It’s that time of year again. At one of Europe’s biggest consumer electronics shows – IFA in Berlin – DJI has announced two new drones – The Mavic Pro Platinum & the Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian – and a new flight mode for the Spark.
Let’s get straight into it.
The Mavic Pro Platinum
The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is essentially the same smart, 4k-shooting camera drone as the original Mavic Pro.
However, there are 3 main differences for those willing to pay the extra $100.
First up is flight time. Some internal and external tweaks have given the Mavic Pro Platinum an 11 percent gain in flight time (taking it up 30 minutes), which could make all the difference for professionals and enthusiasts.
This boosted performance has been coupled with a 60% noise power reduction, provided by the combination of new 8331 propellers and new FOC ESC drivers for a sinusoidal current and increased stability.
Third, the Mavic Pro Platinum’s body has been clad in a tidy looking platinum colored shell.
And there’s good news for owners of the original Mavic Pro who might be feeling a little left behind: The freshly designed propellers are also compatible with the current Mavic Pro.
Apart from that, the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is the same portable, powerful and easy-to-use camera drone as its predecessor, with a 4K stabilized camera, 4.3 mile (7km) range, innovative FlightAutonomy technology to sense obstacles up to 49ft (15m) away and a range of intelligent flight modes.
The new Mavic Pro Platinum is available to pre-order now and will ship in September.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian
It’s not just the Mavic Pro that’s been given a new paint job. The Phantom 4 Pro is now available in obsidian (AKA Black).
The only other difference from the original Phantom 4 Pro? The camera gimbal has also been upgraded, It’s now made of magnesium, covered in an anti-fingerprint coating and electroplated.
The new Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian is going for $1,499 and will start shipping next month.
DJI Spark: New “Sphere” Mode for Enhanced Panoramas
The DJI Spark hasn’t been forgotten in all of this, either. It now has a new Sphere mode in the Panorama photo feature, which allows pilots to produce a panoramic photo with a fisheye lens effect.
This “Sphere” can then be shared directly to social media platforms, some of which already support interactive images. The new feature will be included soon in the forthcoming DJI GO 4 mobile app and Spark firmware updates.
Rapid iteration or cosmetic improvements?
DJI continuously looks for ways to improve its products and introduce new features, many of which are the result of the positive feedback and requests we received from customers around the world,” said Paul Pan, DJI Senior Product Manager.
“Starting with our Osmo Mobile Silver handheld stabilizer, DJI has been expanding its product variations to meet the different lifestyles and needs of consumers. Similarly, we’ve done the same with two of the most iconic DJI drone products, the Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 Pro. The Spark’s newly added ‘Sphere’ mode will also introduce a new way for people to experience the fun of aerial photography.”
It’s interesting to watch DJI compete in a market in which there aren’t really any serious competitors. The Chinese manufacturer’s relentless iteration and speed to market have long made it difficult for rivals to keep up, let alone compete.
This is certainly one of DJI’s more underwhelming product launches: There’s no new Phantom yet and the developments to the P4 Pro and Mavic Pro are fairly minor. That could all change in the run up to Christmas, of course.
Maybe it’s just a case of holding something back for the next models – a strategy companies like Apple have been adopting for years with plenty of success. It may also be that DJI has listened to feedback from Mavic Pro and P4 Pro pilots (“It could be a little quieter… and fly a little longer”) and has made minor tweaks to perfect platforms that are already very popular.