Not everything in our present age has improved, but at least our toys are getting better. When I was a kid, remote-controlled cars were all the rage – especially crashing them despite their long aerials still didn’t provide much range and you had to stand pretty close to them. These days though, things have greatly improved, and we don’t just get to control small little gadgets on the ground, but in the air as well. With great lengths between them as well. And we can even do something useful with these toys, like taking great video and still footage, deliver products or spy on those pesky neighbours.
Flying drones are about to get even better, as DJI has announced their successor to their popular Mavic Air drone. Its been two and a half years since DJI announced what became arguably one of the most popular drones on the market and with this new version comes some significant upgrades to make it even more impressive.
According to The Verge, the Mavic Air 2 has ditched Wi-Fi in favour of DJI’s own OccuSync transmission technology. This allows it to increase its flying distance, has up to 34 minutes of flight time, comes with a completely redesigned controller and more importantly, features a bigger image sensor that is capable of capturing 48 mega-pixel images. The default will still be set to 12-megapixels, although that is fantastic image quality and will likely appeal to all those drone photographers out there looking for the perfect shot. The Air 2 comes with preprogrammed scene detection modes for photos that include snow, trees, grass, blue skies, sunsets, and sunrises.
For video, the Mavic Air 2 can shoot 4K footage at up to 60fps. It also has HDR capabilities for video (up to 4K 30fps) and HDR panorama photos. The drone is also capable of exporting 8K time-lapse videos though not all modes will support 8K at launch and are expected to be available around the end of June.
DJI also touts this as its smartest and safest drone yet. It’s the first drone to come equipped with AirSense, a technology that detects and warns the drone operator of nearby aircrafts. The drone also features obstacle sensors on the front and rear to help avoid collisions and bottom sensors next to auxiliary lights to help with landing in low light. While DJI says that its autonomous flight modes have been upgraded, the company says you should not expect the same kind of self-flying experience that’s possible with the Skydio drone in this model.
In terms of the design, the new Mavic Air 2 is slightly bigger and heavier than the prior generation, but still retains the same look as its earlier model. The new slightly bigger controller doesn’t have visible antennas sticking out on top and instead features space for a spring-loaded phone mount.
The Mavic Air 2 is currently available in the US for preorder starting at $799 and will begin shipping May 11 in the US. The Fly More bundle, which, for the first time, includes ND filters along with a carrying bag, prop guards, charging hub, and three batteries will be available for $988. There is no word yet on when these drones will be available in South Africa yet, though I suspect it may be a while before we see these new drones flying around neighbourhoods. Still, that shouldn’t stop you from trying out their other superb offering for those of you with a budget.
Last Updated: April 28, 2020