Unveiled: DJI Mavic Air Drone Takes to the Skies

2Share

Today, at a live event, in New York, DJI announced the brand-new Mavic Air quadcopter. This follow-up to the popular Mavic Pro seems to exist as a little brother to the Mavic Pro, filling the gap between it and the fun and tiny Spark drone. The Mavic Air does this by offering 3-axis gimbal-stabilized 4K video recording, like the Mavic Pro, yet in a smaller package, which appears to borrow sleek design cues from the Spark. It folds down small enough to fit into a small day pack, as does its controller, which unfolds to hold your smartphone.

The relatively tiny Mavic Air houses the latest flight technology that DJI offers, in an unprecedentedly compact body. FlightAutonomy 2.0 uses the primary gimbal camera, forward, backward, and downward-facing dual-vision sensors, downward-facing IR sensors, and redundant IMUs to analyze the drone’s environment. Using FlightAutonomy, the Mavic Air can deftly avoid obstacles to the front, sides, or rear of the drone.

All that computing power and data analysis also allows DJI to implement some cool new features. ActiveTrack can sense up to 16 subjects and track them with the gimbal camera, keeping them in frame. QuickShots lets you take epic selfie videos with programmed camera moves centered on you. Using the DJI GO 4 app, you can then share the videos instantly. SmartCapture lets you take control of the Mavic Air using hand gestures, no controller needed. Gesture to the Mavic Air to take photos and record video “hands free.” TapFly offers a way to control the Mavic Air with your mobile device. Tap anywhere on your screen and the Mavic Air will fly there. Speed and direction can be fine-tuned to fit the shot.

The camera itself has some impressive specifications. DJI is renowned for its drones’ video implementation, and the Mavic Air will not stray from this perception. 4K video is captured at 100 mbps using the widely compatible H.264 format, for sharp detail reproduction without huge file sizes. 4K capture is limited to a 30-fps ceiling, though, with 2.7K, 1080p, and 720p options, higher frame rates like 60 and 120 fps, can be accessed for epic slow-motion capture. Aside from the 4K video recording, the Mavic Air will be able to capture 12MP photos, in DNG raw or JPEG formats with its 1/2.3" CMOS sensor. A built-in HDR algorithm records an even wider dynamic range for images that pop without the dreaded overexposed blown highlights. The camera’s lens has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 24mm for a wide, but not skewed, field of view, and a fixed aperture of f/2.8. But don’t let that limit you. By capturing 25 photos in quick succession, the Mavic Air can stitch a 32MP spherical panorama so you can view incredible vistas from any angle.

Despite its size, the Mavic Air puts up some impressive flight metrics. A maximum speed of 42 mph (in Sport mode) puts it ahead of its Mavic Pro and Spark brethren. Global navigation for GPS and GLONASS are available for positioning outdoors, while an optical vision system is responsible for hovering stability indoors.

Speaking of visibility, the Mavic Air will be available in a few eye-catching colors: Onyx Black, Arctic White, and Flame Red, either as the drone itself or with a “Fly More” accessory pack. Pricing, availability, and accessory information for the Mavic Air will be available on the B&H website, so be sure to check back. Are you excited about the Mavic Air? Would you get one instead of the Mavic Pro? Feel free to comment below.

Items discussed in article

Close

Close

Close