The DJI Mavic 2 is a foldable drone that comes in two versions: the Mavic 2 Pro features an integrated Hasselblad camera with a 1” sensor and the Mavic 2 Zoom has a 2x optical (4x digital) zoom lens.

The bodies of the two drones are identical. Both include 10 sensors which combine to detect obstacles in any direction, utilize a 3-axis mechanical gimbals, come with 8GB of internal storage and feature a number of automated flight modes. I had a chance to test both drones in flight before launch and was generally impressed with what I saw.

Like the original Mavic Pro, the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom models are foldable—making them ideal for travel. Unfolding the drones and preparing them for flight is as easy as you would expect it to be. The Mavic 2 has a solid feel and is slightly larger and heavier than the original Mavic Pro. A button on the top of the drone turns it on and within seconds the camera orients itself to give you a straight horizon line once you take flight.

The Mavic 2 Pro (front) and Mavic 2 Zoom (rear) are physically identical except for their cameras, though the Mavic 2 Zoom has a couple of extra tricks up its sleeve that require a zoom lens.

The controller is also foldable. Your smartphone clicks right into place, and it uses the familiar DJI GO app, along with the physical controls, to pilot the drone. The controller is similar in size to the one from the Mavic Air, and I found it comfortable to hold. Like the Air, it also features joysticks that can be unscrewed to make its profile smaller when packed. I found all the controls to have well designed ergonomics, and all were easy to access with your thumb and index finger. The controller for the Mavic 2 also features its own display, making it useful for things such as monitoring battery levels on the drone.

During my flight I found the controller to be quite responsive—a light touch gave me the movements I was looking for, although you’ll surely be able to adjust this within the DJI GO app to match your preferences. Since both models are identical except for the cameras the experience of flying them was the same.

I found the experience of flying the Mavic 2 so intuitive that I was able to focus on getting epic shots, rather than worrying that the drone might drift into something and crash.

The real beauty of the Mavic 2 is that you don’t have to be an expert flier to keep this drone in the sky. The omnidirectional obstacle avoidance sensors, along with a variety of automated flight modes, make the Mavic 2 a drone that you can essentially launch into the sky and with minimal movements on the controller grab beautiful and seamless footage. I found the experience of flying the Mavic 2 so intuitive that I was able to focus on getting epic shots, rather than worrying that the drone might drift into something and crash.

The compact Mavic 2 controller is similar to that seen on other recent DJI models, and includes its own screen to display much of the information you would normally monitor through the DJI GO app. One of the dials on the back of the remote can be used to control zooming on the Mavic 2 Zoom.

Zooming while flying Mavic 2 Zoom is also a breeze; you control the zoom function of the camera using the dial on the back right side of the remote. If you’ve spent limited time with video game controllers or previous drones it’s an intuitive movement.

The Mavic 2 Zoom features two new automated modes: Dolly Zoom and Super Resolution, both of which leverage its 2x zoom lens, and I tried out both during my test flight. Dolly Zoom is an automated video mode where the drone physically moves away from a subject while the camera zooms in—it’s an old cinema effect popularized by folks like Alfred Hitchcock that was once quite tricky to pull off. With the Mavic 2 Zoom it’s all automated and can be found in the quickshot menu in the DJI GO app. It takes just a few steps to activate the feature and in use I found it very smooth.

The Mavic 2 Zoom can create dolly zoom effects by automating the process of synchronizing the drone's movement with its optical and digital zoom, keeping a subject in place while changing the perspective of the surrounding scene. Video courtesy of DJI

Super Resolution is a photo mode which uses the optical zoom to shoot 9 overlapping images of a scene and then automatically stitches them together to create a 48MP image. I wasn't able to take the sample images with me after my test flights, so we can’t comment on the level of detail captured, but the process of shooting the images and stitching them together was quick, and from the phone screen appeared to be quite accurate.

The Mavic 2 Zoom can capture 48MP 'Super Resolution' images by shooting nine overlapping photos and stitching them together automatically. Image courtesy of DJI

The drone’s updated OcuSync 2.0 gave me nearly instant access to the photos and videos from my flight, including 1080p video and full resolution JPEGs. These can be saved to your phone and immediately shared.

In the air the two new drones are noticeably quieter than the original Mavic Pro as well. There is of course some noise, but the familiar drone hum isn’t found here.

The Mavic 2 is larger than DJI's Mavic Air (pictured), and is also slightly larger than the original Mavic Pro.

Landing the Mavic 2 is just as easy as getting it into the air. I flew during the middle of the day so I didn’t get to see the auxiliary LED lights in action, but according to DJI these additional lights will help with landing the drone in low light conditions.

I was impressed by the performance of both Mavic 2 models during my brief hands on time with the products. They're compact, easy to fly and the number of automated flight modes should make the Mavic 2 appealing to enthusiasts and even some pros. We’re planning a full review of both models to see how they stack up against the competition, as well as to see how the different cameras perform.