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DJI Mavic Air 2 review – small but capable drone that produces stunning results

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  • VERDICT

The DJI Mavic Air 2 is one of the most capable drones in its class and, despite its smaller size and weight, can handle all conditions and still produce outstanding results with breathtaking 4K videos and images. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced drone pilot, the DJI Mavic Air 2 is a great choice to take to the skies.

DJI has proven once again why they are the premier drone manufacturer with the release of the Mavic Air 2 which has an even better camera as well as longer flight time and greater range.

The Mavic Air 2, like the other Mavic drones, is a fold down model so it is quite small in the folded position – as small as a water bottle and just as easy to carry around with you so it’s a perfect companion for your next holiday or road trip.

It is surprisingly small and light and, we’ll be honest, we were wondering whether it could handle the wind especially on the coast where we like to fly our drones.

But boy, were we wrong.

On a reasonably windy day on the eastern beaches in Sydney we took the Mavic Air 2 up and it handled the wind so well there ought to have been no wind at all.

The sleek aerodynamic shape really comes in to play here.

The body of the Mavic Air 2 is actually quite small so not much of a target for the wind. It just stuck there even when we were flirting with the maximum height of 120m.

And the videos and images reflect the drone’s endurance and sticking power.

This is also due to the camera’s incredible three-axis (tilt, roll, pan) gimbal which continues to amaze us.

They were as smooth and clear as you would expect on a clear calm day.

Setting up the drone is simple – simply match the right propellers with the right motors.

These are identified with either a black or silver mark.

The silver props go on the two silver motors and the two black props on the black motors.

Initially we pulled out the pack of six black props that come with the Fly More combo version of the Mavic Air 2 – thinking they were all the same.

But when we couldn’t take off that first time, a closer look showed we overlooked the half a dozen silver props in the bottom of the box. Rookie mistake.

For first time flyers, features like obstacle avoidance through the sensors front and back will give you added peace of mind.

There are no sensors on top or on the side so you still have to keep an eye out while ascending and moving sideways.

But the main sensors are still the extremely useful and will have your back for nearly all of your flying.

The DJI Mavic Air 2 is really easy to fly so you can get in with taking great photos and capturing great videos.

The included controller has also had a redesign and is slightly larger and easier to grip and use.

It has a clip at the top which can easily secure your smartphone with two built cables – Lightning and USB-C – to connect an. iPhone or recent Android smartphones.

There’s a spare microUSB cable included in case you have an Android older device.

The thumb sticks, which can be stored in the base of the controller, can be screwed in place in seconds and you’re ready to fly.

Users are also required to download the new DJI Fly app which has been refreshed and with a slightly different look that makes it easier to access your camera controls and easier to see your battery level.

The app also allows you to easily edit your videos, up to 1080p, on the device as well and with some impressive results so you can easily share to social media or with friends.

DJI Fly also offers a shortcut to Quickshots, these preset flight modes like Dronies, Rocket, Circle and Helix that set the Mavic Air on a pre-programmed path and offers a professional look to your shots.

On the memory side, the Mavic Air 2 has 8GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot so you can expand that memory to fit more videos and images during your flight.

Shot taken with the DJI Mavic Air 2

That built in 8GB is very handy, especially if you turn up to fly and forget a microSD card, which we have done, so you can still utilise that onboard memory to capture your videos and images.

The star of the show of the DJI Mavic Air 2 is the camera system which has been improved with new features like low light photography which, like a smartphones, can manage great photos in low light and also scene recognition so it can recognise blue sky, clouds, grass, tress, snow and much more and optimise the image.

Shot taken with the DJI Mavic Air 2

The Mavic Air 2’s camera has a half-inch sensor and is capable of shooting 4K at up to 60 frames per second as well as up to 48 megapixel stills.

It’s possible to capture your videos in several different codecs including MOV, MP4 and H.265 which offers the same quality but a more compressed and therefore smaller file.

The camera also has enhanced HDR (high dynamic range) to add some more punch especially in the lighter and darker areas of the image.

Shot taken with the DJI Mavic Air 2

Our videos and images were nothing short of breathtaking even when they were shot in cloudier conditions.

In bright sunlight they would have been even better.

On the battery side, the Mavic Air 2 offers up to 34 minutes of flight time.

We didn’t quite get that much from our flight but it was over 30 minutes.

For safety we set the low battery warning at 25 per cent just to know we still had plenty of juice – in this case was about seven or eight minutes – in case we need to get back to shore if we were over the ocean or to return the drone of it was a fair distance away.

The DJI Mavic Air 2 is available now and is priced at $1,499 with the Fly More Combo (which adds a shoulder bag and two extra batteries) is $1,899.

Shot taken with the DJI Mavic Air 2

In our view, we think it’s worth spending the extra $400 for the Fly More Combo to get those extra batteries and bag which can easily fit the drone, the remote, the extra batteries and much more.

VERDICT
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is one of the most capable drones in its class and, despite its smaller size and weight, can handle all conditions and still produce outstanding results with breathtaking 4K videos and images. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced drone pilot, the DJI Mavic Air 2 is a great choice to take to the skies.