The second-generation DJI Mavic Air 2 drone offers a number of new photo and video tricks and excellent flight time
DJI Mavic Air 2: Price and Availability
When you are socially isolated, it can be a bit difficult to see what’s going on in the world around you. With a drone like the new Mavic Air 2 from DJI, you can keep an eye on your environment and at the same time stay safe in your home. DJI Mavic Air’s successor, the Mavic Air 2, costs $ 799, can record 4K video at up to 120 frames per second and offers a number of new tricks, such as B. the ability to take photos with 48 MP .
Although I haven’t been able to check all the functions of the Mavic Air 2 (DJI always sent firmware updates during my tests) since my flight with the drone, I was impressed with what I could do. So I think the Mavic Air 2 has the potential to be one of the best drones.
The Mavic Air 2 is sold in two configurations: a standard package with a drone, a battery and a remote control costs $ 799. The Fly More wetsuit with all of the standard packaging, plus a shoulder strap, ND filters and a charge concentrator and three batteries cost $ 988. The Mavic Air 2 is expected to ship on May 11.
DJI Mavic Air 2: design
With the Mavic Air 2 in one hand and the Mavic Mini in the other hand, the Mini felt positively like a toy compared to the Mavic Air 2. Much larger and much heavier. Now characteristic of the folding arm, but the Mavic Air 2 is much more extended.
The Mavic Air 2 is much more similar to the Mavic 2 Pro (and Mavic Mini) than the original Mavic Air, for better and for worse. Although this now unifies the design language of the Mavic line, the gray Mavic Air 2 is less visually exciting and less elegant than the original Mavic Air, which had a softer upper and a mixture of black, white and silver. . The opaque gray of the Mavic Air 2 also makes it difficult to see in flight, especially in cloudy weather.
Weighing 570 grams, the Mavic Air 2 is more than twice as heavy as the Mini (249 grams) and the Mavic Air (430 grams). The weight of Air 2 is greater than the limit set by the FAA. It is therefore a drone which must be registered
Similar to the Mavic Air, the Mavic Air 2 has sensors at the front, bottom and rear with which you can avoid objects. (The Mini only has sensors at the front and bottom.) In addition, the Air 2 has the latest version of the DJI system for avoiding obstacles, the Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) 3.0. Once activated, APAS will follow each object entering the path of the drone. However, this is only available when recording videos up to 4K / 30 fps. APAS automatically turns off at higher frame rates.
In addition, the Mavic Air 2 is the first DJI drone that can receive ADS-B signals from piloted planes and display its position on the controller screen. This feature, known as AirSense, is initially only available in North America due to the corona virus. A Mavic Air 2 version without AirSense will be sold in all other regions, but a version with AirSense will be available worldwide this summer.
DJI Mavic Air 2: controller
The biggest difference you will notice at first glance between the Mavic Air 2 and its predecessor is the controller, which has been completely redesigned. It is now much larger and nearly twice the size of previous DJI controllers. Instead of two folding arms that hold your smartphone between your palms, the controller now has a spring support that extends from top to top.
One thing I like about the new controller is that the connection to my iPhone is less demanding. In the past, I was always wrong to route the USB cable to Lightning through the arm of the controller.
The controller always has two control levers that are unscrewed so that you can keep them at the bottom of the controller. Because the remote control is so much bigger, it looks a lot more spartan than other DJI controllers, even if it has a few more buttons.
At first, I thought I wouldn’t like the bigger, heavier controller, but when flying the Air 2, I liked it when my iPhone screen was on the joysticks and not underneath it. It seemed more natural in this position.
The controller also has an improved transmission range of 10 km, so you can fly the drone up to ten kilometers away and still get a clear picture on the screen of your smartphone. Of course, you should only fly a drone where you can still see it, but it’s a pretty impressive range. Although the Mavic Air has never moved more than 400 feet from me, I have never noticed any malfunction or interruption in camera performance.
DJI Mavic Air 2: camera functions
The Mavic Air 2 has the same 12 MP resolution as the Air, but has a 1/2 inch larger image sensor (compared to the 1 / 2.3 inch sensor in the Air).
In addition, the Mavic Air 2 can take high-resolution 48-megapixel photos with a Quad Bayer sensor and a technique known as pixel binning. In the few photos I have taken, this feature seemed to work well. I was able to detonate a photo of an ornamental cherry that was much larger than a similar photo taken with the normal setup of the Air 2 camera.
However, the efficiency is limited: when I took a life-size photo of Manhattan (taken 24 kilometers away), the city skyline was stained and the details were missing. I also noticed that 48-megapixel photos tend to be darker than normal 12-megapixel photos.
I am also looking forward to trying Hyperlight, a new feature where the Air 2 takes multiple photos in low light and combines them into a brighter image. This function was not available during my stay with the drone, but will be available at launch.
Another feature to support photographers is SmartPhoto. The Mavic Air 2 can recognize five categories of scenes, e.g. B. Sunsets, blue sky, grass, snow and trees, and optimize the camera settings accordingly.
Similar to previous models, the Mavic Air 2 can take HDR photos, but the Air 2 takes a series of seven corresponding photos, compared to three on the original Air.
DJI Mavic Air 2: video functions
The Mavic Air 2 can record videos up to 4K at 120 frames per second, four times more than Air, which peaked at 4K / 30 fps. It can also record 4X and 8X slow motion video as well as 1080p video at 240 fps. The Air 2 can also record HDR videos, but the maximum resolution for this mode is 4K / 30fps.
As with other DJI drones, I was amazed at the stability of the video I filmed with the Mavic Air 2. It was as smooth and stable as if it had mounted the drone on a tripod. The cherry blossoms were lush and pink, and the grass below was as green as spring. The drone adjusted the exposure fairly well while looking at the camera from the darkest ground to the brightest cloudy sky. I can’t wait to take more pictures.
In addition to the specifications, DJI has added a number of new and updated features to make your aerial photos more cinematic.
With ActiveTrack 3.0, you can choose a theme and the Mavic Air 2 will follow it automatically. This new version is not only intended to better follow a pattern, but also to avoid and block objects again if it is temporarily moved behind an object.
With Point of Interest 3.0, you can create an automated path around an object. Spotlight 2.0, a feature of DJI’s Inspire drones, captures a subject and keeps it in a frame while the drone operator controls. the drone.
There will also be an 8K hyperlapse soon. With this version, which is available as a firmware update in mid-May, you can record high-resolution time-lapse videos – as long as the Mavic Air 2 battery allows.
DJI Mavic Air 2: battery life
DJI claims that the flight time of the Mavic Air 2 is 34 minutes under ideal conditions; It’s 14 minutes longer than the Mavic Air and a few minutes longer than the Mavic Mini.
Although I did not properly test the battery life of the Mavic Air 2, I do know that I was able to get at least 22 minutes out of Air 2. This flight consisted of a few laps (which will discharge the battery faster). ) when photographing the drone for this review.
As with your other drones, you can change the battery of the Mavic Air 2. Charging takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. Additional batteries cost $ 115 each.
DJI Mavic Air 2: see
There is no doubt that the Mavic Air 2 is an excellent drone. Like other DJI products, it flies like a champion, has incredible battery life and has a variety of cool features for taking aerial photos and videos.
At $ 799, the Mavic Air 2 offers a balance between functionality and price. The Mavic Mini is more than double the price of the Mavic 2 Zoom and costs around $ 500 less than the Mavic 2 Pro. In some ways, the Mavic Air 2 is even better than the Mavic 2 zoom. It has a 1 / 2.3 image sensor smaller than the Air 2 and can only record videos with a maximum resolution of 4K / 30fps. (Of course, the Mavic 2 Zoom has a 2x zoom, which is suitable for some video tricks.)
Although I want to test all the features of the Mavic Air 2 before evaluating this test, I am satisfied with what I have seen so far. Look forward to our final verdict.
The best drone around for beginners and hobbyists
It folds as small as a bottle of water.
New OcuSync transmission system
ActiveTrack, TapFly and other smart functions
Obstacle avoidance combined with sensor redundancy
Visual positioning coupled with GPS and GLONASS
BUILDING THE SPECIFICATIONS
Once you get the DJI Mavic Pro and start removing everything from the box, you should expect the following.
The Mavic Pro drone
Battery adapter to power bank
Two smart batteries
Two sets of propellers 8330
Three pairs of propellers
Micro SD card
RC cable, standard micro USB connector
RC cable, lightning plug
Two RC cable sliders
The Mavic Air 2 is the best drone for most people and a significant upgrade from its predecessor and our new favorite flight camera. It offers an improved range, a significantly longer battery life, excellent 4K / 60p video and a multitude of new recording functions at the same starting price as its predecessor. Aside from minor reviews, it’s a great choice for photographers and filmmakers.