DJI's Latest Mavic Air 2 Comes With An Improved Camera

2 years ago

Two and a half years after the first Mavic Air was launched, DJI announced its successor: The Mavic Air 2. It comes with a bigger image sensor, Wi-Fi ditches in favor of DJI's own OccuSync transmission technology, has a flight time of up to 34 minutes, and is bundled with a completely revamped controller.

The Mavic Air 2 is available for preorder starting at $799 today and will start shipping in the US on May 11th. The Fly More package will be available for $988, which for the first time includes ND filters (finally) along with a carrying case, prop-guards, charging base, and three batteries.

Also, DJI calls this as their smartest and fastest drone yet. It comes with pre-programmed photo scene detection modes including snow, trees, grass, blue skies, sunsets, and sunrises. All autonomous flying modes of DJI are also getting a performance update.

Inside the Mavic Air 2, the latest sensor is a half-inch, "Quad Bayer" sensor. It's similar to the 48-megapixel sensor used in the last year or two on smartphones. By default it captures a 12-megapixel image, but the full resolution can be used to snap shots. The sensor has a fixed 28 mm (equivalent) f/2.8 lens behind it.

The Air 2 can shoot 4K footage at up to 60fps for video. This also has HDR capabilities for video (up to 4 K 30fps) and panoramic HDR capabilities for photos. The Mavic Air 2 can also export 8K time-lapse images, but not all modes will support 8K at launch and are scheduled to be available in late June.

Also, the Mavic Air 2 is the first drone to come fitted with AirSense, a system that detects and alerts nearby aircraft drone operators. It will be available first in North America, while other regions will start shipping units with AirSense this summer due to problems in the supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mavic Air 2 has obstacle sensors on the front and rear to help prevent collisions, so far as other drone safety features go. And bottom sensors beside auxiliary lights to assist with low-light landing. Although DJI says its autonomous flight modes have been updated, the company says you should not expect the same kind of self-flying experience that is possible in this configuration with the Skydio drone.

The new Mavic Air 2 is significantly bigger and heavier in terms of construction than the previous version but still looks like a smaller sibling to the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom. Finally, all three drones share a common language of design — gray housing — and now look more like part of a lineup.

Ultimately, the new, slightly bigger controller has no visible antennas that stick out on top of the controller. Instead, the area is now being used as a spring-loaded mount for the phone.