In the past, for many average consumers who wanted a “good” drone, it came down to two choices: DJI Phantom or DJI Mavic.
In the last few years, these have been easily the most recognizable and successful models of all drones on the market. Both have huge followings and fan bases that swear by them. In many ways, they are much more similar than different. Where they differ is in their intended use case and the needs of the person using them.
So who should buy which model?
And if you already bought one, what do you gain or lose by buying the other? That’s exactly what we’re going to cover today…
THE DIFFERENCES IN A NUTSHELL:
Mavic is a more professional-level drone with a longer range, more automated features and better image quality at the expense of smaller size & battery life.
Spark is a fun toy-level drone that’s easier to fly, has some automated options but doesn’t have the same long range or tech specs as the Mavic. However, it’s still quite capable for many people who just want to enjoy flying without worrying about all the details!
As always, let me know if you have any questions specifically on either model so I can update this article with more accurate information.
MAVIC VS SPARK SPECS & FEATURES
SIZE, WEIGHT & BATTERY LIFE
First off, let’s start with the big difference between these drones: their size and weight. Obviously, Spark is much more compact than Mavic. And it’s not just smaller on the outside either… Spark weighs significantly less as well at only 300g vs Mavic’s 734g.
What does that mean for you? 😒
Well it means one of two things depending on your perspective… Either you get a super lightweight drone to carry on long hikes or fly without worrying about getting tired OR you save money since you don’t have to buy spare batteries for extra weight! Personally, I’m a big fan of the latter choice.
But obviously, to make this tradeoff they had to use smaller components which means shorter flying time…
Mavic’s 27 minute flight time may not seem like much compared to other drones on the market but in my experience it’s actually quite long and more than enough for most users.
It also charges quickly at only 100 minutes vs Spark’s 45 minutes which is great if you do need spare batteries (which are WAY cheaper than Mavic’s) and find yourself without power frequently.
IMAGE QUALITY – WHO WINS?
This is often an area where many drones really let us down: image quality. So who wins between DJI Mavic and DJI Spark? Well, from what I’ve seen this really comes down to a matter of opinion.
Mavic wins. It has a higher quality 1″ sensor and captures more detail in its images with less noise compared to Spark’s smaller sensor.
For those who enjoy zooming into faraway objects, you should be much happier with the results from Mavic than Spark! Also important to note again is that Mavic records video at 100Mbps vs Spark’s 60Mbps which also contributes to cleaner looking footage.
Spark wins. For whatever reason (maybe because it doesn’t have as big of a sensor), DJI decided to give Spark better vivid colors than the Mavic and they look great! Sometimes however people might want a little more natural look which Mavic is better at.
THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS? – DJI PHANTOM 4 ADVANCED VS MAVIC OR SPARK
Now you might be thinking that this comparison is not very fair since we’re comparing the $1000 DJI Phantom 4 Advanced to $500-$700 Spark and Mavic models.
Well, if you’re looking for “the best of both worlds”, the P4A has many features that are common between all three drones:
- P4A folds up just like Mavic and Spark so it’s extremely portable but only slightly heavier than the latter at 1.62lbs (vs Spark’s 300g and Mavic’s 734g )
- P4A has a fantastic 21 minute flight time and charges in 100 minutes just like Mavic. It also comes with spare batteries!
- P4A shoots 4K footage at 60Mbps which is the same as Spark, however it records 1080p at a staggering 120fps vs Spark’s 60fps . That’s extremely high frame rate for slow-motion video!
- In addition to that, P4A captures 12MP still images while Spark and Mavic both produce only half that at 7MP .
So overall how do you feel about these three drones? Obviously I’m not going to pick a “winner” here because everyone’s needs are different but hopefully this article helped answer some of your questions about the differences between these three drones!