Just when you thought DJI was done innovating and changing the landscape for creators, they release, I believe to be, one of their best products to date. Flying in at less than 600 g and a 1 inch CMOS sensor, the DJI Mavic Air 2S is an amalgamation of its predecessors’ greatest features and an intricate upgrade. Just a mere few months ago, I held the DJI Mini 2 in my hands thinking “it can’t get any better than this” then low and behold, a new drone entered the market with outstanding specs making me question what my next drone purchase should be. This DJI Mavic Air 2S review will help you decide if this is the drone for you.
We’ve now entered a time when drones are a perfect accompaniment to any traveler. Whether or not you have a solid foundation or background in photography or cinematography, there is a drone on the market for you. From children’s toys to epic Hollywood film drones, it is safe to say that they are here to stay and have made themselves somewhat of a household object. So how does one innovate to get to the next level?
DJI Mavic Air 2S Review Outline
- Ergonomics & Aesthetics
- Speed & Performance
- Video Samples
- Camera Quality & Capabilities
- Image Samples
The DJI Mavic Air2S is a product of technological evolution. It also is an exquisite love letter to drone enthusiasts and fans of DJI because they watch, revise, and execute when it comes to consumer satisfaction and product development. Take a look at the specs:
DJI Mavic Air 2S Specs
- 31 minute flight time
- 3-axis Stabilization Gimbal
- 1″ CMOS Sensor, 20 Megapixel Resolution
- 5.4K/30fps, 4K/60fps
- DNG / JPEG / Raw
- Max Speed: 13.4 mph / 6 m/s
- 21.0 oz Weight (~.1.3125 lbs)
- Price – $999 – ( Adorama | B&H | Amazon | DJI )
Before I dive into a more detailed review, I think it’s imperative to know that it’s rare to find products that surpass your expectations past the initial teaser trailer or spec list. This is one of those products. Of course, DJI as a company has a standard to uphold but to consistently surpass the expectations of their consumer and build better products time and time again takes a deep understanding of trend, market behavior, and tech. That level of perfection is clearly visible in their products and the DJI Mavic Air 2S did not come to play.
Ergonomics & Aesthetics
I had the opportunity to travel with this drone and I knew it would be the perfect companion for its size alone. When photographing destination weddings, I make it a point to consciously select which gear comes with me and what stays home because the last thing I need is to carry a whole bunch of gear with me when I don’t need it. The compact and lightweight characteristics of the DJI Mavic Air 2S seriously shocked me. I pack my Spyder Holster belt in my check-in suitcase and 2 batteries, the remote control, and the drone fit in one pouch meant for a 70-200mm lens. Think about that for a second. You could be carrying a drone on a BELT … and no one would even know.
After flying the Mini 2, it’s so hard to go back to the OG Mavic Pro remote controller (first-world problems for sure). It felt like second nature using the Air 2S controller, mainly after intensely training in Mario Kart on my switch. These twist-off knobs make it even more travel-friendly and convenient to take anywhere.
[Related Reading: DJI Mini 2 Review]
Speed & Performance
After flying the Mini and struggling a bit to spot it in the sky, the Air 2S was a bit easier to find. Although, I did find myself searching or trying to listen for the sound for quite a bit of time. Over the years, DJI’s noise-reduction technology has improved so much that people around me didn’t even hear my launch sometimes. There were a couple of things that stood out to me that differed from previous DJI products:
Jerky Movement on Sport Mode
When switching over to Sport mode I found that drone to be a bit too jerky on the reverb. It made me a little wary to fly it close to objects knowing it might have a small bounce when stopping in motion. That being said, with an extremely advanced sensor system, that is unlikely to occur.
Can Likely Take a Hit
It has the ability to perceive its environment in four directions: up, down, forward, and backward which means it is highly unlikely that you can crash this drone unless you are just being irresponsible.
If you plan on using this drone as a hobbyist, the battery life is plenty sufficient. I found that when I took it out for portrait sessions, I wanted a little bit more juice or ended up using both batteries. This is a pretty typical flight time (30 mins on a full charge) for most of DJI’s newer products, but I think this would be the next big innovation for me, personally. I don’t love having to charge multiple batteries and making sure I have enough to last for a session.
Delivers the Most Accessible Cinematic Drone Footage
With mobile phones now delivering 4K/60 fps, this drone makes a perfect partner for the most affordable, beginner cinematographer kit. If you’re just scratching the surface and trying to put together vlogs, YouTube content, this is the perfect addition to your kit. There has never been a time like there is now to dive into video and video editing, or a greater need, and the Air 2S gives users the tools with an extremely low learning curve.
[Related Reading: A Skeptics DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Review]
DJI Mavic Air 2S Video Sample
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DJI Mavic Air 2S Camera Quality & Capabilities
I had the opportunity to fly this drone in a variety of weather conditions, temperatures, and terrain. To put it through its paces, I also packed it on several destination shoots to see how it could travel and how easy it would be to fly with no guidance or handbook.
What I found most interesting was the burning need to have an aerial perspective with me at all times for wedding photography. So often I find myself drowning, needing inspiration or creativity at wedding venues and locations I frequent. After spending a year away from photographing weddings and engagements, the 2021 wedding season has been a huge struggle for me. Having this tool has provided such a unique way to expand on my creativity and create imagery that encapsulates my vision in a way my DSLR never could.
DJI Mavic Air2S Image Samples
DJI Mavic Air 2S Review: Conclusion
While it’s clear that the DJI Mini 2 was intended for beginners, it’s harder to distinguish that niche group for this drone. The DJI Mavic Air 2S contains specs that professionals need and want when it comes to cinematic production and resolution. There are two types of consumers I see this working for specifically:
- The skilled nomad: Content creators, travel bloggers, or travel enthusiasts – this drone was meant for you. This drone is packed with features like Mastershots, high resolution, and portability. It’s an essential tool for those wanting to document their memories with a unique perspective & refined quality.
- The ones that are ready to move up the professional ladder: this purchase should feel like the equivalent of graduating from college and pursuing a master’s degree. This is the perfect companion for those that want aerial footage to pair with their handheld DSLRs or mirrorless cameras. It’s a great upgrade for those that purchased the original Mavic or Mavic Air.
You can purchase the DJI Air 2S for $999 or the Fly More Combo for $1299.