Aerial photography took a step forward this week as DJI announced the compact new 48 MP Mavic Air 2, featuring upgrades like 8K Hyperlapse video, OcuSync 2.0, automatic HDR images, and scene recognition.
The new foldable drone can fly for up to 34 minutes, weighs 570 grams, and has new motors, new electronic speed controllers, and improved battery technology.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is available for pre-order now and is expected to arrive in North America by May 15. The base drone with one battery, the remote controller, and cables is $1,049 CAD. The Fly More package, including the drone, cables, three batteries, a shoulder bag, ND filters, and charging hub is selling for $1,139 CAD.
So what am I really excited about with the new Mavic Air 2 drone? In my mind, the top feature is the new 8K Hyperlapse. Part of Spotlight 2.0, the feature lets you focus on one subject, while the drone records a timelapse as it moves. In Hyperlapse, there are four flight modes: Free movement, Circle, Course Lock, and WayPoints.
“Pilots can also choose from several pre-programmed flight maneuvers known as QuickShots, which use a 3-axis mechanical gimbal and electronic image stabilization for unmatched video quality,” the release said. “Simply tap the desired mode and Mavic Air 2 will automatically create stunning, cinematic content. Pilots can choose Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Helix, Boomerang or Asteroid.”
Thanks to the new, larger 1/2″ camera sensor, the Mavic Air 2 can capture 4k video at 60 fps and 120 Mbps, which is improved from the original Air’s 4K video at 30 fps, and 100 Mbps.
The drone also supports 4X Slow Motion in 1080p at 120 fps or 8X Slow Motion in 1080p at 240 fps.
Pilots can choose to shoot 12 MP images, or the new 48 MP mode for enhanced details. In the SmartPhoto 12 MP mode, the drone uses scene analysis and deep learning to choose the best capture option.
The scene recognition improves colour, detail, and tone specifically for sunsets, blue skies, grass, snow, and trees.
Additionally, with HDR photos, the Mavic Air 2 captures seven images in a range of exposures, and merges them into one dynamic image.
The new Hyperlight mode also allows pilots to shoot in low-light, merging multiple photos into one clearer image for less noise and better detail.
In terms of OcuSync 2.0, the system now also delivers HD video and drone control up to 10km over 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz frequencies, assuming there are no obstructions or other issues.
DJI has also upgraded the remote controller, moving the phone holder to the top of the device, with a more ergonomic design, and battery life up to 240 minutes.
And, as an extra incentive to order the Fly More Combo, the package includes two neutral density filter sets to help in challenging lighting conditions, cover ND 16/64/256 and ND 4/8/32.
Finally, DJI has improved drone safety with better obstacle avoidance flying forward and backwards, as well as improved automatic landing in difficult lighting conditions. GEO geofencing also keeps drones away from high-risk locations, including airports.
For more details, including information about Advanced Pilot Assistance System 3.0, and AirSense technology, visit DJI.com. Stay tuned too for my full review of the new drone, as well as sample drone footage and photos.