How to fly a Mavic Zoom


Silly title, but my MZ is prolly coming this morning and I’m likely to rip the box open, plug in my phone and throw it up in the air! Especially as it is, for once, a beautiful sunny day with snow covered mountain tops.

I just wanted to know whether there are any fundamental differences to the Mavic Air? I know the extra functionality will take some learning but Is there anything I should be wary of, especially with Occusync?

I’m guessing the transmission will be much more stable. I usually get an antenna warning before I reach 400’.

Likely a smooth transition from Air to Zoom. Then I will almost certainly be putting the Air on the For Sale page. And I’ll be able to leave my ear defenders in the shed!



Morning Ash,

it’s more responsive and feels a little faster. If you’ve softened your yaw and EXP settings on the Air you’ll need to replicate this on the zoom. Other than that, it’s largely the same. You’ve another wheel (for zoom) to contend with and more function buttons.

Biggest difference to remember is that you’ll need to focus. Best bet is put it on manual and set to infinity. This way you’ll rarely have to revisit it. Also now, swiping left or right on the screen moves the camera to the left or right without changing the position of the drone.


Wow, I forgot about the whole focus thing. That’s something else to remember, as well as pressing the record button!:grin:

I must say I haven’t changed my yaw settings but I’ve always had problems getting a smooth pan. Some of that, of course, is that the Air often loses signal half way through a pan!

I suppose the optimum focus is just a little this side of infinity so that gives the best close focus and still incorporates infinity.

And then there’s the dolly zoom, which I will probably use once, and then never again!

With Hitchcock in mind, I remember at film school they told us how did one of the trick shots in Psycho by lowering the cameraman backwards down the stairs in a wheelchair. If only they’d had Mavics in his day!

Thanks for the input Lee. I can’t wait to post the first fuzzy pictures!


Helpfully it has an infinity icon on the focus setting


If it’s anything like the MP (and as far as FoV and fixed aperture is concerned, it is) you’ll be surprised how much is in focus when set to infinity.
Worth doing some tests when set to infinity, since to quickly set it to infinity, at the beginning of each flight, is a lot easier than fiddling with setting it consistenty to “almost infinity”.

I have the MP set like this, and it’s now in my brain as a standard start-up step.

This also prevents video from being ruined by a patch of “focus hunting”. :+1:


That’s very good advice. I’m sure the close focus is very rarely a problem. It’s not like you’re filming 10’ away from something. Why do you have to set it each time? Doesn’t it stay on infinity?


Every time you start the Mavic up, everything is “rebooted” and re-calibrated … the gimbal does a dance (don’t forget to remove the gimbal lock! another new step!) and the camera does whatever the camera does - but includes a full focus range movement.
It “may” be at infinity, but no guarantee. If you find that it is, then that’s one less thing to worry about.
But, for the MP, I double check every time. It’s not like an old manual lens that stays where it was last used. :wink:

(If only! … my new DSLR does have this “use last focus position at switch on” … “feature”. :+1: )


Thanks Dave. I will definitely need to do a new checklist. The grey matter’s not what it once was !


BTW Dave, Thanks for the “Giving Back” badge. Not like its any effort, its such good fun being here! Cheers.

Must find a needle & thread to sew it on when it comes! :grin:


Fully automatic by the forum software. :+1:



I actually went and double checked my MP … and, hmmmm, close to infinity when it boots up in manual focus … but not that I’d fully trust it.

The M2Z may by different, but on the MP there’s not an actual “infinity position” on the focus control … one way is closer until it goes no closer, the other way is further away until it goes past infinity. Yes … past!
Not flown in a while and, despite having done this bazillions of times, it’s so routine for me that I don’t really remember what I do. (Age may be involved, here, too.).
So - I do use something distant to focus on. If there’s nothing about that’s far enough away - up to the hover, tap the AF/MF icon to AF, tap the screen to focus on something distant, tap the AF/MF icon back to MF.


:see_no_evil: “ nay thrice nay” as Kenneth Williams would say, that’s why it’s got propellers I say “old chap”…:clown_face:


Yes but much safer without those whizzing propellers! :grin:


that was Frankie Howard:wink:


You’re right…:nerd_face:
You know your actors…


"Oh!, stop messin’ about!
was his (Kenneth Williams) famous catch phrase

As people above have said
Flying the M2Z is not really dissimilar to flying the Mavic Pro, or the Air.
It is just a great drone to fly, apart from all the little extra gizmos that it has.
And getting the Media card in/out is a lot easier, without having to unfold the legs.
(just one of the better improvements)
Enjoy your new flying experience Ash, you will love it !


I could hide my embarrassment here by looking this up, but how the hell do you set the focus to infinity? :scream::flushed:

**Runs off to nearby forest to hide his embarrassment.


In manual focus mode … (tap the AF/MF icon in Go4 … near top right … so that the MF is green) … then you get a focus scroller near the right of the screen and use that to adjust.


Just when you think youve got to grips with the basics! :roll_eyes: Cheers Dave thats brill :+1:


Plenty of YTs … if you can withstand the 'mercan, here’s one :