- Foldable design
- 3-Axis Gimbal
- 4K Camera
- 21-minute flight time (no wind)
- 8GB of internal storage
DJI remain the top manufacturer of consumer drones, with the DJI Mavic Pro being widely lauded as the best consumer drone available. The Mavic Pro was certainly a game changer, giving a professional grade drone for a relatively affordable price, offering one of the best camera and flight performance combinations of any drone.
The DJI Mavic Air is basically a newer version of the Mavic Pro, being much more compact and lightweight thanks to a foldable design. In fact, it’s almost the exact same but with a smaller design that makes it more portable - plus it’s a good bit cheaper!
This gives plenty of reason to purchase the DJI Mavic Air. If you are serious about drones and want to capture breath-taking photographs and videos from the skies, then this is one of the best products currently available.
Design and Build
As mentioned, the Mavic Air features a compact and lightweight design, being around half the size of the Mavic Pro.
When full retracted, the drone measures just 68mm x 184mm x 64mm and weigh and incredible 430g. This means the drone can easily fit into a jacket pocket, while it won’t much space up in a bag, making it DJI’s most portable drone yet.
When you consider some of the features included with the Mavic Air, such as a 4K camera, gesture control, and 8GB of internal memory, it’s amazing that the drone manages to be so small and lightweight.
You also get a carry case to transport the drone without damaging it, while there is a remote control with detachable control sticks that shouldn’t take much room when packed away. The battery connects to the base of the drone, providing an impressive 21-minute run time in calm conditions.
There is also a slot for a microSD card, although the Mavic Air does feature 8GB of internal memory already, which can be used to transfer data from the drone to a computer using the USB slot on the bottom.
The Mavic Air also comes with a battery charger, 4 sets of propellers, 1 propeller guard, charging and USB cables, and a gimbal protector.
The Mavic Air features and exceptional camera capable of 4K recording at 30FPS. This produces photos and videos with stunning quality and clarity, thanks in no part to the 3-axis gimbal that provides stability for taking photos and recording video footage.
The camera itself features a 1/2.3″ 12MP CMOS sensor and f/2.8 lens, which combine to produce wonderful 4K footage that is almost unrivalled in quality. With 8GB of internal storage the Mavic Air automatically stores footage onto the internal hard drive, although this will fill quickly if recording 4K at 30FPS.
That said, you can easily add a microSD card to store more footage, which is recommended if you want to record at the maximum specs. If not, simply transfer data from the drone to your computer using the USB 3.0 connection slot.
The camera also comes with a few different shooting modes that really expand the type of images and video you can capture.
For instance, ActiveTrack is a mode that detects and tracks up to 16 objects simultaneously, which is perfect for recording action-packed fast-moving shots such as cycling or driving.
Quick Shot mode allows for six different shots to be taken at any time. Each mode is a one-button action that makes it simple to take a range of wonderful shots when in flight using the controls on the DJI Go mobile application.
Two of these modes are new and exclusive to the Mavic Air; asteroid mode takes the drone high into the air and captures a 360-degree panoramic using 25 photos, while boomerang takes the drone on a boomerang-shaped flight path recording footage as it flies.
These modes can be combined with ActiveTrack for some truly stunning photographs and video footage.
SmartCapture lets you command the Mavic Air to capture footage using just a hand gesture, with different gestures providing different commands. It’s quite useful but not the most important feature of the camera, with most people preferring to control the drone using the joystick or a smartphone
Regardless of the modes used, expect professional-level images and videos without the need for much skill - it’s truly amazing what type of results you get when using the Mavic Air.
As you would expect from a DJI drone, the Mavic Air comes with stellar flight performance. As the main purpose of the drone is for taking professional grade photographs and video recordings, there is less focus placed on the speed and manoeuvrability of the drone.
So, don’t expect to win any drone races using the Mavic Air! Most of the flight performances are intentionally limited to ensure quality camera footage, although the sports mode is designed to give you more freedom to fly.
Like all drones, it performs best in calm conditions with a lack of wind, where you can expect to get around 21-minutes of flight time on a single battery and some great quality photographs and videos.
DJI’s batteries are among the best on the market and do give a great run time without diminishing quickly, so it may be worth investing in a few spares to get even more flight time from the Mavic Air.
Response times are very good when using the joystick or a smartphone to operate, and there is a return home mode is ideal for people nervous about flying the drone too far away. It can be active by the controls or will simply automatically fly back should the signal from the controller get lost for too long.
The DJI Mavic Air was one of this years most anticipated drone releases, and for good reason! DJI remains at the forefront of the consumer drone market and the Mavic Air is a testament as to why.
Compact and lightweight, this portable drone features one the best cameras in its price range, being not far off something a professional would use. The fact that the Mavic Air is an improved version of the Mavic Pro was impressive enough, but when combined with the fact that this newer model is cheaper than its predecessor makes it one of the best drones on the market.