If you are looking for the best drone on the market, you are at the right place. We reviewed three of the most popular drones you can find today from DJI, the all-new Mavic Air, the good and old Mavic Pro and the beginner’s drone, the DJI Spark and we will let you know which one is the best drone for the money and which of these cool drones you should end up buying.
Best Drone on the Market in 2021?
DJI Mavic Air vs. DJI Mavic Pro vs. DJI Spark!
To find out which one is the best drone you can buy, we analyzed 8 different aspects and on each one of those we will let you know which drone is the best. Let’s get started.
1 – Dimensions and Transportation Size
The first big difference between these three drones is their dimensions and their transportation. For example, you cannot fold the tiny DJI Spark arms while you can fold both Mavic Air and Mavic Pro’s arms for transportation.
The DJI Spark is the lightest of them all, weighing only 300 gr. It’s dimensions are 14,3 x 14,3 x 5,5cm.
The Mavic Air is the next in line weighing 430 gr, which is also pretty light. It’s dimensions are 14,4 x 7,8 x 6,1cm that makes the Mavic Air also a very portable drone.
Finally, the DJI Mavic Pro is the heaviest of them all weighing 730gr which is a big difference compared to the previous drones. It is also not as compact as the previous drones with dimensions of 19,8 x 8,3 x 8,3 cm.
If you are a traveler and you really need to pack your gear wisely, we can only recommend getting the DJI Mavic Air. It is a really compact and light drone. Even though the DJI Spark is also really compact, the case of the Mavic Air is much smaller which makes it perfect for the go.
2 – Safety
In flight safety is critical, first of all, because we don’t want to hurt anyone and secondly because we don’t want to lose our drone and our investment. All Three drones are heavily packed with safety features and one of the most important things that you need to look for in a drone is if it has obstacle avoidance sensors. It basically means that if the drone is flying towards an obstacle, for example a wall, it would stop before hitting it, automatically. The sensor detects that there is and obstacle and then the drone just stops.
The DJI Mavic Pro has two camera based sensors at the front that works at daytime only with a range of about 100 foot.
The DJI Mavic Air features two daytime working obstacle avoidance camera based sensors on the front as well but it is the only drone of our list that features two additional camera sensors on the back. Some people may think that obstacle avoidance sensors on the back are not needed since they can take care of the drone by themselves, but even Pro Pilots have already crashed their drones flying backwards, so, indeed, it is a nice thing to have.
Finally, the DJI Spark that even though it is a mini drone, it features an infrared obstacle avoidance sensor. The good thing about it is that it can be used during night time as well but it has a total range of about 50 foot only which is way less than the range of the previous two drones.
Since the Mavic Air is the only drone with front and back camera sensors for avoiding objects, this is the safest drone of them all.
3 – Photo Specs
When it comes to taking photos with the DJI drones, you must know that they are all pretty advanced even though the tiny DJI Spark is the only DJI drone not to feature raw photography. Even though raw photography might sound super professional if you are a beginner it is not hard to use raw photos. You can get some much more out of your photos if you only shoot them in raw and this is why we cannot recommend the DJI Spark for photography.
The Mavic Pro an the Mavic Air, on the other hand, both capture raw photos which is pretty amazing.
The new DJI Mavic Air even feature some really cool new things, for example, you can take 360º photos with 32 Megapixels. You just tap on the screen and the drone automatically takes many photos and stitch them together so you end up with awesome 360º photos.
When it comes to choosing the best drone for photography the DJI Mavic Air has more features aboard and takes gorgeous photos even though the Mavic Pro is not too much behind.
4 – Video Specs
Maybe the most relevant category and the most critical at the same when it comes to choosing a drone to buy is the quality of the camera for video recording.
While the DJI Spark has a 2-Axis Stabilized Gimbal Camera, both the Mavic Air and the Mavic Pro has a 3-Axis Stabilized Gimbal Camera which is pretty fantastic. It means that even if you are flying in high wind speeds or if you are taking sharp turns the camera will be perfectly stable like seen in high quality film clips. The technology inside those Gimbals on any of these drones are so advanced that you won’t believe in the quality of the videos they record.
Next of is the camera maximum resolution. The DJI Spark records at a maximum resolution of 1080p (Full HD) while both DJI Mavic Air And DJI Mavic Pro records at a maximum resolution of 4K (Ultra HD). Some people might say that they don’t need a 4K recording camera because they don’t own a 4K Resolution TV but we can still only recommend the drones that record on 4K because you will notice the difference. It is immense and next to that, if you are working on the computer, editing the footage, you can create a Full HD project and still use the 4K video recorded by the Mavic Pro and Mavic Air, meaning that you can crop and zoom into the footage without losing quality which is pretty fantastic.
But it is not all, the is still a difference in Bit rate. While Bit rate is not as much as mentioned as resolution, it is a really important feature when it comes to covering details and saving details. If your drone records footage at a very low bit rate it basically means that many details will be lost as opposed to recording in a high bit rate it will of course needs more storage space but at the same time it will record many more details making the films looks more cinematic.
The tiny DJI Spark records at a bit rate of 24 mbps which is OK but again, it is more like a beginner camera. The DJI Mavic Pro beats most of the competitors with its 60bmps of bit rate which is pretty cool and make the looks of the videos you record pretty cinematic. But the beast when it comes to bit rate is again, the DJI Mavic Air which records its footage in a bit rate of 100 mbps, putting it in line with the more expensive DJI Phantom 4 that is a bulkier, bigger and much more expensive drone. The DJI Mavic Air produces cinematic quality footage in a more compact package and is way cheaper than the Phantom 4.
5 – Storage
Were you even in that situation that you drove outdoors to a very beautiful looking location or you were on holidays and raised up the drone, started the recording and then you realized that the drone wasn’t recording because you forgot the SD card or you were traveling somewhere and the SD Card was full.
These tiny micro SD cards can get us into real trouble if we forget about them but the DJI Mavic Air is the first DJI drone to not only feature the Micro SD card input, but next to it, the tiny Mavic Air drone even features an internal storage which is amazing. Although it is 8GB only, that can really save your day. It is a game changer. We really hope that any new DJI drone from now on comes with internal storage as this can really prevent a lot of frustration. The internal storage capability is one of the main reasons why we love this tiny new drone.
6 – Flight time
The flight time is a critical issue on how long you can stay airborne with your drone as every flight minute counts. There is a clear pattern when it comes to the drones, the larger the drone the longer it can stay airborne.
The shortest flight time is offered by the DJI Spark which has a capability of 16 minutes of flight time. But take into consideration that the DJI Spark is one of the best mini drones out there in a very small form factor.
Next, is the all new DJI Mavic Air drone that can stay airborne for up to 18 minutes. It is also a small drone with a tiny battery which is more focused on the portability other than huge flight time capabilities.
7 – APAS
Have you ever heard of APAS (Advanced Pilot Assistant System)? That is something that DJI built into the the Mavic Air Drone. This is a feature that the other drones don’t have at all. It basically means that if you are flying straight towards an obstacle and you are still pulling the stick of your remote forward it usually means that the drone would either crash or the drone would, because of course it has obstacle avoidance sensors, just stop.
In this case, with the DJI Mavic Air, because it has the APAS mode turned on the drone flies in a straight line then fly around the obstacle and continues its flight safely. That is a pretty fantastic mode that can save some time, the drone. It is not a must have feature when you are considering which drone to buy but having the new APAS mode is quite sweet.
8 – Max Range
We don’t want to open a big discussion but we know that next topic is important for many of you. We are talking about the maximum flight range of these three DJI Drones.
While the DJI Mavic Pro is capable of flying out as far as 4.3 miles, the other two drones are limited to about 2.5 miles.
We are completely fine with 4 miles of maximum range because in most countries you are not in anyways allowed to flight out of sight, specially if you are focused on film making or taking photos you don’t really need an amazing flight range.
The only advantage of the higher range capability if the DJI Mavic Pro is that the signal is incredibly stronger, meaning for example that the signal strength is perfect even if the drone is far away from you, everything is great, you see everything, it is all fast, there is not much interference. When it comes to max range, the DJI Mavic Air is the winner.
So, there you have. We know that are a lot more details to compare between drones to find out which drone is the best for you, but based on our analysis, the DJI Mavic Pro is the best drone on the market for the money. There are more expensive options out there as the already mentioned Phanton 4 but if you are looking for a great drone that is safe, records great footage and don’t cost too much, this is the drone to goo.
The Mavic Pro was for a long time the best drone you could buy when it came out, but the Mavic Air is a better option. It is an updated version of the Mavic Air. It is lighter, better and cost just as much.
Lastly, the DJI Spark is a great beginner drone. It is really compact and light-weight and it is the cheaper of the three. It is not as good and it’s camera is not as amazing as the one inside the Mavic Pro or Mavic Air but it is a great starter drone for those who want a quality drone and don’t want to break the bank.