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Don’t Be Fooled By Casey Neistat’s Drone Test | The DJI Mavic’s Footage Was Misleading

By Justin Heyes on September 30th 2016

There are many options when choosing the right gear for the job, and trading convenience over quality can lead to headaches down the road. Trying to find that “sweet spot” between convenience and quality is a juggling act of features vs. performance, which we can see with the rise of mirrorless cameras, like the Sony a6300, offer a trade-off of quality to ease of use that fit in this sweet spot.



DJI recently announced their new Mavic Drone which appeared, on paper, to be their best drone created. Looking at their promo video, it offers all the incredible features of the Phantom 4, while retaining a small almost pocketable footprint. Youtuber Casey Neistat did a not-so-scientific test comparing the Phantom 4, the Mavic and the GoPro “Karma” with slightly disappointing results.

Ignoring his Pauly Shore-esque antics, Neistat pointed out that trading slightly worse image quality for “super convince” is worth it if your project has a quick turn around time, like a daily Youtube show. However, two things have debunked Neistat’s on-the-fly comparison of the drones. One, Neistat is working with a pre-production model Mavic provided by DJI and two, in a recent tweet Casey admitted that the focus was off on in the Mavic and it could provide much sharper images.

To be fair, other drones on the market have fixed focuses lenses, so the need to focus is a new issue specifically for the Mavic; as it has caught other reviewers by surprise as well. With these initial result, DJI looks to be closing the gap in quality between their cameras and the offerings of GoPro. Image quality might not be the deciding factor for drone users and features like “follow me” and foldable might make the Mavic a better choice.


Via CaseyNeistat Youtube

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Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Greg Sullivan

    I don’t understand this statement “mirrorless cameras, like the Sony a6300, offer a trade-off of quality to ease of use that fit in this sweet spot.” What quality trade-off does the a6300 offer compared to any other aps-c camera? I think of quality as the image that it produces.

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  2. Shivakumar Lakshminarayana

    From what i read in one another preview-review – the Mavic apparently comes with touch-focus which you need to use when using the phone to view the live feed. One reason for Casey’s soft footage is because of this too as it seems none in DJI seem to have put it up in open during the pre-production tests ( surprising ).

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  3. Mark Forman

    Flying Drones in New York City is illegal. You are endangering others and should know better.

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    • Erik Bouse

      It is not illegal and it is not endangering anyone!! Spot being a uptight dude and live!

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  4. Kim Bentsen

    RTFM, Read The F…… Manual. Why would a pro YouTuber ignore this. Arrogance? A waste of the viewers time. Unsubscribe!

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    • Damon Favor

      According to the guys at FliteTest (see their Mavic vlog episode), the pre-production models were sent for review without any documentation. They said theirs arrived in a box with each component wrapped in bubble wrap but without any packaging.

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    • Erik Bouse

      Bye idk why you would unsubscribe he said pre production and that he is learning how to use it smh ???

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