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Home > New Gear > DJI Mavic Air 2 Review: Better Shooting + More Stable Flight + Longer Flight Time
DJI Mavic Air 2 Review: Better Shooting + More Stable Flight + Longer Flight Time

DJI Mavic Air 2 Review: Better Shooting + More Stable Flight + Longer Flight Time

By  Lydia Scott 2020-04-28 1620 0

Over the past two years, DJI has launched the DJI Mavic 2 series in cooperation with Hasselblad, and the indoor flying mini drone Mavic Mini has not been updated except the Mavic Air series. Today, two years later, the upgraded DJI Mavic Air 2 finally coming out. After two years of dormancy, what kind of surprise will the new Mavic Air 2 bring us? Here are a few days of the Mavic Air 2 flight test to share with you.

DJI Mavic Air 2 Review: Larger and Heavier Body

At first glance, I was very surprised to see Mavic Air 2. Although it is only the second generation product, the whole design style has changed a lot. It is completely transferring, Mavic Air 2 to the Mavic series, continuing the folding structure of the Mavic series, but the volume and weight are increased compared to the previous generation Mavic Air.



First of all, we obviously feel that DJI Mavic Air 2 is bigger than Mavic Air. After querying the official parameters, we know that Mavic Air 2 is 12mm longer and 28mm wider than the previous generation. Mavic Air 2 weighs 570g, weighs 140g compared to Mavic Air, and the volume after deployment is much larger than Mavic Air.


 


You may wonder why the Mavic Air, which should be smaller and smaller, is getting bigger and bigger. But in fact, it is superfluous that there is no 1 gram weight on the Mavic Air 2 fuselage. Let's first take a look at the hardware parameters of Mavic Air 2 vs Mavic Air vs Mavic Air Pro, and you will know that the weight and volume increase is worth it.


 

Mavic Air 2 vs Mavic Air vs Mavic Air Pro: Specifications Comparison

Here is a specifications comparison about Mavic Air 2 vs Mavic Air vs Mavic Air Pro.

Model DJI Mavic Air Pro DJI Mavic Air 2 DJI Mavic Air 
Camera 1/2.3" sensor 1/2" sensor 1/2.3" sensor
Transmission System OcuSync 1.0
7km 1080P
OcuSync 2.0
10km 1080P
strengthen WiFi
4km 720P
Fly Time 30 minutes 34 minutes 21 minutes
Main Features ActiveTrack 1.0
FlightAutonomy system
APAS 3.0
focus following 
8K Time-lapse video
HDR video
HDR panorama
APAS 2.0
One button film shooting
Geospatial
Environment Online
 (GEO)
front view, down view, rear view
Video Resolution 4K/30fps 4K/60fps 4K/30fps
Photo Resolution 12 million pixels 48 million pixels 12 million pixels
Portability High High Very High

 

DJI Mavic Air 2 is equipped with a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor, which can take 48 million pixels of photos and support recording 4K/60fps video and 8K mobile delay video. There is also a range of 34 minutes and a distance of up to 10 kilometers for high-definition digital transmission. The speed of P gear is increased to 43km/h, and the maximum flight speed in sports mode is 19m/s. Smart flight ability has also increased significantly, compared with the Mavic Air is definitely a qualitative improvement, its weight is not wasted, completely close to the DJI Mavic 2 series.


 


Although the drone fuselage is heavier and bigger, the portability of the Mavic Air 2 has not been greatly affected. After folding, it is still easy to put the drone into a backpack and take it away.


 


DJI has previously developed a new mute propeller, which is also standard for Mavic Air 2, which can improve flight performance and strengthen noise control. Similarly, due to the folding design of the blade, the blade can also increase its anti-damage ability to a certain extent.


 


In addition, one of the major advantages of the UAV folding design is that after each flight, the UAV arm can be folded and carried without the need to remove the blades. When flying again, only the arm needs to be unfolded, and the propeller will be deployed to the flight state under the action of inertia after the motor is started so that the player can complete the flight preparation in a short time. If you look closely, you can see that the tail tip of the Mavic Air 2 blade has been bent to help reduce the noise.



In addition, there are binocular vision sensors in the front and back of the DJI Mavic Air 2 fuselage, equipped with APAS 3.0 Advanced Flight Assistance system, which is somewhat similar to the car-assisted driving system, which can identify the obstacles ahead and independently plan the obstacle avoidance path in front and back flight to ensure a continuous shooting experience.

 

The lower part of the DJI Mavic Air 2 fuselage has a down-looking binocular vision sensor and an infrared distance sensor, which can achieve accurate hovering in a height range of 50 meters. LED supplementary lights to enable the UAV to rely on binocular vision sensors for positioning at night. Slightly, unfortunately, there are no visual sensors on the left and right sides. So we still need to be careful in the process of flying, after all, obstacle avoidance is not omnipotent.


 


Due to the increase in flight time, the battery of the Mavic Air 2 has also moved to the top of the fuselage, is also a little heavier, and there will be a green circle when charging.


 


DJI Mavic Air 2 still uses a foldable remote control that needs to be used with a smartphone. But this time the remote control has a new design, which is bigger than the traditional DJI Mavic series remote control, and the clamping structure has also been changed.

 

Now that the full-screen mobile phone has exploded, it is easy to block the screen by holding it under the traditional remote control. The new clamping structure can better adapt to the full-screen mobile phone, better control experience, and can charge the mobile phone.


 


Most importantly, the newly designed Mavic Air 2 remote control has a battery life of up to 240 minutes, so you don't have to worry about running out of power when you fly. In the actual experience of Mavic Air 2, the 2 drone batteries have been used up, and the remote control only uses one grid of electricity.

 

DJI Mavic Air 2 Review: Shooting Test

Next, let's take a look at the improvement in the performance of DJI Mavic 2. At the beginning of the birth of consumer drones, no one had too high requirements for its photo quality. People are already very satisfied that this new thing can fly and shoot. With the development of products, users are increasingly demanding more photos of them, just like mobile phones, which have become the biggest selling point of phone manufacturers.


 


The DJI Mavic Air 2 is equipped with a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor that can take 48 million-pixel photos, 4K/60fps video and 8K mobile delay video. It can be said that the improvement is very obvious compared to the Mavic Air 1's 1/2.3-inch, 12 million-pixel CMOS sensor.

 

What is interesting is that Mavic Air 2 adds smart photo mode, including scene recognition, pure night shooting and HD, mainly to intelligently identify aerial scenes and optimize algorithms for different scenes.

 

This is very similar to today's smartphone AI photography, but from the actual experience, the smart photo mode is far less smart than the smartphone, more for some simple optimizations for large scenes. But for beginners in drones, this feature is still very useful, at least it won't make you take bad pictures.


 


However, the improvement in DJI Mavic Air 2 picture quality is real, in the case of plenty of light during the day, you can see that high pixels increase the expression of detail, clear blue sky and white clouds, and the sharpness and resolution of the picture are good.


 


When you zoom in on the photos taken by 48 million pixels, you can see that the details of the vehicles on the highway are relatively clear. You don't have to worry about the jitter that often occurs in mobile phone shooting. However, if you pursue contrast and color, you may need to optimize it later.

 

DJI UAV has always had a lot of intelligent and interesting shooting technology, one of the more important is that APAS, is a bit similar to self-driving technology in the automotive field, which not only makes flying more interesting but also safer.

 

This time with Mavic Air 2, APAS has also been upgraded to 3.0, using a new generation of mapping technology and global path planning algorithms. Compared with the previous generation of Mavic Air 1, the performance of obstacle avoidance and the ability of path planning has been greatly improved.

 

In autonomous flight, you can easily avoid obvious obstacles such as big trees or tall buildings.

 

But in some complex scenes, such as in the woods, where there are more leaves and branches, Mavic Air 2 can also be a little confused.

 

Intelligent following and point of interest surround have always been popular features of DJI UAVs. Their biggest feature is that they are easy to operate and novice can also make blockbuster films.

 

This upgrade to APAS 3.0, the biggest improvement is the ability to re-identify the target after the target is obscured, can predict the target position more quickly and accurately, and keep following.

 

Through the actual test, we can see that we turned on the intelligent follow to shoot the car, during which we encountered the occlusion of the traffic signs, Mavic Air 2 not only flexibly avoided the obstacles but also quickly re-locked the target.

 

The orbit of the point of interest is centered around the target, and the camera is always directed toward the target. Compared with interest points surround 2.0, interest points surround 3.0 can identify moving subjects, including pedestrians, cars, boats, and so on.

 

From the practical experience, lock the moving car, when the speed is relatively slow, the point of interest can always be photographed around the car, when the speed is slightly faster, encounter occlusion, the target is lost. This function is still more suitable for shooting slow-moving objects.

 

The delay shooting function, which was first added to the Mavic 2 series, also has a new play on Mavic Air 2. Mavic Air 2 can shoot 4K and 8K resolution mobile delay video, supporting free and track delay functions.

 

Image transmission is a very important aspect of aerial UAV, and stable image transmission is the most basic guarantee of aerial photography. DJI launched Lightbridge technology in 2014, which can transmit images as far as 5km away from drones to mobile phone screens in real-time. To 16 years, DJI also brought OcuSync high-definition digital picture transmission, the maximum remote control picture transmission distance can reach 7 km, and the 1080p picture can be previewed in real-time.

 

Mavic Air 2 has also upgraded to OcuSync 2.0HD graphics technology, extending the maximum distance to 10km, supporting 2.4Ghz/5.8Ghz automatic switching, and directly caching full HD video in flight. The new 5.8GHz channel can better maintain the stability of the picture signal in a signal-intensive environment like downtown.

 

DJI Mavic Air 2 Review: Longer Battery Life

The short battery endurance of drones has always been an insurmountable problem, and this time the Mavic Air 2 refreshed that number to 34 minutes, far more than the 21 minutes of the previous generation, and even longer than the Mavic 2 series and Mavic Pro, making it arguably the "most durable" drone.


 


In the actual test, hovering, flying, video recording and photography are carried out alternately, and 20% of the power left begins to return automatically after 22 minutes, so it is estimated that there should be no problem for normal use for 30 minutes.


 

Conclusion: better shot, more steady flight, more ways to play

It took two years to update to Mavic Air 2, which is a bit slow. But the upgrade of Mavic Air 2 is still very powerful. Stronger hardware performance and smarter shooting allow Mavic Air 2 to be on a par with the flagship Mavic 2 series. Of course, this is also at the expense of portability.

 

At this point, the route of the DJI drone is also very clear. If you are a beginner and are just curious about drones, then the first generation of Mavic Air and Mavic mini is a good choice.

 

If there is a certain basis for flight, there are certain requirements for shooting, the latest Mavic Air 2 and Mavic Pro or even the zoom version of the Mavic 2 series can be considered. The professional version of the Mavic 2 series is the choice for professional users.


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