Wondering if DJI Mavic Air 2 is worth it? Here’s a detailed DJI Mavic Air 2 review for you to decide. Check it out!
DJI has 3 drones in its Mavic line. The Mavic Mini, Air 2 and Mavic 2. The DJI Mavic Air 2 aims to be the best performance for the dollar.
It’s meant to bring the best features down to a cheaper price. Basically, it’s supposed to perform good enough but DJI sort of went overboard with this drone and really made it much better than it needed to be.
It’s a good drone but it’s not the best that DJI has to offer. But if you ask most drone users, this drone is going to be rated as the best budget drone out there. It’s well under a 1000$ and provides performance and features better than what the previous Mavic Air offered.
DJI Mavic Air 2 Review
DJI Mavic Air 2: The Verdict
This drone is an amazing packaged deal for videographers, cinematographers, and drone enthusiasts alike. It brings 4k 60fps video, 48mp images and 34-minute flight time at a price far cheaper than what was expected.
DJI Mavic Air 2: Pros
- Compact Size.
- Ocusync technology supported, Increases its range to 6.2 miles.
- Half inch sensor produces better quality images and video.
- 4k 60fps video recording present, not even present in the Mavic 2.
- 48mp photos.
- Superior flight time of 34 minutes.
- Revamped Remote Controller, Over all an improvement in my opinion.
- Cinematic Video Modes like follow me, asteroid shot and spotlight.
DJI Mavic Air 2: Cons
- Revamped Remote Controller
- Holder Size not big enough for a mini tablet
- Remote lacks the EV control wheel
- Only 2 video profiles, standard and flat
DJI Mavic Air 2: Design, build quality and Compact Size
The Mavics have always had this folding design. It’s smooth and this is the most recent iteration of it and it’s just as polished as it needs to be. The drone is well built but that is to be expected.
There isn’t really a standout feature to this Mavic. DJI Mavic 2 is the largest Mavic out there, that said, it’s not really a bad thing as it takes the compact size from the Mavic mini and the vast capabilities and professional image quality from the bigger Mavic 2 and provides the best of both worlds in its own way.
The Mavic mini does weight above the FAA drone regulations. Meaning, you will need to get his drone officially registered before you can pilot it. The capabilities of this drone are basically asking for you to take advantage of it and do some professional work. And according to the FAA, you need to be registered anyways if you are going to use your drone in a manner which generates profit.
The design of the Mavic being fairly traditional, brings with it, the flaws and the advantages that the design has always had.
The absence of landing pads means the drone will always lend on its belly. Since it’s a drone it is going to kick around a lot of dust and that could lead to damage of the camera or the propellers. A Drone landing pad can help solve this. Here is a list of best drone landing pads that we recommend.
That said the compact size is a huge plus the foldable design make it super easy to carry around. It’s perfect for on the go professionals, artists and vloggers. This is the main reason why the massive consumer market prefers the Mavics over the Phantom 4. The portability of these drones is amazing compared to the giant size of the phantom 4 and its cases.
The mavic air 2 is easily portable and provides such stellar shots that it makes you question why the phantom 4 and mavic 2 even exist. DJI has always produced well designed drones. But with this drone they took the great design and decided to trickle down some of the high-end features from the Phantom line! And that’s why this is such an amazing drone for the price.
Yes, finally the Mavic Air got Ocusync! For those of you who do not know what Ocusync is – it’s a inhouse technology developed by DJI for controlling its drones. And guess what, much like most DJI products, it blows the standard competition out of the water.
What’s so great about this Ocysync on the Mavir Air 2? Firstly, the signal strength from the previous generation of Mavic Air, this is a huge upgrade. With the Mavic air, you would get signal drops at the end range of the drone or if objects were between the line of sight of you and the drone.
The Mavic Air 2 doesn’t have any of these problems. Not a single signal drop at more than the max distance supported by the Mavic air. Ocusync really is that much better. The other major improvement is in the range of the Mavic Air 2. The previous generation could go 3.1 miles out wards. While this generation can go 6.2 miles.
It’s a massive jump in range and it’s much appreciated. However, I do not recommend flying the drone that far out. Mostly because of visibility. This is a small, compact and stealthy kind of drone, flying it in line of sight is strongly advised. You obviously don’t want to lose the drone and neither do you want to cause property damage or actual physical damage to someone.
All that said, the range allows for way more than you are actually ever going to need to fly around. Most of the shots you are going to take are going to be under half the distance of the range. The real upgrade comes in the form of signal strength and stability.
It’s horrific to know that your $1000 drone with all your footage lost signal on top of a lake or above a batch of trees, this won’t happen at all with this drone.
DJI Mavic Air 2: Camera Review
The DJI Mavic Air 2 has the same 12 mega pixel sensor with 2.8 aperture. Only this time around it moved up to a half inch sensor and the difference in quality is astounding. the camera produces amazing shots and videos, with excellent dynamic range and color.
The two main highlighting features of the DJI Mavic air 2 are its ability to shoot 4k 60 fps video at 120-bit rate and 48 megapixels still.
The ability to record 4k 60fps is one of the main strengths of the Air 2. They didn’t just brand this thing the DJI Mavic AIR 2 4k Drone for no reason. The reason this feature is so special is that the bigger variant, the Mavic 2, only has 4k 30fps, which literally makes this drone the only drone which can record 4k 60fps video.
The Mavic 2 also costs more and is meant to be the higher end drone, but I guess they are planning on adding 4k 60fps or 120fps in the DJI Mavic 3 and hence not giving the Mavic 2 the capability.
Whatever, the case might be 4k 60fps on a consumer drone that’s under 1000$ is a huge win for the consumer market. Only the professional drones from DJI do 4k 60fps like the Phantom 4.
Previously, I mentioned that the camera is 12 megapixels then how does it produce 48 megapixels? Well, it does so by image stitching. This might sound like a gimmick but in all reality, most cameras these days, except for maybe DSLR cameras, do tend to take multiple shots at different exposures and merge them to create images with Higher Dynamic Range or HDR.
The Mavic Air 2 does this as well. Only this time, DJI stitches the multiple shots together to get a super high resolution 48 megapixel shot. This technology was actually introduced on smartphones but it’s great to see DJI not skimping out anywhere and bringing this capability into drones.
Here is a sample shot of what the camera can produce. But I will recommend you to go online and find some sample shots for yourself. I have been thoroughly impressed by the camera performance of this drone, and thus might just include the best-looking shots. So, you should look around elsewhere just to get a more even view.
Superior flight time
The battery on the Mavic Air 2 is 34 minutes long, for comparison the battery on the Mavic Air was 20 minutes. Yeah, I don’t think I need to say a lot here. It improved in a massive way when it came to battery life.
Through my personal testing, it does get over 30 minutes every time I fly, but it obviously tends to get closer to 30 during super windy conditions, whereas it has gotten 33 minutes of flight time during calm weather.
DJI Mavic Air 2: Revamped Remote Controller
The remote Controller for the Air 2 is quite different from the previous Mavics, the previous Mavics had almost this gaming controller like aesthetic to it. This is more along the lines of the Phantom 4 controller in terms of size and shape.
This might be a slight turn off for the people coming from previous Mavics as it doesn’t have that same folding style controller. However, this controller shape tends to grow on you, it is far more roomier and easier to hold. The Phones being above the actual controller also puts it in line with most other controllers on the market.
The best way to define the controller, in my personal opinion, is that it shows what DJI has instore for the entire Mavic line up, a move towards professionalism at a consumer-friendly price and form factor.
Overall, I’d say that this controller is more of a matter of preference. If you are someone who has used older Mavic, this is going to have a bit of a learning curve but overtime I am sure you will grow to love it just as much as you like the older Mavic’s controllers.
If you are coming from the phantom 4 line of drones, my first question would be why?
Am joking, there are plenty of reasons to want a Mavic over a Phantom,.For starters, the size, portability and price advantage the Mavic Air 2 has over the phantom might be one of the reasons you would want, in that case you will feel right at home with this controller.
This controller isn’t a one to one replica of the phantom 4 controller but it does have a similar design language.
DJI Mavic Air 2: Cinematic Video Modes
What do I mean by cinematic Video modes? Well, other than the fact the drone has the capability to do 4k 60fps, it has some modes in its software that allow it to move around in certain ways. So, as to automatically take some really cinematic shots.
Here is an example of some of these shots
The DJI Mavic air isn’t just a camera. After all, there is so much more to the footage you get off this drone than just the camera. The software really has been the reason why DJI has taken over the entire market of drones and they don’t shy away in doing that here too.
DJI Mavic Air 2: Features
Follow me Feature on DJI Mavic Air 2:
Okay, the truth is this feature is available almost everywhere but no one does it better than DJI, much like drones as a whole.
The tracking on the Mavic Air 2 is so good, it never once lost focus in my testing. It follows me wherever I go and is quite good at keeping itself stable while doing it.
There is some concern of the drone hitting something but the drone does have obstacle avoidance. I will elaborate on that later on.
Cinematic video Flybys
With the ‘follow me’ comes a wide range of features. Since the drone can lock on to you, even if you move around and run, the drone can follow you. Similarly the drone can also fly around you and not lose its focus on you.
This is where modes like asteroid, boomerang, helix and circle come in. All these really is the drone just rotating around you in different pathways and getting a cinematic shot. This produces some really great cinematic footage.
With the obstacle avoidance supported on the DJI mavic air 2, it has never been easier to take these cinematic shots of subjects or yourself before.
Auto takeoff and land Feature in DJI Mavic Air 2
The thing about DJI drones, a lot of people say, is that these drones fly themselves and they aren’t lying. These drones can do a lot just with a few options. Manual controlling isn’t really necessary as much as it was in the early days.
The reason I chose the automated take off and landing as a great features is that I believe true creativity comes from the ideas a person gets and not the prebuilt drill into the drones, not to take a hit against them, I do use those a lot but one thing that everyone can appreciate is the auto or assisted Takeoff and landing feature.
Landing the drone and taking off are two of the hardest parts of actually flying a drone. And the automation of those two aspects is huge upside in my eyes and many other users as well.
Obstacle Avoidance Feature in DJI Mavic Air 2:
The obstacle avoidance is almost expected at this price range. And with the amount of features this drone has, obstacle avoidance is just a must needed feature.
This is the only part of this drone, which I would say, could use a little bit of improvement overall. The drone has left and right obstacle avoidance, no front, back or upward. This is of course dangerous but not as much as you might think.
Most fly around modes have the drone moving sideways and front or back. In order for the drone to get hit by something completely in front of it the object it is tracking would have to somehow go through the wall, and that isn’t really possible. Even if the object was able to go through the wall the drone would lose sight of it and not track it through.
When it comes to top and bottom obstacle avoidance, the case isn’t as strong. Simply having top and bottom obstacle avoidance can make the drone completely autonomous.
How you might be wondering? Well, other than left, right top and bottom, front and back are controlled directly by the user and the drone needs data from the front as well to continue towards it in follow me mode. However, the only danger of collision that it faces is from something hanging down from up top.
Something under which the object can walk, while the drone might crash into not knowing its there. It’s a hypothetical scenario but testing the drone out in place with a lot of low hanging branches does sort of reveal things to a person.
Can DJI Mavic Air 2 be used as a hand-held camera?
I know what you are thinking, I was hesitant to include this in the review as well, but due to its compact folding nature some users have started to use The Mavic air 2 as a handheld camera. You can’t see anything you’re recording at the moment, So. It’s not ideal.
But the camera is capable of 240fps at 1080p which can be slowed down by to 10% for slow motion video, and the drone also has in built stabilization, So. Just walking around recording with it isn’t actually as bad, especially if you have your phone FPV in one hand and the drone in another.
It’s a little absurd of an idea, but the lack of high fps recording camera at this price range may be able to make a compelling argument, it does only have one fixed focal length of a camera, So. I don’t really know what these drone users are thinking but its out there and I thought, I should include it just to let you guys know, you can do it with all the Mavic’s but not necessarily the Phantoms.
Conclusion and Overall verdict:
Overall, the drone is easily one of the best drones anyone can buy, and for people who don’t want to dish out absurd amount of cash and still want a drone which can do 90% of what high end drones can do, this is the drone for you.
You get 4k 60fps recording, 240 fps Slow motion video at 1080p and 48 mega pixel stills, the camera specs themselves are great, the rest of the drone is just as amazing from the build quality, design and folding compactness, in software features, yep it got those two and they work quite well.
It also flies really well, again “DJI Drones sort of fly themselves”, The only part of the drone that I would say need improvement is the obstacle avoidance, if this drone had 360-degree obstacle avoidance, it would cannibalize rest of the DJI line up of drones.
So, in the end the impressions are all positive. It’s good as it can get for the price, in my personal opinion it the best budget option out there for people looking for a drone that does everything without breaking the bank.