So, the wait is over. DJI have announced the Mavic Air, a complementary drone to the Mavic pro. The main thrust of the changes seems to be miniaturisation and software improvements, rather than features such as an improved camera. This drone was leaked over the last few days, so it isn’t a huge surprise.
Potentially one of the biggest improvements is DJI’s new obstacle avoidance which, rather than stopping the drone, plots a course around obstacles in it’s path. This combined with the Mavic air’s new rear facing sensors should make it a lot harder to crash the drone.
The size of the Mavic air is significantly less than the Mavic pro and it also weighs a lot less. This makes for a lot more portable drone, although this means it has a shorter flight time at 21 minutes compared to the 28 minutes of the Mavic Pro. This has not come at the cost of the camera though, which still boasts 3 axis stabilisation and 4k video with an improved 100mbps codec. There are also new panorama modes available for stills that look very promising.
The drone includes other useful improvements, such as 8GB of on board memory so that forgetting a memory card is no longer the end of your day!
In summary, this drone looks like a general improvement on the Mavic Pro in most areas, but no improvements to the camera hardware itself. What was quite notable in the presentation though is the spark was never mentioned – maybe a hint that this is their second shot at the slightly lower end of the market? It certainly is exciting to look forward to when DJI brings these software improvements to it’s bigger drones. The price is $899 fly more, which should be around the same in £’s when it gets over here.