THE DJI absolute reign in the drone segment ever, with incredible 74% of the world drone market According to a 2018 survey, however, 2019 may have helped to change this scenario a bit by the popularization of the industry and a plethora of new companies that have sprung up – none to the point where it can topple DJI models for consumers in general, although some interesting brands ships like Autel, Parror, Skydio, Yuneec, Among others have appeared.
Did a competitor finally appear to face DJI?
THE CES perhaps the current event with the largest participation of consumer drone companies in the US and perhaps in the world, and during CES 2020 that took place from January 7-10 Autel, American company that launched in 2018 the model called EVO (very similar to Mavic 2), announced the second generation of this line called EVO II. Evolutions upon the good first-generation drone were natural, but their successors have impressive specifications that leave any enthusiast of the genre open-mouthed.
Autel EVO II Drone Official Website
As highlights, three models with 6K, 8K and 8K cameras + thermal camera, with everyone sharing technologies like at 40 minutes of flight rangecontrol distance up to 9km and 12 sensors covering all directions with autonomous flight.
Up to 8K resolution cameras, 40-minute flight range and 12 sensors in all directions
Before we go deeper into some features, first a video with impressions of the main drone specifications:
Models and Specifications
In addition to Autel bringing drones with remarkable advancement with regard to the final design, it has also added technologies well above the current standard such as the implemented cameras, which have 6K, 8K options, and a dual camera model – one 8K together with one Flir thermal camera, reputable company in this field. We also have:
– 48MP 1/2 "CMOS Sensors on 8K cameras model; and
– 20MP 1 inch CMOS ISO 100-12800 sensors and F2 / 8 to F / 11 aperture on 6K camera model.
Both have 120mbps bitrate and 10-bit color, features that make them the best models in the segment for video and photos today, at least when it comes to specifications, we know that sometimes this is not enough and in practice the story changes.
Is that 120mbits for a sufficient 8K camera?
But, drones have impressive specifications on other features as well. See below:
Technologies shared between all models (standard, Pro and Dual):– 12 computational sensors capturing 360 degrees with AI processing for added protection (Autel promises to capture up to 30 meters away from sensors); from at 9km no flight restriction (explained below) – Flight autonomy up to 40 minutes– FullHD resolution transmission to mobile phone screen – Maximum speed of 72km / h – 2 sonar sensors (bottom) – Lower landing and takeoff LEDs – Technology Dynamic Track 2.0 to follow objects; – Control with display.- Wind residence level 8- Takeoff weight: EVO II (1,127g), EVO II Pro (1,174g), EVO II Dual 320 (1,157g) and EVO II Dual 640 (1,192 g).
Prices have not yet been released
Below we list the different specifications between the models, related to cameras. Visually, the body of the Dual does not bring changes compared to the others, but it may have something like a system of accessories to attach, as it is a product with a greater focus on the corporate and security segment – this happens in the Mavic 2 Enterprise.
Autel EVO II– 8K camera with 4x zoom; – 120 Mbits + 10-bit color; – 4K footage with HDR; – 48MP 1 "CMOS sensor; – F / 2.8 aperture.
Autel EVO II Pro– ISO 6400 6K camera – 120 Mbits + 10-bit color – 2.7K 120fps resolution slow motion footage – HDR 4K shooting – 20MP CMOS 1 "sensor – F / 2.8 at F / aperture 11
Autel EVO II DualMain Camera:– 8K camera with 4x zoom; – 120 Mbits + 10-bit color; – 4K footage with HDR; – 48MP 1 "CMOS sensor; – F / 2.8 aperture;
FLIR Thermal Camera– 640×512 or 320x256px FLIR LWR (OBS. I highlighted 4 models in the video precisely because it is possible to choose between two different cameras from FLIR).
In fact, drones have a lot of awesome technical specs, but in what situations do they make a difference? Listed below are some of the main ones.
6K, 8K and Thermal Cameras
The EVO II is the first drone in this segment to support 6K and 8K recording.
The cameras are certainly among the most outstanding specifications of the EVO II line. Today, few drones support recording at 4K 60fps resolution, and Mavic 2 Pro itself, which has a camera from Hasselblad greater than the Mavic 2 Zoom, supports "only" 4K 30 fps. The Autel EVO II models, however, went beyond resolution, being the first in this kind of segment to support 6K and 8K quality recording.
6K cameraAs I said on the video, the EVO II Pro is a more versatile profile model as I see it, as is the case with the Mavic 2 Pro. The reason for this comment is that it has a camera that records in 6K resolution in conjunction with a 1 inch 20MP CMOS sensor with F / 2.8 to F / 11 aperture.
These specifications are interesting for manual controls to achieve better low light photos. And of course, like every drone of this level, it also supports save files in RAW format, very important to better work the photos and videos manually.
At first both models record in 4K 60fps, and the company also highlighted slow-motion recording at a resolution of 2.7K and 120fps. Unfortunately, she did not say if this applies to all models.
8K cameraAlready the camera in 8K resolution draws attention precisely by, resolution !!! Something unusual for many kinds of sets and even TVs – the first ones are being launched on a massive scale just now at CES itself. So this becomes much rarer when we talk about consumer-driven drones, but it's coming true.
In addition to the high resolution, 4X zoom support is also an interesting feature. In both 6K and 8K cameras we have a 120mbps bitrate, which is a good number when it comes to 4k, but only testing and comparing to see what the result will be (especially 8K, since this resolution is much higher). I also remember that it supports 10-bit color recording, which represents 1 billion colors. It is quite something and becomes the ideal setting for cameras of this profile.
FLIR Thermal CameraAnd finally, the FLIR camera on Dual models – actually two possible cameras, one with 320px and another with 640px. This resolution may seem low to many people, but common in this type of camera. In addition, the EVO II Dual models have a dual camera system, so in addition to the thermal camera, it also brings the 8K.
It is a type of drone intended for the corporate market or for use in situations involving safety, such as rescuing lost people at night or a fire situation somewhere.
Gimbal 3-axisNeedless to say, it became a market standard, but they all consist of a 3-axis gimbal mechanical stabilization system. Again, this has become common in every product of this profile by delivering high quality stabilization.
12 sensors in 360
Another very positive feature that Autel has added to the EVO II drones is its obstacle sensors: 12 in total, capturing all directions. It is noteworthy that the first-generation EVO model, launched in 2018, had a similar scenario, but now the company has made optimizations in the system and sought an even better scenario, very important in safety.
According to Autel, sensors detect objects up to 30 meters away
Obstacle sensors are very important in two special situations. The first, as I mentioned, for safety, is that when detecting an object the drone does not advance over it and avoids collision. The second, in turn, is that on autonomous flights where the drone is following something defined by the user, the drone can deflect and follow the recording when encountering any obstacle.
In addition to the obstacle sensors, it also has 2 lower sonar sensors.
40 minutes flight time
Anyway, companies are looking for a scenario that I think is ideal when it comes to flight autonomy. It will be a dream when the ships are in the air for an hour and it seems that this will not take long.
In the air longer: 40 minutes flight range
The models of the EVO II line have 40 minutes autonomy, seven more than Mavic 2's 33 minutes. As I always say, that's a lot, though it doesn't seem like it. These seven minutes represent almost 25% more battery about the Mavic 2, very good.
More flight range = fewer batteries to charge = greater portability
With longer flight autonomy, fewer batteries need to be charged where you want to fly, which in practice means more portability – which makes the difference in today's drone scenario. It is one of the characteristics I highlight most and that I even forgot to mention in the video I made. A serious mistake on my side is that, again, a very positive point of the EVO II drones.
I also remember that companies always set the maximum time reached in ideal setting without any wind. In practice, always a little less.
Unrestricted 9KM and FullHD distance
Like every drone in this profile, the control via radio frequency, and when we talk about this connection pattern, the control distance and signal stability are the positive points (compared to Wifi connection drones). The EVO II line reaches up to 9km of control distance, 2km more than the first generation EVO model and 1km longer than the Mavic 2. It is important to note that these metrics are always considering the ideal scenario, ie without any interference on the way. Another thing is that despite reaching 9km of control distance, companies usually do not report that depending on the wind mode of flight can make it go that far, but it does not necessarily have a battery to return, which would be twice as much. maximum distance.
Another point to highlight is the drone image transmission quality to the screen of the device connected to the control. Fullhd, again possible by radio frequency based connection technology.
A feature that also drew attention that Autel stresses "no flight restriction". Apparently this indicates that the drone has no flight limitations in any area, ie it can fly where the user wishes. This is very good and very bad.
Drones have no flight restrictions anywhere
We are living in a time when many people do things unknowingly (sometimes without even knowing it), and although it is a cool thing at first glance as many places generate unnecessary flight restrictions, here in Florianpolis even we have gone through this in It is a neighborhood located between hills that DJI Geolocation detects as an airport route and does not leave flights above 120, and the hills are 500 meters, so there is no way that planes that arrive and leave the airport can fly in between. But, the point that this can generate many problems depending on usage. Someone who doesn't have much experience has already flown in ATTI mode for example? This is a scenario where manual control is very important. If the user is not aware of this, surely the drone will collide. What I mean is that accidents can often happen unintentionally, so drone safety systems are important, especially on larger models like the EVO II line.
So, although it is interesting a prioriIt can also be worrying in some cases and we always have to defend the general security.
AI follow-up system
Finally, a very interesting last feature that the EVO II drones bring the second generation of the Dynamic Track system to follow a desired point, which helps a lot in scenarios where the marked object moves faster.
This feature is very cool for sports scenes, takes where you are recording on your own and you can't control the drone and other cases. Another very good point is that considering that the drone can do the whole process without losing what is following, the focus and framing of the recording are excellent in most cases, resulting in great videos since when done well what is recorded is always in the center. of the frame.
In this type of flight the sensors also make a lot of difference, since when detecting obstacles during the trip they make the automatic deviation and continue following what is marked. Today the Skydio 2 drone is considered the best in this kind of feature, with 6 4K cameras capturing all directions and an NVIDIA Tegra X2 chip to do the analysis work.
The separate specifications are great, but what impresses the whole work
As I said in the introduction, DJI has been at the forefront of the general consumer drone segment since they exist. Began to stand out with the line Phantom and revolutionized the market again through the line Mavic. Surprisingly, it still dominates years later so that no other can even come close, and certainly one of the big reasons is that it has no competitors to match. But in recent months we are seeing new launches shaking the shelves and surely the Autel EVO II line, for now, the one that has done best to bring together the best in some technologies with major breakthroughs in others – all in a project very similar to those of the Mavic 2 line.
My biggest highlights are logically in the cameras. Even a few TVs support 8K resolution so far, and this is a drone with great future potential when it comes to film quality for bringing this feature. In addition, we have the associated technologies as 120mbps bitrate (be that enough for 8K? for 4K certainly, but for 8K it may be low), 10-bit color (read 10 billion color sensors), and good sensors, especially that of the Pro model, enabling a good scenario even in low light with good manual lens aperture control.
Now, as I pointed out, what impresses you most the whole work in this line. They all bring 40 minutes flight range, which are among the highest in the market for drones of this profile. They also have nothing less than 12 obstacle sensors capturing 360It is very important in terms of protection, safety and autonomous flight. Finally, Autel also implemented the second generation of its drone tracking system to track an object using IA technology, and brought in some other very interesting features – control distance up to 9km, display control and FullHD resolution transmission for the screen of the phone, speed of 72km / h, lower LEDs to aid in takeoff and landing in low light or at night. Many technologies that Mavic 2 already has, but theoretically with improvements.
An incredible list, but how much does it cost?
But what are the prices of the EVO II models? Well, so far the company hasn't released this information, which is sure to define how interesting drones remain. I don't expect a value under $ 1,500.
I also remember that the first generation EVO model, with characteristics very similar to the Mavic 2 models, currently costs $ 1049 in the single battery pack.
Finally one thing we must not forget is extremely important to be highlighted, DJI is not any company, and certainly is keeping an eye on everything that is happening in the market, so we can expect products as good as any we have seen in recent months, And above all, with quality assurance of flight experience, something that is achieved over time and that these newer companies still need to achieve, especially when we talk about high sales demand. It is one thing to sell a few thousand drones, another to sell millions, since the potentiation of problems goes along with success, and if the first point is not low, the second will be affected by logic.
All models of drones launched by DJI from now on will detect planes and helicopters.
I also remember that DJI announced that ALL of its drones launched this year will bring a system that detects aircraft near the drone, this is a giant step towards greater safety in the segment. With this functionality the user will be warned by the smartphone screen when a plane or helicopter is approaching, very interesting.
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