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First off, while I am comparing the Skydio 2 to the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, the Skydio probably more resembles the specs and features of the Mavic Air or Mavic 2 Zoom.
Nevertheless, being the flagship portable drones for both of these companies – DJI and Skydio – we will proceed with this comparison, so give me your attention.
The Skydio 2 is the successor to the autonomously-flying Skydio R1, which was introduced in early 2018 and could basically follow a person in situations other drones couldn’t, such as a park with a lot of trees close together.
But quite frankly, it was really just a drone that was too big and could do only one thing well, follow you without anyone controlling it.
Quick rundown before the deep dive
Now, spoiler alert, I will give you my conclusion right now so you get a quick overview of these two drones, but this guideis not very long and packed with valuable info so I recommend you stick around to the end.
So my conclusion, the Mavic 2 Pro is going to give you better resolution for videos and photos due to its bigger camera sensor and high megapixel count.
The Mavic 2 Pro will be better for those who are shooting normally or want to make high-end films.
In general, the Mavic 2 Pro is better suited for more experienced drone pilots than the Skydio 2.
The Skydio 2 is better than the Mavic 2 Pro for vloggers and those who want to film themselves, especially with its new magic wand, which I’ll talk about later in this video.
Also if you are terrified of crashing your drone, the Skydio 2 will guarantee you a pleasant experience.
It will also be better for drone pilots who don’t want to learn all the cinematic moves and techniques for filmmaking. Also, the Skydio is cheaper.
However, the Mavic 2 Pro is a little more portable.
Side by side comparison – details
Now that I have finished my conclusion, if you want to go watch cat videos, you can go do that.
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For those who really are interested in how these 2 drones compare side-by-side, let’s continue on with the article.
Size and design
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro has 2 obvious advantages – it can fold up, the Skydio can’t, and the Mavic 2 Pro has landing gear, the Skydio does not.
This will mean when you land the Skydio 2, you will need a landing pad to protect the Skydio’s battery (which magnetically attaches to the bottom of the drone), gimbal camera,and propellers.
Or if you’re feeling bold, you could catch it in your hand, which I do all the time with my Mavic 2 Pro, but don’t recommend it for beginner drone pilots.
Let’s take a look at the specs side by side. When shooting 4K video, the specs are very similar, and the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is going to have better resolution at 24fps or 30fps because of its 1-inch camera sensor versus the 1/2.3-inch camera sensor on the Skydio 2.
With that said, at 60fps, the Skydio 2 can shoot 4K, where as the Mavic 2 Pro can only shoot 2.7K.
However, because the Skydio 2 has a smaller camera sensor, I believe this will only give it a slight advantage over the Mavic 2 Pro for this 60 fps slow motion footage.
By the way, the Skydio 2 shoots 8-bit video now, but the company told us they hope to have a firmware update for 10-bit video sometime in the future.
The Skydio’s advantages on paper are hard to notice next to the Mavic 2 Pro specs.
However, I did some more research and visited their website, where I discovered that Skydio hired a company from Finland called NomiCam to make a report comparing the Skydio 2 with the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom, along with the Mavic Air.
Take this test with a grain of salt.
It shows the Mavic 2 Pro has the best resolution, but only slightly better than the Skydio 2.The Skydio 2 has better color and dynamic range than the DJI drones. The Skydio 2 also has less noise in its photos.
I can say with certainty that where the Skydio 2 really outperforms the Mavic 2 Pro is with its versatile gimbal and its autonomous follow features.Let’s start with the Skydio’s gimbal.
It can tilt down 110 degrees and tilt up 45 degrees. The Mavic 2 can only go down 90 degrees and up 30 degrees.
The Skydio 2 won’t be able to look straight up like the Parrot Anafi, but when the drone is flying fast and tilted at an angle, the extra range of motion will come in handy.
Now the next feature is the one everyone is excited about – obstacle avoidance and autonomous flying.
The Skydio has unrivaled obstacle avoidance and autonomous flight, or flight with no pilot controlling the drone. It’s by far the best in the world at this.
In addition to its main camera, Skydio 2 has six 200-degree cameras, 3 on top and 3 on the bottom that allow it to fly with no pilot for up to 23 minutes.
As seen on its website, Skydio 2 has 45MP of obstacle avoidance, where the DJI Mavic 2 and Mavic Air aren’t even close.
These are estimations for DJI, but you get the picture. With that artificial intelligence technology, Skydio 2 can follow you through and around the most difficult situations.
That’s not all.
I know this sounds like a commercial, but I am really pumped about this next feature!
The Skydio 2 comes with what it calls a Skydio Beacon, but let’s refer to it as the magic wand.
It certainly is magical, and worth the $149. It allows you to control the drone while on a bike or moving, and also allows the drone to autonomously follow you for up to 1.5 kilometers away.
If you crash your Skydio 2 drone while flying within their guidelines for normal flying, they will repair or replace your drone at no cost to you for the first year.
Another truly innovative and exciting accessory is the Skydio 2 Dock, or charging base station for the Skydio 2.
The Dock is basically a launching pad that recharges the battery in about one hour. It doesn’t swap the battery for a new one. This Dock will allow first responders and those who have work sites to have a drone in the air while they are working. The Dock can plug into a normal AC outlet or into 12V DC power if you wanted to mount it to an SUV or truck. It is worth noting Skydio is partnering with Drone Deploy for mapping work and use with this Dock. The price of the Skydio 2 Dock will be disclosed in the near future.
Now I’m going to talk about a few more things about the Skydio 2 that aren’t quite obvious. It has 2 microSD card slots. I don’t know any other drone that does this.
The Skydio 2 controller is the same price as the magic wand at $149 and sold separately, though I highly recommend it as you get up to 3.5km range and much better control.
The Skydio 2 controller looks exactly like the Parrot Anafi controller because they have a partnership. However, they are not cross compatible, so you can only use it with the Skydio and the Anafi controller you can only use with the Parrot Anafi drone.
It’s worth noting that you can’t use the Skydio 2 controller and magic wand simultaneously.
Lastly, let’s talk about the price. Because the Skydio is an American company, it won’t be affected by the tariffs that caused DJI to raise its price of the Mavic 2 Pro to $1,729.
Compare that with $1,297 for the Skydio 2 with the controller and magic wand, it’s easy to see why people will like this drone.
Skydio has only released a limited amount of Skydio 2 drones, and if you place an order right now, January 2020, you won’t receive your drone until the second quarter 2020, which is around March or April 2020.
This gives DJI time to possibly release the Mavic 3 and undermine Skydio’s plans for the Skydio 2.