October 16, 2021

Evolve 2 vs Mavic 3 Cine

Evolve 2 or DJI Mavic 3 Cine? Decisions Decisions!

Xdynamics Evolve 2 Drone Full

Evolve 2...what have you done to me? Just as I am about to hit the buy button on the DJI Mavic 3 Cine, along comes this beauty from Xdynamics!

Click to play

In a drone world dominated by DJI, Xdynamics are a relative newcomer. However, building on the success of their original Evolve, the Evolve 2 takes things to a whole new level for aerial cinematographers.

Xdynamics Evolve 2 Specs

Main Specifications

Camera

Astra M4/3

Sensor

Sony IMX299 4/3"

Lens

Interchangeable M43

Video

Pro Res 422/H264/265

Video Resolution

4K 120, 1080 240

Photo Resolution

12mp (4000x3000) 

Main Specifications

Camera

Astra M4/3

Sensor

Sony IMX299 4/3"

Lens

Interchangeable M43

Video

Pro Res 422/H264/265

Video Resolution

4K 120, 1080 240

Photo Resolution

12mp (4000x3000) 

Evolve 2 vs DJI Mavic 3 Cine

Xdynamics Evolve 2

Product Details

4 .5/ 5

Evolve 2 Top View
Evolve 2 Overhead View

Flight Time

33 Mins

Camera

M43

Upgradeable Camera

Yes

Changeable Lenses

yes

Video Resolution

4k Pro Res

4k Frame Rate

120fps

5.2K?

No

Storage

MicroSD/CFast 2.0

Speed

53mph

Weight

<2KG

Foldable

No

Do I Want One?

Yes

DJI Mavic 3 Cine

Product Details

4 / 5

Mavic 3 Cine Camera
Mavic 3 Cine Close Camera Array

Flight Time

46 Mins

Camera

M43

Upgradeable Camera

No

Changeable Lenses

No

Video Resolution

5.2K Pro Res

4k Frame Rate

60fps?

5.2K?

yes

Storage

MicroSD/1TB SSD

Speed

N/A

Weight

750G

Foldable

Yes

Do I Want One?

Yes

Thoughts From a Pro Drone Pilot

I've been flying drone for just about 7 years now. I have flown everything from a "toy Hubsan", the DJI Phantom 2, the DJI Inspire 1, Mavic Air 2, Mini 2 and DJI FPV drone. I love them all.

Nothing above matches the image quality from the DJI X5 RAW camera (now discontinued) that I owned which was superb. However, I have been looking forward to, and waiting with baited breath for the release of the DJI Mavic 3 Pro and its Pro Res 4k. 

Along with everyone else in the drone community.

Just as I had prepared myself for the higher-than-expected-cost of this drone, the Xdynamics Evolve 2 drone gets released. And it's cheaper.

So what makes this more appealing, maybe, than the Mavic 3 Cine?

Camera and Lenses

This is the biggest deciding factor for me by far. Having been spoiled by the DJI X5 RAW along with my pro ground cameras like the Panasonic GH5 and S1H, I have been a little frustrated with the Mavic cameras.

Yes, they produce superb, high quality 4K footage and the stills are pretty good. However, the Micro Four Thirds sensor coupled with some tasty Olympus glass is drawing me in. I imagine the quality, especially using Pro Res, will be comparable to the DJI X5 RAW camera which I loved!

The fact that I still own the Olympus 12mm and 45mm lenses from the Inspire is a huge bonus.

I have yet to see the quality from the DJI Mavic 3 Cine but I am sure it will be amazing. After all, it also has a M43 camera BUT, the lens is nowhere near going to match that of a standalone Olympus M.Zuiko lens.

Robust

Whilst I truly love the portability of the Mavic series drones with their foldable arms, this feature does have its potential problems.

There is more chance of dust and dirt getting in the mechanism, especially if you take off regularly from dusty environments like I do. This also makes the drone a little weaker and susceptible to damage depending on how rough you are with it during opening and closing of the arms.

I like the solid feel of the "fixed" DJI FPV drone which is also quicker and easier to set up right out of the case. With that being said, I also love the Mini 2 as it fits in my pocket and is highly portable for smaller jobs (or for fun).

The Xdynamics Evolve 2 is solid and made of carbon fibre which is:

  • 50x stronger than plastic
  • 10x stronger than steel
  • 5 times lighter than steel
  • 1.5x lighter than aluminium
  • Superior fatigue properties
  • Highly corrosion resistant
  • Better resistance to impact
  • Stronger structural stability
  • Improved flight dynamics
Sure, the Evolve 2 is larger than the DJI Mavic 3 Cine and it is bulkier to carry, much like the Inspire series. However, it does fit neatly, with props removed, in the supplied backpack. The set up process is much the same as my old DJI Inspire 1. Take out of case, add props, fly.

Ground Station

Evolve 2 Ground Station

The Evolve 2 Ground Station really is something else. Compared to the controllers I have used with all my DJI drones to date, this thing knocks them for six! Perhaps a little bulky for some but it leaves nothing on the table...

  • Dual Touchscreen (8" FPV Viewfinder and 5.5" Control Panel)
  • 1000 NIT Brightness
  • 11Km Maximum Range (4Km with Built-In Antennas)
  • HDMI for Output to External Screen
  • Directional and Omnidirectional Options
  • Removeable Battery
  • MicroSD and USB-C for Additional Data/Caching Storage
  • Smart Modes - Waypoint, Orbit, Tripod and Course Lock
  • My Smartphone is free again!

What's Included?

The Evolve 2 comes with everything you need to get started, including a nice backpack. I would always recommend getting 2 or 3 extra batteries too...and maybe even a portable power pack.

I recently used one of these power packs on a crazy 6 day shoot where I flew all day on 5 batteries by cycling them as soon as they were used.

Here's what you get...

  • Evolve 2 Drone x 1
  • Ground Station x 1
  • Aircraft Battery x 1
  • Ground Station Battery x 1
  • Astra M4/3 Camera x 1
  • Olympus 17mm Prime Lens x 1
  • Propellers (3 x CW + 3 x CCW) x 6 
  • Dual Charger x 1
  • Backpack x 1
  • SD Card (64GB) x 1

Imperfections

Ok, so before you get too excited, let me just tell you this drone isn't perfect. It has some shortcomings that may put the kybosh on hitting that buy button for many people. Check out the early video review from OriginaldoBo below:

Click to play

I am hoping that these are things that can be fixed with firmware updates but I'm not so sure. It is so nearly perfect but these problems could be a deal breaker for me.

  • For one, latency. The lapsed time between the camera and ground station is far too long in my opinion. You'll see this in the review above as well as from other reviewers. This is actually a big issue for capturing footage and performing manoeuvres effectively. In this day and age, and as far as drones have come, this should not be happening.
  • The actual flight times appear to be nowhere near the stated 33 minutes but more like 20 minutes max. That is unless you fly it to 1-2% power remaining which I would not recommend.
  • Night footage is particularly noisy when shooting in Pro Res which is disappointing as I love shooting at night, especially fireworks. 
  • Video shot in Pro Res 422 is throttled to 23.97 or 24fps which again is disappointing. 

Of course, I can only verify all this if and when I get my hands on both drones and do a real comparison.

Final Thoughts

I like where Xdynamics are going and am keen to follow their progress. Like I said, I had hoped the Mavic 3 would have a camera set up similar to the Evolve 2/Inspire. Changeable lenses and camera assembly is very exciting and appealing for a drone this size.

I am actually NOT going to buy the DJI Mavic 3 Cine on release as I want to see a true comparison with regards to image quality and flight times in the real world. I would like to see the image quality from the Evolve 2 that has received full updates. Updates that hopefully fix some of the issues above.

For many pilots, the Mavic 3 will more than suffice with its 2 built in cameras including a 7x zoom. However, for drone pilots that are more into filmmaking and need that extra quality coupled with traditional, interchangeable lenses, the Evolve 2 looks like a viable option.

Ugh! I just hope these issues get fixed otherwise it's the Mavic 3 Cine for me.

No matter what, these are exciting times for drone pilots and filmmakers.

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Tags

dji, drones, xdynamics


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