DJI Mavic 3 vs Skydio 2 Active Track Review (for Cycling)

This post is a quick heads up that over on YouTube I published a review of the DJI Mavic 3 and its newly released Active Track 5.0 functionality. Additionally, within this video, I include a review of the canal water temperature, entry to water conditions, and overall canal immersion experience – from the perspective of a cyclist now retrieving a drone.

When the DJI Mavic 3 launched about 7 weeks ago, it did not include any Active Track capabilities at the time of launch. In fact, it actually didn’t really include any features at all. The fact that the thing even took off is somewhat astounding. Instead, all promised features were slated for January. But last week DJI changed course and released about half of the features early, inclusive of LiveTrack. Thus, out to my favorite drone testing spot I went.

The main new feature in Active Track 5.0 is the ability to set a specific following angle with the Mavic 3. So for example, the ability to set it in front of you, or off to a specific side angle. The second big-ticket item of the Mavic 3 is APAS 5.0 (Automated Pilot Assistance System), which is inclusive of the significantly expanded obstacle avoidance sensors. The theory being that all those things will make this the best sports-tracking drone DJI has made to date.

As usual, I put it through its paces on a set course with open areas, trees, and paths, to see how it handled against the reigning drone king of sports tracking – the Skydio 2. After all, if DJI could get this right, it could change some recommendations. Especially since the Skydio 2 is a touch over 2 years old now, and even Skydio themselves is seemingly hinting at new things on the horizon.

In any case, go forth and hit the play button. There are YouTube chapters along the bottom of the video, for those that want to skip to the juicy parts. Or wet parts. Your choice.

Also, fun geekery sidenote – all the on-bike audio was shot using the new DJI Mic (the wireless ones), attached to a GoPro chest harness (not *the* GoPro chest harness, but rather a bit beefier one I’ve been using as of late that holds larger loads better). I’m working on a review of that new mic compared to the Rode Wireless GO II that I use for everything else. Review soonish.

With that – thanks for watching!!!


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  1. Alwyn Sulman

    You had me cracking up with the wading into the sloot… Memories from my childhood came flooding back, lol.

  2. Paul Frylink

    17:03 Skidoo 2
    Snow mobile review coming soon ? :-)

  3. Ken

    How is the Mavic at dynamic avoidance – if it’s hovering / stationary & someone with a lesser drone (without all of the avoidance sensors) flies towards the Mavic 3 will it dynamically move away or just sit there & get crashed into?

  4. Adam

    “Do a U-ey” ;-)

    Great video too.

  5. Niels

    Terrific and hilarious video. You walked directly past a long plank (10:37) which might’ve gotten you back across the water a little easier (or not, depending on the state of the plank). Something to look out for in the future perhaps?

    • Yeah, I pondered the plank for the return journey, then figured at that point I was already soaked and just walking across was less effort than sorting the plank only to have it somehow fail on me. :)

  6. Kos

    is it possible to have a phone as tracking device instead of bulky controller for Air3?

  7. Kevin Macarthur

    Have you ever looked at the Hubsan Zion mini Pro? 249g and tracking

  8. An plan for reviewing Autel nano or nano+ in the near future? Like te detailed reviews of yours.
    Ps: (for the companies)
    We watch his reviews in Turkey, too.

  9. Have there been any updates with the software? More improvements to keep you out of canals?