VI­SU­ALS

Which drone pro­duces the best stills and footage for your ae­rial cre­ations?

T3 - - 4k Camera Drones -

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.

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