DJI Spark vs DJI Mavic Air vs DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Spark vs DJI Mavic Air vs DJI Mavic Pro

March 10, 2018


Which Compact Drone reigns supreme?


DJI recently released the latest drone in their consumer drone line named the DJI Mavic Air which features an all new compact fold-down design and advanced flight features, but how does DJI's newest release compare to its highly popular predesecors the DJI Spark and the DJI Mavic Pro?



Meet the contenders


DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic Pro

 

The DJI Mavic Pro was the first drone to be released out of the three contenders, released in October 2016, and the first DJI drone to feature a revolutionary fold-down design, making it the most portable yet advanced drone released on the market at the time. Upon its release, the Mavic Pro made waves in the industry and quickly became DJI's highest selling consumer drone.


DJI Spark

DJI Spark

 

Next came the DJI Spark, an even smaller drone than the Mavic Pro, released in Spring 2017, at DJI's lowest price point ever. The Spark aimed to cater towards beginners and recreational users alike, and featured all new flight modes that enabled users to pilot their drone with just their phone or even their own hand gestures.

DJI Spark

DJI Mavic Air

DJI Mavic Air

DJI Mavic Air

With the release of the Mavic Air, DJI further improved upon the design and features of their technology to provide drone enthusiasts with an ultra-compact drone that perfectly combined flight performance, size, and ease-of-use. Specifically designed to cater towards beginner users while also satisfying the needs of more experienced pilots, the DJI Mavic Air is poised to take the consumer drone industry to all new heights.


Design


DJI Spark

Weight: 300 Grams

Folded: H 55mm x W 143mm × L 43mm

Diagonal Size: 170 mm

DJI Mavic Air

Weight: 430 Grams

Folded: H 49mm × W 83mm × L 49 mm

Diagonal Size: 213 mm

DJI Mavic Pro

Weight: 734 Grams

Folded: H 83mm x W 83mm x L 198mm

Diagnoal Size: 335 mm


 


The Mavic Pro features an ultra-compact fold-down design for easy storage and transportation. Aesthetically, the drone features a matte-grey colour and industrial-looking, aerodynamic look. The Mavic Pro currently comes in two versions including the original matte-grey version, and the upgraded Mavic Pro Platinum which features a silver-platinum colour and other upgraded flight features.

DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Spark

 


The Spark released after the Mavic Pro is a mini-drone that features a much more toy-like look, though it does not sacrifice the quality DJI is known for. The Spark does not feature a fold-down design though it is very compact in size. The Spark is designed to accommodate beginner and casual drone users alike and is set-up to be a more accessible drone option for a wider recreational audience. The Spark comes in five fun colours to personalize the user experience including Meadow Green, Sky Blue, Lava Red, Sunrise Yellow and Alpine White.


 

 


The newly released Mavic Air is designed with extreme attention to detail and features an industrial, geometric appearance that evokes the look of an exotic sports car. Like the Mavic Pro, the Mavic Air is built with a foldable design to be extremely compact. The drone itself feels very high-quality in your hand and comes in three different colour choices including Flame Red, Onyx Black, and Arctic White.

DJI Mavic Air

Size and weight


DJI Mavic Pro and Mavic Air

DJI Spark

All three drones vary in size and weight but individually are extremely compact and easy to transport. The Spark is the lightest of the three drones weighing only 300 grams. The Mavic Air is approximately half the size of the Mavic Pro and 41% lighter, weighing in at 430 grams. Finally, the Mavic Pro is the largest in size and heaviest out of the three weighing 734 grams.

The Spark is the only drone out of the three that does not feature a fold-down design, however, the drone itself is again roughly the size of the palm of your hand. Alternatively, the Mavic Pro is the biggest drone in size but when completley folded down is only about the size of a water bottle. Overall, the Mavic Air is the most compact out of the three. Its foldable design makes it about the length and width of a Smartphone, making it even smaller than the Spark in size overall when folded. (Left Image of DJI Spark)


gimbal systems


DJI Spark

Gimbal: 2-Axis Gimbal

DJI Mavic Air

Gimbal: 3-Axis Gimbal

DJI Mavic Pro

Gimbal: 3-Axis Gimbal


DJI has become known for their highly advanced, stable and smooth gimbal and camera technology. Between the Spark, Mavic Air, and Mavic Pro, each drone is individually capable of shooting extremely steady and smooth shots, however, each drone features unique gimbal system designs and functions.

The DJI Spark is designed with a mechanical 2-Axis gimbal system and features DJI's UltraSmooth technology to ensure steady shots and reduce any rolling shutter effect. Currently, all other DJI drones feature a full 3-Axis gimbal system.

The DJI Mavic Air is the smallest drone in the DJI line up to feature a full 3-Axis Mechanical Gimbal. The Mavic Airs gimbal features a triangular design and gimbal dampeners to reduce any shaking or vibrations while in flight and has been recessed into the body of the drone itself for added protection of the gimbal and camera unit.

Finally, the DJI Mavic Pro also features DJI 's powerful 3-Axis Gimbal system for smooth and shake-free shots. The Pro's advanced gimbal system ensures that the unit will automatically and intelligently cancel out any unwanted shakiness. Design-wise the position of the gimbal and camera unit on the Mavic Pro makes it much more susceptible to damage compared to the other drones. (Right Image of Mavic Pro)

DJI Mavic Pro


Flight Controls

DJI Spark

Operating Frequency: 2.412-2.462 GHz; 5.745-5.825 GHz

Control Modes: Gesture, Intelligent Mobile Device, Remote controller

DJI Mavic Air

Operating Frequency: 2.400 - 2.4835 GHz 5.725 - 5.850 GHz

Control Modes: Gesture, Mobile Device, Remote Controller

DJI Mavic Pro

Operating Frequency: 2.4-2.4835GHz; 5.150-5.250 GHz; 5.725-5.850 GHz

Control Modes: Mobile Device, Remote Controller


When it comes to the flight controls the Spark, Mavic Air, and Mavic Pro all come with a remote controller option that features basic flight controls including two piloting toggles, a Return to Home button, and an easy-to-use interface via the DJI Go 4 App. An advantage of any DJI drone is that every unit will feature extremely similarly designed remotes as well as piloting controls.


DJI Mavic Pro

 

DJI Spark


The Spark is the only drone out of the three that does not include a remote controller in its most basic kit. The Spark's remote itself uses a WiFi transmission system and looks very similar to the Mavic Air's remote controller with two piloting toggles, a Return to Home button, two buttons to take photos and videos, and no display screen. The remote features a Micro USB port and has folding clamps so that users can securely mount their Smartphone device to the controller.

DJI Spark Remote Controller

DJI Mavic Air Remote Controller

 

DJI Mavic Air


Upon appearance, the Mavic Air Remote looks similar to the Spark's but features design changes that make it much more compact and ergonomic. Like the Spark, the Mavic Air remote runs off of a Wifi Transmission system and all of the basic flight controls buttons and two piloting toggles. A major design difference is that the Mavic Air's toggles are removable and can be stored inside of the controller for added portability. The remote also features a full-sized USB port to securely connect a Smartphone device.

 

DJI Mavic Pro

 

The Mavic Pro features the only remote controller out of the three that runs off of DJI's patented OcuSync Transmission System instead of a Wifi System. It is also the only remote out of the three to feature a built-in LCD telemetry screen that displays basic flight data that users can conveniently view at a glance. Another highlight of the Mavic Pro's remote is that it features a dedicated exposure wheel and two customizable buttons for a more personalized flight experience.

DJI Mavic Pro Remote Controller

Flight Performance

DJI Spark

Battery Life: Approx 13 minutes

Wind Resistance: 20‑28 kph

Max Speed: 50 kph

DJI Mavic Air

Battery Life: Approx 20 minutes

Wind Resistance: 29-38 kph

Max Speed: 68.4 kph

DJI Mavic Pro

Battery Life: Approx 23 minutes

Wind Resistance: 29–38kph

Max Speed: 65 kph


DJI Mavic Air Batteries

Environmental conditions including temperature and wind can factor into the battery life of each drone. The Spark features the shortest flight time with approximately 13 minutes of battery life while the Mavic Air can fly for around 20 minutes. The Mavic Pro features the longest flight time out of the three drones with approximately 23-25 minutes of flight time depending on environmental conditions. Each drone comes equipped with DJI's signature Intelligent Flight Batteries which can automatically discharge when placed in long-term storage for optimal health. (Left Image Mavic Air)


The Spark features small foldable propellers that users can easily attach and detach from their drone with a twist and lock mechanism. The Mavic Air is the only drone out of the three that does not feature foldable propellers, however, its props are still small and compact enough to easily store and transport. The Mavic Air's propellers are also designed to be much more flexible in comparison to its predecessors, making them much safer compared to harder, and less malleable propellers. Like the Spark, the Mavic Pro also features foldable quick-release propellers that attach and detach with a twist and lock mechanism. (Right Image of Mavic Air)

DJI Mavic Air Propellers

DJi Mavic Air

Thanks to DJI's advanced stabilization technology, all three drones are extremely stable in the air. The Spark can withstand wind speeds between 20-28 kph. For its small size, the Spark is very stable in the air, but its stability can waver when Gesture Mode is activated. Both the Mavic Air and Mavic Pro can impressively withstand wind speeds between 29-38 kph. Specifically, regarding the size of the Mavic Air, this is a very impressive feat for such a small drone.

When it comes to speed, the Spark can reach a maximum speed of 50 km/h in Sports Mode. The Mavic Air is impressively able to fly the fastest out of the three drones and can reach a maximum speed of 68.4 kph in Sports Mode. Finally, the Mavic Pro can reach a top speed of 65 kph in Sports Mode.

Heat regulation in small drones is difficult to accomplish and essential to the smooth operation of any drone system. Each drone is designed with a fan system that helps to dissipate heat in addition to vents that direct airflow. A significant difference between the Mavic Air and its predecessors is that DJI enhanced the drones cooling system design with rear vents to stay cool in the air, which is an impressive feat considering the Mavic Air's much smaller size and larger processing power. (Left Image Mavic Air)


Range

DJI Spark

Range: 2 kilometres

With Cell Phone: 100 metres

Range: 4 kilometres

DJI Mavic Pro

Range: 7 kilometres


Each drone features a different range going from just 100 metres up to an extended 7 kilometres. The Spark uses a WiFi transmission system and has the shortest range out of the three drones. Using a Smartphone the Spark can reach a maximum range of 100 metres, and with the remote controller, can reach a full extended range of 2 km. The Mavic Air utilizes an enhanced Wifi System for less latency and a longer range of up to 4 km. Finally, the Mavic Pro features the longest range out of the three drones and uses DJI's OcuSync System in place of Wifi, enabling the drone to reach a full range of 7 km.

During flight testing, we found that the Mavic Air could reach a maximum range of 1147 metres, which is impressive as our area in the province of Nova Scotia Canada tends to have a poorer range in comparison to other provinces around the country. In testing, the Mavic Air could reach 60% of the Mavic Pro's full range, which for its price point and size exceeded our expectations.

(Right Image of DJI Spark)


Camera quality & specs

DJI Spark

Video: 1080p

 

 

Max Video Bitrate: 24 Mbps

Photo: 12-Megapixel

Sensor: 1/2.3 CMOS

Lens: FOV 78.8° 28 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.2

DJI Mavic Air

Video:

  • 4k @ 30 fps
  • 1080p @ 120 fps

Max Video Bitrate: 100 Mbps

Photo: 12-Megapixel

Sensor: 1/2.3 CMOS

Lens: FOV 85° 24mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.8

DJI Mavic Pro

Video:

  • 4k @ 30 fps
  • 1080p @ 96 fps

Max Video Bitrate: 60 Mbps

Photo: 12-Megapixel

Sensor: 1/2.3 CMOS

Lens: FOV 78.8° 28 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.2


'The camera quality of consumer drones has continued to improve in recent years, enabling drone pilots to capture stunning, high-quality footage even when using a consumer-level drone. The Spark features a 1080p 12-megapixel with a 1/2.3" sensor. Stand alone, the Spark will capture quality aerial shots even though it features the lowest-quality camera specs out of the three drones. A big difference is that the Spark does not have the processing power to capture 4k or even 2.7k video footage. (Below Images Shot with Spark)


DJI Spark Photo
DJI Spark Photo
DJI Spark Photo

The new Mavic Air can capture footage never before possible with a drone of its size. With an upgraded camera system, the Mavic Air can shoot 4k video at 30 fps while recording at 100 Mbps. The drone can also capture stunning slow-motion video at 1080p 120 fps. The Mavic Air's still quality is also impressive. Equipped with a 1/2.3" CMOS sensor the Mavic Air can capture 12-megapixel stills and features a f/2.8 lens with a focal length of 24 mm. (Below Image Shot with Mavic Air in Panorama Mode)


DJI Mavic Air Panorama Mode Photo

Finally, the Mavic Pro can also record 4k video at 30 fps or 1080p at 96 fps. The Mavic Pro also features the same 1/2.3' CMOS sensor as both the Mavic Air and the Spark. Compared to the Mavic Air's camera, the Mavic Air will provide users with the best quality results due to the Air's improved HDR algorithms and its cameras significantly higher bitrate. (Below Images Shot with Mavic Pro)


DJI Mavic Pro Photo
DJI Mavic Pro Photo

camera settings & modes

DJI Spark

Photo Format: JPEG

Video Format: MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)

Still Photography Modes: Single Shot

Burst Shooting: 3 Frames

Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3 Bracketed Frames at 0.7 EV Bias

DJI Mavic Air

Photo Format: JPEG/DNG (RAW)

Video Format: MP4/MOV (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC)

Still Photography Modes: Single shot
HDR

Burst Shooting: 3/5/7 frames

Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7EV Bias

DJI Mavic Pro

Video:

  • 4k @ 30 fps
  • 1080p @ 96 fps

Max Video Bitrate: 60 Mbps

Photo: 12-Megapixel

Sensor: 1/2.3 CMOS

Lens: FOV 78.8° 28 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.2


DJI Spark

A notable difference between the Spark and both the Mavic Air and Mavic Pro is that the Spark lacks the ability to shoot RAW still photos. Having the option to shoot in RAW is a huge advantage especially in the editing process. When editing a JPEG image any edits made to the photo will negatively affect quality, whereas when editing in RAW, users will have more freedom to edit their photo to their liking without sacrificing as much quality in contrast to a JPEG image.

The Spark, Mavic Air, and Mavic Pro all feature camera modes that enable users of any level to take high-quality creative aerial shots. The Spark adopts DJI's iconic shooting modes and also introduced two new modes named Pano and ShallowFocus. With the Mavic Air, DJI improved on their patented camera modes to enhance the user's end results. DJI improved the Mavic Air's Panorama mode by enabling the drone to stitch together 25 photos in just eight seconds to create stunning 32-megapixel Sphere Panoramas. The Mavic Air also features new enhanced HRD algorithms that enable users to easily capture photos in any lighting conditions as the drone intelligently adjusts its exposure settings according to its surrounding environment. The Mavic Pro additionally features all of DJI's signature shooting modes including HDR and Panorama. Comparing the results of the Mavic Pro and Mavic Air, the Mavic Air takes much better quality shots in both Panorama and HDR camera modes. (Below Image shot with Mavic Air)


DJI Mavic Air HDR Photo

Obstacle avoidance systems

DJI Spark

Forward Obstacle Sensing: 0.2 - 5 m

DJI Mavic Air

Forward Obstacle Sensing: 0.5 - 12 m
Backward Obstacle Sensing: 0.5 - 10 m

DJI Mavic Pro

Forward Obstacle Sensing: 0.7 - 15 m


All of DJI's most recent releases drones feature front and bottom facing obstacle avoidance sensors for safe and crash-free flights. The Spark features front and bottom facing sensors and can detect obstacles up to 16 feet in front of its path. Similarly, the Mavic Pro also features front and bottom facing obstacle avoidance sensors but up to 50 feet in front of its path.

The Mavic Air features the most advanced and compares vice obstacle avoidance system out of the three drones. It has been upgraded with front, bottom and rear sensors for even more safety in the air. With the ability to fly backward with obstacle avoidance, users will be even safer in the air. Another unique new feature of the Mavic Air is its Advanced Pilot Assistance System that will intelligently have the Mavic Air fly left, right or above an object in its path and continue to fly. (Below Images of Mavic Air)


DJI Mavic Air Obstacle Avoidance
DJI Mavic Air Obstacle Avoidance

Intelligent Flight Modes


DJI Spark

Intelligent Flight Modes:

Gesture Mode, ActiveTrack, TapFly, Tripod, QuickShot Modes: Circle, Helix, Dronie, Rocke

DJI Mavic Air

Intelligent Flight Modes:

ActiveTrack, SmartCapture, TapFly, Tripod Mode, Cinematic Mode, Point of Interest,
QuickShot Modes: Circle, Helix, Dronie, Rocket, Aesteroid, Boomerang

DJI Mavic Pro

Intelligent Flight Modes:

ActiveTrack, Tripod Mode, Gesture Mode, Cinematic Mode, Fixed-Wing Mode, TapFly, Terrain Follow, Point of Interest, Course Lock, WayPoints , Home Lock


All three drones come with a wide variety of intelligent flight modes and support all of DJI's most popular modes including ActiveTrack and TapFly. With a simple tap of a button, drone pilots of any level can capture dynamic shots quickly and easily to enhance any personal or professional aerial creation.


DJI Spark

The DJI Spark is the first DJI drone to feature new TapFly submodes including Direction and Coordinate. The Spark also features new "FaceAware" recognition technology which allows users to launch their drone straight from the palm of their hand as well as a new PalmControl Mode, enabling users to control their drone with their own hand gestures. Finally the Spark comes with a total of four new Quick Shot modes for even more creative aerial shooting options.


The DJI Mavic Air features all of DJI's patented intelligent flight modes as well as brand new flight modes including SmartCapture, and two new QuickShot Modes named Asteroid and Boomerang. In the new SmartCapture mode, drone users can capture fun, quick selfies with a simple hand gesture, and similar to the Spark, the Mavic Air can be controlled with the user's hand movements to unleash the fun of flight.

DJI Mavic Air

DJI Mavic Pro

 

Finally, the Mavic Pro features the most Intelligent Flight Modes out of all the drones. It also comes with brand new flight modes including Trance, Profile, Tripod, Spotlight, Terrain, and Gesture. In Trace Mode pilots can have their drone fly in front or behind a selected subject, or circle around the subject as it moves, and with Gesture Mode, users will take automatic selfies with a simple hand wave.

 


Which drone is right for you?

Spark vs Mavic Air vs Mavic Pro

The DJI Spark is a great mini-drone option for beginner drone pilots and casual users alike looking for a reliable and advanced drone platform that won't break the bank. Alternatively, the Mavic Pro is an ideal choice for those looking for a compact drone with a lengthier range and battery life as well as more intelligent flight mode options.

Bridging the gap between the Spark and the Mavic Pro, the Mavic Air is the best consumer drone ever released on the market due to its size advanced features, and price point. The Mavic Air's features a solid flight time and range, enhanced obstacle avoidance system, and the most advanced camera system available on the market for a drone of its size. The drone itself looks aesthetically sleek and feels very high quality in your hands. It is thoughtfully designed with extreme attention to detail, and provides users with a compact, easy-to-use drone platform for reliable, safe, and most importantly fun flights through the air.


Sold out
Sold out
Sold out

Sold out
Sold out
Sold out