With many drone manufacturers competing for the market, the difference between purchasing a drone could come down to small details like camera sensor size, thermal resolution, or battery life. For agencies and organizations looking for a solid comparison between two middle-of-the-line sUAS for their operations, this article is right up your alley. We will be discussing and comparing the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced versus the Autel Evo 2 Dual.
Putting a drone up in the air can provide overwatch and help ground teams with situational awareness from an elevated, often discreet perspective. At 400 feet, smaller UAS systems will often not be heard, nor will it interfere with events on the ground. Watching events unfold means having the proper zoom camera and thermal capabilities.
Thermal Drone Sensors & Zoom Cameras
We will start with thermal sensors and the zoom camera through thermal. With the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced (M2EA) comes with a 640×512 high-resolution thermal camera (right half) with a 30Hz refresh rate and a 16x digital zoom. The Autel EVO II Dual offers the same thermal resolution (left half), the same refresh rate, but only has an 8x digital zoom in thermal. Zoom capabilities are different in visible light, which brings us to the next category. Regardless of make, high-resolution thermal will ensure you’re properly equipped with the latest night vision drone technology.
Visible Light Cameras
The M2EA boasts a strong 32x digital zoom in the standard visible light camera—compared to the Autel Robotics Evo 2’s 8x digital zoom. You’ll be able to see much farther with the Enterprise Advanced. The M2EA also offers a larger 84-degree field of view from its sensor and provides 4K Ultra-high Definition (UHD) resolution. On the other hand, the EVO II Dual offers a reduced 74-degree field of view. However, it doubles the resolution output to 8K (7680×4320 pixels on screen).
The battery life on both the Enterprise Advanced and the EVO are similar. The Autel Evo 2 battery allows pilots an approximate 38-minute flight time over the Mavic’s 31-minute flight time. It is important to note that these flight times are estimated and without any payloads added to the airframes.
Controller & Flight Modes
Perhaps controller functionality and flight modes matter more than camera sensor features. With the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced, you have only one option which is the smart controller. Through the smart controller, you’ll be able to toggle between tripod, portrait, and sport flight modes. The ultra-bright 5.5” display allows for clear view of the screen, even in direct sunlight. (NB: previous Enterprise aircraft allowed for the use of the non-smart controller or the smart controller).
The EVO II does have a smaller built-in display compared to the DJI smart controller. Therefore, it is recommended pilots utilize a large screen by adding a mobile phone or tablet to the Autel controller for full functionality. On the flip side, despite the smaller controller, the Autel offers a total of 8 flight modes such as orbit, dynamic tracking, tripod track, viewpoint, gesture, and more.
Payloads & Bundles
Payload options are important to consider when purchasing a drone or adding to an existing fleet. Both UAS come in hard shell cases. The Enterprise Advanced comes with three separate payloads, where only one can be mounted at a time. All three DJI payloads—the spotlight, the loud speaker, and the beacon—are easily swappable with a few screws. For added benefits, you might consider the Enterprise Fly More Kit. The Fly More Kit includes 2 extra batteries, 4 additional propellers, and power charging cables.
On the Autel side, the EVO II is more limited. Foxfury offers a saddle-type of high-lumen bi-directional LED lights that snap around the center of the aircraft. For accessories, you’ll want to explore the Rugged Bundle. The Autel Evo 2 Rugged Bundle comes with 2 extra batteries, 2 additional propellers, USB/USB-C connectors, and a charging hub to charge all 4 batteries at once.
Price is the bottom line. The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced by itself is priced right at $6,200. When adding the Enterprise Fly More Kit, you’re looking at a $6,700 price tag. Comparatively, the Autel EVO II Dual Rugged Bundle comes in right at $10,000.00.
For more information on the Autel Evo 2 review we made, please visit our YouTube channel. If you’re interested in receiving a quote on the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced or the Autel EVO 2 thermal, please email our staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In May 2021, a member of the FLYMOTION training division was off-site visiting a client of ours based in Louisiana. In between demonstrations, a call came through the radio alerting them of a structure fire. In this case, it was a large single-family home that caught fire and was quickly and heavily engulfed in flames. Luckily, Justin was traveling with two flagship DJI enterprise drones—the newly-released DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced and the DJI Matrice 300 RTK.
Once Justin arrived on scene, he asked permission to deploy our UAS. Once the incident commander gave the green light, Justin first deployed the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced. The goal of getting the lightweight UAS airframe airborne first was primarily to gain full 360-degree situational awareness of the property. The second goal of fire rescue drone operations is and should always be providing overwatch during the entirety of the call, until it is cleared.
Visibly, there was a column of smoke that emerged through the roof. For fire rescue professionals on the ground, this presented a visibility challenge of where to direct the hose lines to combat the source of the flames.
With Justin piloting the Enterprise Advanced, he utilized the high-resolution 640×512 thermal to see through the smoke. Flames that were hidden from eyesight on the ground were now clear as day with the thermal sensor overhead. Combating this structure fire with a thermal sensor overhead allowed fire rescue to gain control of the fire faster and placed a major emphasis on improved firefighter safety.
After the fire was contained, Justin landed the Enterprise Advanced and deployed the Matrice 300 RTK with the Zenmuse H20-T payload attached. The H20-T payload packs a powerful 20-megapixel zoom sensor providing a 23x hybrid optical zoom and 200x maximum digital zoom. It was necessary to incorporate the zoom capability alongside the thermal during this time of vulnerability.
With most of the fire suppressed, hot spots still presented a threat to firefighter safety via the risk of re-ignitions. It was at this point in the call, firefighters were entering the home. Our pilot hovered directly above the house and set the isotherms on the thermal to display hot spots ranging between 200 degrees and 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Seeing very clear hot spots allowed the incident commander to direct the hose lines to the appropriate places.
The Take-Away: The high-powered zoom camera allowed for even sharper detail of exactly what was still burning—a huge value add for firefighter safety and keeping the house from reigniting. Providing additional technology support through drone operations during a fire call presents many valuable benefits to save agencies money, time, and most important, lives of innocent bystanders and those who serve in public safety.
To catch the After Action Report video, please watch on our FLYMOTION YouTube channel. Thank you for reading!