IN-DEPTH: DJI’s new Mavic Air 2

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DJI has launched its new Mavic Air 2, describing the move as ushering in a “new era of aerial creativity.”

As part of the news release, DJI explained how it has worked to make capturing unique, high-quality content from the air simple, fun, and safe with the Mavic Air 2 offering “flagship capabilities in a compact and easy to use folding drone that features 8K functionality.”

A larger 1/2” camera sensor offers high-resolution photos and videos to make content stand out, while advanced programmed flight modes, intelligent features and imaging technology make capturing professional-looking content “effortless.”

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Additionally, pilots can now stay in the sky longer with an enhanced maximum flight time, capture vivid imagery with completely revamped autonomous capabilities, and wholly transform their content with in-app editing features.

Commenting on the release, Roger Luo the DJI president said: “Mavic Air 2 is another milestone for DJI, demonstrating that our smartest consumer drone does not have to be the largest.

“While the Mavic Air 2 bears all the hallmarks of the Mavic drone family, we had to completely rethink its design and development process. Our goal was to create a drone that offered the best overall experience possible to even the most novice pilot. We hope our drones can help boost creativity and become a fun yet educational experience that can be enjoyed, even at this unprecedented moment in history.”

Imaging Capability:

The Mavic Air 2 is the first drone in the Mavic series to offer 4K video at 60fps and 120Mbps.

Users can also record unique content using HDR video, 4X Slow Motion in 1080p at 120fps or 8X Slow Motion in 1080p at 240fps.

Pilots can record 12-megapixel images or choose a new high-resolution 48-megapixel feature while a mechanical 3-axis gimbal helps compensate for camera shake to create smooth and stable footage.

The newly added SmartPhoto records 12-megapixel photos using advanced scene analysis and deep learning to automatically choose one of three image capture options. 

Flight Performance:

Designers say the Mavic Air 2 completely rebuilds the basics of drone flight to open up the skies for more exploration for everyone who is passionate about drone technology.

Despite only weighing as much as a small water bottle at 570 grams, the Mavic Air 2 features new motors, new electronic speed controllers (ESCs), enhanced battery technology and an aerodynamic design to provide a maximum flight time of up to 34 minutes.

DJI’s proprietary OcuSync 2.0 transmission technology has been upgraded to deliver an extremely reliable and stable HD video feed from the drone at a maximum distance of 10km.

OcuSync 2.0 supports both 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz frequency bands and uses an auto-switching feature to move between the two based on signal strength, while anti-interference technology blocks unwanted signals to keep the video feed clear.

Drone Safety

Mavic Air 2 is equipped with new safety features to help make flying as safe as possible. DJI has implemented obstacle sensors on the front and rear of the drone warn pilots when they’re too close to an object and can also be set to stop the drone from moving any closer to avoid collision. Additional sensors and auxiliary lights on the bottom of Mavic Air 2 assist with several functions including smooth, automatic landing even in difficult lighting. The new drone also comes equipped with the GEO geofencing solution to help keep drones away from the highest-risk locations, such as busy airports.

Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) 3.0 brings the next level of autonomous flying to DJI drones. When users enable APAS 3.0, as obstacles come into the drone’s path, Mavic Air 2 will create a new path around, under or over the object to avoid collision, giving pilots the confidence to fly in more complex situations while focusing on capturing their ideal images.

Using 3D mapping, the updated version aids in smooth transitions and more fluid movements around objects even in highly complex environments.

Staying with safety features and in accordance with DJI’s industry-leading 10-point Elevating Safety vision published last year, Mavic Air 2 is also DJI’s first consumer drone designed to include AirSense technology.

This provides enhanced safety by warning drone pilots of other aircraft nearby.

AirSense uses aviation technology known as ADS-B to receive signals from nearby airplanes and helicopters, and displays their location on the drone pilot’s control screen.

Brendan Schulman, DJI’s vice president of policy and legal affairs, said: “DJI has an unwavering commitment to enhance drone safety with technology, and Mavic Air 2 implements yet another pioneering safety solution for drone operations.”

Adding: “Our ambitious commitment to installing ADS-B in our new product models means Mavic Air 2 will be the world’s largest single deployment of ADS-B receiver technology, fulfilling and furthering our vision as the industry’s leader on voluntary safety efforts.”

Intelligence Features:

DJI has incorporated optimised intelligent features into the Mavic Air 2 in a move to allow users to quickly and easily record images and video to be shared with the world.

DJI says FocusTrack is the most advanced tracking feature on any DJI drone.

App, Editing and Accessories:

An updated version of the DJI Fly app adds more advanced functionality for Mavic Air 2 while maintaining its user-friendly navigation.

New tutorials aim to get users familiarised with the drone and quickly in the air to start capturing compelling footage.

Easy to use in-app editing features make the DJI Fly app a one-stop tool to edit and adjust the footage captured.

Mavic Air 2 will also be supported by a host of additional useful accessories including a shoulder bag, ND filter sets, propeller guards, protective case, tablet holder for the controller and monitor hood.

Pricing and Availability:

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new complexities for global shipping and logistics of many products.

As a result, the Mavic Air 2 will be initially available for immediate purchase in China while other regions will begin taking pre-orders with an expected ship time of mid-May.

Mavic Air 2 will be available in two purchasing options:

  • a standard package which includes Mavic Air 2, one battery, remote controller and all the required wires and cables for $799.
  • Fly More option which includes all items from the standard version as well as a shoulder bag, ND filters, charging hub, and 3 batteries for $988.

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Alex Douglas

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