The Mavic Air is a Content Game Changer | The Companionist
We’ve taken a look at the well-rounded newbie in all its glory and, while perhaps not suited to more demanding droneographers, the Mavic Air is still a plausible option for anyone wanting slick, hassle-free video content for social media.
DJI’s new Mavic Air has finally launched in New Zealand – the drone Digital Trends has already dubbed a compact ‘jack-of-all trades’ for content creators and hobbyists. Here are a few more of our thoughts on DJI’s newest and most portable drone yet.
IT CAN GO WITH YOU JUST ABOUT ANYWHERE
There’s nothing more frustrating running out of room for equipment and missing out on great aerial footage on-the-go. Thankfully for busy creators everywhere, portability is arguably the Mavic Air’s greatest asset – everything from its batteries, to the remote, and even the drone itself are designed to travel easily. In fact, when it’s completely folded down the Air is about as tall and wide as a smartphone.
EASIER TO PILOT, HARDER TO CRASH
While the Mavic Air resembles the Spark in terms of size, colour selection and portability, the similarities pretty much stop there. DJI’s added suite of new features to the Mavic Air to increase stability and intuitively avoid obstacles, making it a few technological cuts above its 2017 counterpart. Its Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) automatically charts a route around unexpected obstacles instead of just stopping the Air mid-flight. It’ll need to fly around a location for a bit to survey the landscape properly, but after a minute or so APAS works without a hitch. Basically, if you’re after a reliable drone that’s easy and safe to fly, the Mavic Air is it. You can launch it with simple hand gestures and it stays where you fly it too, making it a dependable addition to any content creating arsenal.
BRING SPARE BATTERIES
One of the only things the new Mavic Air seems to be missing is a significantly longer battery life. Realistically, its 21 minute flight time shaves down to about 15 once you get up into the air and back down again.
That being said, the Air still flies for just as long as its bigger, more expensive cousin the DJI Mavic Pro and significantly longer than the Spark at just 16 minutes in total. It’s a long average flight time considering its size, but possibly not ideal for extremely lengthy or demanding shoots. If you’re only after snappy, shareable snippets of footage though, grab a few backup batteries and you’ll be good to go.
SOLID, STEADY IMAGE QUALITY
The Mavic Air boasts a 4K camera with 3-axis gimbal, producing steady footage at up to 30fps at a bit rate of 100Mbps, and great 12MP HDR stills too.
These specs mean a crystal-clear and vibrant picture in well-lit conditions, and for such a small sensor the Air gives you a surprisingly large dynamic range to play with too.
For slow motion footage, a drop in resolution offers a generous 2.5K at 60fps and Full HD at up to 120fps. To top it all off, the Air’s agile gimbal keeps everything looking smooth and polished – even when the wind picks up and the drone itself gets thrown around, it’s near-impossible to tell.
Overall, the DJI Mavic Air’s release is a massive plus for anyone wanting slick, reliable aerial footage to share and show off on social.
It’s a handy, pocketable drone with sound image specs and helpful new self-navigating technology. While its battery life isn’t mind-blowing, what the Air lacks in flight time it makes up for in quality, producing stable high-quality footage in full-light and clear slow motion shots too.
Most importantly though, it’s a drone that gives everybody the tools they need to pull of an amazing shot, evening the playing field between total newcomers and drone veterans. Expect to see a lot of great Mavic Air footage on your feed in 2018.