DJI’s Mavic Air Is a Smarter, Smaller Mavic

January 23, 2018

By Greg Scoblete

DJI is rolling out a smaller, more portable version of its foldable Mavic Pro camera drone in the new Mavic Air.

The drone’s camera features  a 12-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch image sensor fronted by a fixed 24mm f/2.8 (equivalent) lens. It rests on a 3-axis mechanical gimbal.

According to DJI, new HDR algorithms enable the camera to better capture highlight and shadow detail. 4K video recording is available up to 30 fps with a bit rate of 100Mbps. Full HD recording is available up to 120 fps.

The Air offers 8GB of onboard storage, a microSD card slot and a USB-C port for data transfers.

DJI has added several new automated QuickShot shooting modes for the Air. A Sphere panorama automatically shoots and stitches 25 images to create a 32-megapixel panoramic image.  New Asteroid and Boomerang modes automatically send the drone on a route to capture creative flying effects.

In Asteroid mode, the Mavic Air creates the illusion of an impending collision.

In Boomerang, Mavic Air will orbit a subject with a cinematic sweep.

According to DJI, Mavic Air’s ActiveTrack intelligent flight mode has been improved from previous iterations to automatically sense multiple subjects, following your subject and keeping it in the frame with more precision, especially during high motion activities like running and cycling. It features seven cameras and infrared sensor to map out its environment. Front and back-facing dual camera vision systems can spot obstacles up to 66 feet away.

The drone will respond to hand gesture commands from up to 20 feet away, much like the smaller DJI Spark.

You’ll enjoy up to 21 minutes of flight time and can hit up to 42 mph in Sport mode. The included remote can receive a 1080p signal from the Air from up to 2.5 miles away.

The Mavic Air will be sold in Onyx Black, Arctic White and Flame Red for $799. It is available for pre-order now and ships at the end of the month. A Mavic Air Fly More Combo with the drone, three batteries, a remote controller, a travel bag, two pairs of propeller guards, six pairs of propellers, a battery to power bank adapter and battery charging hub will set you back $999.