When the DJI Mavic Quadcopter Drone was released, it was truly revolutionary. Previously nothing could compare. Well, apart from the DJI Phantom series. But even the Phantom could not match the technology, features, and compact size.
Then came the Mavic Air, which was an even smaller version of the Mavic. There were a few features that needed to be sacrificed in order to reduce the size. Well, there’s now a second-generation Mavic Air, and it has made some massive improvements.
We take a detailed look at this upgraded version in our DJI Mavic Air 2 review and see if it is worth purchasing or upgrading to.
- 1 Compact Design
- 2 Flying Capabilities
- 3 Photos and Video
- 4 Standout Features
- 5 Pros And Cons Of DJI Mavic Air 2
- 6 Got everything you need?
- 7 DJI Mavic Air 2 Review – Final Thoughts
When folded down, the Mavic Air 2 is 7 x 3.8 x 3.3 inches (180 x 97 x 84 mm). It will fit snuggly in the palm of your hand with some overhang. It is slightly bigger than the original Mavic Air and a bit smaller than its bigger brother, the Mavic Pro.
Unfolding the drone is an identical process to the Mavic Pro. First, extend the two front arms that rotate horizontally. Then unfold the two rear arms that rotate in a downwards vertical motion. The propellers will automatically orientate themselves on startup.
Completely new remote control…
A significant change to the previous model is the remote control. Plus, while the previous model allowed you to mount your smartphone underneath, this one is designed to have it mounted above the controls.
The remote is larger and boxier than the previous model and uses a clamp similar to the Phantom remote to clip in your phone. It can be challenging to mount sometimes but feels sturdy once complete. It will not stretch big enough to mount a tablet, though, even a small one.
Flight time has increased from 21 minutes with the original Mavic Air up to 34 minutes with this model. That is a significant improvement, meaning that there is less need to pack extra batteries when traveling.
Not only has the flight time been increased, but the range has as well. You can fly the drone for up to six miles (9.6 kilometers), which is much further than is really necessary. If flying that distance, it isn’t easy to be aware of your surroundings, and we don’t recommend it.
Built-in flying aids have been improved to make capturing that perfect shot easy. Active Track 3.0 features better subject tracking and new 3D mapping capabilities. These allow the camera to lock onto a subject and have the drone maneuver accordingly.
Another improved feature is Point of Interest. That is where the drone completes a big circle around an object, keeping it in the center of the screen. It can now perform this on moving objects thanks to better tracking.
New Spotlight Mode
A welcome addition to pilot assistance is Spotlight Mode, which has trickled down from the professional Inspire drones. This mode allows you to keep an object in shot while flying wherever you like, making superb, previously impossible shots a reality.
All of these modes increase safety while flying your drone. Instead of having to concentrate on the controls, you can focus more on the surroundings. All while still managing to obtain breathtaking, professional footage.
Photos and Video
The camera uses a ½” CMOS Quad Bayer sensor. It is mounted to a 3-axis stabilized gimbal. It is capable of capturing both Raw and JPEG images at either 12MP or stitched together at 48MP. The camera can also tilt upwards to a maximum of 24°.
Video footage can be captured in 4K at 60fps at 120Mbps using the H.265 codec. Other options include 4K 30fps in HDR, HD 120fps, and HD 240fps, which can provide some serious slow-motion footage.
To improve photo quality, DJI has introduced SmartPhoto Mode. This utilizes similar technology to what smartphones use to add computational techniques. The end result is beautiful pictures, even when taken by an amateur.
These modes include HDR Photo, which takes seven different images and combines them to achieve the ultimate dynamic range. Hyperlight provides terrific low light photos, and Scene Recognition analyzes objects to maximize tone, clarity, and color.
Video Color Profiles
DJI’s standard color profile will suit most needs and provide spectacular footage. It has very well balanced saturation and detail. Footage taken in various lighting situations was all exceptional, and we were highly impressed.
For the more advanced users, D-Cinelike will provide neutral flat footage. This is useful for those who would like to color grade their footage during editing manually. A flat raw file makes more dynamic colors possible after being adjusted.
Adding protection for people, objects, and of course, your drone are the obstacle avoidance sensors. They are located on the front, rear, and bottom of the drone, but there aren’t any on the top. So watch out for things above, especially if flying indoors.
On the bottom of the drone, you will find an auxiliary light along with additional sensors. Activated by the controller, these not only help with obstacle avoidance but landing too, and helping brighten up low-light conditions.
Built-in Data Storage
There is 8GB of storage built-in that is perfect as a back-up. It will switch over in case your memory card becomes full, or even forget it altogether. A Micro-SD card slot can support up to a 256GB card, and the internal memory can be accessed using the included USB cable.
Above and beyond GPS that not only keeps the drone stable but allows you to know where you are at all times is DJI’s Geo system. This will prevent your drone from entering prohibited areas, including airports. Perfect for beginners that are unfamiliar with drone laws.
Well Designed App
In order to operate the drone, you will need to download the DJI Fly app. It is regularly updated and has one of the slickest interfaces in the drone market today. Video tutorials and instructions pop up when selecting features for the first time. They can, of course, still be skipped if you’re already familiar with the functions.
Accessing all of the functions, such as swapping from photo to video mode, is easy. All the most used functions can be found on the right-hand side of the screen. Other handy on-screen notifications include a battery life countdown timer and if you’ve accidentally left the gimbal cover on.
Pros And Cons Of DJI Mavic Air 2
- Compact and great for traveling.
- Quiet operation compared to others.
- Over 30 minutes of flight time.
- Fantastic photo and video quality.
- Pilot assistance features work well.
- No obstacle avoidance on the top.
- Remote control is bulky.
- Cannot mount tablets to the remote control.
Got everything you need?
Suppose you’d like to read a comparative brand review to check out the competition, just head to our Best Camera Drones Reviews! You might also be interested in our Best Camera Phone Reviews, our Best Smartphone Tripods Review, or our Best Memory Card for Camera Reviews?
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Back to today’s review…
DJI Mavic Air 2 Review – Final Thoughts
DJI products are always user-friendly, reliable, and always offer the latest tech. If this is your first time investing in a drone, then we would highly recommend the DJI Mavic Air 2. With the number of high tech features and professional quality camera, even though it’s not cheap, it still represents fantastic value.
If you were to purchase a slightly cheaper drone, we are sure you will regret not spending that little bit more. That extra initial outlay is more of an investment, as you will receive much more enjoyable because of its remarkable portability and ease of use.
Enjoy your flights!