Gear

9 Things You Need to Know About the New DJI Mavic Air

Not content with offering us models including the amazing InspireMavic and SparkDJI has announced the launch of a brand new drone. The Mavic Air is a ‘go anywhere’ drone that looks perfect to pack on your travels, so here’s nine things you should know….

1 – This thing is small – Let’s be clear, this is an ultra-portable drone. The clever folding design, which sees the Its folding arms and propellers sit flush against the drone body, means the Mavic Air has the same footprint as a modern smartphone and it tips the scales at just 430g. This makes the Mavic Air a perfect choice for photographers who want to capture aerial photos and video but are tight on space in their kitbags.

With its folding design, the Mavic Air is a drone you can take anywhere.

2 – There’s bonus storage – Forgot your memory card? Don’t worry about because the Mavic Air is DJI’s first drone with a whopping 8GB of onboard storage so you can save video and stills straight to the drone and retrieve them later. Obviously, the standard Micro SD card slot is there for expandable memory and a newly-added USB-C port makes exporting footage even faster.

8GB of internal memory expands how much media you can capture in one flight.

3 – You can shoot stunning stills – At the heart of the Mavic Air is its camera, which features a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor and the equivalent of a 24mm F2.8 lens (on a 35mm full frame sensor). This enables photographers to capture 12-megapixel still images and DJI say new HDR algorithms help preserve more highlight and lowlight details.

This image was captured on the Mavic Air!

4 – Get even bigger stills – What…12-megapixel stills not big enough for you? Well, the Mavic Air offers a new Sphere panorama feature, which shoots and stitches 25 photos to create a single 32-megapixel panoramic image within just one minute. What’s more, the Mavic Air supports multiple panorama modes, creating horizontal, vertical, and 180 degree images.

Check out this example of the Mavic Air’s Pano mode.

5 – You can shoot high quality video – So, how does the Mavic Air do for video quality? Well, the new drone cann capture stabilized 4K video at 30 fps, with a maximum bitrate of 100 Mbps and DJI say this is the highest quality of any consumer-level DJI drone! If slow-motion is your thing, you’ll be pleased to hear the Mavic Air shoots 1080p video at 120fps.

4K at 30fps and super 120fps slow motion at 1080p.

6 – It’s packed with extra features – The Mavic Air is packed with technology and feature and includes QuickShot intelligent video modes to bring you Hollywood-style effects and footage. For example, there’s a number of predefined flight paths that automatically keep your subject in the frame, such as Rocket, Dronie, Circle, or Helix, What’s more, DJI say a new mode called Asteroid ‘starts with a spherical image that zooms in as it descends toward the subject on the ground, while Boomerang circles the subject in an oval-shaped flight path with the video finishing at the start point.’

Use pre-programmed flight paths for pro-looking footage

7 – The Mavic Air is safer than ever – Drone safety is a big issue these days and the Mavic Air features multiple technologies to help make drone flying safer. DJI say the body includes; ‘seven onboard cameras and infrared sensors to construct a 3D map of the drone’s environment for more precise hovering and better flight performance’ and that ‘the upgraded forward and backward dual camera vision systems can sense obstacles up to 66 feet (20 meters) away.’ The Mavic Air even has a newly-developed Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems feature to helps users automatically avoid bypass obstacles in more built-up areas.

The Mavic Air can sense obstacles from 66 feet away.

8 – It’s fast and steady – Okay, here’s some juicy data – the Mavic Air boasts a max flight time of up to 21 minutes and can fly safely in wind conditions up to 22mph (36kph), which is a fair old breeze. The drone can operate up to heights of 5000 metres (16,404ft) and, because the Mavic Air’s remote’s omnidirectional antennas are placed on the foldable landing gear to increase signal coverage, the drone has a maximum operational range of up to 2.5 miles (4km).

Despite its small size, the Mavic Air offers a max flight time of 21 minutes.

9 – It’s more affordable than you may have thought – The Mavic Air is available for pre-orders now, with shipping expected to start on January 28. Available in three colours (Onyx Black, Arctic White and Flame Red), the drone is cost $799 for US photographers or £769 in the UK. The Mavic Air Fly More Combo, which includes the drone, three batteries, a remote controller, travel bag, two pairs of propeller guards, six pairs of propellers, a battery to power bank adapter and battery charging hub will cost $999 in the US or £949 in the UK. You can watch a video of the Mavic Air in action here.

Small, portable, fast and safe, the Mavic Air is sure to be of interest to photogaphers looking for an affordable drone.