Dji Mavic 2 Pro vs Phantom 4 Pro vs Inspire 2/X7! PRO REVIEW for landscape photography



I’ve been dreaming of a Mavic Pro sized drone with a great camera/sensor for years! After some serious testing with the new Mavic 2 Pro I can say that it is almost here. This is a real world review against the DJI Phantom 4 Pro and the Inspire 2 with the Zenmuse X7 for serious still landscape photography. While I didn’t do any scientific testing, I found out exactly what I needed to know about shooting with these drones in the the field.

While I found the Phontom 4 Pro to be better overall then the Mavic 2 Pro for serious low light landscape photography, I really do think the new Mavic is an awesome little drone, and great for many types of photography. I will be using it a ton!

For more visit www.danballardphoto.com

47 Replies to “Dji Mavic 2 Pro vs Phantom 4 Pro vs Inspire 2/X7! PRO REVIEW for landscape photography”

  1. Dan Ballard

    While I was hoping that the IQ of the Mavic 2 Pro would be as good as the Phantom 4 Pro, as I said in the video, this is still an awesome little drone! You can take seriously good images with it, and because it is so small you can take it with you. I am keeping mine and still highly recommend it for most people.

  2. Engineer

    Nice review, thank you Dan!
    I am wondering whether P4P have more noticeable noise than MP2 or even MP? I am doing HDRs using AEB (auto bracketing mode) of 5 DNG pics. I am having pretty noticeable noise even at ISO 100 and shutter 1/60, EV 0 (using Polarpro ND16/PL polarized filter), manual mode. Anyone else have this problem?

  3. skydriver101

    Thanks for an informative review. As a landscape photographer I have had a P4P for about 2 years and was hoping that the Mavic 2P would be equal, but in a smaller size. After looking at a ton of reviews, I think you are spot on. I may still get one for travel purposes, but I know that the quality will be slightly less, and that will bother me. Maybe better to wait for another 12 months and look for a P5 or a M3. However, my prediction is that the P4 form factor is dead and that The Mavic form will evolve. People like portability. BTW, your last comment was 11 months ago. Has anything changed?

  4. BaranHaider Music

    I think mostly people wanted to make phantom 4 pro the winner because they can't even want to accept that mavic 2 pro,s camera is far better than Phantom 4 pro, they just want oversharped image that phantom 4 pro is providing, they dont need the cinemetic look which mavic 2 pro gives, straight out of camera normal mode of mavic 2 pro is sharper vs dlog m, both are different drones, mavic 2 pro is less sharped because old drones were digitally sharped if u want sharpness, put it on +1 simple 🙂

  5. Coe Burnett Photography

    Most drone dudes are not craftsman level photographers/ videographers. Even though a majority may buy drone with hope of capturing great video, a fair percentage, may not really have the skills to know exactly what they are doing, exposure wise. They may be more interested in the freedom of flying the drone, going places they couldn't before, and what kind of semi-automated vids they can capture.. But as a photographer, I look at the drone as the crazy-best, adjustable, virtual tripod in the universe. It hovers where ever you place it. Allowing you to take your time to, pan / tilt axis, and adjust exposure perfectly with histogram and whatever else you want to use. Even with video, the drone is just a platform dolly / boom, for the camera. Thus, a photographer will be interested not only in the drone, but the camera attached, as parts for a decision to use as a pro tool.
    Thanks for the time and professionalism it took to produce this video. I don't need side by sides. Your expertise is appreciated!

  6. Sam Video

    Hi… interesting comments, but I think side by side comparison photos with more explanation about pushing the files would have been more helpful to support your case….. with all due respect we don't need to see so much of you standing in the forest….lets seen more examples….. and my other constructive criticism is your poor choice of music and the audio level of the music… for example at about 6 minutes the music is way too loud and IMO takes away from your presentation…. you really didn't need any music at all during the main part of your presentation…. I see far too many youtubers using music that is not suitable, too loud and distracting…. sorry for the negative comments, but they needed to be said…. kindest regards…. Ron

  7. Robert Ardill

    I have both a Mavic 2 Pro and a Phantom 4 Pro and I have to say that I do not agree with your conclusion. The M2P that I have is quite definitely better than my P4P. Like you I'm a professional landscape photographer and like you I have compared photos taken by the two cameras in the same conditions. It may be that later firmware releases have corrected the issues that you found in the M2P, or it may be that my M2P has a better lens than yours (or my P4P is not as good as yours) … or perhaps it's a combination of these. Which comes to my main point: and that is that as a professional photographer you must know that there can be considerable variation even between two copies of the same camera system, in particular the lenses. And so you cannot make a definitive statement, based on just one copy of each, that model A is better or worse than model B (assuming that they are more or less equivalent, which is the case for the M2P and P4P). All you can say is that with your copies and your tests that you have found one to be better than the other in these particular ways. But even if there was no question that the IQ of the P4P was somewhat better than the M2P (which, as I said, is not the case for my drones), the M2P is a far better choice for most landscape photographers simply because it is so much more portable.

  8. Richard Utting

    This makes so much sense. For stills it's obvious the P4P is rather better than the MP2P and I'm surprised folks haven't seen this earlier. I think drones really are used 90% for video and 10% for stills and for me as a stills photographer I stopped dead in my tracks when i saw some of the images coming from the new MP2…just horrible and nowhere near the progress i had been hoping for. I think folks are blinded by the Hasselblad badge (i was!) For video it's different but for stills – no way. I'm holding out for the P5.

  9. LarJgrip

    Great post Dan I appreciate your straight up honesty.

    I would be interested in hearing more about “pushing” files.
    Do you do any videos on the processing end or can you recommend any for someone fairly green.
    I’m using ps, fcp w/ m2p thanks

  10. Robert Ardill

    Many thanks Dan – I was about to trade in my P4P for a M2P (just for portability) when I FINALLY came across your video (I hadn't found any still image comparisons between the two drones). As a professional landscape photographer myself, the IQ (especially for low light) is super important to me … so thank you! If you do have the time to take a couple of shots with the two drones (indoors in the evening with strong shadows would be fine), that would be super-useful! I think that it's very unlikely that the dynamic range of the M2P will improve with a firmware upgrade, say (especially if there is no loss of resolution). But of course … your drone may not be the best copy out there. Have you had a chance to compare yours with another M2P? Another thing that would be interesting to check is the effect of heat on the M2P image: the sensor and electronics are packed into a very small space and the heat is likely to build up quite quickly. If that's the case then it's possible that a shot taken soon after power-on will be less noisy than one taken later in the flight. Again, this would be easy to test indoors.

  11. Josh Garcia

    Super helpful and saved me from making a mistake by picking up the Mavic 2 Pro for the shooting I do here in AK. Thanks a bunch!
    Now the questions is Phantom 4 Pro, Yuneec (H Plus), or go broke on the Inspire 2/X7… All I shoot is landscape/wildlife stills.

  12. Bob Wagnon

    I like the look of the Mavic series. However, I would rather have that ugly Phantom 4 pro plus and get better image quality than have a cool looking drone!! Having it fold is not that big of a deal to me.

  13. Glenn Munn

    Great video exactly what I was looking for as a landscape photographer. Some of the peoples comments bellow need to understand that most serious landscape photographers shoot a majority of there work at sunrise or sunset. Dynamic range (within the raw file) is one of the most important factors. How it shoots a jpeg straight out of the camera means pretty much nothing. I don't own a drone yet but want to get one in the future, I love the portability of the mavic and the fact it can shoot portrait. On the other hand it sounds like the phantom has a better sensor.

  14. alastair john

    my quick rig is running the a7r2 with G master and Batis. The heavy is batting the Hass large format. sell yr kit and play with this stuff you will be blown away. looking at your images you deserve it.

  15. alastair john

    Pro travel landscape photographer…..errr…..OK what you messing bout with a little one inch sensor or little dji toys. get a full frame and get serious…….if your a pro of course.

  16. Dave Wilcock

    Nice vid mate! Lately I’ve had to blow up several p4 pro files to 40×53 inches which has me cringing a little at the amount of grain in the shot, while customers don’t care I’m always after better files at larger sizes. How big do you print your X7 files? Would they be twice as good as p4pro at large sizes?

  17. Franky-B

    Greath Vid thank you .. i own the inspire 1 pro en have the stock 15mm dji leica lens en Olympus 45mm and a zoom Olympus ,, wil the mavic 2 pro better ? low light dynamic range and so on?

  18. WalkaboutLife

    I have experience with the inspire 2 and mavic pro(original) but mostly shoot video. I'm considering buying a mavic 2 pro and want to know if you think the h.265 log video from mavic pro 2 will come close to the X7 h.264 video or will I be wasting my money?

  19. Alex Ziska

    Hey man, so for me, the big question is: I started with a Mavic Air and that's the only drone I got at the moment plus a CrystalSky 7inch. Now, what buy makes more sense to up my game? A Mavic 2 Pro or a Phantom 4 Pro V2.0???

  20. Zeppy

    Spot on Dan, I own both and my PH4 Pro Obsidian blows away my Mavic 2 Pro at night, all day long punn intended 🙂 Check it out when you have time at night and compare…

  21. 353 Studios

    Wish you had talked about video as well….. Did you make any video comparing video ????
    I'd you it more for video than photography …. if you have an imput on that, it would help a lot.

  22. Milky Way Mike

    Would it help using a gradient filter and bracketing your shots so you don’t have to push a single raw file as much in high contrast situations? I’m trading in my old mavic 1 and was hoping the MP2 was going to be on par with the phantom… the portability is so important, but so is image quality…such a catch-22

  23. Rob

    This video is unnecessarily getting negative reviews and thunbs down. Most of the YouTube reviewer community don't know how to push the photos to expose weaknesses. The first time someone does it and says it as it is, people start losing their minds. I have the M2P and while the raw files are good, I agree when you start to push the files around more than 1.7-2 stops in highlights/shadow/general exposure things start to get stressed.

  24. Andy's Travel Blog

    Great video Dan, enjoyed going through it. I view the difference in image quality between the M2P and P4P to be less than the difference in portability between the two. It's a tradeoff either way IMO, but I loved your thoughts, subscribed to your channel!

  25. Irann Higgins

    Why didn't you give us and side by sides? Would have made your case much stronger. I would think in a comparison video that would have been a given. I not implying that you're being dishonest, however i do find it strange to not have side by sides with very little photos in the video

  26. Carlo Balassu

    Great comparison Dan. Was wondering if you tried Automatic Exposure Bracketing on the Mavic2pro. I know technically it may not compare with higher end dji Models but does the Mavic2pro bracketing help with shadows and highlights and have "good enough" landscape photo when merging in post?
    Cheers

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