DJI Mavic 3 Active Track vs Skydio 2: Tested & Footage!
I know another drone video where im in the canal but thats what you come to my channel, for, i guess real life testing and a lot of cold water, hey folks, its ray at dcramricker.com here and save a complete autonomous tracking review between the dji mavic 3 And the skydio2 now, while there are plenty of other differences between these two drones for this video im, hyper focused on just the autonomous tracking portions, both attracting me and obstacle avoidance and in particular how well these two drones do that, while im out doing real world Activities and real world circumstances with real world trees. Now i have plenty of experience with these two drones. It wasnt until just last week that dji added the active track capability to the mavic 3.. So what i want to do is take these drones out in a back to back scenario on the exact same course: exact same route, the exact same conditions exact same time of day, everything identical literally just back to back to see how they perform the test will Start out here on this path in the open field and itll go up to slight rise before making a turn around this building and heading its way down this tree lined path, and, of course this is where the test we get into the obstacle void inside as Well, as the tracking side, well, try multiple angles and positions and pretty much go as long as we can until the drones either get back to the finish or until they they dont and they end up in a puddle or canal or tree or something now in The case of the mavic 3 youre going to need to have your controller with you for active track, not because it needs it like the following standpoint, but because you need to be able to control the settings uh and you need your phone for that particular.
So what ive got here is this 20 bike handlebar mount ive done a review on up in the corner, its pretty awesome and its mostly awesome, and you put the controller in it and you put the phone on top of it. You can take the whole kit with you now in the case of the skadio. It does not need a controller, but you do need your phone to be able to set the angles and stuff so im just going to throw my phone in that same mount. Just to keep things kind of simple and easy, but again neither drone depends on that controller from like a tracking standpoint, theyre all using their own sensors to do that now, because this is a newer video. Most of you are probably focused on the mavic 3.. After all, the skydio2s been out for more than two years now, so its a fairly well understood beast, both pro and con, but with the mavic 3 theyve introduced active track 5.0 and the main feature there is ability for you to set which follow angle. You want, for example, you want the camera in front of you to the side of you, the out front right that kind of stuff, whereas in the past you couldnt reliably do that, but far more important than that for the mavic 3 is the new obstacle avoidance. Sensors, and also combined with apas 5.0, which is the advanced pilot assistant system. Basically the thing that keeps this from crashing into obstacles and how avoids obstacles and goes around them now, with the mavic 3 theres, a bunch of sensors on it that keep it from crashing.
So, on the back here we have two river facing. We have two upwards facing sensors there on the front. We have two more front roads facing and then on the bottom. We have two more downward facing, as well as its out of the way uh ground detection sensor is right there and its notable is that in the past, dji has put their rearward and frontward sensors facing just forward and back, but now theyre on kind of the Edge there, so they actually see both the sides and the front, giving you a complete 360 degree field of view according to dji. Meanwhile, on the scadio, you also have sensors. You have three top sensors that focus on basically everything above the aircraft, including the sides. So one two three and then on the bottom. You have three more sensors as well one two three and then combine that with the front camera that records what youre doing and then again neither drone uses the gps from the controller or your phone to follow you. Instead, its just using these sensors to avoid things as well as to go ahead and use the camera for tracking you as an object. Okay, so with that lets, get these drones up in the air. Oh and this video is definitely not sponsored in any way shape or form. I bought both of these drones and theyre my money to lose if they end up in the drink, or something like that.
So if you are finding this video answering useful, go ahead and just whack that, like button the bottom the subscribe button, it really helps out this video and the channel quite a bit. Okay. So now that we have it up in the air here, a couple quick housekeeping items, uh the very first one – is that im on normal mode and not sport mode uh. The reason is on dji drones in sport mode. It turns off obstacle avoidance uh. You can see that if i go to sport mode right there, it goes turns it off back into normal mode. It turns it back on. The next thing is that obstacle avoidance – and you see up here the flight assistance menu under safety. I have it on bypass, meaning its going to go around the object, as opposed to just simply stopping and not following them anymore. Otherwise, you choose break if you wanted that or off entirely, and you can see the display of the radar map showing me the objects as im getting closer to them so going back here at this point, the last thing to note is that if we go and Highlight ourselves, it brings up the actor track menu and you see i have spotlight poi or active track in our case were going to choose actitrack youll see this is the new menu on the mavic 3, allowing me to choose which orientation i can tap. That little thing in the middle again there and i can see the options of left or right im going to keep it to my right where it is right now and then i need to choose the go button, so i need to choose go otherwise.
It wont record. The other thing to note is that in this mode here, so you can see it moves itself into position by the way, and i cant actually change how far out so i cant use the sticks anymore to change uh. How far out it goes. I can change the orientation right here like this no problem, but if i go front and back it just goes up and down so i can change the altitude like this, but i cant change the distance away from me, which is kind of a bit of a Bummer uh, so the last thing to note is that on the recording frame rates the highest you can choose is 4k 60. You cant choose any of the 5k modes. You also cannot use the tele lens, so the zoom lens is not an option here. Lets get rolling were gon na go up this little tiny hill here, barely hill at all should be staying to my right, this entire time and im gon na turn to the right. As i clip into my pedals there, we go turn to the right here. So lets see if it does that and well go straight into this kind of tree tunnel there we go its repositioning to my right right now, its got some trees coming up on its left. It should avoid, i hope. Okay, there we go now its taken. A pretty interesting route in between these trees uh its not ideal and its chosen now to go from behind me instead now, given the fact that i cannot go ahead and actually put it further out away from the trees im not opposed to being behind me.
So im gon na go a little faster, now bring it up, speed here and so far so good its avoiding the trees up there im gon na lower it down a little bit, though you can see the radar map showing its getting pretty close so trying to Lower it, its not terribly listening to me, im injured here, watch this im gon na slow down theres a giant opening right here lets see if it goes out there back to my side where it should be yeah its giving it a whirl. Okay. There we go. Hey an hour listening good job, little guy, you were doing way better than the air 2s, so youre getting pretty ballsy with those tree branches. Uh, oh too, ballsy come on catch back up, thats, not where i would fly my little friend yeah just get back there. Thats safer, so this is the main issues. I cannot change how far away to set it. I want to set it further out from those trees, so its not so close. Okay. So what were going to do here is going to flip a ue im going to go back into activetrack and im going to put it in front of me lets see if i can get that to work so well, stop it trace in front there. We go and ive got go so lets see. If you can do this, its a tricky business here ill go slow at first ill.
Let you get yourself out there yeah! You dont want to do that. You get yourself out there. You can do it. You can do it there. You go good job. Okay, now were gon na go a little faster dont be screwing. This up. Okay, im impressed im, also really darn close to this by the way about three meters away. Right now come on youre getting higher than need to be and its not really listening. When i tell it to go lower, oh kinda. Now it is this time: okay, a little too close measuring. Subject: distance failed, okay, so ive repositioned in front of me. There we go and then go so im going to go slowly here, im also going to go lower down a bit more 15k an hour like 10 miles per hour, lets kind of get it going a little faster here so far. Its so good, though, like this isnt horrible, this is way faster than any ddi drone could go in the past, but as im approaching about 18 kilometers an hour here, its not liking me likely because of these trees, its probably not to do with the speed per Se, im going to try to put it out to the left here lets see. If i can do that here we go left. What are you going to do? Little guy? My bed is just going to do it up there, but its kind of getting of our turnaround point.
Okay, this is opportunity coming up in three two one. It should be all clear to be able to pull this ue off, so it should easily better get around me there. We go okay and left good job now, dont hit the tree. Dont hit the tree. Oh good job thats, oh thats, not good! Oh, you survived holy cow straight into it, its oh doly, moly, oh and its down. I wish i had a camera on that. Well, i guess i do, but so its over there. It went like this hit this tree around and then just swooping, like top gun style crash right to over there. You can see it blinking, but it didnt hit the water, which is good, but i think thats the end of its test, so bat and i youre probably asking yourself: why do i do all these tests by canals and the simple answer is i live in the Netherlands, everything is by canal everythings, by water, like the whole country, is basically under sea level, so its either a little canal or a big canal. So i chose a little canal im leaving on the socks, because this is some really sharp hey. I dont know what the hell it is, but its sharp oh, that does not feel good. Oh im, basically, up to my lets, go get my drone theres a lady on a ridge over there. Looking at me like what is his issue? Okay? Well, the gimbals! Not in the optimal orientation right now, uh, i dont see props broken uh, the gimbals cracked right there yep.
Can we pop it back in place good thing about the warranty, uh im going to go ahead and get this drone back across? Oh this is cold. That is up to places where the sun does not shine. Oh, this is cold. I need to do these tests. Companies cant you make this stuff in like summer now. I want to take a second to point out something really interesting that led to the crash itself and it isnt what you necessarily think both of these drones throughout the entire tracking hit the end of tree branches, a little tiny, twig portions. If you will multiple times, but neither drone actually crashed due to that, they are both very very resilient in that and they stabilize and keep on going. But in the case of the mavic 3, when it would either get behind because of a tree branch or behind. Because it just couldnt figure out the right way to get through an obstacle, it would get riskier in its behavior in the following couple seconds. You can see that here where it gets really close to a tree trying to catch up, and in fact this is the exact same thing that happened at the very end after it hit those tree branches it stabilized, and then it tried to catch up and went Straight into the tree and whats interesting is that every time that risky maneuver happens, it almost seems to lower its guard for obstacle avoidance for just the briefest of seconds.
You see. The radar map does not initially sew the tree trunk and then the last second. It shows a tree trunk which to me means theres some sort of processing or algorithm issue going on here after it tries to say, hey entering risky behavior mode, and then it doesnt like avoid a tree trunk. Now the good news there is, i think, thats something they could fix in a firmware update down the road, its clearly an algorithm thing, its not a sensor thing so with that lets jump into skydio. Okay, so we got the scadio in the drone. My feet are getting pretty chilly with it right now. Uh and im gon na go ahead and tap myself there we are uh and the skydeal is basically gon na, be where its gon na be ive, got it set off to my right hand, side there. We go so set to the right hand, side see if these leave them clip in right now, with all the mud caked in them there we go im gon na increase the range just slightly to try to match uh what i had for the with this. Let it roll lets roll back up this little hill. Well, keep it to the right! Well, eventually, throw it behind me at some point when we get bored of having it not crashed into things, so you can get clipped in there. We go here turns turn to the right, so we should see it flip around, hopefully not hit.
Anything went over. The bridge around the trees clearly sees the trees, its taking a much smarter course of action out. There lets get past this boat. Its definitely like a little bit close to these tree limbs, but so far so good its going further and further out, and now it looks like its rethinking its life choices. It doesnt like being over there, which again just like the mavic 3, makes sense. No problems following me lets see out here, slow down again, just like with the mavic 3 see if it shoots itself out the side of the gap, its got yep it does that there we go, lets pull a ue here and well, throw it in front of Me see if it wants to slide past me: okay, its going wide around me there we go. This even gets in front of me now got to do some duck and cover there. Hasnt really found its place now hit a little branch one little twig, but it recovered just like the mavic 3 had a bunch of branches on the way and eventually was killed. But here we go come on find your spot up there. Oh, its a big branch show you just clipped that one too, you are lawn mowing through everything today, apparently the name of the game so its having trouble finding its its moment out there see if i slow down enough now keep in mind with the mavic 3. I actually let it get ahead of me.
I put it in front of me. There we go so now its got its time. Its ahead of me perfect, im still struggling. We got a lot of mud, kick from these cleats theyre, not designed for mud okay. So we got it ahead of me, its the exact same spot, im gon na tell it to go to the left of me when i get this chance, get wasted no time in doing that, thats fine around that around the building, and then here comes a tree That the tree by the way took out the mavic air 2s. Here comes the mavic 3 tree whats it going to do its going to go wide its going to lose me, oh its going to catch back up. I see it back there. Oh, you got me little buddy there. We go good job and well do a ue right here and well bring it back to land before we kill another drone. Well done little guy! Well done! Okay! So, ultimately, when we look at autonomous tracking, there are two pieces to that puzzle. The first one is the object tracking. So if im going behind a bush or a shrub or something does it reacquire me after it loses me for the briefest of moments. The second part is obstacle avoidance, while doing that autonomous tracking in the case of the mavic 3, its actually pretty darn good in the tracking department uh. In fact, it only lost me once for the briefest of moments and while the skydio2 didnt have that issue on this particular run, or this particular day, ive certainly seen that over the last two years here and there so its not something thats totally unique to the Dji mavic 3.
. Now the mavic 3 does have additional limitations. There, though, for example, the fact that i cannot change the distance away from the subject is a huge downer and it puts us in a riskier position. I would prefer that be further away from the trees. So i could just stay away from the trees, where i could do that with the skydio2. I couldnt do it here. Similarly, because you cannot use a telephoto lens, it has to get closer to the subject thats, both bad from like a safety and risk standpoint, but its also bad from a cinematography standpoint. The shot would look way cooler on the telephoto lens at 4k than it would on the main lens at 4k, because you would have a better perspective of speed as well as depth of field. Now, setting that aside for a second, we get into the obstacle avoidance question and now in this case the mavic 3 is actually the best drone that dji has ever made in terms of obstacle avoidance, of course, thats sort of like given the most improved award. It just means they were really bad at in the past, but this is legitimately the best drone theyve made in that category. As you saw, it failed in a rather unusual way, so im hoping that something dji can fix in an update down the road which doesnt mean the skadio 2 is perfect from an obstacle avoidance standpoint. Its certainly not perfect. Ive crashed this once or twice over.
The last two years, though, its still running just fine theres, no, like obvious scratches on it and also from a cinematography standpoint. This clearly is not as good as this when it was up in the air was much clearer, much cleaner on the mavic 3 than the skydio2, and that shows – and those are all things you have to balance at the moment, though, i have to balance a broken Drone versus a functional drone, so its kind of not an even scale, still im interested to see if dji can fix this in future firmware updates. I have a feeling in the rush to get active track out ahead of their plan january time frames. They just werent. Quite its just not ready yet as simple as that, so ill be looking forward to that and if things do change and if i hear things have changed in terms of that algorithm, i will happily test it again with that thanks for watching.