M300 vs. M210
DJI has raised the bar for commercial drones with its all-new Matrice 300 RTK drone, and we are thoroughly impressed. Remember the Matrice 200 series? Read below, and we will tell you why the M300 RTK blows it out of the water.
After unboxing our M300 RTK, we immediately noticed that it’s significantly bulkier than its predecessor. If your department or agency is used to storing M210 in its unfolded, ready to deploy configuration, the M300 RTK will require more space. The new design comes with foldable propellers and arms as opposed to the quick detach propellers that we have seen in the past. Note: its propellers are sharp, so be careful when handling it. You might be surprised to find that the M300 RTK’s exterior is opposite to the M210. The fuselage and batteries are mounted above the propellers, making this new design more adaptable to multiple payloads. The RTK system also comes automatically installed, as opposed to the separate purchase requirement for the M210.
The payload options between the M300 RTK and M210 differ as well. The M300 RTK can house up to three payloads: one on the top of the drone and two on the bottom. Three cameras can be attached to this drone at once. The M200 series only allowed for two payloads. It can house one on top or two on the bottom but not both at the same time.
The M300 RTK has an impressive flight time of 55 minutes (non-payload), making it the longest flight time we have seen in any DJI drone. It comes with all-new TB60 hot-swappable batteries. This drone will max out at a 39-minute flight with both the Zenmuse H20 and XT2 attached. With just the H20T camera, flight time is 43 minutes. The M210 RTK V2’s flight time is not comparable. The maximum flight time without payloads is 33 minutes and 22 minutes with the Zenmuse XT2 and Z30 cameras attached.
||M200 V2 `
||M210 RTK V2
The M300 RTK has sensors on all six sides of the drone for optimal obstacle sensing and positioning. Utilizing an infrared Time of Flight (ToF) sensing system, these sensors are robust compared to the M200 series sensors and pick up infrared beacons and visual images. It can detect up to 131 feet away, flying at 38 mph. The M200 series has sensors on the top, bottom and front but not the sides. It can only detect obstacles from 16 feet away.
We flew our M300 RTK while observing a small ground-based IR beacon with the H20T camera, and the beacon was detectable during the brightest time of day with night mode settings activated. The M200 series can only detect IR beacons when using an optional Z30 camera. IR detection is critical when thinking about missions that required identification of personnel on the ground for safety reasons.
One significant difference between the two drones is remotes. The M300 RTK comes standard with a smart controller. The controller transmits images twice as bright as an iPad on a 5.5-inch screen with 1920×1080 resolution. The M200 series operates on DJI’s Crystal SKY remote, which is more cumbersome. We like the new smart controller because it is comfortable to hold for long flights. This remote also has a dual-mode, meaning that pilots can switch control of the aircraft mid-flight.
A few upgrades caught our attention. The M300 RTK is waterproof with an IP45 rating, whereas the M200 series is not. The M200 series can manage to return to the ground as soon as it starts to rain, but it cannot weather the rain during a flight. The M300 RTK also comes with an upgraded first-person view camera. This camera has a higher resolution than the M210’s with 1080P.