The Mavic Air 2 Is the Perfect Upgrade from Your Entry-Level Drone

The Mavic Air 2 is DJI’s newest foldable drone that makes flying easy, and capturing great content even easier.

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The Mavic Air 2 is DJI’s newest foldable consumer drone. It slots in between the Mavic Mini (entry-level) and Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom (high-end) in the company’s Mavic lineup. It’s the next-generation of the Mavic Air, which DJI released in early 2018 and is now phasing out, and combines many basic elements from the Mavic Mini (small, affordable and easy to fly) with some of the more advanced flying and photo-and-video-capturing capabilities of DJI’s higher-end drones. Essentially, it’s the ideal “upgrade” for entry-level drone pilots or creatives who want to take their social media game to the next level.

The Mavic Air 2 comes with all the essentials to fly the drone and starts at $799. The upgraded “Fly More” package, which adds a shoulder bag, ND filters, a charging hub and a total of three batteries, will cost $988. You’ll be able to purchase the Mavic Air 2 in the US on May 11.

DJI’s newest drone has some pretty impressive photo skills. It’s equipped with a 1/2″ camera sensor and a 3-axis gimbal with electronic image stabilization and is capable of capturing 12-megapixel and 48-megapixel stills. However, the 48-megapixel shooting mode isn’t compatible with every camera mode, like SmartPhoto, a brand-new mode that uses scene recognition software to capture the best-looking, most optimized photo possible. (Stills can be saved in either RAW or JPEG, or both simultaneously.)

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On the video side, the Mavic Air 2 is the first Mavic drone to be able to shoot 4K videos at 60fps and 120Mbps. It’s the first to be able to capture 8K hyperlapses as well, which is pretty neat, and it comes preprogrammed with a number of HDR features, including HDR video and HDR panorama (the max video resolution that you can shoot in HDR is 4K 30fps).

The Mavic Air 2 is packed with features that make capturing aerial photos and cinematic videos super easy. There are FocusTrack modes that can have the Mavic Air 2 follow, circle or lock onto a subject, the latter of which gives the pilot the freedom to fly drone wherever while keeping the subject in focus. Then there are QuickShots, which are a number of pre-programmed flight maneuvers that the Mavic Air 2 can do around a stationary subject; you essentially press a button, then the drone does the hard work for you. The DJI Fly app also has a number of fancy-but-simple-to-use editing tools so you can cut videos and add effects (like music).

On the flying side, the Mavic Air 2 is designed to be so intuitive that a novice could fly it. It has built-in obstacle sensors that warn pilots when they’re getting too close to an object (you can also set it up so that the drone stops when it detects an object, or alters its flight path, thus avoiding a collision entirely) and geofencing sensors to help keep the drone from flying too far away or too close to highest-risk locations, like airports. There’s also one-press controls that make taking off and landing the Mavic Air 2 stress-free. In the press release, Roger Lu, the president of DJI, calls the Mavic Air 2 “the smartest consumer DJI drone to date.”

Rounding out the features, the Mavic Air 2 weighs just 570 grams, which is about as much as a small water bottle, and it folds up almost just as small. It has a maximum flight time of up to 34 minutes, which is better than the Mavic 2 Pro’s 31 minutes and the first-generation Mavic Air’s 21 minutes of flight time. As for speed, the Air 2 maxes out at 42 miles (or 68 kilometers) per hour.

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