DJI Mavic Air vs Mavic Pro vs Spark

Comparison Introduction

Wondering what are the differences between the DJI Mavic Air, Mavic Pro, and Spark? This review will cover the pros of cons of each. I have broken the page into sections and provided comparison charts for each. You can read my full review of the Mavic Air here.

 Size Comparison Mavic Air Mavic Pro and Spark Legs Extended

Each of these drones definitely has selling points over the others. In the final takeaways section, I will tell you which I think is the best for the money, and which I would buy if I could only own one drone.

Most of the information on this page I gathered from the DJI consumer comparison charts here. If you haven’t used this tool I highly recommend trying it out.

Lets dive into the review of the Mavic Air vs Mavic Pro vs Spark.

Basic Specs

Mavic Pro Mavic Air Spark
Dimensions
  • Folded = 198 x 83 x83mm (LxWxH)
  • Unfolded = 305 x 244 x 85mm (LxWxH)
  • Folded = 168 x 83 x 49 mm (LxWxH)
  • Unfolded = 168 x 184 x 64 mm (LxWxH)
143 x 143 x 55mm (LxWxH)
Weight 734g 430g 300g
Flight Time 27 Minutes (under ideal conditions) 21 minutes (under ideal conditions) 16 minutes (under ideal conditions)
Max Speed
  • 65 kph in sport mode
  • 36 kph in P mode
  • 68.4 kph in sport mode
  • 28.8 kph in P mode
  • 50 kph in sport mode
  • 21 kph in P mode
Max Range 7000 meters 4000 meters 2000 meters
Video Transmission System OcuSync Enhanced Wi-Fi Enhanced Wi-Fi
Live Stream Quality
  • 1080p at 30 fps
  • 720p at 30 fps
720p at 30 fps 720p at 30 fps
Price Price Check Amazon Price Check Amazon Price Check Amazon

Size Comparison Arms Folded

Mavic Air Next to Mavic Pro and Spark

Takeaways:

Weight and Size: Winner = Mavic Air. While the DJI Spark is the smallest of the 3 drones when the rotary arms are extended, the Mavic Air is smaller when folded and has as smaller carrying case.

Flight Time: Winner = Mavic Pro. The Mavic Pro is a larger drone with a larger battery. It does have over a 20 percent larger flight time than the Mavic Air. For many people swapping batteries isn’t a big deal, but it’s definitely something to consider.

Speed: Winner = Toss up. The Mavic Air is slightly faster in sport mode, but the Mavic Pro is slightly faster in P mode with obstacle sensing turned on. The Spark is significantly slower in both modes.

Max Range: Winner = Mavic Pro. The Mavic pro has the longest flight range and strongest signal strength. This is due to that fact that the Mavic pro utilizes OcuSync rather than enhanced WiFi. OcuSync scans for local interference and automatically switches to the optimal transmission channel.

Video Transmission System: Winner = Mavic Pro. OcuSync has a reduces video latency, allows for the use of FPV googles without having to connect a cable to the remote, a live 108op video at 30 frames per second, compared to 720p at 30 frames per second with the enhanced WiFi. The Spark and Air both utilize Enhanced Wi-Fi. Some people had issues with the WiFi  signal with the Spark in urban and/or congested areas, so DJI redesigned the placement of the WiFi transmitters on the Mavic air, placing a transmitter in each foldable leg extension. This allows the WiFi signal to transmit from the drone in all directions. All though this system is not as powerful as OcuSync, DJI probably incorporated it to bring the price point down.

Noise: Winner = Mavic Pro. Even without the low noise propellers the Mavic is the quietest of the three drones, and for an extra 10 dollars you can upgrade the propellers to make the Mavic even quieter.

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Safety Features

Mavic Pro Mavic Air Spark
Forward Obstacle Sensing 2 camera based obstacle avoidance sensors (0.7 - 15 m) 2 camera based obstacle avoidance sensors (0.5 - 12 m) One infrared based obstacle avoidance sensor (0.2 - 5 m)
Rear Obstacle Sensing 1 camera based obstacle avoidance sensors (0.5 - 10m)
Advanced Pilot Assistance System

Takaways:

Safety Features / Obstacle Sensing: Winner = Mavic Air. The Mavic air is the only drone on this list that has rear obstacle sensing. It is notable however that the forward facing obstacle avoidance on the Mavic pro is slightly better per DJI stats.

Advanced Pilot Assistance System: Winner = Mavic Air. Easy win for the Air here as there is not competition, but this is a great features for flyers of all levels.

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Camera and Gimbal

Mavic Pro Mavic Air Spark
Max Video Quality 4k at 30 fps or 1080p at 96fps 4k at 30 fps or 1080p at 120fps (great for slow motion) 1080p
Max Bitrate 60 mbps 100 mbps 24 mbps
Sensor 1/2.3 CMOS 1/2.3 CMOS 1/2.3 CMOS
Lens Field of View 78.8 degrees 85 degrees 81.9 degrees
Max Photo Resolution 12MP 12 MP 12 MP
Gimbal Type 3-axis mechanical gimbal 3-axis mechanical gimbal 2-axis mechanical gimbal
Gimbal Mechanical Range
  • Tilt: -90° to +30°
  • Roll: -30° to 120°(Portrait Mode)
  • Pan: -30° to +30°
  • Tilt: -100° to +22°
  • Roll: -30° to +30°
  • Pan: -12° to +12°
  • Tilt: -85 to 0°
  • Roll: -17 to +17°
Gimbal Controllable Range
  • Tilt: -90° to +30°
  • Roll: 0° or 90° (horizontally and vertically)
    • Tilt: -90° to 0° (default setting)
    • -90° to +17° (extended)
    Tilt: -85° to 0°
    Quickshot Modes
    • Dronie
    • Circle
    • Helix
    • Rocket
    • Dronie
    • Circle
    • Helix
    • Rocket
    • Boomerang(New)
    • Asteroid (New)
    • Dronie
    • Circle
    • Helix
    • Rocket

    Takaways:

    Gimbal: Winner = Toss up between Mavic Air and Pro. Having a 3-axis gimbal over a 2-axis gimbal is a huge advantage. The 2-axis gimbal on the spark only covers pitch and roll, while the 3 axis gimbal on the Air and Mavic Pro cover pitch, roll, and yaw. Yaw stabilization makes a huge difference in video quality when the drone turns on the horizontal plane. While the Mavic Pro and Air both have a 3-axis gimbal, the Mavic Pro’s has slightly better range.

    Although the Mavic Pro’s gimbal does have a slightly better range of motion, the gimbal on the Air is better protected, making it a toss up.

    Camera: Winner = Mavic Air. I was surprised when I realized the smaller Mavic Air actually has a better camera than the Mavic Pro. They both shoot 4k at 30 frames per second, but the Air has a higher bitrate (100mbps compared to 60) and can shoot 1080p at 120fps, compared to the Mavics 96fps, this allows for 4x slow motion compared to 3x. While higher bitrate footage does take up more storage space it means more data is being recorded, this more detailed footage. The Mavic air also has the ability to take 32 megapixel panorama photos. Another important note is that the Spark and Air are both fixed focus, meaning everything is usually in focus as long as it is far enough away, while the Mavic Pro is tap to focus, which is a nice feature for getting depth of fields shots where the foreground is in focus while the background is blurry. For most people, fixed focus is just fine and requires less thought.

    It’s also important to note that the camera on the Spark does not have the ability to take RAW photos, which is a major downside for professional photographers.

    Quick Shot Modes: Winner = Mavic Air. Two new quickshot modes (asteroid and boomerang) have been introduced with the Air. I’m guessing with future updates these will be added to Spark and Mavic as well. While the Air does have more quick shot modes, you’ll see later in the review that the Mavic Pro does have more intelligent flight modes.

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    Features and Flight Modes

    Mavic Pro Mavic Air Spark
    Intelligent Flight Modes
    • ActiveTrack
    • Tripod Mode
    • Gesture Mode
    • Cinematic Mode
    • Fixed-Wing Mode
    • TapFly
    • Fixed-Wing Mode
    • TapFly
    • Terrian Follow
    • Point of Interest
    • Course Lock
    • Point of Interest
    • Waypoints
    • Home Lock
    • ActiveTrack
    • QuickShot
    • Smart Capture
    • TapFly
    • Tripod Mode
    • Cinematic Mode
    • Point of Interest
    • Advanced Gesture
    • QuickShot
    • Active Track
    • TapFly
    • Tripod
    Build in Memory Storage

    Takaways:

    Intelligent Flight Modes: Winner = Mavic Pro. While the Air has more quick shot modes, the Mavic does have the most intelligent flight modes, including fixed wing mode, terrain follow, waypoints, and home lock. Gesture mode, also referred to as Jedi mode has improved with each new drone. With the Mavic Air it is now referred to as Smart Capture. In Smart Capture mode the range is limited, but you can easily take pictures and control the drone using different movements or gestures.

    Built in Memory Storage: Winner = Mavic Air. The Air is the first DJI quadcopter that has built in memory storage. Using the DJI Go 4 application you can switch between internal or external memory story very easily. This is a useful feature for someone who may not have an SD card or realizes they forgot an SD card when they are setting up to fly their drone. I hope to see this feature in all future DJI products to come.

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    Final Takeaways, Which to Buy?

    I own all three of these drones, so I have no bias over which one you buy. I will also say this is just my opinion, and the best drone for you really just depends on what you’re planning on using if for. That said, for the money and for most consumers I would say the Mavic Air is the better value, but if price wasn’t a factor and I could only own one drone for the rest of my life I would choose the Mavic Pro by a very slight margin. The Air is smaller, has more quick shot modes, a camera that is in line with and even slightly better than the Mavic Pro, built in memory storage, and Smart Capture. But, the fact that it utilizes Advanced Wi-Fi instead of OcuSync, is missing some useful intelligent flight modes I liked, has a shorter battery life, is nosier, and can’t carry weight like the Mavic pro, it sits just below the Mavic Pro in my opinion.

    Honestly the only major pro I see with the DJI Spark is the price and weight. Although it is slightly smaller than the Air when the Air rotary arms are extended, when in the case for travel the Air is smaller.

    In my opinion DJI has priced these drones correctly as to their overall capabilities.

    Let me know what you think in the comments, and what drone you prefer. I will be adding a video review at the top of the page very soon. Thanks for visiting my sites.

    Also, if you order these drones through the links below it will support this website and I would greatly appreciate it. Also like our Facebook page by hitting the like button at the top of the page to get reviews like this in the future. I hope you found this review helpful.

    Buy the Mavic Pro Buy the Mavic Air Buy the Mavic Air Fly More Combo Buy the DJI Spark

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