YouTuber, filmmaker and, more recently, CNN employee Casey Neistat is back with another drone review. After a bit of a gaff last time, Neistat is starting fresh by comparing three of the most popular 4K drones on the market: the DJI Mavic Pro, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, and the DJI Inspire 1 Pro.
Neistat picked these drones because they are incredibly popular and perfectly represent the three tiers you have to choose from when purchasing a drone.
The Mavic Pro costs just $1,000 and is incredibly portable; the Phantom 4 Pro boasts a more powerful camera and better flight sensors for $500 more; and, finally, the Inspire 1 Pro has an even better camera attached, but will cost you $3,400.
After taking all three out for a spin and showing you the test footage side-by-side, Neistat makes it back to his studio to talk about the three and explain the concept of diminishing returns when it comes to camera gear. Basically: you trade value and ease-of-use for image quality… at a serious premium.
Neistat compares the three drones to three types of cameras you probably have lying around.
The Mavic Pro, he says, is like a high end smartphone: good quality, and great in the right hands, but a keen eye will notice the lower quality sensor. The Phantom 4 Pro is like an entry-level DSLR: you can create really professional looking work with that camera, no question. Finally, the Inspire 1 Pro is like a high-end full-frame DSLR: a truly professional camera that’s harder to use and more expensive, but offers the best image quality by a noticeable margin.
Here’s a handy graph he drew to illustrate this:
So… which one should you buy? Neistat doesn’t go so far as to tell you that. His favorite is the Mavic Pro, mainly because it’s so portable, but there’s a lot to consider.
The truth is, the standard hobbyist will never need more than the Mavic Pro, but if you’re shooting more professional footage a more professional drone will come in very handy when lighting conditions and flight demands become more challenging.
Watch the full review to see the side-by-side sample footage for yourself, and if you’re the proud owner of one of these drones, feel free to weigh in in the comments.