DJI's folding 'Mavic' drone images leak out

If accurate, they jibe with DJI's comments about a small, easy-to-use drone.

Image credit: Heliguy/Digital Trends

DJI's Adam Najberg recently told Engadget that if the average consumer is going to buy a drone, "size is going to be an issue. Also ease of use." Judging by a recent leak, the company may not be just musing about such a product. Drone site Heliguy leaked an image of a small camera drone that collapses down for easy transport. If accurate, it could be called the "Mavic," a name DJI recently trademarked.

According to rumors, it'll pack a 4K camera, two-axis gimbal, collapsible arms and an LCD-equipped controller running Android. At 1.43 pounds, it would be by far DJI's lightest camera-equipped drone; the second smallest DJI Phantom 2 Vision weighs 2.6 pounds. Another leak puts the battery size at 3,380 mAh, compared to 5,200 mAh for the Phantom 2 Vision.

"If I can take [a drone] out of my jacket pocket and throw it up into the air, or just put it on the ground and push a button, and it goes up and it takes a photo [...] that's the kind of functionality," that would be necessary for a simple consumer drone, Najberg told us on Sunday. (There's no sign that this can be launched by throwing it, though.) We recently saw another drone that fits the "small, easy-to-use" bill, the 4K Yuneec Breeze, though that model doesn't fold down.

Depending on when it arrives, such a model from DJI could steal, or at least borrow, some thunder from GoPro's Karma drone. The rumor mill has that UAV arriving on September 19th at Photokina, while DJI's Mavic will reportedly arrive on September 15th. Take all this speculation with a lot of salt, of course, because nothing has been confirmed by DJI. If it comes to pass, though, the photography exhibition at Cologne in just two weeks will be more interesting for drone fans.