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Evo 2 Pro Review 2021

May 7, 2021 | 0 comments

Note: Keep safety and responsibility in mind when flying. If you’ve never flown before, it’s never too late to learn. Find a hands-on Training near you.

 In order to legally operate a drone business, you will need a Part 107 License. If you want to pass the test on your first try, take a Prep Course.

If you’re considering purchasing the Autel Evo 2 Pro Drone, you’ll be getting an amazing piece of technology that is a lot of fun to fly and captures excellent footage. In this post, we will go through all the features of the Autel Evo 2 Pro Drone so you can see if it’s the right drone for you.

The Autel EVO 2 Pro has a 6K camera and a remote with a built-in display, so you don’t have to use your smartphone to fly it.

For most consumer drones to work, you need to use a smartphone app, so you can connect your phone and take pictures. This is why the EVO 2 Pro from Autel Robotics features a color display built into the controller itself, so you can fly, frame photos, and record videos without an additional device. In general, it’s a strong performer, but you’ll pay more for the privilege of controlling the quadcopter without your phone, and many camera features still require an app. In terms of pros and cons, the DJI Air 2S with its similar camera is a better value for most people at a lower price.

The Autel Evo 2’s Colors Offers Great Visibility

With dimensions of 4.5 by 4.3 by 9.0 inches (HWD) and a takeoff mass of 2.6 pounds, the EVO 2 Pro is a bit large for a small drone. The finish is bright orange, making it highly visible. In blue skies and green fields, the orange color stands out more than dull-finish drones.

EVO 2 Pro users in the USA need FAA registration in order to use the aircraft. You can find all the details about FAA Drone Zone, but there is a small fee. Most people are covered for three years. You have to complete a certification course if you are flying for pay. It’s a good idea to learn some of the basics of drone operation if you’re new to the hobby.

Learn More: Drone License: Getting your Part 107 Certification – FAQ

Safety Features – Obstacle Avoidance

Using the airframe’s obstacle sensors, the aircraft will avoid crashing into anything if it flies at a standard speed, giving you the freedom to work on your camera. A massive flight battery gives the EVO 2 a best-in-class 40-minute flight rating. The actual battery life may vary, however. In testing, it usually comes close to 32 minutes, which is a little better than the DJI Mavic Air 2 and Air 2S, but not significantly so.

It all comes down to how you fly the EVO. When hovering, the battery requires more power than it does when moving forward – a 35-minute hover is rated for the battery. Furthermore, it drains faster when you switch to Ludicrous speed, a high-speed flight mode..

It reaches 22mph in standard flight mode and is capable of all-around obstacle detection. This is a useful tool when working at ground level when trees or other obstructions might be present. Switching to the Ludicrous mode while flying high above the trees will give your footage more sense of motion.

Storage – Internal Memory and MicroSD cards

A micro USB port lets you connect the drone to a computer and offload files. Autel includes 8GB of storage in the drone itself. Memory cards are almost a necessity for 6K footage since there isn’t much room on the camera. You can get a fast 256GB microSD card for under $20, so it’s not a big deal.

This device uses GPS to stabilize itself. Because of its pinpoint satellite location and numerous sensors, it hovers without noticeably drifting.  

Using the drone along with a smartphone app will let you see the drone’s position on a world map, but you can’t do this using the included remote. The EVO 2 Pro still remembers its take-off point, which makes an automated return to home possible.

Manual Flight Restrictions instead of Geofencing

The drone allows you to set restrictions on how far away it can fly but, unlike DJI drones, there’s no geofencing around airports or other restricted flight zones. This means you must know whether you’re permitted to fly in that location. For more information, you can consult the FAA’s B4UFLY app.

It has some extra appeal for pro pilots who know where they’re allowed and not allowed to fly. DJI drones are regulated by default, requiring certified pilots to go through an unlocking process before taking off. As long as you have permission, the EVO 2 Pro requires no additional steps in order to fly in restricted areas.

Full-Screen Remote Controller of the Evo 2 Pro

The EVO 2 Pro includes the same style remote as the previous EVO. This model differs from others by including a full-color screen that you can use without having to connect to your smartphone.

Besides the standard gimbal and controls, it also offers a wide range of sensor options. On the left stick, you can change altitude and yaw, and on the right stick, you can move the drone forward, back, right, and left. If you’ve never flown a drone before, it’s similar to playing a flight simulator. 

On the front, there are buttons for taking off and landing, pause in the air, and returning the drone to its takeoff point. Antennas are located at the top, along with control wheels for camera tilt and EV adjustment, and buttons for snapping photos and switching to video recording. If you don’t plan on connecting to the smartphone app, you can remove the phone clip with a flathead screwdriver.

App-Free Experience

However, the app-free experience is not without its limitations. Its screen does not support touch control, for instance, so you’ll have to use a control dial and button combo to navigate menus and adjust exposure settings. It is possible to choose the video resolution and frame rate on the remote, but not the profile or log setting.

Also, you won’t be able to see where the drone is on a world map, and you’ll lose out on the automated flight modes of the EVO 2 Pro’s phone app. With the app, you can orbit and track your subjects, as well as identify and locate them using many different tracking paths.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t use these extra features, a phone’s touch interface makes navigating through an app a lot easier. Touch-based controls allow you to modify camera settings, and menus can also be changed. Additionally, you can access the camera’s full range of features through the app, not just the basics.

Using your phone with the Evo 2 Pro Controller

Android and iOS users can download the Autel Explorer app for free. A USB-A port on the remote allows you to plug in your phone, and cables are provided for phones with micro USB and USB-C ports. However, it does not come with a Lightning cable, so if you own an iPhone, you will have to bring your own. It’s worth noting that the controller doesn’t charge your phone. 

For longer flights, you’ll want to make sure the remote’s battery is fully charged before taking off. Charging is done via the micro USB port on the bottom. The USB-C interface would have been a nice addition, but if you don’t have one then the charger is included. It would also be nice if the remote’s cooling fan were quieter—it’s pretty loud. However, it doesn’t run all the time, just when the remote is turned on.

Having said that, the interface does have some quirks. Changing resolutions usually results in a return to the default frame rate, so you must always make sure the settings are locked in for your video. Also, updating the firmware using the remote and phone app proved problematic; the process halted at 99%. In the end, loading the new version into a microSD card made the firmware upgrade go smoothly.

Camera Performance: The Evo 2 Pro’s 1-Inch sensor

This drone differs from Autel’s previous EVO and EVO 2 models in that the camera is bigger than most smartphones, similar to the type used by Sony in its premium RX100 series. In the standard EVO 2, the camera is 48MP Quad Bayer with 8K support, but it deals with this through a smaller image sensor.

As a result, the sensor design is about four times larger than typical drone cameras. Combined with high ISOs, it provides better detail, a wider dynamic range, and better image quality. Though there are fewer pixels than the standard EVO 2’s 48MP/8K camera, the Pro version is an upgraded version.

A 20-megapixel output and an F2.8 lens produce photos with excellent detail. In JPG mode, you can remove some barrel distortion and chromatic aberration but cannot edit shots. While digital zoom is available for JPG capture as well, it’s no different from cropping a photo later – it’s always best to get closer to a subject if it’s safe to do so.

Aperture

The lens features a mechanical aperture similar to that of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. With it, you can narrow the f-stop to get photos with multi-point sun stars, a look you’ll get from f/8 to f/11. Although there is some loss of resolution when stopping down that far, it’s best to keep the aperture at f/5.6 or wider for most situations.

In addition to photos, video can benefit from the variable aperture. The shutter speed should be set a bit narrower when shooting at 24fps and 30fps, typically 1/48-second and1/60-second, respectively. On bright days, neutral-density filters are still useful; just as with photos, the maximum aperture for the best-looking video is f/5.6 or wider.

Depending on the resolution, the camera can shoot in 6K at 30fps, 4K at 60fps, or 2.7K or 1080p at 120fps. The options include cinematic (24fps), PAL (25fps), and NTSC (30fps), as well as off-speed in the modes that support them. In cinematic productions, the 48fps frame rate is crucial if you want to use a half-speed slow-motion effect.

Video Profiles

There are customizable video profiles, which is a plus. In the standard video profile, the images appear distorted and overly sharpened. The sharpening is most noticeable in aerial shots with grasses and trees. You can improve the sharpening by dialing in a -2 or -3 adjustment.

In the default color profile, you get a pleasing appearance and are ready to use. Alternatively, you can change to a black-and-white or nostalgic look. Log’s low-contrast, flat look is ideal for color grading, and more advanced users may opt for it. At the full 6K resolution, the camera delivers an 8-bit Log, but at 4K30 and below, 10 bits are more malleable.

By design, the Log footage is low-contrast. It is not possible to monitor with a LUT applied in the app, something you get with some pro video cameras. We’re not surprised that the feature was removed, but it’s a shame because the low-contrast video can be difficult to see on bright days.

Slow-motion video will always have 8-bit resolution, and the angle of view will be cropped. Nevertheless, that’s often a benefit for a drone camera, since it puts some distance between the quadcopter and the subject.

Moreover, the HDR feature is also applicable to 4K30 and below. The tool is most useful when you’re shooting shots with dramatic lightings, like sunsets and sunrises. You can share the HDR look without color correction and see shadow detail. As it is saved in the standard color space, the footage is easier to edit than the higher-quality HDR HLG offered by DJI in the Air 2S.

The Evo 2 Pro is an alternative to DJI Drones

DJI drones are the most popular drones in the consumer market. The competition has been fierce so far, but some have either given up (GoPro) or chosen to focus on industrial products (Yuneec).

The EVO 2 Pro is one of the best drones to compete with DJI’s folding Mavic. With an impressive camera that compares to the Mavic 2 Pro and Air 2S, this drone is a winner. For professionals frustrated with DJI’s process for unlocking restricted areas, this might be a solution. Although, it should never be viewed as an escape from regulations.

You can use the app without the Explorer app, but all camera features and automated flight is out of the question. Despite its great potential, there is still room for improvement.

Best alternatives to the Autel Evo 2 Pro

If you’re looking for an alternative, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the closest model available to you in terms of features and price. The Mavic 2 Pro was released in August 2018 while the EVO 2 Pro was released in May 2020. In spite of the Mavic 2 Pro being older technology, it’s still DJI’s flagship drone for good reason. In terms of market share today, the Mavic isn’t as distinct as it was, but its Hasselblad camera remains unmatched, even if it can only produce 4K video.

DJI Air 2S costs around $1,000. Since its camera lacks aperture control, sun stars are not possible. With the Air 2S you must reach for neutral-density filters to reduce incoming light. There is no debate over the price, it offers 10-bit video at full resolution, and much, much more. The EVO 2 Pro is a good option for pilots who prefer a bit more independence.

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