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Skydio 2 vs DJIMavic2Pro: A Battle for Drone Supremacy in Our Field?

Published: 31/10/2019
By: Brandon

I’ve been using drones in my real estate photography business for a few years now and I’ve always been amazed at both the capabilities of these devices, and the speed at which new advances are made. I've recently stumbled across a video for the new Skydio 2 drone and its specs are remarkable, particularly its autonomous flight capabilities. According to dpreview, this new drone uses “45 megapixels of visual sensing from six 200° color cameras, (which means) the drone can detect obstacles in every direction and avoid them”. It also comes with a 12MP camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal. It also features a Sony IMX577 1/2.3” CMOS sensor for stills and uses Qualcomm’s RedDragon™ QSC605 technology to deliver up to 4K/60p HDR video.

While the Skydio 2’s top autonomous speed and max. air time is significantly less than those of the DJI Mavic2Pro (i.e., 36 mph vs 45 mph; and 23 minutes air time vs 31 minutes for the DJI) the Skydio 2 is 50% smaller, lighter, and quieter than the R1. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is the Skydvio 2 comes in at less than $1,000.

I’ve been using the DJI Mavic2Pro for about 6 months now and I really like it but seeing this new Skydio 2 made me think of all the drone pilots in our community and I was wondering about your reaction. Specifically, I'd be interested in hearing if this new drone release is going to influence your decision-making in the near future regarding your next drone purchase. Would love to hear your thoughts!


8 comments on “Skydio 2 vs DJIMavic2Pro: A Battle for Drone Supremacy in Our Field?”

  1. I 1st had a DJI Inspire 1... when the DJI Inspire 2 came out I sold my Inspire 1 and bought the Inspire 2... I also bought a Phantom 4 Pro V2 (P4Pro) as a back up... but found I liked the P4Pro better than the Inspire 2, so I sold the Inspire 2 and now only use the P4Pro. It maneuvers better... it's quieter... and battery life is better (than the I2). Im looking at the Autel Robotics Evo as a backup.... it's $950 and you get a case and THREE batteries (30 minute flight time) and the controller (with monitor). The Skydio 2's price is misleading.... the $999 price is WITHOUT the controller... lol... you can't fly the drone without the controller... and that is another $150... you also only get one battery with the Skydio 2 (22 min flight time). Another issue is that the DJI drones adhere to the geo-fencing... the Evo does NOT. I was shooting a property yesterday where half was okay to fly the other half was not... so it would NOT let me fly... DJI won't even allow you to take off even though the FAA/AirMap approved the flight.

    Anyone have any experience with the Autel Robotics Evo? Would love to hear.

  2. The second I saw how excited the Freefly guys were about the Skydio, I jumped. I’m in the first batch and can’t wait to try it out. I’ve hesitated to get my 107 and have been outsourcing my drone work. Now I have no excuses.

  3. I've been using the Mavic2Pro for about a year, and have no complaints. Outstanding piece of kit, and certainly exemplifies why the rest of the drone industry is always playing catch-up with DJI.

    I've crashed into trees a few times, but nothing for a while and never hard enough to put the drone down...just some munched up props. I see no reason to switch off of DJI unless I discover a major flaw, or unless a system comes along that is CLEARLY better at a similar price point. The Skydio drone looks like a sideways move at best, and I have yet to see a system that overall is better than the Mavic2Pro unless you want to spend several times what the Mavic costs. Its that good.

  4. I am kind of a 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it person'. I first got sucked into a ted talk drone that was supposed to be the greatest. NEVER got it to fly longer than a minute or two. I won't even try to sell it because it's so bad. No one I hate that much. I then bought the gopro drone, had it one day and it was recalled. Enter DJI, phantom 4, loved it and was intrigued by the Mavic so I bought one as a backup. Then got a second 4 as I prefer the big white unit because I can see it at a distance. Still like to 'play' with the Mavic, good piece of equipment. I left a Phantom 80 feet up in a fir tree in Forest Grove (maybe I should have paid more attention to the cities name). So I added a phantom 4 advanced to the stable.

    Others sound good, but back to if it ain't broke. I do recommend having a spare and I also recommend keeping the batteries warm, not in the car overnight in 30 degree weather. Warm battery=long flight time, cold battery=sometimes not even flying. The other day I purposely crashed a phantom 4 into a railing. Survived well. Reason was the drone insisted on trying to crash through front window of 1.2 mil home. It took all the experience I have to force the crash into a deck railing. Used same drone 2 hours later over 70 open acres and it performed flawlessly. Later while working on footage and stills I noticed the 3 cell towers and broadcast towers less than 1/4 mile away from the first flight that went to hell quickly. Flew fine for 10 minutes then took on a poltergeist.

  5. The Skydio drone looks impressive and like a lot of fun.

    I am still using my DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone and have no complaints. I like the DJI Intelligent Modes, and find that the P4P drone handles wind quite well. I have no need for a faster drone because I am usually flying slowly for video and hovering for still shots.

    The DJI Geo Fencing is a bit of a pain. I always check ahead of time before I go on-site to see if I need to unlock because I often find myself in areas with no cellphone or Wi-Fi signals. I am in favor of the Geo Fence in general because I think that it keeps inexperienced unlicensed pilots from operating in unsafe areas where a flyaway could be catastrophic, but it would be nice if it worked in conjunction with the AirMap LAANC instead of a separate process.

    I am intrigued by the Skydio drone and will watch for future developments. Operating in Vermont, I like that Skydio can fly down to 23° F vs. the P4P 32°. I will be curious to see how Skydio will do stabilizing video footage when there is some wind vs the P4P drone which does quite well. More drone options are great for pilots, and I look forward to seeing what Skydio can do for real estate photographers. On paper, I would certainly consider Skydio when my Phantom needs replacing.

  6. I’m in the 3rd round of deliveries. I wish I hadn’t Waited, but, I had to decide between the PFRE Convention or the Skydio.

  7. The Skydio 2 is quite cool and has come a long way compared with the Skydio 1. Also, it is great that there is new disruption in the drone camera space. Skydio will defiantly push DJI and the consumer will win. Having said that, it is still just an autonomous action cam at the moment. (a good one) The Skydio 2 is still extremely limited in regards to its camera and camera manipulation. Without full control over the light triangle via a full manual mode. It's not going in my kit. It sure would be fun to play with though and I'll defiantly be keeping an eye on it as it evolves.

    Primary Camera System
    Sony IMX577
    1/2.3” 12.3MP CMOS
    4056 (H) x 3040 (V)
    20mm (35mm format equivalent)
    1m - ?
    electronic shutter 1 to 1/1920s
    video 100-3200
    photo 100-3200
    -2.0, -1.5, -1.0, -0.5, 0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0
    4056x3040 (12 MP)
    Single, Interval
    13 stops

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