DJI Launch The DJI Mavic Air 2 Should you buy it?
DJI Launch The DJI Mavic Air 2.Should you buy it? On the 27th April 2020 the worse kept secrets finally unveiled to the world.
Since the world started falling apart due to COVID-19, rumours were being leeked on twitter and other social media platforms the DJI were seriously thinking of launching a new drone product.
Is it the right time to Launch a New Drone?
We are alone asking is it the right time to launch a new drone?
When the over-riding message around the world is to stay in doors, stop infection and limit non-essential journeys out. DJI are promoting a product that encourages consumers to do the opposite.
With shut-down, businesses are struggling to survive, laying off employees. Those businesses that are deemed essential are operating at reduced capacity to enable safe social distancing which increases costs and lowers turnover.
We have a split world. Those still out there working every hour for no more pay. Self-employed, zero hours contracted people, that through no fault of their own saw business grind to a halt over night, wondering how they are going to feed the family.
But there are others on furlough, still getting paid, with a lot of time on their hands who are looking for something to do. Maybe this is the market DJI are after?
What you Get with DJI Mavic Air 2
So what do you get for your £769.00 to £949.00?
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is an improvement compared to its predecessor, with upgraded transmission system, flight time, camera performance, and a few more tweaks. But still lacks the camera control of the Mavic 2 Pro.
The Mavic Air 2 offers 48MP photos, 4K/60fps video, SmartPhoto, HDR functionality, FocusTrack, OcuSync 2.0, and up to 34 minutes of flight time. Flight and camera controls are via the simplified DJI Flight app. This drone is definitely aimed at the consumer market only.
DJI Launch The DJI Mavic Air 2. Should you buy it?
How good is the camera, after all you are buying a flying camera.
Sensor: 12MP 1/2-inch CMOS
Camera focal length: 24mm (full-frame equivalent)
Aperture: Fixed f/2.8
Video: 4K MP4 & MOV, D-Cinelike, up to 240 fps
Flight time: Up to 35 mins
48 Mega Pixel Photo
Mavic Air 2 produces photos thanks to a 1/2-inch image sensor ,supported by Quad Bayer technology. Image formats can be 12 MP, 48 MP, and RAW. Mavic Air 2 supports 4K/60fps video, HDR functionality, and 8x slow motion at 1080p 240 fps. Important to not that Smart photo is only 12MP not the advertised 48MP.
SmartPhoto mode mixes HDR, HyperLight, and scene recognition for what the Mavic Air 2 thinks is an optimised shot. HDR adjusts the dynamic range, HyperLight removes noise and scene recognition sets camera settings for sunset, sky etc.
This can produce stunning images, with little to no knowledge of camera settings. Its not alway perfect though, and can be frustrating when you want one look and the SmartPhoto system disagrees.
For a full break down and drone comparison, check out this interactive comparison chart from DJI: CLICK HERE
When you launch a new product, its all about the positives, and the DJI Mavic Air 2 is no exception.
But the are some notes and admissions down in sub-notes, away from the head lines that you need to know if you are thinking of buying the DJI Mavic Air 2.
- The Use of DJI Flight App – A simplified version, locked down system for future regulation?
- No HDMI output – Making this a stand alone, point and shoot type product.
- Smart Controller – DJI says will be compatible at a later date. I would be asking why not now?
- Not compatibility with DJI Goggles – Does this mean the end of the Goggles experiment?
- 8k Resolution – only available in Free & Waypoint modes.
- APAS NOT available while shoot Video 4K@60 fps and 1080p@240 fps. It also has limited performance in 4K@50, 48 fps, as well as 2.7K@60 fps & 1080p@120 fps – Question… is there any point to having it at all?
- Still not water or splash proof – BUT marketed as a sport action drone.
- No Aperture control – So DJI included some ND filters in the Fly-More Kit. Frustratingly, you will have to buy the more useful ND-filters separately.
- No side avoidance sensors
- The Mavic Air 2 Controller clamp is too small for the iPad Mini.
- Only US models will come with AirSense. The safety mode adds wireless technology that connects to the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system.
The Elephant in the Room- EASA
If you are buying the DJI Mavic Air 2, you need to keep an eye on the future drone regulations that will be imposed by EASA.
These included specifications that will be imposed on manufacturers that want to sell their products in the UK and Europe.
Although delayed because of COVID-19, they could be launched in November 2020 and mean that every drone sold will have to comply with a class marking. These class markings will dictate what type of airspace they can be flown.
There will be a 2 year grace period from the start off the new legislation, after that if your craft does nit have the correct class making, you cannot use it certain types of airspace/locations.
Class markings cannot be retrospective added to drones already manufactured, even if they comply.
Changes are afoot in the drone regulation world, you can check it out HERE.
To Buy or Not To Buy..
Unfortunately most DJI products launched have the feel of a work in progress. Features promised at a latter date, only models sold in the US will come with AirSense, yet we pay the same price in the UK & EU for less..
If fortunate enough to be in a position to buy the new DJI Mavic Air 2, pay in full upfront, wait to be delivered. Can you in all good conscience call it “essential” that you go out to fly your new drone?
It may be worth waiting to see what happens with legislation and getting the FULL package.
Now thats a question…