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Has DJI lost it's edge? I think so.

Peter WEINBERGER

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Like many of us, it seems we have been waiting forever for upgrades to the Phantom and Mavic series drones. Early on DJI upgraded these drones at an amazing rate. That seemed to have stopped now as production of small, lower end wifi type drones, or just lesser versions of the P4.

Clearly DJI is trying to cover every segment of flyer at the expense of innovation. And it's most obvious with the Mavic Pro.

It's been two years since it first came out and surprised us all. At that time DJI was an innovation force that was a real leader in the market. Since then any upgrade only includes a color change or new propellers, or just a drop in price. How can a company produce a state-of-the-art product and then nothing for two years? I know it's happened to other companies, but DJI has always been in a position of strength...and they do keep producing high quality drones. They just don't push the envelope. Now the Mavic Pro seems dated with a below average camera and a gimbal that will bust in a high wind.

Nice to see the secret photos of the Mavic Pro 2 I guess. But it's time DJI show consumers a little of the attitude that got them to the top. Right now they seem fat and happy, well content to just collect profits from older models.

What do you think?
 

Peter WEINBERGER

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Who has “the edge”, then?
That's a good question...and part of the problem. Many companies started making drones, not many survived. The closest equivalent drone is the Parrot ANAFI. Just came out and clearly has areas better than the Mavic (zoom lens, shoots straight up, image quality). Unfortunately, it's a wifi drone so range is quite limited.
 

sar104

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I'm just a frustrated pilot thinking DJI could (and should) do better for their customers.
I know a little about the inner workings of the company, and I think that your expectations are just too high. There's a reason why DJI dominates all segments of this market, and it's not because it is simple to build better UAVs. Everything from the propulsion, flight control, optics, sensors and stabilization is extremely challenging. I'm pretty sure that they are attempting to innovate flat out.
 
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TGV401

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Dude, you should totally go buy a.... wait, nothing else comes close... at my company, I tell people that’s they can’t ***** without a solution... so, what do you suggest they do? Other than “innovate more”.
 

Red Baron

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Don’t kid yourself they are king. They make more money off their commercial drone sales . Bottom line is DJI is the Ferrari of drones period.
 

melmartin

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The Anafi looks flimsy and they charge extra for things like follow me. Well, that's an innovation. The Autel finally got delivered but the horizon is crooked. They fixed that with a firmware update that broke something else. Making a good drone is literally 'rocket science'. DJI isn't perfect either, but I've had my drone since December (MPP) with no incidents and high reliability. There's a lot of innovation in that drone, and it looks like the Mavic 2 will also go in some new directions. I think they are doing fine, and dominate the market for a reason. Generally good user reports, lots of repeat customers, and leading edge features. From reports it looks like support could be a lot better, and hopefully the challengers will push DJI in a positive direction.
 
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msinger

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The closest equivalent drone is the Parrot ANAFI. Just came out and clearly has areas better than the Mavic (zoom lens, shoots straight up, image quality).
It should clearly be better than the Mavic Pro since the Mavic Pro was released nearly 2 years ago.

Unfortunately, the Parrot ANAFI is about to become another piece of outdated technology. Here's how it stacks up against the soon to be released Mavic 2:

ANAFI
Flight Time = 25 minutes
Top Speed = 33 mph
Max Distance = 2.5 miles
Camera Sensor = 1/2.4" CMOS
Camera Zoom: 1.4x (4K)


Mavic 2
Flight Time = 31 minutes
Top Speed = 44 mph
Max Distance = 4.9 miles
Camera Sensor = 1" CMOS
Camera Zoom: 2x
 
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Kilrah

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DJI have always had a cycle of around 2 years for significant upgrades of their top of line devices, with the mid and low end getting populated inbetween along with minor refreshes like the MPP and P4P Pro V2. Nothing new or different.

And they certainly haven't lost their edge, everything else is at most playing catch-up.
 
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Thwyllo

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There are several issues. Firstly, they don't have that much real competition, so they don't need to be that innovative that often. They've already produced a GoPro quality, gimballed flying camera, with some excellent functionality, that a monkey can control. What else did you want today? Sure they can put bigger sensors in with Hasselblad glass, but would you see the difference if you aren't watching on a large screen UHD TV? Almost certainly not.

What's immediately needed is a degree of consolidation, in other words, make the stuff they already produce work properly all of the time. That currently isn't the case.

But once they fix the software and firmware issues, I think 'innovation' will be pretty much about the camera and its functionality and the battery technology, with the rest being small step changes to stuff like motors, propellors etc..

The other major issue of course is that when you are in a strong position like DJI is, you can afford to drip feed innovation and technology because that's how you make the most profit from production. Constantly changing specs, moulds and so on costs a lot of money so the less you can get away with the better.

Personally I see battery tech as the next big thing, in terms of both power curves and charging times - that alone will make a huge difference to the usability of these devices.
 

macoman

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I know a little about the inner workings of the company, and I think that your expectations are just too high. There's a reason why DJI dominates all segments of this market, and it's not because it is simple to build better UAVs. Everything from the propulsion, flight control, optics, sensors and stabilization is extremely challenging. I'm pretty sure that they are attempting to innovate flat out.
Agreed with you plus the Mavic pro itself is already a marvel of engineering. The only thing that could be better for the next Mavic is certainly how fragile is the camera and the next version need to have a better gimbal and the pictures of the Mavic 2 that have been leaked, appear to correct this issue.
 
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