Three Strikes, And All That

I just watched a recent YouTube video from a professional wedding photographer who was very enthusiastic (actually he was raving) about the Mavic Pro quadcopter. The Mavic Pro is a roughly $1,000 device - a foldable drone -  and probably could be considered a "prosumer" product. The photographer was trying to test if it would work well enough to compliment his other drone equipment.

Fair enough - now here is the weird part. He had ordered the product from New Egg, a well known computer/electronics vendor who has a very good return policy - which turned out to be important. The first Mavic had a camera problem - one half of the footage was quite noticeably out of focus. He returned it for a prompt replacement.  

The second device also had a (different) camera problem, in that either the camera mount or the stabilization circuitry had an issue and he was experiencing quite a bad "jello" effect. "Jello" is the bane of drone videography, and usually manifests as a distracting, wobbly/strobing effect on part or all of the video.

He had video samples of both of these conditions, and they were quite obvious in the clips he showed. The guy's name is not important, and I don't want to seem like I am calling him out personally in all this. He returned the second Mavic to New Egg and got a third, which is the one he was raving about.

However, during his praise he then revealed that this Mavic also had a problem; after a few minutes use, the camera would stop working, reboot itself and then start working again.

This is the part that floored me - the guy was still so enthusiastic about the Mavic as a product, yet he had just purchased 3 duds one after the other! I had not previously heard any concerns about the Mavic having quality issues. It is very popular and it's not a bargain basement device by any stretch - maybe he just ran into a bad batch? 

He was not real clear in the video if these were software or hardware issues, or a mixture. My shock was that he seemed completely unfazed by all this, and was still going to use it in his business in addition to he other equipment.

Mavic Pro, in folder position - image courtesy

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