Anointed the successor to the Air Series, the DJI Air 2S is more like a modern update to the DJI Mavic Air 2. That being said, the Air 2S is a dream for camera drone aficionados. The main improvement is the 1-inch camera sensor. The DJI Air 2S is similar to the more expensive DJI Mavic 2 Pro. However, the DJI Air 2S is more versatile, more budget-friendly, and 3-years more advanced.
The DJI Air 2S (DMA2S) is the most recent addition to DJI’s tremendously popular Mavic product line. Many drone enthusiasts expected the “Mavic Air 3” as opposed to the “Air 2S” – the name alone is seemingly indicative of a complete overhaul or an upgrade. That being said, Tech Square is happy to report that the “Mavic Air” pedigree is alive and well. DJI‘s newest drone is the most recent addition to the trend of drones becoming lighter, more affordable, and more powerful than other more expensive DJI drones. (ie. Mavic Pro 2) The Air 2S’s most prominent new feature is the 1-inch / 20-megapixel camera. Prior to the release of the DMA2S, the 1-inch sensor was only available on DJI’s more expensive drones.
The form-factor of the Air 2S is not identical but very similar to its predecessors. The color, design, camera, and foldable propellers of the Air 2S are all similar in appearance to past editions. This should provide comfort to those of you who have operated a drone in the Mavic Air series.
When it comes to drone photography, the DJI Air 2S has many of the same camera features as the Osmo Pocket Camera, including: Scene Search, HDR, and more.
As you would expect from a DJI drone, image stabilization is state-of-the-art. On Tech Square’s test flights, the Air 2S maintained relative stability in windy conditions. The wind effect on the drone camera was inconsequential.
The Air 2S remote control is very similar to the old Mavic Air 2 remote control. The only visible difference is that the “tripod” is written “Cine” and the RTH button appears.
How fast can your camera drone fly? In normal mode, the DJI Air 2S can reach moderate speeds of 33 mph, while also utilizing image stabilization and obstacle avoidance. When sport mode is activated, the Air 2S can reach speeds of up to 42.5 mph. By the way, obstacle avoidance is off in sport mode so make sure you use discretion.
DJI Air 2S avoids obstacles in 4-directions: front, bottom, back, and up. During full-tilt forward flight, the top sensors assist with head-on obstacle avoidance.
Flight features include some updated AI tools, as well as Quickshot tool, which may be familiar to those who have owned a DJI drone previously. Point of Interest and Active Track have both upgraded to version 3.0. Spotlight is now at version 2.0. DJI Air 2S has several additional flight modes, including Landscape, MasterShots, Portrait, and Proximity.
Air 2S is proud to announce that it is equipped with an AirSense receiver, ADS-B. When Tech Square checked the Air 2S, there was no additional air traffic, but previous experience showed a warning in the DJI Fly app on the connected mobile device, indicating the status of an aircraft close by. Advice: it is your responsibility to yield to manned aircraft of any kind. We recommend planning a return flight diversion path for each drone flight.
The DJI Air 2S is not the first drone to use a 20-megapixel camera with a 1-inch sensor. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro and some DJI Phantom drones also enjoy these specifications. Out of all of the camera drones with those specifications, the Air 2S is the most potent mix of power and affordability.
In addition to the 1-inch sensor, you can record in 5.4K video at 30fps, 4K video at 60fps, and a super high data speed of 150 Mbps. At the time of publishing, Tech Square has not had an opportunity to analyze flight footage side-by-side with footage from the DJI Mavic Pro 2, but undoubtedly the Air 2S has a higher functioning camera.
Recording can be done in MP4 or MOV format using M.264 or H.265 encoding with 8-bit or 10-bit color profiles (Normal, D-lo, HLG). The Air 2S has 8GB of onboard memory, as well as a microSD card slot.
DJI uses large sensors to provide digital zoom. At the highest resolution 3x zoom is used, 4K resolution utilizes 4x zoom, 2.7K and 1080P at 60 fps, 1080p at 8x when using 30 fps.
Verdict: Should you buy?
If the DJI Air 2S happens to fall within your price range and you are looking for a camera drone, this is the best camera drone for consumers. The DJI Air 2S is also the best drone for less than $1000. If the camera isn’t that important, there are more expensive and cheaper drones, but DJI’s latest is once again the best offering in the consumer class.
The DJI Air 2S is the best drone on the market for consumers looking to spend less than $1400.