The original reviews of the Autel Evo ($999) were not great. The original firmware was plagued by bugs that left reviewers with a bad taste in their mouths. A common remark from reviewers was “wait for the DJI Mavic 2.” Well, the Mavic 2 ($1,250 – $1,500) came and the results were not all that stunning. With upgrades to the Evo and no new drones from DJI on the horizon, the Evo is worth another look.
NOTE: At the time of publishing this article there are still 20 Autel Evo drone packages available on Amazon as part of a great package deal. You get a bag and 2 extra batteries for free! ($220 value)
You can watch our video below and also refer to some of the details in the article.
Evo vs. DJI Camera Specs
There is no doubt that on first appearances the Mavic 2 drones are hard to compete with. The Zoom has zoom (of course), and the Pro has a 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor and a variable aperture. There is one little thing that the Mavic 2 drones don’t have – 4K video recording at 60 frames per second. This was a major omission that disappointed many DJI enthusiasts. Why did DJI leave off this feature? Because they skimped on the image processor. The processor can’t cleanly keep up with 4K-30 fps, let alone 60 fps. When it comes to the specs, the Evo 4K is the winner for video.
Here is a detailed camera spec comparison, but the specs don’t tell the full story.
Autel was willing to send us an Evo to try out, and we were eager to put it through some rigorous camera testing. Testing showed that the RAW images and JPEGs from the Evo look great. The camera is sharp and the colors are accurate. Unlike many DJI drones, the JPEGs from the Evo are not cranked up very high in contrast, so you can edit them to better effect than JPEGs from DJI drones. The sharpening on the Autel Evo’s JPEGs is cranked up a bit too much for my liking, but overall the Evo does take great pictures.
Unlike the Mavic 2 Zoom and Pro, the Evo has fixed focus. Fixed focus is actually a benefit in many situations since you don’t need to worry about “focus breathing” in video or out-of-focus photos and videos. The only thing the Evo lacks is the 20-megapixel sensor. At 1-inch, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro can really justify adding all these pixels, and the results show in the awesome photographs that the Mavic 2 Pro can produce.
Where the Evo really starts to shine is in its 4K recording capability. Unlike the Mavic 2 Pro, the Evo does not suffer from a lack of processing capability. The 4K video from the Evo is superior to that of the Mavic 2 Pro. The comparison is close between the Zoom and the Evo, but we think the quality on the Evo is a bit better.
It is not just in the quality of the 4K where the Evo wins. The Autel Evo also wins in terms of frame rate. Of the drones we compared, the Evo is the only one that can record in 4K-60. Being able to slow down your video really gives it that extra professional look. 4K-30 and 4K-60 both record at about 100 Mbps, so there is some compression in the 4K-60 that doesn’t show up in the 30 fps video.
Evo vs. Mavic 2 Camera Summary
The camera wrap up on the Autel Evo, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, and Mavic 2 Zoom is pretty simple:
- Autel Evo: The best drone for 4K. The only folding drone with 4K-60. Photos and videos with default settings are usable as-is, but also are also the easiest to edit.
- Mavic 2 Zoom: The best overall camera for video. Having zoom capability is just awesome. The Mavic 2 Zoom is sharp throughout its range of zoom and this drone has no major shortcomings.
- Mavic 2 Pro: The best camera for photographs. The Mavic 2 Pro takes great video but it falls short of expectations with less-than-sharp 4K and no 4K-60.
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