Tech

DJI drone: Mavic Air 2 flies longer and has a better camera

With the Mavic Air 2, the Chinese manufacturer DJI has introduced a successor to the Mavic Air after ten and a half years. Significant innovations are a larger image sensor for more quality, a flight time of 34 minutes thanks to a larger battery and a new controller to control the aircraft.

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The Mavic Air 2 no longer works via WLAN, but with DJI's own Occusync transmission protocol. This is said to be less prone to failure. It is not known whether it also requires less energy. However, it is clear that the flight time is now up to 34 minutes and this is mainly due to the battery, which now has a higher capacity (3,500 mAh) than that in Predecessor (2,375 mAh). The power dispensers cannot be exchanged for each other.

A 1/2-inch sensor with 12 megapixel resolution works in the camera. If desired, a 48 megapixel image can also be generated. The lens has a 35 mm focal length of 24 mm at f / 2.8. The drone can record videos in 4K resolution at up to 60 frames per second. The camera also supports HDR, which ends at 30 frames per second in 4K mode. 8K time-lapse recordings can also be made, whereby DJI wants to fine-tune the software and provide additional functions through updates. The company did not reveal exactly what.

Mavic Air 2 (Image: DJI)

To ensure that regular air traffic is not jeopardized by unreasonable drone pilots, DJI has installed Airsense technology in the Mavic Air 2. This is to detect aircraft nearby and warn the drone pilot on the ground. In the other direction – i.e. towards the plane – there is no signal. In Europe, the drones will not be equipped with it for the time being because the necessary parts are missing due to the supply chain problems. From summer 2020, Mavic Air 2 with Airsense will also be sold in Germany, the company said. Retrofitting for models that have already been sold is not mentioned.

The drone is also equipped to withstand collisions at completely different heights. Sensors from the front and rear and on the bottom of the aircraft are used here. The drone has numerous automated flight modes such as Activetrack 3.0. The pilot selects an object that the Mavic Air 2 should automatically follow. The Point of Interest 3.0 function enables an automated trajectory to be defined around a specific object. With Spotlight 2.0, the pilot fixes an object and can then freely control the movement of the drone, whereby the drone and the camera are aligned so that the subject remains in the image.

The new controller no longer has any antennas visible from the outside, which should make handling easier. When folded, the DJI Mavic Air 2 measures 180 x 97 x 84 mm and unfolded 183 x 253 x 77 mm. The previous model was a little bit smaller with 168 x 184 x 64 mm. The weight of the new drone is 570 grams, the old one weighed 430 grams. Numerous others Technical specifications the manufacturer has published online.

The DJI Mavic Air 2 will cost 849 euros and will be available from mid-May 2020. Because of the small numbers, only one drone can be purchased from each customer. The Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo package also includes a neutral density filter for the camera, a carrying case, covers for the propellers and three batteries. The package including the drone costs 1,049 euros.

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