After the Mavic 2 Pro, the DJI Air 2S takes pictures with an inch sensor, and the software tricks and communication have improved a lot compared to last year’s Mavic Air 2.
It’s not been a month and a half since DJI launched its hybrid drone, simply dubbed FPV, here’s their latest quadcopter, the Air 2S, which represents a more serious level of the retail category, leaving the Mavic brand, similar to last year’s debut Mini 2. However, it is no coincidence that the new device was not named Air 3, as the machine announced on April 15 can be described as a more serious crease stitching than a step forward that would justify a numerical jump. The drone has evolved primarily in terms of camera, communication and software capabilities, and its price has jumped slightly compared to the previous model.
Externally, the Air 2S is not very different from last year’s Mavic Air 2, the biggest difference being in the nose of the machine: professional eyes immediately notice that while the previous model here only had forward-looking sensors, the new structure has four “eyes”. received, two of which – as a novelty in this category – also monitor their surroundings upwards while avoiding obstacles. In this area, the drone is almost on a par with the Mavic 2 Pro, with the difference that that type was not able to detect obstacles coming up too close, but to the right and left. The new machine is also supported by the fact that APAS 4.0 is already working here, DJI’s most advanced object-avoiding software to date, which the manufacturer promises will be able to navigate the drone in narrower spaces than ever before, even between trees, by turning on auto-tracking.
Once again, we get an absolutely compact device in terms of size, which is only 180 mm long, 97 mm wide and 80 mm high when folded in its arms, so it is easy to carry and its weight is not dangerous, 595 grams together with the battery. The snap-on battery tops the machine at 3,500 milliamperes per hour and provides 31 minutes of flight time on paper under optimal conditions. Anyway, this is not far from the reality at all, as the past few days are not even ideal, you can keep the Air 2S in the air for 27 minutes even in the windier weather.
Flying again requires a smartphone equipped with the DJI Fly app, and perhaps needless to say, operating the plane is a breeze. Even the one who has not been a drone in his life is doing well, and safe flying is also greatly helped by the fact that the controller next to the machine immediately starts screaming when we venture too close to something. Of course, this is especially true in Normal and Cine modes, with Sport gear engaged at speeds of close to 70 km / h, the sensors at the bottom, top, rear and front do not help to avoid a collision.
One of the great advantages of the Air 2S is that while the Mavic Air 2 and Mavic 2 Pro still used OcuSync 2 communication technology, here we get the O3 (OcuSync 3) already used in the FPV, and unlike the two models mentioned. there are no longer two but four antennas working here. This theoretically allows a 1080p stream to return to the smartphone attached to the remote control from a distance of up to 12 km. Although in practice few will push this line, the advantage of improved communication is not just the range: the connection between the machine and the controller is more stable than ever, even in an urban environment crowded with all kinds of signals, there is no need to worry about losing control. over the drone, and there is no need to worry about the stuttering of the retransmitted image.
At the same time, the Air 2S has not only improved in terms of communication compared to its predecessor, but is also following in the footsteps of the Mavic 2 Pro in terms of the camera in the nose of the machine, which sits on a three-axis stabilizer. Instead of 1/2 inch, this time we get a 1-inch, 20-megapixel CMOS sensor with a 22mm wide-angle lens for up to 5472 x 3648 (3: 2) or 5472 x 3078 (16: 9) pixel photos and 5.4K resolution ( 5472 × 3078 pixels) videos can be captured at 30 frames per second refresh rate. Also, of course, 4K / 60 fps and 1080p / 120 fps.
With this camera, even amateurs can take great aerial shots (whether it’s a photo or a video), and more experienced users are given the Pro mode, which also captures detailed, beautifully editable .RAW images and 10-bit D-log videos.
Luckily, the drone has its own storage space, a total of 8GB, so it’s okay to forget to take an SD card with you when flying, but of course it doesn’t hurt to record longer and high quality videos if you have a larger capacity storage that you can plug into the side of the machine at any time.
Being a more serious machine than, say, the Mini 2, we also get more out of a software trick than the entry-level Mini 2. A novelty on this front is the option called MasterShots, where the camera automatically (automatically flies and captures) the selected subject based on the pre-selected template (Proximity / Portrait / Landscape), which can then be edited in the application in a matter of seconds, even by adding music and subtitles.
Also included are Spotlight 2.0, FocusTrack 4.0, and POI 3.0. In the case of Spotlight, the subject can also be selected, the camera automatically focuses on this, and the pilot only needs to focus on controlling the drone. Slightly more sophisticated is the enhanced FocusTrack, in which the drone not only focuses on the selected subject (which can be a moving person or vehicle), but also follows the target from a safe distance, and you don’t have to worry about actively avoiding obstacles. by “letting go” of the machine, it goes to something through its own fault. And Point of Interest is essentially an improved version of this, when the camera captures the selected subject in a given radius – you can take quite stunning shots at high places, in lookouts, on tours.
For those who are new to droning, the Mini 2 is still the best deal from DJI, but for those who want more than easy flying, really want quality shots, automatic tricks and crash protection, the new Air 2S is more body-friendly can be a reception.
The Mavic Air 2, on the other hand, isn’t necessarily worth switching to, not least because the new camera and improved communications come at a price: the base package is expected to be around $ 1,300.