So you’ve purchased a DJI Mavic Pro and you’re ready to travel the world to shoot awesome photos and capture breath-taking videos. But if you want to make sure you spend your days flying instead of fixing your drone and waiting for batteries to charge, you better pick up these must-have accessories for your Mavic.
The Absolute Essentials
Without this gear, you might as well return your drone right now. These are the items which will allow you to take full advantage of your Mavic.
More batteries means more time flying, since you won’t need to wait around for your battery to charge. If you did not pick up the DJI Mavic “Fly More” combo (not necessary), you will want to purchase at least two additional batteries. This will increase your total flight time from just ~20 minutes to an hour or more. I find three batteries to be a sufficient number; between flying and changing batteries or moving locations, three batteries allows be to film for the entirety of Golden Hour.
The battery linked here is a grey DJI-made battery which matches the original Mavic Pro. It will also work with the Platinum edition, but the color will be wrong. At this time the Platinum edition battery supply is low, so if you care about the color it would be best to wait.
Battery Charging Hub
Once you’ve got enough batteries to last an entire photo session, your next purchase should be a intelligent battery charging hub which enables you to charge multiple Mavic batteries simultaneously, along with the Mavic controller. DJI sells a battery hub which will charge each battery in succession. The charger determines which battery has the greatest amount of charge remaining and prioritizes that battery first, in order to complete charging of the first battery in the least amount of time. Although some third party chargers advertise faster charging times or the ability to charge batteries in parallel rather than serially, I’ve personally had great luck with the model made by DJI. It’s a hassle free way to charge everything overnight or between sunrise and sunset.
A Backpack or Sleeve
The major benefit of buying a foldable drone like the DJI Mavic Pro is the ability to take it with you on your travels, but to protect your investment you’ll want a way to carry it around safely. At minimum, investing in a soft sleeve like the aircraft sleeve will protect the fragile propellers when you toss it in your bag with some clothes before you head out the door. But the sleeve provides only minimal protection. I personally use the Lowepro Flipside 300 DSLR Camera Backpack whenever I go fly. Although it’s meant for carrying a DSLR, the pack is the perfect size for a DJI Mavic and all your accessories, and the internal compartments are awesome for providing your drone with the protection it deserves. Plus, in the unlikely event you don’t feel like flying your drone, it’s an awesome DSLR backpack.
Neural Density (ND) filters are absolutely essential for both photography and cinematography with the Mavic. These filters are essentially sunglasses for your camera lens, reducing the light intensity hitting the camera sensor. This allows the camera to work with slower shuttle speeds, so that even on bright sunny days you can shoot video at the sweet spot of 2x frame rate. I’ve also noticed that the Mavic’s camera has a tendency to overexpose whites, especially when sun is reflecting off bright white surfaces. These filters help correct for that. This SKYREAT 4-pack(CPL ND8 ND16 ND32) contains 3 ND filters (ND-8, ND-16, and ND-32) as well as a circular polarization filter, which can be somewhat tricky to use but really ups the “wow” factor on photos containing sky and water.
Nice-to-Haves (But Still Super Useful)
If you leave these at home by accident it won’t ruin your day, but they are still incredibly useful. I recommend these to all pilots.
Have you ever had this happen to you? You’ve had an amazing first flight, the drone is coming in for a landing and about to touch down, but then a propeller snags on an errant shrub? That doesn’t have to end your day of flying if you brought along spare propellers.
In your travels you won’t always find ideal takeoff and landing surfaces. Sometimes I’m forced to takeoff in sand or loose dirt, which can wreak havoc on the Mavic’s motors if the small particular finds its way inside. The Mavic’s camera also sits quite low to the ground, and the gimbal won’t calibrate if the ground is uneven and applying pressure to the camera. Enter the launch pad, which keeps your drone from getting sandy or damaging its camera or propellers. The launch pad comes with stakes to hold it tight to the ground, and the bright colors make it visible by air. After a long range trip it’s a welcome sight to see in the center of your “bird’s eye view” camera.
A Larger Memory Card
It’s a terrible feeling to have the perfect shot lined up only to see that you’re out of memory. The Mavic comes with a 16 GB SD card, but memory is cheap nowadays. Why not upgrade to 128 GB? I’ve had great luck so far with this Sandisk Ultra 128GB Micro SD Card. With over 4 hours of video capacity I know I’ll never run out of room, even if I forget to transfer my movies to the computer after a flight session or two.
This grab-bag contains a ton of useful parts not mentioned above, and I use all of them:
- A gimbal protector to protect the sensitive sticks on the Mavic controller during transit.
- Leg extensions to keep your camera higher off the ground. If you don’t want to lug around the launch pad, this is an okay alternative in a pinch.
- A lens hood for keeping light off your camera. This doesn’t work super well for video, but it functions just like a lens hood on a DSLR.
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