DJI has unveiled the Mavic Air 2, a compact drone which features a long-lasting battery, high-megapixel camera, and advanced filming software.
The Chinese company is the world’s leading commercial drone manufacturer, accounting for approximately 70% of the global drone market.
Just like its predecessor, the Mavic Air 2 is designed to be ultraportable and foldable, making it easy to take along on trips where users want to take photos or shoot video from the air.
Long battery life
Despite weighing only 570g, the new drone can fly for up to 34 minutes between charges, a big improvement over the 21 minutes of its predecessor.
It is capable of covering a maximum flight distance of 18.5km and can travel at a speed of up to 68 km/h in sport mode.
Using its OcuSync 2.0 software, it can stream live 1080p 30fps video at a range of up to 10km.
To avoid hitting obstacles, the drone uses sensors to perceive its environments in three directions – forward, backward, and downward.
In addition to this, it comes with an auxiliary light that can be turned on and off manually to improve downward visibility for safe landing and visual positioning.
The Mavic Air 2’s camera features a 0.5-inch CMOS sensor capable of capturing 48MP photos and 4K video at 60fps.
It supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) video, which captures more detail in the darkest and lightest parts of a scene.
DJI’s SmartPhoto integrates its HDR and the company’s HyperLight software into a single mode for best results in photo capturing.
Scene recognition optimises the camera’s parameters for different scenes according to five categories – sunset, skies, grass, snow, and trees.
Additionally, the camera can shoot 8K Hyperlapse video, which allows users to shoot scenes in which moving objects are sped up.
For automatic object tracking, the drone supports FocusTrack, DJI’s suite of intelligent tracking modes that focuses on particular subjects in a video and navigates the drone accordingly.
Spotlight 2.0 allows users to fly freely with the drone while the camera remains locked on to a selected subject.
ActiveTrack 3.0 automatically follows and films subjects while avoiding obstacles, keeping the subject in the centre of the frame.
DJI said its POI 3.0 improves upon its previous iteration of point-of-interest detection, in particular with regards to flat surfaces.
In addition to tracking and circling static subjects such as buildings, POI 3.0 allows the camera to dynamically track people or objects like cars and boats.
Remote controller and ND filters
DJI is launching a new controller and two ND filter sets alongside the drone.
The remote features an ergonomic design which the company said allows for a more comfortable grip. It comes with a battery life of up to 240 minutes, DJI claimed.
The clamp for attaching your smartphone to the controller is now located at the top of the unit.
An ND 16/64/256 filter helps for adjusting shutter speed and shooting in extreme lighting conditions, while the ND 4/8/32 set delivers detailed imagery even at low ISO values.
Availability and pricing
The Mavic Air 2 will go on sale for $799 (R15,020) at launch.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the drone is currently only available in China, but a worldwide rollout is slated for the middle of May.
Below are images of the drone in its folded position, as well as the new controller and purpose-made ND filters.