DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro vs. Spark: which should I buy?

DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro vs: Spark? It’s a tough decision, but the answer is actually pretty clear depending on your needs and budget.

In a little more than a year, DJI has launched a slew of drones — all extremely accessible, easy-to-fly, (relatively) affordable and wildly popular.

The DJI Mavic Pro with 4K video, which launched in October 2016 wowed fans for being a foldable drone — the Chinese dronemaker’s most compact drone at the time. Then DJI came out a few months later with the DJI Spark in May 2017. It was smaller (though not foldable), but it really sparked fans’ attention with its gesture control abilities, turning drones into the stuff of Jedi Mind Tricks. It was a slightly lesser quality drone in terms of camera quality, and features like the RC transmitter came at an extra cost, but it still seemed an incredible valuable nonetheless.DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro vs. Spark

And now, the DJI Mavic Air seemingly combines the best of both worlds. It’s incredibly small and folds up to be even smaller. It has the 4K video of the Mavic Pro, plus the gesture control capabilities of the DJI Spark.

But is the Mavic Air necessarily going to cannibalize the Mavic Pro and Spark? In most cases, yes, actually.

But there ARE some cases where the Mavic Pro or Spark may actually be a better option for you.

First, let’s start with a table comparing what I think are some of the most important factors to look at when deciding if a drone is right for you:

 DJI Mavic AirDJI Mavic ProDJI Spark
Price$799$999$399
Flight Time21 minutes27 minutes16 minutes
Max Video Resolution4K @30 fps4K @30 fps1080p
Max Photo Resolution12 MP12 MP12 MP
DesignFoldableFoldableSmall
Longest side (folded)6.6 inches7.8 inches5.6 inches
Longest side (unfolded)7.2 inches12 inches5.6 inches
Weight0.9 pounds1.6 pounds0.6 pounds
Obstacle SensingForward and backwardForwardForward
Control modesGesture, Mobile Device and Remote ControllerMovile Device and Remote ControllerGesture, Mobile Device and Remote Controller (extra fee for remote controller)
Max Wind Speed Resistance29 - 38 kph29 - 38 kph20 - 28 kph
Interal Storage8 GBNoneNone
Gimbal3-axis3-axis2-axis
ISO range (video)100 - 1600100 - 3200100 - 3200
ISO range (photo)100 - 3200 (manual)100 - 1600100 - 1600
Aperturef/2.8f/2.2f/2.6
Sensor: Effective Pixels12 MP12.35 MP12 MP

Still not sure what that all means?

Here’s a deeper dive into why you should buy each drone.

DJI Mavic Air vs. Spark

Why you should buy the Spark over the Mavic Air

If you’re really on a budget, the Spark is for you. At just $399, it is half the cost of the Mavic Air. However, that does NOT include a controller, meaning that you’ll have to control the drone entirely via your phone. The issue with that is it reduces how far you can fly and generally reduces how precisely you can fly. It also means you’re 100% reliant on an external device (your phone or iPad) to operate your drone.

Of course, the cost of the Spark with a controller is $599 — still cheaper than the Mavic Air if your budget is tight.

Keep in mind that since you’re paying less, you’re also getting lesser video quality, less flight time, only a 2-axis gimbal and you forego the backward obstacle avoidance.

If you can afford the Mavic Air then it’s worth the upgrade. But if your budget is tight, then the Spark is an incredibly powerful drone at an incredible price tag.dji Mavic Pro vs Mavic Air

DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro

Why you should buy the Mavic Pro over the Mavic Air:

Given that the Mavic Pro is more expensive, it’s going to have the most to worry about when the Mavic Air hits shelves.

If battery life is important to you, you’ll without a doubt want the Mavic Pro, which comes in at 27 minutes vs. the Air’s 21. Plus, upgrade an extra $100 to the Mavic Pro Platinum and you’ve got 30 minutes of flight time AND quieter motors.

Photographers may also want to consider sticking with the Mavic Pro, which has a better camera including more advanced tracking options, greater ISO range for video and cinema 4K and UHD 4K video resolutions.

So which of these three drones do YOU want most? And for the next question, if money was no object, which drone would you want most?

Personally, I say Mavic Air! It’s small, easy to fly, extremely compact and still does not compromise on video quality! I can’t wait for you to try out the Mavic for yourself!dji mavic air thedronegirl sally french review comparison

2 Comments

  • DroneZon says:

    Great comparison of these 3 quadcopters. The APAS technology on the new Mavic Air is pretty cool. When flying forward, the Mavic Air detects objects and flies around them. However, I still love my extra flying minutes on my Mavic Pro. But I will definitely add the Mavic Air to my collection.

  • Mavic Grl says:

    Great Breakdown! I would have to agree with DroneZon, The MavicPro seems to suit all my needs, the only thing I wish that was added was the sensor on the back. But for the money, I feel that the Mavin Pro was still the better deal, feels and acts sturdier.

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