You are currently viewing Mavic 2/Phantom 4 Pro… Great, but not really? (Photography)

Mavic 2/Phantom 4 Pro… Great, but not really? (Photography)


WOW what makes you say that!


High end Prosumer drones give you a few big advantages:

  • Much larger sensor > soaks in more light > see better in the dark
  • More megapixels – 20 vs. 12 in the lower tier drones
  • Higher dynamic range – this means see more brights and more shadows in the same image without being too bright or too dark. Like shade under trees and clouds in the sky at the same time.


These are all really great strengths for any Video-focused Drone Pilot.

How about for photos? Actually… not really.


GASP! Pretty bold statement? Sure, but check this out.

Normally higher dynamic range means more stuff is visible. See the clouds fluffies and the tree shade at the same time. You can notice the difference in a side by side for video… but not for photos.



These are mostly straight from the camera – it’s even more obvious when the camera is moving, but the sky is getting close to becoming one large white sheet with the Phantom… Like when you point your cell phone up at something dark while outdoors.

With the Mavic 2 Pro, the clouds are distinct enough to notice different densities in certain layers.


Now look at these photos:


If I didn’t have the info on there, you’d barely tell the difference if any.



All drones above a certain standard these days shoot photos in two formats:


JPEGS – sure you’ll see the difference. It’s a point and shoot type of solution and the camera matters. It’s a fast food solution to getting an image. Crammed into a box, quick and easy.


But when editing RAW photos – which is much less condensed, constrained format – you already have so much color and light information in the image just waiting to be drawn out, you’ll only notice the difference in extreme conditions.


RAW photos in all of DJIs drones are already giving you the ability to rescue shadows, highlights and draw out tons of life from the photo. Right Now.


For video – which is really sensitive to the camera’s abilities and kind of has to stick to certain frame rates/shutter speeds, you will notice the difference. These camera are competing to be the best at using the same conditions/setup. Like Olympic gymnasts who are scored by form and technique.


With photography, there are so many alternatives to the shot. If it’s too dark… Just pull back the shutter a bit. The gimbals these days are so smooth you can shoot a photo at 2 full seconds after sunset (like I did here) and it will be sharp.

With a little bit of sharpening and clarity in the Photo Editing Software we use, it’s almost seamless anyways.


Photography is like a 100 meter dash. It doesn’t matter what your form is so long as you reach the finish line.


Crazy brights and deep shadows simultaneously, like shooting the shady side of a building during sunset?

Just change one setting before the shot to shoot Bracketed and you have a MUCH stronger range of brights, darks and mids than you would have from any straight-from-the-camera photo no matter what its being shot with.


JPEG Straight from camera:


Same photo after Bracketing (the 3 photo setup I showed you in the course):


As for Megapixels? Well, go back to the first photo comparison from the begining with these two^


That’s the 12 megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor of the Mavic Pro 1 vs. the Phantom 4 Pro’s 20 megapixel 1-inch Sensor – the same 1 inch sensor that is now in the Mavic 2 Pro.


My guess is you can’t tell which is which without the text on the photo, huh? (aside from small color differences that were just to my taste)

That’s because they are both shooting in RAW and both exposed correctly. Same color profile and shutter setup that we did in the early chapters.


After pulling down highlights and raising shadows, adding clarity, vibrance, and touching up the sky and dark roofs a little bit with a simple masking brush… It is actually barely noticeable. I did almost the same things to both of these, its just that RAW and this Photo Software together are seriously so powerful.


They look a tad different, sure – but not different and worse, just different. That’s normal between a change of lenses and sensors.


My point is don’t feel like you need to rush out and get the new toys every time it comes out, at least as far as Photography is concerned.


If you got a Mavic 2 Pro or a Phantom 4 Pro, then enjoy larger megapixels, less touch ups and smoother flying.


I LOVE my Mavic 2 Pro for video – its the drone I dreamed of for years actually. Flies as well as the mavic with the P4Pro’s camera, incredible dynamic range.


But for photos – the workarounds I’ve already shown you in the course are actually better than the standard you get straight from these higher end camera.

A Phantom 3 Standard with a little application knowledge and lightroom will get you MILES better results than a Mavic 2 Pro/P4Pro shooting straight from the camera. No argument about it – Gauranteed.

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