Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • - I'm back on the channel which just means one thing,

  • it's time for a new drone review.

  • We're looking at DJI's Mavic Air 2.

  • (upbeat music)

  • So, DJI says the Mavic Air 2 is their smartest

  • and safest drone today,

  • which is great but the thing

  • that I care about the most is pure image quality.

  • So, we'll be taking a closer look at that

  • but there's so much to go through

  • that we should just get going.

  • The Mavic Air 2 looks like a smaller Mavic 2 Pro

  • and a bigger Mavic Mini.

  • It's slightly bigger

  • and slightly heavier than the original Mavic Air

  • but it's still portable enough to bring around places.

  • I do have to say I prefer the look of the Mavic Air 1.

  • I always thought that design looked really nice

  • and it's a little bit more fun,

  • came out in three colors and I always thought

  • the gray housing in these is just a little boring.

  • But at least all the Mavic drones that DJI is offering now,

  • they have have a unified look in this lineup.

  • Another big change, and I do mean big,

  • is the new controller.

  • It's almost twice the size of any other DJI controller,

  • excluding the optional 749 Smart Controller.

  • This one doesn't have a screen

  • and there are no visible antennas sticking out.

  • The phone holder is moved to the top and it's spring loaded.

  • I think the whole design makes a lot more sense

  • even though it sacrifices the the size.

  • It's also a lot more comfortable to hold too.

  • If I were to nitpick, my only wish is for

  • the custom function buttons to be at the bottom of

  • the controller instead of the front of it.

  • (upbeat music)

  • The most important thing for me is

  • that the new Mavic Air has a larger 1/2 an inch sensor

  • that's capable of shooting 4K at 60 frames per second

  • and also 12 megapixel photos and 48 megapixel photos.

  • Compared to other standard sensor sizes,

  • this is still a tiny sensor.

  • It's only a little bit bigger than

  • the original Mavic Air had,

  • and it's a fraction of the size of a APS-C sensor,

  • which you find in most mirrorless cameras,

  • so, just know you got to adjust your expectations here.

  • So what that means to you and drone photographers is

  • that you can take photos with a lot more detail,

  • or you know, photos with low resolution

  • but a bit more dynamic range.

  • If we take a look at the two JPEGs

  • that we get from the drone,

  • now these are not RAWs,

  • just JPEGs that you get on your phone,

  • it does look like the photo on the right,

  • the 48 megapixel one, was struggling to keep the details in

  • the highlights compared to the 12 megapixel version one.

  • I do think this might be in DJI's JPEG processing,

  • so that could get fixed within an update.

  • But if we take a look at the RAW photos in Lightroom,

  • I'll go ahead and crank up the shadows

  • and pull the highlights in post,

  • so you basically end up with two very, very similar photos.

  • You do lose a little bit of information,

  • the highlights in that top right corner,

  • and I do see some purple color casting happening in

  • the bottom right and left corners too,

  • and yes, before you say anything,

  • I'm fully aware that I'm pixel peeping here,

  • but I just want to point out that the 12 megapixel photos,

  • they look better to me.

  • If you need 48 megapixel photos for larger prints

  • or anything like that,

  • you'll be happy that it's there and it looks good.

  • All right, moving on to Smart Photo.

  • It's a debut feature for a DJI,

  • and it's one of those things that makes this drone

  • the smartest drone they've made.

  • It's in the name.

  • So, what it basically does is scene recognition.

  • So depending on what the drone is pointing at,

  • like trees, snow, sunrise, sunset or low light,

  • it'll adjust settings accordingly.

  • The thing is that it doesn't really tell you what it's doing

  • and when, so you just kind of have to trust it.

  • Here are some normal and smart JPEGs.

  • There's not much that set these apart,

  • but in a way I'm glad the differences are subtle,

  • and not something that looks over processed.

  • There does seem to be just a bit more luminance

  • in the greens here,

  • and if you look at the shadows at the bottom of the photo,

  • you can see a little bit of more contrast there too,

  • which I like.

  • And sunrises do look better here,

  • just by leveling the highlights

  • and shadows without looking too mushy or to HDR-ry.

  • Finally, for photo section,

  • let's run through a quick noise comparison.

  • So, we have six photos here ranging from

  • 100 ISO all the way to 6,400 ISO.

  • And yes, the noise handling in these is pretty solid.

  • 800 ISO is probably as high as I would go.

  • If you switch to Smart Mode while shooting in low light,

  • you can see in the metadata

  • that drone has a bit more control over ISO.

  • Capping it at 540, lowering the shutter speed,

  • cleaning up some noise and coming up with nice results.

  • Again, it's nothing too drastic,

  • but just enough to make this mode a worthwhile addition

  • to this drone and honestly one of

  • the better drones for photography overall.

  • (bright music)

  • The Mavic Air 2 can film 4K 60 with

  • 120 megabits per second bitrate,

  • it can shoot in slow mo footage up to 240 frames per second

  • and 1080p, and it can shoot in three color spaces,

  • normal, center-like, and HDR.

  • I'm usually not the biggest fan of HDR,

  • it tends to be just like an over-processed mess.

  • But I feel like companies are getting it right more

  • and more, and DJI is one of them too.

  • So one of the biggest downsides

  • with all drones in general is that they use tiny sensors

  • that tend to show a lot of noise even at 100 ISO.

  • And at 800, it's basically unusable.

  • The 1/2 an inch sensor here,

  • it does help with noise reduction,

  • but it's still not mind-blowing footage.

  • So, let's take a look at some of it.

  • And so I'm looking at a couple of clips here

  • which are shot at 100, 400, 800, and so forth.

  • You can see that when we reach 400,

  • you already started losing a bit of color

  • and you already start losing a bit of contrast too.

  • It just becomes a little too noisy for my taste.

  • Even some clips at ISO 100,

  • they don't really look that great in standard color profile.

  • But once it's switched to center-like,

  • if you're down to do that,

  • you can easily crush the blacks,

  • eliminate a lot of this unwanted noise

  • even without adding any noise reduction.

  • Overall, this is a big step up from the Mavic Air obviously,

  • and if you're down to use center-like

  • and spend more time editing your footage,

  • you'll be pretty happy with the results.

  • Lastly, Hyperlapse mode can now render out 8K exports,

  • which is great, but the issues

  • that I had with Hyperlapse mode in the past are still here.

  • Most of the times you have to stabilize

  • the footage in Premiere or After Effects,

  • and most of the time those exports have

  • some kind of a shift in exposure

  • which really ruins the whole experience.

  • Okay, there are a few caveats

  • when it comes to hyperlapses though,

  • not all modes can shoot 8K right now,

  • DJI says they'll be adding them

  • and should have it completed by the end of June.

  • You don't actually get JPEGs and RAWs for the 8K exports,

  • which is kind of a bummer.

  • Next one is that the minimal interval

  • that you can have between shots is six seconds,

  • which to me in the final export

  • just looks a little too fast.

  • You can't actually get the 8K exports on your phone,

  • you have to transfer them on a computer first.

  • And then the last one is,

  • well, the ones that I did actually came out corrupted.

  • It worked on some of the other computers

  • but it didn't work on mine.

  • So yeah, it looks like Hyperlapse mode

  • still needs a little bit of work done.

  • So the Mavic Air 2 comes with front, rear

  • and bottom sensors for obstacle detection,

  • new and improved APAS for obstacle avoidance,

  • 34 minutes of battery time,

  • and ditches enhanced WiFi for OcuSync 2,

  • which is probably the main reason why you wanna upgrade

  • from let's say the original Mavic Air.

  • Now, as far as the distance goes,

  • I couldn't really max out that in the city,

  • for obvious reasons.

  • But what I will say is

  • that OcuSync really provides you a stable transmission,

  • and I rarely ever had any dropouts during all of my flights.

  • Now, when it comes to battery,

  • I didn't really get the full 34 minutes of flight time

  • because you do need to save up a little bit of battery

  • for landing and getting the drone back in time.

  • But during my tests in which was a very windy San Francisco,

  • so you expect the drone to just kind of fight the wind,

  • the longest that I've gotten was 28 minutes.

  • But on average, I would get around 25 minutes,

  • which is still pretty darn good.

  • As far as follow me modes go, I'll be honest,

  • those are not my priority

  • and I've rarely ever used them in real-world situations.

  • But from the few tests I did,

  • I'm starting to believe DJIs claim

  • that this is their smartest drone so far.

  • It was better keeping me in focus,

  • despite losing me instantly in this very first test,

  • I'll give them a pass on that one.

  • And overall, it felt like it was less jittery than

  • the previous models, including the Mavic 2 Pro.

  • Same goes with APAS, I'm glad it's still here,

  • and I'm glad it's getting better,

  • but is it incomparable to Skydio?

  • No, not really.

  • And that's due to the fact that

  • the Mavic Air 2 doesn't really have

  • 360 omni-directional sensing around it.

  • But it does give you and everyone else around you

  • that little bit extra layer of protection too.

  • (upbeat music)

  • DJI's Mavic Air 2 is a significant upgrade

  • from the Mavic Air.

  • It even though some things better

  • than their flagship Mavic 2 Pro.

  • But I can't shake off this feeling

  • that this is sort of the iterative,

  • even slightly boring upgrade.

  • Yes, everything is much improved as it should be,

  • but I think that maybe I was expecting more.

  • DJI has been hesitant to creep into Skydio's territory

  • when it comes to obstacle avoidance and autonomous flying,

  • even though the Mavic Air 2 has some better options

  • than its predecessor.

  • It's still far from what Skydio offers.

  • I also wish there was more evidence

  • of Hasselblad's color science in photos and videos too.

  • All that said, the Mavic Air 2 is the drone I'd recommend

  • to most amateurs and expert fliers looking

  • to get good enough videos

  • and some of the best photos out there.

  • So, good job DJI, you made another good drone.

  • Shocking.

  • All right everybody, thank you so much for watching

  • and let me know in the comments,

  • which drone are you flying right now?

  • Are you looking to upgrade?

  • And which one are you looking to upgrade to?

  • Is it the Air?

  • Is it the Pro?

  • Is it the Mini?

  • Lemme know.

- I'm back on the channel which just means one thing,