A DJI Mavic 2 Pro in Malta - Still Camera Quality

Even though video and photo are such similar media, the way you tell a story with either of them is completely different. There is also a completely new set of skills that one has to master. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro even when handled very basically (ie find a nice open space, go up, point the camera downwards - frame your shot, done) gives a very different point of view to what we are used to.

One of the key things in photography (in my humble opinion) is to constantly be different and push boundaries - because only by creating novel, new and fresh content are users surprised and delighted.

Malta is a truly beautiful place, and in the last week i've been trying to find different locations to fly to train on how to use the craft and also how to take good aerial photos (all whilst not breaking the law, and not crashing the thing at the same time)

So here are some sample shots - these are RAW shots from the Mavic 2 and processed in Lighroom. Off the bat, the RAW files of the Mavic 2 Pro are not as forgiving as something out of a professional camera like the 5D mark 4. However overall the RAW files do have some wiggle room (mainly in the shadows, less in the highlights) to play with.

Some observations so far:

  • Long exposures (even up to 8 seconds) have come out quite fine
  • Underexposing shots slightly to preserve highlights is preferable to me than losing highlights
  • Make sure the drone LEDs switch off during long exposures, otherwise you will get a crappy pink hue at the top and bottom of the image
  • Don't touch the sticks during a shot - the drone WILL move and blur everything :D
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
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By far the most eye-opening experience has been that at face value, a drone feels like a toy that can be used at whim - but just like driving a car or boat, flying a drone requires a great deal of maturity and responsibility (and skill which i am still working on..). The technology today is (so far) quite easy, even for people new to the scene - but there is a lack of information and resources. Luckily there is a very healthy community who are very quick to help (Big shout out to Andrew Schembri from Dickens)

From a more photographic point of view, the same "don't annoy people" rules apply. Invasion of privacy is very easy and it's important that one is aware of where they are flying so as not to harass people, and more importantly what images they choose to publish. The Mavic 2 is a very silent drone so that helps keep people happy, also advising any bystanders nears takeoff/landing of my filming intentions has avoided any grumpyness