Which drone produces the best stills and footage for your aerial creations?
Stills are where the Mantis Q really shines, producing crisp, colourful images
The Mavic Air comes equipped with an exceptional 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, capable of 12MP HDR stills and 4K/30fps video, or 1080p/120fps slow mo. Combined with the aerial stability and mechanical gimbal, the footage is ready for the big screen, recreating colours and textures in impressive detail.
If you’re looking to get creative with a range of auto shooting modes, you’ll find a huge selection within DJI’s Go 4 app. The Mavic Air can track up to 16 subjects in Active Track mode, while Quick Shots serves up a variety of auto shot options, including Boomerang and Dronie. Setup requires just a few taps within the app, before the drone springs into action and starts filming.
Smart Capture adds a dash of Jedi magic, enabling you to control the Mavic Air using hand gestures. Cinematic mode is ideal for manual flying, calming jerky controller input and ensuring your footage is buttery smooth.
The Anafi’s 1/2.4-inch Sony CMOS sensor produces breathtaking footage. 21MP HDR stills are amazing, particularly in low light, and 2.8x lossless zoom gets even closer to the action. Even at full zoom, quality is bang on.
There are plenty of smart flight modes to experiment with, too. Dolly Zoom harnesses the zoom facility to recreate Hitchcock’s famous ‘Vertigo’ effect. Follow Me visual tracking and other useful modes work brilliantly, but are only available through an in-app purchase (£14.99). A bizarre move by Parrot, but even with this extra outlay it still works out cheaper overall than the Mavic Air.
The Mantis Q’s 1/3.06-inch CMOS sensor produces rich 4K UHD footage, but it’s blighted by the lack of stability. There’s a touch more control when you bump the resolution down to 1080p. Stills are where the camera really shines. On our sunny test day we produced crisp, colourful images.
The Mantis Q isn’t overly decked out with flight modes, but there’s enough choice to help newbies get to grips with photography. Visual tracking, in particular, works well.