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Mavic Air vs Pro for Sport Flying

tmeidinger

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New to the forums here.

I currently own a P4 standard and a Spark. Oh'. and the DJI Goggles as well.

I have been researching and reading a lot of comparisons between the Mavic Pro, Platinum and Mavic Air. I feel I am very up to speed on the differences and pros/cons of each so I would prefer to leave all of the Range, Noise, Battery, etc. out of the picture for a moment.

What I am curious about is for the occasional "Sport Flying" in sport mode just tearing up the sky for kicks, which drone is better. It seems that people think the Air just feels snappier and faster, partly due to the smaller size.

For those that have flown both the Pro and the Air in Sport Mode, which do you feel is more fun to fly? All other aspects aside.

Todd
 

shane8289

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I don't have the pro but i do have Air and i can tell you it's little speedy beast, very responsive very agile and fast. I could upload a video for you to see but it can't show you responsiveness unless you really try it.
Anyhow both are probably good
 

tmeidinger

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shane8289,

Thanks for the input.

Also, I should clarify that I still do want the ability to use it as a camera drone for personal photography/videography so I am not interested in a racing drone. Plus I want to use the DJI Goggles occasionally (which I am aware are better suited to the Pro).
 

Aerial-Pixel

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I own both, the Mavic Air does seem snappier and faster in Sport mode. I don't spend a lot of time in Sport mode though, usually just when I need to get back in a hurry because of low battery LOL
 
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tmeidinger

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I own both, the Mavic Air does seem snappier and faster in Sport mode. I don't spend a lot of time in Sport mode though, usually just when I need to get back in a hurry because of low battery LOL

Thanks Aerial-Pixel!

This is the final checkbox on my Pro/Con list. I have been torn between getting an Air or Pro for two weeks now, scouring the net and learning as much as I can. This is one tough decision and have waffled back and forth for a while. Usually I don't have this much restraint,

I am thinking the Air at this point and wait and see if the Pro II would be next years new member of the herd. However, I think the price of the Pro II is going to make that decision for me.

Just wish I hadn't missed the sales on the Pro when they were about the price of the Air, that would have made things a little easier. Though the Alpine White bundle looks pretty attractive price wise.

Todd
 

Aerial-Pixel

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Thanks Aerial-Pixel!

This is the final checkbox on my Pro/Con list. I have been torn between getting an Air or Pro for two weeks now, scouring the net and learning as much as I can. This is one tough decision and have waffled back and forth for a while. Usually I don't have this much restraint,

I am thinking the Air at this point and wait and see if the Pro II would be next years new member of the herd. However, I think the price of the Pro II is going to make that decision for me.

Just wish I hadn't missed the sales on the Pro when they were about the price of the Air, that would have made things a little easier. Though the Alpine White bundle looks pretty attractive price wise.

Todd
I've flown my Pro twice since getting my Mavic Air. The Air does everything I need it to, Higher bit rate on the video looks way better for faster moving shots. The photos have less grain IMHO. It is however louder than the Mavic Pro with the low-noise-props.
 

Aerial-Pixel

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The only thing I still use my Mavic Pro for is Drone Deploy missions, longer flight time and the metadata on the pictures contains the full GPS coordinates instead of the truncated coordinates the Air has.
 

shane8289

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I own both, the Mavic Air does seem snappier and faster in Sport mode. I don't spend a lot of time in Sport mode though, usually just when I need to get back in a hurry because of low battery LOL
Lol ! Exactly what I use the sport mode most of the time xD.

Usually I use 2 batteries for pics / video then 3rd if I have time fly in sport like mad

@tmeidinger
Btw speaking of AIR video-graphy 1min of 4k 30fps = 750mb average ( which looks outstanding speaking of which ), I've stick into mavic Samsung Evo plus 128gb 100r/90w and seams very good with no FPS drops so keep that in mind you gonna need fast card.
Pro however would probably take 400mb for same length at the price of lower quality.
 

Bigloser2448

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I know you said you were pretty familiar with all the spec's & Pros/Cons, etc.. But I'll throw this out there anyways. I've had a P3S for over a year now and the #1 thing that's bothered me, in fact it's probably the only thing that's bothered me, is that is using Wifi to communicate. I was disappointed to see that the Air also using Wifi. Sure, Enhanced Wi-fi, but Wi-fi just the same. I added the crazy Antenna booster on my P3S and I get plenty of distance but I always have that uneasy feeling while flying that I'm going to lose signal and lose it.

Although the Air might be a little more responsive, I'm sure the remote with display and ability to use the DJI goggles without a cable are also worth considering the Pro.
 

CanadaDrone

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Spent about 3 months debating exactly the same things as you. I also recently spent 4 hours flying the Air and Pro back to back. The Air was snapper and more fun to fly in sport mode, in my opinion, but both are great.

Other reasons I chose the Air:

- Quite a bit smaller, especially with the entire kit is considered (remote, batteries, drone, etc.)
- Significantly better video quality
- Wider lens
- Built in storage for that day I will inevitably forget my memory card(s)
- Much more compact remote with removable sticks
- Updated gimbal, updated overall design, etc.
- Same image processor as the Phantom 4 Pro (so I have read...)
- Rear collision avoidance sensors
- I will never fly more than 4km so range is a moot point with me


Now that I've owned it for a while:

- The noise difference is negligible - the Pro is definitely quieter, but both are loud enough that if you can hear one, you can also hear the other. While on vacation I met people with the Pro and while flying them we got the exact same amount of attention from onlookers.
- Battery life has been a non issue as I am rarely in the air more than 10-15 mins, but longer battery life would always be welcome and the Pro's 30 mins is impressive
- Absolutely zero issues with transmission, signal, range, etc. even in urban areas or around buildings/cliffs. In my experience the connection has been rock solid.
- I love this thing and I can't believe how capable it is for its size

As soon as the Pro II rumors switched from a 1" sensor back down to a 1/1.7" sensor which is barely any different from a 1/2.3" sensor, I was far less interested and pulled the trigger on the Air. Glad I did too since I have been on vacation since and got some priceless (to me) footage. If I compliment my Air with something I will probably get a Phantom 4 Pro 2.0 unless the Mavic II knocks my socks off and doesn't get any larger.
 

Aerial-Pixel

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Another one in the pros column for the Air is the Gimbal doesn't seem nearly as fragile as the one on the Mavic Pro.
 

CanadaDrone

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Lol ! Exactly what I use the sport mode most of the time xD.

Usually I use 2 batteries for pics / video then 3rd if I have time fly in sport like mad

@tmeidinger
Btw speaking of AIR video-graphy 1min of 4k 30fps = 750mb average ( which looks outstanding speaking of which ), I've stick into mavic Samsung Evo plus 128gb 100r/90w and seams very good with no FPS drops so keep that in mind you gonna need fast card.
Pro however would probably take 400mb for same length at the price of lower quality.

Just for the benefit of others, that is 750 MB or 6000 Mb per minute of 4K/30 footage, and not 750 mb :)

Also the SD card speeds you are referencing are the manufacturers maximum transfer rates, not the minimum sustained write speed which can be much lower. Any SD card with a U3 / V30 rating will work as that guarantees a minimum sustained write speed of 30 MB/s. The Class 10 / U1 / V10 cards (which can have high advertised transfer speeds) will drop frames as they only guarantee a 10 MB/s minimum sustained write. SD cards are confusing and manufacturers do not explicitly advertise things like that so it's important to keep an eye on the labels and you'll be fine Thumbswayup
 

shane8289

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Just for the benefit of others, that is 750 MB or 6000 Mb per minute of 4K/30 footage, and not 750 mb :)

Also the SD card speeds you are referencing are the manufacturers maximum transfer rates, not the minimum sustained write speed which can be much lower. Any SD card with a U3 / V30 rating will work as that guarantees a minimum sustained write speed of 30 MB/s. The Class 10 / U1 / V10 cards (which can have high advertised transfer speeds) will drop frames as they only guarantee a 10 MB/s minimum sustained write. SD cards are confusing and manufacturers do not explicitly advertise things like that so it's important to keep an eye on the labels and you'll be fine Thumbswayup
Dunno what's advertised the s9+ reads that card 70r/ 45w, the PC manages to get 98R/89W ...pretty close to labelled speed IMO. Mavic Air needs 12.5mb for it's 100mBit video so the cards I use should be more then fine and they are ;)

Btw I'd like if Mavic Air supported H.265 Much lesser file size. My 9+ at 60 FPS 4k 1min is around 300mb but then again it is 55mBit video

As for video ...here 1:05
7b875f3da199585b7c1b31bb297c6cc2.jpg


And the 30sec video

93006abf331cd9777032eff0dc47bee6.jpg
 

tmeidinger

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Thanks for all the quick replies guys! Very active community. I appreciate all of the additional comments as well.

I am thinking battery life won't be an issue nor the range, unless it is just horrendous in the areas I fly, as for long range missions I use Litchi and my P4 anyway. I am primarily looking for something a little more portable than the Phantom, obviously more capable than the Spark, that can also provide some entertaining flight characteristics for just buzzing around not taking video or photo's.

Looks like a detour to Best Buy might be in order on the way home from work!
 

CanadaDrone

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Dunno what's advertised the s9+ reads that card 70r/ 45w, the PC manages to get 98R/89W ...pretty close to labelled speed IMO. Mavic Air needs 12.5mb for it's 100mBit video so the cards I use should be more then fine and they are ;)

Btw I'd like if Mavic Air supported H.265 Much lesser file size. My 9+ at 60 FPS 4k 1min is around 300mb but then again it is 55mBit video

Yes, that is very possible you are seeing those speeds, but the only thing that matters to the drone is the minimum sustained write speed, which are not advertised - they are denoted by the symbols on the cards. What I am saying is that you can find cards that may be advertised 90r/80w or whatever (just like yours), and they will drop frames in the Mavic Air, because those are maximum speeds and not minimum sustained speeds. You'll notice that Samsung Evo Plus card you have has a little symbol on it that says "U3" with the 3 inside the U. That is the important bit, saying that it's minimum sustained write speed is 30 MB/s. It's a great card for the Air, but not because it advertises "up to" 100r/90w (MB/s), as the maximum theoretical advertised speeds are not necessarily an indication of it's minimum sustained write speed. The symbols on the card take the guesswork out of it.

For example, this card looks plenty fast, but in reality would be a poor choice for the Mavic Air:

SanDisk 32GB Ultra UHS-I microSDHC Memory SDSQUNC-032G-AN6IA B&H

Also just a small correction, the drone needs 12.5 MB/s for it's 100 Mbit/s (Mbps) video, not 12.5mb for 100mBit :) Sorry I am a details nazi, but in this case that small difference is very important as it means completely different things.
 
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shane8289

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Np lol, we're going off topic ....to sum it up... the card I use is more then enough to handle the Air like i said xD
 

CanadaDrone

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Np lol, we're going off topic ....to sum it up... the card I use is more then enough to handle the Air like i said xD

Agree 100%. My point is simply that the reason why it is enough, however, is because of it's U3 rating (minimum sustained write speed of at least 30MB/s), not because of it's high theoretical maximum read/write advertised speeds as those two things can be very different. All the different ratings can be very confusing and misleading for people when shopping for SD cards to I always try and point out the difference.

Alright, back on topic now :)Thumbswayup
 
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