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic Air and Phantom 4 Pro. It’s worth checking out for an over-all general image quality comparison.
This second video was made by Cliff Totten and is a bit longer at just under 36 minutes in length. It focuses entirely on resolution, making comparisons between the Mavic Air, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic 2 Pro and Phantom 4 2.0. It’s definitely worth your time.
The final video is by We Talk UAV and is just over 10 minutes long. Although it refers to Cliff’s video above, they disagree with his findings. They argue that the decision was more marketing and timing related with competitors releasing cutting edge options and the possibility that the DJI Mavic 2 Pro might kill off the current Phantom series. Check it out and let me know what your thoughts are.
There you have it, three different comparisons, two of which come to the same conclusion when it comes to image quality, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro doesn’t quite stand up to the Hasselblad reputation and two offering reasons as to why this might be.
Should I Not Get the DJI Mavic 2 Pro?
That totally depends on your needs and goals. If image quality is number one above all else, get the Phantom 4 2.0. If portability is primary, get the Mavic 2 Pro. If you have the Air, hold off unless you absolutely need a feature on the Mavic 2 or Phantom models.
Check out my posts on DJI Mavic – Which One to Choose and The DJI Mavic 2 – The New Models are Finally Here for more information.
I have the Mavic Pro (original, not platinum or Mavic 2, just the Pro). It’s a great machine and I love it. The Mavic 2 Pro is a major update to the Mavic Pro and I’d love to get one but I’m holding off to see what the Mavic 2 Enterprise and Phantom 5 will bring to the table (if and when they arrive).
Update! – The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise has been released! Check it out in my https://mavicmaniacs.com/the-dji-mavic-2-enterprise-its-finally-here post.
I’m really hoping for interchangeable cameras where I can easily swap to a thermal camera, zoom, camera or whatever other module they can think up. Until then, the Mavic Pro fits my needs. The only exception to this is if I start to get more jobs from DroneUp. Most of them require a 20 Megapixel resolution and I’ll grab a Phantom 4 2.0, should the need arise.
What Can I Do to Get the Best Image Quality?
Best image quality is, of course, subjective. You may like more saturated colors than the next guy or maybe resolution and frame rate are your thing, etc. I suggest you check various sources online and get a ballpark starting point and then take several shots (of the same scene to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples) while varying settings to end up with a starting point you like. I say starting point because, to truly get the image you want, you’ll be working in post-processing solutions such as Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere, DaVinci Resolve and so on.
One thing I will say, and it was mentioned in the second video, is “Don’t soften the image in the camera (i.e. sharpness -1). You’ll never be able to get that sharpness back and you’re better off softening in post-production.”.
Will DJI Release a Fix?
That depends on several factors:
- Was this a marketing tactic or timing related? – If so, they may release a fix once their next high-end model is released that boasts a feature to set it apart. Until then, a software fix may cause the Phantom 4 line to take a hit.
- Was the choice made to reduce heat? – If this is the reason for the reduced resolution and image quality then it may be some time, if ever, before a fix is released. Maybe they can provide a hardware fix (most likely pay-for) that will add cooling in some way but, I suspect that, if this is hardware related, it is what it is and the fix will likely be integrated into the next model, similar to the quiet props and slightly better motors released on the Mavic Pro Platinum vs the Mavic Pro.
- Is it just a software issue? – It may be that there’s some software bug or firmware issue that could be addressed in a future update but I’m not holding my breath on this one. The release date delay and the fact that the drone has been out now for a little while, with no software updates since, makes me lean toward the heat reduction/hardware issue theory.
Until DJI actually comes out and says why the DJI Mavic 2 Pro sensor is doing what it’s doing, all we can do is speculate as to the cause(s). That said, is there a sensor issue affecting image quality? I believe so. It’s hard to ignore the breadcrumb trail. Then again, maybe I’m just seeing what I “want” to see, not that I actually want there to be a problem.
Do you have some information applicable to this post? Can you confirm or deny any theories as to why a Hasselblad branded camera is performing below expectations for the brand? Do you just want to comment on how cool my logo is? Please do so below. I read and respond to each comment.
My brother loves everything Drones. I came across this website looking for ways to fix drones and the cameras etc. I just wished I knew more about Drones it is one brilliant niche, I also like the video you have added in your page about the drone and its resolutions. My bro isn’t tech savvy and hates going through loads of Youtube videos I think he would appreciate your website.
I shall share this Website with my Brother and his friends they are always buying drones. They are always trying to fix them too.
Thank you so much for your article.
Regards Deborah. 🙂
Thanks for comenting Deborah!
Drones are a lot of fun but they are also excellent tools. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are designed for various needs. From inspecting pipelines to racing, you can find one that fits your particular interest or profession.
I do have to say DJI is considered to be the market leader when it comes to consumer drones. Do you happen to know what brand(s) your brother and his friends are into?
I look forward to hearing back from you.
As an owner of a couple of DJI Drones ( The Mavic original and Phantom 3 Pro), I must admit to some shame that I only realized recently that DJI had released a Mavic 2. I love drones but I am not really a drone photographer, although I do like taking videos and images with them. So personally, I don’t see that much of a big deal, although I am sure for professional aerial photographers this will be an issue for them. Foe me , as long as the video is clear and lag free, i’ll not be complaining.
Totally understandable. If you are happy with what you have, keep it! I had 2 Phantom 2 units for a while and it was a huge jump for me to go to the Mavic Pro. I love this drone! I don’t have an immediate need to upgrade and with the issues currently surrounding the Mavic 2 Pro, I’m not really feeling the urge.
I am an photographer and used to travel the country selling my work at various art shows. Image quality is key for me. Why did I go Mavic Pro instead of Phantom then? The key word is travel. I really needed something portable and the Mavic Pro was a perfect fit.
I’m really hoping that the Mavic 2 Enterprise or Phantom 5 blow my socks off and compel me to spend my hard earned $$$.
Thanks for reaching out!
I would think that image quality is quite important, I would certainly want great image quality. Otherwise what makes the DJI Mavic 2 Pro stand out from other models? If I buy a brand I always want it to live up to the quality that I expect and that I have experienced in the past.
For many Image quality is the top factor, other’s portability may win out. In the end, we make compromises in one way or another to make a decision as to what option fits us best. I’m just disheartened to find that the camera on the Mavic 2 Pro has been limited, either by design flaw or intentional crippling, and really wanted the Mavic 2 Pro to be the gold standard to which all other portable drones are measured like it’s predecessor, the Mavic Pro, was.
Thanks for commenting.
I have a friend who is a big fan of the drones and I think this article will be very helpful, I liked seeing the descriptions you make of the products as well as the recommendations, no doubt when I want to buy a drone I’ll check your post.
As in everything related to technology, I believe that the resolution and clarity of the image to show is of vital importance, because the quality is a paramount of importance for the satisfaction of the user or client.
Thanks for chiming in! By all means, send your friend my way. I’m happy to write about anything drone related. If there are any specific topics they might be interested, I’d love to know about them as I’m always looking to offer more to my readers.
I agree with you, for me image quality is of vital importance but for some, just a drone to have fun with will suffice.
I have had my heart set on getting a Mavic 2, but this article is changing my mind. I don’t really need the ability to shove the drone into a backpack. I’m shifting my gaze to a Phantom 4 2.0. The image quality is very important to me. I will be a novice pilot, and it seems that stability and dependability are going to be just as important. Plus, the controller for the Phantom has a screen built in. I’ve fiddled around with the little Tello that I bought, and I find the whole thing about using my phone to be the brains of my drone to be annoying. Have you used that controller, that the guy in the first video shows?
Hello again Laurie,
If portability isn’t important and a little more power and a sharper image are of more concern, I’d definitely consider the Phantom 4 2.0 at this time. If DJI released a fix for the video issues, then I’d say the Mavic 2 Pro is the way to go.
As for the controller, there are various packages you can get. One will include the screen where another will have a place for you to attach your phone or tablet to use as the display and brains of the drone. I rechecked the video and he actually uses 2 different controllers, one for the Mavic 2 Pro and one for the Phantom 4. I’m assuming you’re asking about the Phantom 4 one. To answer your question, no. I don’t have the Phantom 4 and I have not had the chance to use someone else’s yet. That said, I’m planning to hold out to see what’s released next for the Phantom series. If it’s not much of a bump up (like the Mavic Pro Platinum was to the Mavic Pro) then I’ll grab a 4. If it offers a feature I just have to have, then it’s the Phantom (whatever they are going to call it, let’s assume 5 for now) that I’ll get.
I’m sorry I don’t have more specific details for you,
I’m hearing rumors of an April release of the next Phantom. It should be interesting!
Ugh….I don’t know if I can wait until April!
Hasselblad makes cameras. Hasselblad does not make the lens elements that are within the Hasselblad lenses, Zeiss supplies the ground glass elements. I doubt that the lens being used in the M2 Pro has lens elements from Zeiss. The cost of the M2P would be much more.
Do you think the issues discussed in this post are more related to the lenses as opposed to sensors hardware or software settings? I don’t yet have the Mavic 2 Pro and a, waiting until such issues are corrected. Granted it’s still better than the Mavic Pro I currently have but, for me to spend more money, I want to make sure I’m getting the best drone I can.
Thanks for commenting.