DJI Mavic Air Vs Mavic Pro Vs Spark

DJI Mavic Air Vs Mavic Pro Vs Spark

With DJI's announcement of the new Mavic Air, Heliguy Insider are doing their standard versus post to see how it compares to the DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Spark.

17 minute read

[caption id="attachment_11611" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] DJI Mavic Air Vs Mavic Pro Vs Spark[/caption] Yesterday, DJI announced the latest iteration of the Mavic Series, the DJI Mavic Air. The Mavic Air falls between the DJI Spark and the Mavic Pro Platinum, combining the best features of each drone in an ultraportable package. We will be comparing the Mavic Air, Mavic Pro and Spark to see which aircraft is better suited to you. We will look at the specifications, appearance, performance, battery and what’s in the box. Keep reading for more information of on the Mavic Air and how it performs against the drones used to design it.

Specifications

As with all our versus post, let's start by taking a look at the specifications of each of the aircraft:
Mavic Air DJI Mavic Air Mavic Pro Platinum DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Spark DJI Spark

Dimensions

Folded: 168 x 83 x 49 mm (LxWxH)
Unfolded: 168 x 184 x 64 mm (LxWxH)
Folded: 83 x 83 x 198 mm 143 x 143 x 55 mm

Diagonal Distance

213 mm 335 mm (Propellers Excluded) 170 mm (Propellers Excluded)

Weight

430 g (Takeoff Weight)
Battery & Propellers Included:
734 g (exclude gimbal cover)
743 g (include gimbal cover)
300 g (Takeoff Weight)

Max Ascent Speed

3 m/s (S - mode)
2 m/s (P - mode)
2 m/s (Wi-Fi mode)
5 m/s (Sport mode) 3 m/s (Sport Mode without wind)

Max Descent Speed

2 m/s (S - mode)
1.5 m/s (P - mode)
1 m/s (Wi-Fi mode)
3 m/s 3 m/s (Auto Landing Mode)

Max Speed

Near sea level, no wind
68.4 kph (S - mode)
28.8 kph (P - mode)
28.8 kph (Wi-Fi mode)
40 mph (65 kph) in Sport mode without wind 31 mph (50 kph) in Sport Mode without wind

Max Service Ceiling Above Sea Level

5000 m 5000 m 4000 m

Max Flight Time

21 minutes (at a consistent 25 kph, no wind) 30 minutes (at a consistent 25 kph, no wind) 16 minutes (at a consistent 20 kph, no wind)

Max Hovering Time

20 minutes (no wind) 27 minutes (no wind) 15 minutes (no wind)

Max Flight Distance

10 km (at a consistent 25 kph, no wind) 15 km (one full battery, no wind) N/A

Max Tilt Angle

35° (S - mode); 25° (P - mode) N/A N/A

Max Angular Velocity

250°/s (S - mode); 250°/s (P - mode) N/A N/A

Operating Frequency

2.400 - 2.4835 GHz
5.725 - 5.850 GHz
FCC: 2.4 - 2.4835 GHz; 5.150 - 5.250 GHz; 5.725 - 5.850 GHz
CE: 2.4 - 2.4835 GHz; 5.725 - 5.850 GHz
SRRC: 2.4 - 2.4835 GHz; 5.725 - 5.850 GHz
2.400 - 2.483 GHz; 5.725 - 5.825 GHz

Transmission Power (EIRP)

2.400 - 2.4835 GHz
FCC: ≤28 dBm; CE: ≤19 dBm; SRRC: ≤19 dBm; MIC: ≤19 dBm
5.725 - 5.850 GHz
FCC: ≤31 dBm; CE: ≤14 dBm; SRRC: ≤27 dBm
2.4GHz
FCC: <=26 dBm; CE: <=20 dBm; SRRC: <=20 dBm; MIC: <=18 dBm
5.2 GHz
FCC: <=23 dBm
5.8 GHz
FCC: <=23 dBm; CE <=13 dBm; SRRC: <=23 dBm; MIC: -
2.4 GHz
FCC: 25 dBm; CE: 18 dBm; SRRC: 18 dBm; MIC:18 dBm
5.8 GHz
FCC: 27 dBm; CE: 14 dBm; SRRC: 27 dBm; MIC: -

Satellite Positioning Systems

GPS + GLONASS GPS / GLONASS GPS/GLONASS

Hover Accuracy Range

Vertical:
±0.1 m (with Vision Positioning); ±0.5 m (with GPS Positioning)
Horizontal:
±0.1 m (with Vision Positioning); ±1.5 m (with GPS Positioning)
Vertical:
±0.1 m (when Vision Positioning is active) or ±0.5 m
Horizontal:
±0.3 m (when Vision Positioning is active) or ±1.5 m
Vertical:
±0.1 m (when Vision Positioning is active) or ±0.5 m
Horizontal:
±0.3 m (when Vision Positioning is active) or ±1.5 m

Internal Storage

8 GB N/A N/A

Gimbal

Stabilization

3-axis (tilt, roll, pan) 3-axis (pitch, roll, yaw) 2-axis mechanical (pitch, roll)

Controllable Range

Tilt: -90° to 0° (default setting); -90° to +17° (extended) Pitch: -90° to +30°; Roll: 0° or 90° (Horizontally and vertically) Pitch: -85° to 0°

Mechanical Range

Tilt: -100° to 22°; Roll: -30° to 30°; Pan: -12° to 12° N/A N/A

Max Control Speed (tilt)

120°/s N/A N/A

Angular Vibration Range

±0.005° N/A N/A

Camera

Sensor

1/2.3" CMOS; Effective Pixels: 12 MP 1/2.3" CMOS; Effective Pixels: 12.35 MP (Total Pixels: 12.71 MP) 1/2.3" CMOS; Effective Pixels: 12 MP

Lens

FOV: 85°; 24 mm (35 mm format equivalent); Aperture: f/2.8; Shooting Range: 0.5 m to FOV: 78.8°; 28 mm (35 mm format equivalent); f/2.2; Distortion < 1.5% Focus from 0.5 m to FOV: 81.9°; 25 mm (35 mm format equivalent); f/2.6 (shooting range: 2 m to )

ISO Range

Video: 100 - 1600 (auto); 100 - 1600 (manual)
Photo: 100 - 1600 (auto); 100 - 3200 (manual)
Video: 100 - 3200; Photo: 100 - 1600 Video: 100 - 3200; Photo: 100 - 1600

Electronic Shutter Speed

8 - 1/8000s 8 -1/8000s 2 - 1/8000s

Image Size

4:3: 4056 x 3040; 16:9: 4056 x 2280 4000 x 3000 3968 x 2976; 1440 x 1080 with ShallowFocus; 2300 x 1280 with Pano (horizontal); 960 x 1280 with Pano (vertical)

Still Photography Modes

Single shot; HDR; Burst shooting: 3 / 5 / 7 frames; Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7EV Bias; Interval: 2 / 3 / 5 / 7 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 30 / 60 s Single shot; Burst shooting: 3 / 5 / 7 frames; Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7 EV Bias Interval Single Shot; Burst Shooting: 3 frames; Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3 bracketed frames at 0.7 EV bias; Interval: 2 / 3 / 5 / 7 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 30 / 60 s

Video Resolution

4K Ultra HD: 3840 x 2160 24 / 25 / 30p; 2.7K: 2720 x 1530 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60p; FHD: 1920 x 1080 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60 / 120p; HD: 1280 x 720 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60 / 120p C4K: 4096 x 2160 24p; 4K: 3840 x 2160 24 / 25 / 30p; 2.7K: 2720 x 1530 24 / 25 / 30p; FHD: 1920 x 1080 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60 / 96p; HD: 1280 x 720 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60 / 120p FHD: 1920 x 1080 30p

Max Video Bitrate

100 Mbps 60 Mbps 24 Mbps

Supported File System

FAT32 FAT32 ( ≤ 32 GB ); exFAT ( > 32 GB ) FAT32

Photo Format

JPEG / DNG (RAW) JPEG, DNG JPEG

Video Format

MP4 / MOV (H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC) MP4, MOV (MPEG-4 AVC / H.264) MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC / H.264)

Vision System

Vision System

Forward Vision System; Downward Vision System; Backward Vision System Forward Vision System; Downward Vision System Forward Vision System

Operating Range

0.5 - 30 m (Downward) 0.3 - 13 m 0 - 30 m

Altitude Range

0.1 - 8 m (Downward) 0.3 - 13 m 0 - 8 m

Velocity Range

≤ 8 m/s (Backward and Forward) ≤22.4 mph (36 kph) at 6.6 ft (2 m) above ground ≤22.4 mph (36 kph) at 6.6 ft (2 m) above ground

Intelligent Flight Battery

Capacity

2375 mAh 3830 mAh 1480 mAh

Voltage

11.55 V 11.4 V 11.4 V

Battery Type

LiCoO2 3S LiPo 3S LiPo 3S

Energy

27.43 Wh 43.6 Wh 16.87 Wh

Net Weight

140 g Approx. 240 g Approx. 95 g

Remote Controller

Operating Frequency

2.400 - 2.4835 GHz; 5.725 - 5.850 GHz 2.4 GHz to 2.483 GHz 2.412 - 2.462 GHz; 5.745 - 5.825 GHz

Max Transmission Distance (unobstructed, free of interference)

2.400 - 2.4835 GHz:
FCC: 4000 m; CE: 2000 m; SRRC: 2000 m; MIC: 2000 m
5.725 - 5.850 GHz:
FCC: 4000 m; CE: 500 m; SRRC: 2500 m
FCC Compliant: 4.3 mi (7 km); CE Compliant: 2.5 mi (4 km); SRRC Compliant: 2.5mi (4 km); MIC Compliant: 2.5 mi (4 km)
2.412 - 2.462 GHz:
FCC: 1.2 mi (2 km); CE: 0.3 mi (500 m); SRRC: 0.3 mi (500 m); MIC: 0.3 mi (500 m)
5.745 - 5.825 GHz:
FCC: 1.2 mi (2 km); CE: 0.18 mi (300 m); SRRC: 0.7 mi (1.2 km); MIC: -

Transmission Power (EIRP)

2.400 - 2.4835 GHz:
FCC:≤26 dBm; CE: ≤18 dBm; SRRC: ≤18 dBm; MIC:≤18 dBm
5.725 - 5.850 GHz:
FCC: ≤30 dBm; CE: ≤14 dBm; SRRC: ≤26 dBm
FCC: <=26 dBm; CE: <=20 dBm; SRRC: <=20 dBm; MIC: <=18 dBm
2.4 GHz:
FCC: ≤26 dBm; CE: ≤18 dBm; SRCC: ≤18 dBm; MIC: ≤18 dBm
5.8 GHz:
FCC: ≤28 dBm; CE: ≤14 dBm; SRCC: ≤26 dBm; MIC: -

Battery

2970 mAh 2970mAh 2970 mAh

Operating Current / Voltage

1400 mA @ 3.7 V (Android); 750 mA @ 3.7 V (iOS) 950 mA @ 3.7 V 950 mA @ 3.7 V

Supported Mobile Device Size

Max length: 160 mm; Supported Thickness: 6.5 - 8.5 mm Max length: 160 mm; Supported Thickness: 6.5 - 8.5 mm Max length: 160 mm; Supported Thickness: 6.5 - 8.5 mm

Supported USB Port Types

Lightning, Micro USB (Type-B), USB-C Lightning, Micro USB (Type-B), USB (Type-C) N/A

As you can see, there are some similarities between the Mavic Air, Mavic Pro and the Spark in their specifications. Keep reading to find out more information about each of these impressive aircraft and see which is the best aircraft for you.

What's Included?

The DJI Mavic Air, Mavic Pro and Spark are all available in either a standard package or Fly More Combo which comes with additional accessories.
Mavic Air DJI Mavic Air
Mavic Air
  • Aircraft
  • Remote Controller
  • Intelligent Flight Battery x1
  • Charger
  • Power Cable
  • Propellers (Pair) x4
  • Propeller Guards (Set)
  • RC Cable (Lightning connector)
  • RC Cable (Standard Micro USB connector)
  • RC Cable (USB Type-C connector)
  • Gimbal Protector
  • Communication Cable (USB 3.0 Type C)
  • USB Adapter
  • RC Cable Slider (Large)
  • RC Cable Slider (Small)
  • Carrying Case
  • Spare Control Sticks (Pair)
Mavic Air Fly More Combo
  • Aircraft
  • Remote Controller
  • Intelligent Flight Battery x3
  • Charger
  • Power Cable
  • Propellers (Pair) x6
  • Propeller Guards (Set)
  • RC Cable (Lightning connector)
  • RC Cable (Standard Micro USB connector)
  • RC Cable (USB Type-C connector)
  • Gimbal Protector
  • Communication Cable (USB 3.0 Type C)
  • USB Adapter
  • RC Cable Slider (Large)
  • RC Cable Slider (Small)
  • Carrying Case
  • Spare Control Sticks (Pair)
  • Battery Charging Hub
  • Battery to Power Bank Adaptor
  • Travel Bag
Mavic Pro Platinum
  • Aircraft
  • Remote Controller
  • Intelligent Flight Battery x1
  • Charger
  • Power Cable
  • Gold Tip Propellers (Pair)
  • Platinum Tip Propellers (Pair) x2
  • RC Cable (Lightning connector)
  • RC Cable (Standard Micro USB connector)
  • RC Cable (USB Type-C connector)
  • Gimbal Cover
  • Gimbal Clamp
  • MicroSD Card (16GB)
  • Micro USB Cable
  • RC Cable Slider (Large)
  • RC Cable Slider (Small)
Mavic Pro Platinum Fly More Combo
  • Aircraft
  • Remote Controller
  • Intelligent Flight Battery x1
  • Charger
  • Power Cable
  • Gold Tip Propellers (Pair)
  • Platinum Tip Propellers (Pair) x3
  • RC Cable (Lightning connector)
  • RC Cable (Standard Micro USB connector)
  • RC Cable (USB Type-C connector)
  • Gimbal Cover
  • Gimbal Clamp
  • MicroSD Card (16GB)
  • Micro USB Cable
  • RC Cable Slider (Large)
  • RC Cable Slider (Small)
  • Battery Charging Hub
  • Car Charger
  • Battery to Power Bank Adaptor
  • Shoulder Bag
Mavic Pro Platinum DJI Mavic Pro Platinum
Spark DJI Spark
Spark
  • Aircraft
  • Propeller Pair
  • Intelligent Flight Battery x1
  • Charger
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Storage Box
Spark Fly More Combo
  • Aircraft
  • Remote Controller
  • Propeller Pair
  • Propeller Guards (Pair)
  • Intelligent Flight Battery x2
  • Charger
  • Power Cable
  • Battery Charging Hub
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Storage Box
  • Shoulder Bag
The most noteworthy areas from what’s included are; like the Mavic Pro, each package of the Mavic Air comes with a remote controller whereas this is only included in the Spar’s Fly More Combo. Also, both the Mavic Air packages include propeller guards for increased safety during hand launching or flight in tight spaces. This is a great addition as they’re not available in either of the Mavic Pro packages and only in the Spark Fly More.

Appearance

[caption id="attachment_11646" align="aligncenter" width="600"] DJI Mavic Air Vs Mavic Pro Vs Spark[/caption] The Mavic Air has a new geometric and aerodynamic design for the greatest results in flight. The aircraft and its controller are ultraportable due to their foldable design and removable controller sticks, building on that of the original Mavic Pro. The Mavic Air is also super-lightweight, at just 430 grams, around 300 grams lighter than the Mavic Pro. This means you can carry it easily in a pocket or back so you’re ready to fly in any location. It is worth noting, unlike the Mavic Pro and the DJI Spark, the Mavic Air doesn't feature foldable propellers although, when folded, the Mavic Air's propeller are tight to the body of the aircraft. The Mavic Air is available in Arctic White, Onyx Black and Flame Red, so you can choose the colour to suit you. [caption id="attachment_11641" align="aligncenter" width="600"] DJI Mavic Air Vs Mavic Pro Vs Spark[/caption] The Mavic Pro was the first iteration of the foldable drone range from DJI. It is a compact and powerful drone weighing that’s extremely robust and solid in flight and when folded. The Mavic Pro weighs 743 grams when the gimbal cover is installed. The Mavic Pro is available in the original metallic grey version, the Mavic Pro Platinum with gold or platinum propeller and a limited edition Alpine White from selected retailers. [caption id="attachment_11643" align="aligncenter" width="600"] DJI Mavic Air Vs Mavic Pro Vs Spark[/caption] The DJI Spark has a sleek and aerodynamic design. It is extremely lightweight at just 300 grams, however, as the arms cannot be folded, it is not as compact as the Mavic Air when transported. The size of the Spark’s body is impressive considering the technology it houses. The Spark is available in Alpine White, Sky Blue, Meadow Green, Lava Red, and Sunrise Yellow, giving you even more options of colours to suit your taste. [caption id="attachment_11644" align="aligncenter" width="600"] DJI Mavic Air Vs Mavic Pro Vs Spark[/caption]

Performance

[caption id="attachment_11645" align="aligncenter" width="600"] DJI Mavic Air Vs Mavic Pro Vs Spark[/caption] The Mavic Air is packed with remarkable technology considering its small and compact design. It is capable of a huge 42.5mph (68.4kph) which is the highest of all the drones we’re comparing. This is a really impressive speed considering it is significantly smaller and lighter than the Mavic Pro. DJI have clearly invested in the developed FlightAutonomy 2 system for the Mavic Air. Forwards, backwards and downwards obstacle sensing is available to help keep you safe when flying in three directions. The Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO) technology gives precision accuracy between 0.5 and 30 meters. 3D Map Building allows the Mavic Air to create a 3D map in real-time to ensure its accuracy during flight. The Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems (APAS) ensures the Mavic Air will actively avoid obstacles rather than just stopping. Finally, multiple redundancies for various modules are also available. An additional benefit that we’re likely to see on future technology from DJI is an 8GBs of built-in storage. This is a really useful feature, improving the overall storage capacity and making sure that you’re covered if you ever forget your SD card. Control the Mavic Air using your smartphone, your remote controller or both combined. Once launched, gesture mode are available to capture photos and images. DJI’s standard Intelligent Flight Modes like TapFly and Intelligent RTH are also available in the Mavic Air. [caption id="attachment_11677" align="aligncenter" width="600"] DJI Mavic Air[/caption] The Mavic Pro is a powerful aircraft that’s fun to fly and a great creative outlet. Speeds of up to 40mph (65kph) can be reached in the Mavic Pro’s Sports Mode. FlightAutonomy helps you avoid crashes with five vision in two directions, at up to 49ft away. Control the Mavic Pro using its dedicated remote control using OcuSync transmission technology, your smartphone or a combination of the remote controller and your smartphone. Gesture control is available for capture images and videos whilst in the air. Like the Mavic Air, DJI’s Intelligent Flight Modes including TapFly, Terrain Follow and Intelligent RTH are available. [caption id="attachment_11680" align="aligncenter" width="600"] DJI Mavic Pro[/caption] The Spark is made for flexibility with control and Intelligent Flight Modes. Use PalmControl to launch and land the Spark from the palm of your hand. Control the movement with simple gestures or, use a smartphone or the remote controller for greater control. The Spark can reach speeds of up to 31mph (50kph) in Sport Mode. It’s packed full of Intelligent Flight Modes such as TapFly and Intelligent RTH, giving you more control and peace of mind. The FlightAutonomy system allows the Spark to sense an obstacle in front and below as well as create real-time 3D maps to help keep the aircraft safe. [caption id="attachment_11681" align="aligncenter" width="600"] DJI Spark[/caption]

Camera

[caption id="attachment_11648" align="aligncenter" width="600"] DJI Mavic Air Vs Mavic Pro Vs Spark[/caption] The Mavic Air features a three-axis mechanical gimbal capable of delivering ultra-smooth video and images with an angular vibration range as low as 0.005°. The Mavic Air’s 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor can capture up to 4K 30 fps video at up to 100 Mbps, 12MP stills and 32MP Sphere Panoramas. Bot JPEG and RAW are available allowing instantly shareable results or a greater range in post editing. There’s also a slow-motion function available to capture video at 1080p at 120fps. The Mavic Air has a f/2.8 lens with a 35-mm equivalent focal length of 24 mm. There’s also a developed HDR algorithm available which allows users to achieve the perfect exposure on every image. The Mavic Air features ActiveTrack with increased functionality to sense up to 16 selectable subjects simultaneously allowing you to choose the best results. QuickShots options available including Rocket, Dronie, Circle, Helix and the new Asteroid and Boomerang modes. SmartCapture also allows you to capture video and images by hand. [caption id="attachment_11670" align="aligncenter" width="600"] DJI Mavic Air[/caption] The Mavic Pro and Mavic Pro Platinum also feature a three-axis gimbal and 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor, capable of up to 4K video 30fps at 60 Mbps and 12.35 MP still. It has a f/2.2 lens with a 35-mm equivalent focal length. Like the Mavic Air, JPEG and DNG formats are available for increased flexibility with images. Smart Modes are available such a the Tripod Mode for accurate and smooth shots, ActiveTrack and Gesture Control. [caption id="attachment_11671" align="aligncenter" width="600"] DJI Mavic Pro[/caption] The Spark features a two-axis gimbal with a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor capable of capturing 1080p video and stills at 12MP. It has a f/2.6 wide-angle lens with a 25mm equivalent. The Spark features a shallow depth of field and a panorama shooting mode with four QuickShots options available. These are Rocket, Dronie, Circle and Helix. There’s been no mention from DJI in relation to backward compatibility for the two new QuickShots on the Mavic Air, but these would be a valued addition to the Spark. Gesture Mode is also available to capture video and images. The Spark is, unfortunately, only able to capture JPEG images and doesn’t allow you to choose a colour pallet. Both these factors may be unappealing to people to do more with their videos and images, however, if you’re just looking for quick and shareable images for social media, the Spark will still perform well. [caption id="attachment_11672" align="aligncenter" width="600"] DJI Spark[/caption]  

Battery

[caption id="attachment_11649" align="aligncenter" width="600"] DJI Mavic Air Vs Mavic Pro Vs Spark[/caption] The Mavic Air is compatible with its 2375 mAh capacity Intelligent Flight LiPo Battery. The battery has a maximum life of 21 minutes. Although slightly less than the Mavic Pro and Mavic Platinum, 21 minutes should be sufficient for use with this aircraft. The Mavic Pro and Mavic Pro Platinum features a 3830 mAh LiPo battery with a maximum battery life of 27 minutes for the Mavic Pro and 30 minutes for the Mavic pro Platinum. This rivals other, much bigger DJI drones and is clearly the top performer. The Spark features a high-density Intelligent Flight Battery with a1480 mAh capacity. The maximum battery life of the Spark is 16 minutes. This was a downside to the Spark so the improvement between the Spark and Mavic Air is really beneficial.

Summary

The new DJI Mavic Air is a superb aircraft from DJI. DJI have taken the iconic foldable design from the Mavic Pro and smart feature from the Spark and made their most transportable drone to date. It's highly functional and can help you capture some amazing videos and images whilst keeping the aircraft safe. The Mavic Pro clearly stands out due to its battery life and modes such as Tripod mode and the Spark will always be a top performer with its hand launch and landing. Overall, you will be happy with any of the above drones dependent on what you want it for, but we're really excited to get the new Mavic Air out and test out these new impressive functions. The Mavic Air is expected to be delivered early February, so pre-order yours now to ensure you get it first.
To discuss the new DJI Mavic Air or any DJI or Freefly product, please give one of our team a call on 0191 296 1024 or email us at info@heliguy.com.
Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog to learn more about DJI’s latest products, read our in-depth VERSUS series and, of course, stay up to date on the goings-on in the drone industry.

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