The DJI drone receives a larger sensor, frame rate bump, and HDR video.
The completely redesigned foldable drone comes with a larger camera sensor, new motors, a bigger battery, and a top speed of 42mph (19m/s). While weighing slightly more than its predecessor at 570 grams, it borrows features from the Mavic 2 and adds a few of its own.
The Mavic Air 2 features a Quad Bayer 1/2" sensor which is slightly larger than the original Mavic Air 1/2.3", but not as robust as the 1" Mavic 2 Pro. However, the Mavic Air 2 is the first drone in the Mavic series to offer 4K video at 60fps and 120 Mbps.
Additionally, users can record HDR video at a max resolution of 4K 30fps, 4X Slow Motion in 1080p at 120fps, or 8X Slow Motion in 1080p at 240fps.
Photos can be captured as 12-megapixel or 48-megapixel images. All 12-megapixel photos use advanced processing and pixel binning. A new SmartPhoto feature records 12-megapixel photos choosing one of three image capture options:
- HDR photos: Automatically captures 7 photos at various exposures and merges them together
- Hyperlight: Designed for low-light scenarios, it takes multiple photographs and merges them for images with less noise
- Scene Recognition: The camera will recognize 5 categories including sunsets, blue skies, grass, snow, and trees, and adjust the settings automatically
Longer Flight Time
Mavic Air 2 has been designed with new motors, new electronic speed controllers (ESCs), and carries a larger battery that provides a maximum flight time of up to 34 minutes.
While the Mavi Air used a WiFi-based radio control system, the Mavic Air 2 upgrades to OcuSync 2.0, a dedicated radio system that supports 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz frequency bands. The proprietary technology has an auto-switch features that moves between the two signals to improve signal strength. The video feed to the controller has a maximum line of sight distance range of 6.2 miles (10 km).
Mavic Air 2 is equipped with obstacle sensors on the front and rear of the drone to help avoid collisions. There are no sensors on the top of the drone, but additional sensors and auxiliary lights on the bottom assist with several different functions including automatic landing. Mavic Air 2 also comes equipped with GEO geofencing to keep drones away from high-risk locations.
Advanced Pilot Assistance
The Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) 3.0 allows users to avoid obstacle during flight. When enabled, as obstacles come into the drone’s path, Mavic Air 2 will create a new path to avoid collision. The new version uses improved 3D mapping for smoother transition and movements around objects. When using APAS it's worth noting the maximum video resolution is 4K 30fps, 2.7K 60fps, or 1080p 60fps.
The Mavic Air 2 is DJI’s first consumer drone to include AirSense technology, which warns drone pilots of nearby aircraft through different sounds and vibrations on the controller. It also announces the drone’s presence to other aircraft. AirSense uses aviation technology known as ADS-B to receive signals from nearby airplanes and helicopters, and displays their location on the drone.
DJI does note due to supply chain shortages Mavic Air 2 units sold inside North America will be carry ADS-B. Models outside North America will not.
Mavic Air 2 comes equipped with FocusTrack and offers three different capture modes:
- ActiveTrack 3.0: Select a subject to automatically follow
- Point of Interest 3.0: Set an automated flight path around a specific subject to follow
- Spotlight 2.0: Locks a subject in the frame while the user has free operation of the drone’s movement
While using FocusTrack the maximum video resolution of 4K 30fps, 2.7K 60fps, or 1080p 60fps.
For the first time, Hyperlapse can be shot in 8K using four different flight modes: Free movement, Circle, CourseLock, and WayPoints.
Pilots can also choose from pre-programmed flight maneuvers, known as QuickShots, which use a 3-axis mechanical gimbal and electronic image stabilization. To activate, simply tap the desired mode – Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Helix, Boomerang, or Asteroid – and the drone will automatically record the shot.
New Controller Design
DJI's original standard controller mounted smartphones at the bottom, forcing you look further down while operating. The new controller mounts the smartphone to the top, which is a much smarter placement.
Pricing & Availability
The Mavic Air 2 is available in China immediately while global regions will be taking pre-orders with an expected ship time of mid-May. The drone is available in two different packages.
- Standard package: Mavic Air 2, battery, remote controller and all the required wires and cables - $799 USD.
- Fly More package: Everything in standard plus, a shoulder bag, ND filters, charging hub, and three batteries - $988 USD
DJI Care Refresh is also available for Mavic Air 2 for an additional charge. Care Refresh offers comprehensive coverage for incidents including collision and water damage. It also provides up to two replacement units within one year.
What do you think about the DJI Mavic Air 2? Is it worth the upgrade? Let us know in the comments below.