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The evolution of the DJI Mavic Series, from an ambitious idea to the world’s flagship drone to a tool for crisis

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The world’s most popular drone series started not with a design or a mechanical concept, but with an idea: Make a drone small enough to carry anywhere, and powerful enough that you’d want to carry it everywhere. That idea became DJI’s Mavic Pro drone, which revolutionized the industry and allowed anyone to capture amazing imagery for work or for fun with a drone that can fit in a backpack.

Today, as the world reckons with an unexpected challenge, the ramifications of that idea are clear. DJI’s Mavic series was already the global choice for people, businesses and governments that need powerful, portable drones. Now, the unmatched performance of the Mavic series is helping authorities grapple with coronavirus and manage unprecedented threats – as well as giving people a way to escape their thoughts by seeing the world from above.

The original Mavic Pro – and its Mavic successors, from the smaller Mavic Air to the high-powered Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual used by police, firefighters and rescue services – became the world’s flagship drone because they packed so much capability into a uniquely small form. DJI required huge engineering feats to successfully design a folding drone body, integrate software that can recognize objects and automatically fly routes, and miniaturize systems to fit into a compact system. But it all started with a bold idea – and today, that dream is a reality.

Drones have come a long way since they first began appearing more frequently in the sky over a decade ago. They were clunky, loud and unreliable, and required a skilled person to get them up and running. Today, drones are packed with advanced and easy-to-use technology, and continue to grow in popularity across the globe because people are constantly realizing how exhilarating and useful they can be. And as the Mavic series does more great things around the world, DJI has continued to evolve the series, learning from its customers and designing new and exciting concepts for the many different people who use them.

The Game Changer: DJI Mavic Pro

After countless prototypes, design changes and tweaks, the DJI Mavic Pro was introduced in 2016. Its iconic folding design, flight and imaging capabilities were instantly recognized as a revolutionary step forward. It was not just a new drone, but a new drone category, where powerful technology met a highly efficient form factor. The new folding design transformed drones from being burdensome to transport to a drone that you could easily bring with you anywhere.

The Mavic Pro quickly changed the landscape of drone usage but there will always improvements to design and functionality to be discovered. DJI is a company where innovation is at the forefront of everything it does and after listening to customer feedback began to reimagine the mavic series again.

The Traveler: Mavic Air

In January 2018, Mavic Air was debuted to the world. The smallest Mavic in the lineup at the time, Mavic Air was the answer to the many travelers and explorers who wanted to capture the unique aerial images without weighing down their bag. New preprogrammed flight modes, autonomous operation and features like controlling the drone with your hand movements illustrated how rapidly this technology could evolve. The highly portable design, unique color choices and high-grade 4K camera made it widely appealing to many different creators.

The Flagship: Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom

The culmination of the knowledge garnered from creating and redefining the Mavic series finally took a physical form in August 2018 with the flagship Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom. When the DJI Mavic 2 was announced, it set a new bar for how drone technology should perform and what drone technology can do. The Mavic 2 is one of the most reliable, high-quality drones available, equipped with not just the latest features and technology, but also designed for easy operation.

The Mavic 2 comes in two camera options for the best of both worlds- Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom. The Mavic 2 Pro utilizes a high-end camera co-engineered with the legendary Swedish company, Hasselblad. Inside this camera is a large 1” sensor, capable of capturing stunning 20-megapixel photos and 4K video. The Mavic 2 Zoom uses a zooming camera and a smaller 1/2.3” sensor recording 12-megapizel photos and 4K video. The Mavic 2 Zoom, as its name suggests, can zoom up to 4X giving you the ability to get closer without moving the drone. Aside from the two cameras, the drone body is exactly the same.

On top of the two high-grade cameras are the suite of built-in intelligent features along with safety features. Users can quickly run pre-programmed modes like Hyperlapse, Timelapse and the visually appealing Dolly Zoom mode which were designed to help create stunning footage with ease.

Courtesy of DJI

The Mavic 2 continues to be DJI’s flagship drone not just because of its cameras and features but also because they are simple to operate and simple to fly. Pilots connect the remote controller to their mobile device and receive a live-feed from the drone’s camera. All the while, safety features including omnidirectional sensors warn the pilot when they’re encountering an object and can stop the drone from moving forward when obstacles such as buildings are getting too close. Low battery warnings and automatic Return to Home are additional safety features DJI adds to many of their drones so that pilots have more confidence while flying.

The Life Saver: Mavic 2 Enterprise and Mavic 2 Dual

Shortly after Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom, DJI again took a unique approach to its products and announced the Mavic 2 Enterprise and Mavic 2 Dual, two new systems designed to aid first responders and other public safety workers who risk their lives every day. The portable design of the original Mavic yet again showed the world that its appeal was far reaching and not just in the hobbyist and content creations field but in the industrial and professional field as well. Now search and rescue teams, fire departments or police departments can quickly launch one of these drones to help them get an aerial perspective of a situation.

Today, there have been over 350 documented cases of people being rescued from peril with this technology, and this number continues to grow as people discover how useful drones can be. And in China, South Korea, Italy, Spain and other countries ravaged by coronavirus, authorities have quickly pressed the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual into service – spreading messages to the public with loudspeakers and banners, monitoring public spaces, investigating hazardous situations, and even testing whether its onboard thermal camera could help take temperatures of vulnerable people.

Courtesy of DJI

The Everyday Drone: Mavic Mini

In 2019, DJI yet again demonstrated that innovation does not stop, by introducing the Mavic Mini, the smallest drone ever designed by DJI and the perfect drone for beginners. Mavic Mini weighs only 249 grams and is so small, it’s considered to be in the safest category of drones. Using a brand new simplified app that walks new pilots through every step of getting the drone into the air, Mavic Mini’s core goal is to breakdown the barrier of entry for first time pilots. Staying true to the Mavic family, Mavic Mini is also equipped with some of the latest pre-programmed flight modes, 30 minutes of flight time and a 2.7K camera.

From the start in 2016, to this day, the constant drive to push boundaries and answer the needs of their customers has led the Mavic series to evolve from an ambitious idea to one of the most prominent drones in the sky.

Courtesy of DJI

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