DJI Mavic Air 2 – What more could you want?
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is the newest member of the Mavic series and was introduced by DJI on April 28, 2020. The mid-range drone is positioned between the Mavic Mini and Mavic 2 and offers a number of improvements over its predecessor.
The Mavic Air 2 can be purchased either individually or in the Fly More Combo with additional accessories.
DJI Mavic Air 2 Highlights: Flight time, range, camera
Those who have just bought the Mavic Air will probably be mightily annoyed, because the DJI Mavic Air 2 has been completely revised and offers a variety of technical innovations at a comparable price.
According to DJI, the flight time of the new Mavic Air 2 is now up to 34 minutes – that’s a whopping 14 minutes more than the old Mavic Air. For even longer flight times, we recommend purchasing an additional battery for the DJI Mavic Air 2.
And when it comes to range, things have also changed: While the first generation only used Wi-Fi, the Mavic Air 2 now achieves maximum ranges of up to 6.2 miles (10 km) (FCC standard) or 3.7 miles (6 km) (CE standard) in European airspace thanks to OcuSync 2.0.
Another highlight of the DJI Mavic Air 2 is definitely the built-in 4K camera with 1/2-inch sensor. As the first drone with a camera in the Mavic series ever, it is capable of 4K videos at 60 fps and thus enables the subsequent creation of high-resolution slow-motion videos. In Full HD, even up to 240 fps (slowed down 8 times) is available.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 takes photos at 12 or even 48 megapixels, and HDR photos, panoramas and HDR videos (4K @ 30 fps) are also possible.
Design & Weight
In addition to the many technical improvements, the exterior has also changed. The chic two-tone look of its predecessor is a thing of the past – instead, the new Mavic Air 2 now shines in matte gray, making it almost indistinguishable from the Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom – except for its size.
At 180 x 97 x 84 mm when folded and weighing 570 grams, the Mavic Air 2 is a few centimeters taller and 140 grams heavier than its now three-year-old predecessor. Despite this, the foldable drone is still very compact and easy to transport.
As expected, the workmanship is also on the highest level and appears high-quality and robust, which is typical for DJI. The individual vents are all grilled and the well-hidden cables are additionally covered with a protective sheath.
The foldable quick-release propellers have been aerodynamically reworked and provide for a more pleasant and relatively quiet sound of the drone.
DJI Mavic Air 2: Flight time & range
One of the most outstanding features of the DJI Mavic Air 2 is certainly its long flight time. Thanks to the new 3500 mAh, 11.55V LiPo, the Mavic Air 2 stays in the air for up to 34 minutes. This is a whopping 14 minutes more than the first generation Mavic Air. Even the Mavic Mini (30 minutes) and Mavic 2 (31 minutes) can’t keep up here.
The battery is recharged within about 90 minutes using the included charger. Unfortunately, the batteries cannot be charged via USB charging cable, but only with the charger at a power outlet. However, you can charge another USB device, such as the remote control or a smartphone, at the same time.
Attention: According to DJI, there is currently a problem with the initial activation of the batteries when using the multi-charging station (included in the Fly More Combo). Since the batteries have their own firmware, they need to be activated once. This happens automatically when you charge the batteries for the first time. When using the multicharger, it can happen in some cases that the batteries cannot be activated and are therefore not usable. To get around the problem, DJI says it’s enough to use the single charger for the first charge.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 also sets standards in terms of range. Thanks to the use of the OcuSync 2.0 transmission system already known from the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom, flights at distances of up to 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) (FCC standard) or 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) (CE standard) are now possible.
This is due to the dual-band mode (2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz) with automatic band selection, which also enables long-range transmission of the drone’s live image in 1080p up to distances of 5 miles (8 kilometers) for the first time. The low latency of just 130 ms with which the drone’s FPV image arrives on the smartphone is also impressive.
Even though drones are only allowed to be flown within visual range in many countries, the high range is still an important argument when you want to buy a drone. A high maximum range always means a high signal quality and ensures a stable and smooth image transmission.
Control and flight characteristics
Once in the air, the DJI Mavic Air 2 holds its position extremely well thanks to GPS and GLONASS and is hardly impressed even by smaller gusts of wind. Controlling the small drone is no problem even for beginners and with the help of the anti-collision system, the Mavic Air 2 even detects obstacles fully automatically.
A total of three different flight modes for different situations are available. In addition to the normal mode, the Mavic Air 2 also has a sport mode and a tripod mode.
While the drone reaches speeds of up to 45 mph (64.8 km/h) in Sport mode, it travels much slower in Tripod mode. This mode, which is specifically designed for video recording, allows the drone to respond more smoothly to control commands and thus enables extremely smooth camera movements.
For a safe and pinpoint landing at the launch position or drone landing pad, the Mavic Air 2 features a bright landing light on the underside of the drone. By the way, the light can also be turned on manually during flight. You can land the Mavic Air 2 either manually or conveniently via the Return-to-Home button on the controller.
The camera of the DJI Mavic Air 2
The camera of the DJI Mavic Air 2 has a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor and is the first drone of the Mavic series to record videos in 4K at up to 60 fps. The camera is stabilized by a 3-axis mechanical gimbal.
The drone records videos in the H.265 (HEVC) codec and saves them either as MOV or MP4 files. The bit rate of the video recording is up to 120 Mbit/s. Photos are optionally recorded in 12 or even 48 megapixels.
The camera’s viewing angle (Field of View) is 84° and thus slightly wide-angled. The fixed aperture is f/2.8 and the maximum ISO value is 6400.
Your recordings are stored either on the Mavic Air 2’s 8 GB internal memory or also an up to 256 GB microUSB card (not included).
The live stream of the FPV image to your smartphone takes place in up to 1080p and works at distances of up to 5 miles (8 kilometers) thanks to OcuSync 2.0.
Hyperlapse and slow motion
If you switch from 4K to HD mode, you can shoot at an incredible 240 fps instead of 60 fps. Thanks to the high frame rate, impressive slow-motion recordings can be made, which are currently not possible with almost any other drone.
Another interesting feature of the DJI Mavic Air 2 is the time-lapse mode (Hyperlapse). In this mode, the drone independently creates a series of 8K photos, which it then automatically edits into a video sequence and saves.
It should be noted that a single Hyperlapse recording can take up to 20 minutes. Thus, users who plan to use this mode extensively should consider buying more batteries or get the Fly More Combo right away.
Photos and videos
As already mentioned, the DJI Mavic Air 2 can take photos in either 12 or 48 megapixels. The 48-megapixel photos are also individual shots that are not compiled from several individual photos, as is the case with other drones. This is made possible by the new camera sensor with a “quad-bayer” matrix, in which two pixels at a time are provided with a common color filter.
The quality of the photos is very decent, even if they do not quite reach the outstanding video quality in terms of sharpness. This applies to both the 12 MP and 48 MP pictures. Your pictures are saved in JPG or DNG raw format.
For demanding exposure conditions, an HDR mode is available for both photos and videos. The HDR photos are merged from a total of seven individual shots. The Mavic Air II can produce HDR videos in up to 4K and 30 fps.
Of course, the copter also has a panorama mode, which DJI claims is currently the most advanced in the DJI universe. There are spherical, 180°, wide-angle and vertical panoramas to choose from. Simply select a subject and start recording – the drone does the rest fully automatically.
The videos of the Mavic Air 2 have an outstanding quality and convince with high dynamic range and rich colors. With the selectable flat color profile D-Cinelike, even more image information is also stored, so you can correct the color values in post-processing.
Videoauflösungen und Bildraten
- 4K Ultra HD: 3840 × 2160 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps
- 4K: 2688 × 1512 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps
- Full HD: 1920 × 1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/120/240 fps
- 4K Ultra HD HDR: 3840 × 2160 24/25/30 fps
- 4K HDR: 2688 × 1512 24/25/30 fps
- Full HD HDR: 1920 × 1080 24/25/30 fps
For shooting under particularly bright lighting conditions, there is also a choice of two optional sets of ND filters (16/64/256 or 4/8/32) that can simply be attached to the camera’s lens.
Intelligent flight and recording modes
The range of intelligent flight and shooting modes has increased significantly compared to the previous version. In both photo and video, the Mavic Air 2 offers a wide range of practical functions for creative shots, which even beginners can use to create impressive images.
For example, there are various sub-modes to choose from for the time-lapse mode already mentioned above, all of which are described with a short explanatory video in the app: Free, Circle, CourseLock and WayPoint.
For tracking people and objects, the drone offers three different modes at once, which are now grouped under the name FocusTrack.
In ActiveTrack 3.0 mode, the drone independently follows a selectable object or person and records a video while doing so. Tracking works even if the object or person disappears from the drone’s field of vision for a short time.
The Spotlight 2.0 function works similarly, but unlike ActiveTrack 3.0, the Mavic Air 2 can still be controlled freely.
Point of Interest 3.0 allows you to circle objects or people. New in the third version of this mode is that the drone can now also fly around moving objects.
In addition to the various tracking modes, the Mavic Air 2 is also capable of various pre-programmed shooting modes, the so-called Quickshots. Once launched, the drone performs one of the pre-programmed flight maneuvers and automatically creates a spectacular short video with you in the center. The Rocket, Helix, Circle, Boomerang, Asteroid and Dronie modes are available for selection.
Another highlight of the DJI Mavic Air 2 is certainly the SmartPhoto function. This intelligent photo mode automatically selects between scene recognition, HyperLight and HDR and thus independently sets the best camera settings. This way, even absolute novices succeed in taking high-quality drone photos.
The remote control of the DJI Mavic Air 2
Like the drone itself, DJI has also given the remote control of the DJI Mavic Air 2 a completely new design. The new controller is slightly larger and has a more powerful battery for up to four hours of operation.
The remote control’s antennas are no longer located on the outside, but have been integrated into the newly designed smartphone holder, which can be pulled out of the top of the remote control.
The control joysticks can now also be unscrewed, as in other Mavic models, and can be stored in the remote control.
On the front of the controller, in addition to the two joysticks, you’ll find the on/off switch, a Return-to-Home button, and a slider for choosing between Tripod, Normal, and Sport modes. There is also a freely assignable button as well as four small status LEDs for reading the battery status. The camera’s tilt can be changed via a small wheel on the top.
A USB-C, Lightning, and micro-USB cable are available for connecting different smartphone types.
Anti-collision system and obstacle detection
The DJI Mavic Air 2 has various cameras and sensors for obstacle and object detection on the front, back and underside. The improved APAS 3.0 (Advanced Pilot Assistance System) warns of nearby objects or people (up to just over 65 feet or 20 meters) via vibration as well as a clearly audible beep from the remote control for increased safety.
Optionally, the drone not only warns the pilot of the obstacles, but also stops independently if a collision is imminent. However, since the quadrocopter, unlike the DJI Mavic 2, unfortunately does not have sensors on the sides and top, you as the pilot still have to be alert at all times when maneuvering the drone in tight spaces.
AirSense warning system
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is the first drone in the hobby segment to be equipped with the novel AirSense warning system. The ADS-B system (display of aircraft movements in the airspace) warns the pilot of nearby aircraft and helicopters. In addition, these are also shown on a small map in the smartphone display.
The only catch, unfortunately, is that the new technology is currently only available in models in North America. Rumors say that this is related to the effects of the Corona crisis. Therefore, one can only hope that all models will soon be equipped with the new AirSense technology. By the way: According to DJI, the Mavic Air 2 should nevertheless already have the “direct remote identification” that will probably be required in the future.
Additional security thanks to geofencing
The integrated geofencing system automatically detects when you are in a no-fly zone and prevents the drone from being launched. In addition, the prohibited areas can also be viewed on a map in the DJI Fly app, so you can see where takeoff is allowed before you even attempt to launch.
Scope of delivery
- DJI Mavic Air
- Remote control
- Protective cap for the gimbal
- Connection cable (with Lightning, USB-C and microUSB cables)
- Replacement propellers
- Spare joysticks
- a rechargeable battery
- Power cord
- Power adapter
- Quickstart guide
- user manual Mavic Air 2 (German)
Additionally included in the DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo are:
- Two more batteries
- Propeller guard
- ND filter set (16, 64, 256),
- Carrying case
- Battery powerbank adapter
- More spare propellers
With the DJI Mavic Air 2, the Chinese drone manufacturer makes a real statement and once again raises the bar for the competition. For a price of less than 1000 dollars, you get an outstanding camera drone that hardly differs from the professional model Mavic 2 except for a few small details.
The excellent camera, the long flight time, the intelligent tracking modes and the exceptional signal quality of the radio transmission are particularly noteworthy. All in all, we think that there is currently no better equipped drone with such a good price-performance ratio and can therefore only warmly recommend the DJI Mavic Air 2!