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Skydio 2 and DJI Mavic Air 2 track a motorcycle. Guess who wins.

Skydio 2 and DJI Mavic Air 2 track a motorcycle. Guess who wins.

Ryan Urlacher puts the Skydio 2 and DJI Mavic Air 2 to the test. In this almost 30-minute video, he has both drones following him while he is riding his motorcycle on a dirt road with quite a bit of elevation. Guess which of the two drones does a better job at tracking him.

Skydio 2 and DJI Mavic Air 2 track a motorcycle. Guess who wins.

It’s a somewhat lengthy video but, if you’re interested in possibly buying either one of these drones for their tracking abilities than this is a must-watch.

The DJI Mavic Air 2 was set up in 4K 30fps in trace, normal, and sport mode but loses the motorcycle very quickly. Changes in speed and in elevation seem to confuse the drone. At one point in the video, the drone even locks on to the ground and subsequently crashes. The DJI Mavic Air 2 does excel in manual mode, however.

The Skydio 2 drone does a much better job of tracking the subject, even up to speeds of 36 mph. The drone does not always fly very smoothly or in a cinematic way as it seems that its 360-degree obstacle avoidance is oftentimes interfering. However, in wide-open spaces, the drone does a very good job. For the best results, you will need to use the Beacon in combination with the Skydio 2. Especially toward the end of the video as they ride their bikes on through a forest there are some really good sections of footage.

The Skydio 2 wins the tracking test hands down. However, the downside with the Skydio 2 is that the manual flight of the drone is not as good or as much fun as the DJI Mavic Air 2… So for the best results, you’ll have to get both drones. Or wait until we finally get a drone that can do it all.

On his channel, Ryan Urlacher says:

“Understand that there is no perfect camera, drone, or tool for filmmaking or even for a hobbyist who just wants some basic shots. The drone or tools you choose will have to fit your particular needs. To get great cinematic shots you really must fly your drone manually so you can frame the exact shots you want and perform the maneuvers you want. No autonomous drone will get the same shots you can manually. If you think you’re just going to go buy an autonomous featured drone and auto-track your motorcycle and get great shots then your sadly mistaken. One big drawback to using auto-tracking is that you don’t have manual control over your camera settings and you must rely on the auto features. I’m not a big fan of that.”

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Haye Kesteloo

1 comment

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  • While we all know that the Skydio is better than anything DJI provides for tracking a subject, I find the kind of comparison this guy does here kind of silly. I mean, DUH, lets take a drone that isn’t made to follow something like a motorcycle and compare it to one that is specifically designed for that type of subject tracking, right down to offering a beacon to tell the drone where the subject is.

    Use the right tool for the job. Tracking=Skydio…Almost everything else=DJI

    If you would like to see someone who has given the Skydio a thorough test, check out this guy:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6fss8fQ-uFIAdCSj2HQrqA

    I have no affiliation to him or his efforts, but have clearly learned a lot and seen the capabilities of the Skydio.

    Really, though, people should stop trying to make a DJI drone do what it can’t.