Drone maker DJI today unveiled the "Mavic Air" at an event in New York City, stating that the new drone combines the "best features" of the Mavic series into an ultra-portable and foldable drone in line with last year's Spark model.
Mavic Air includes a 4K camera, QuickShot and SmartCapture modes for simpler photo and video capturing, and FlightAutonomy 2.0 with Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems to ensure safer flights. DJI called the Mavic Air "the most portable DJI drone ever created" at a weight of 430 grams, and it can fold its arms and propellers to sit flush against its frame, similar to the Spark.
“When DJI introduced the Mavic Pro, it reinvented what a consumer drone could be: powerful, yet portable, accessible, but advanced,” said Roger Luo, President at DJI. “Today, with the introduction of Mavic Air, we have pushed these attributes to the next level to create our best consumer drone yet.”
The drone's camera houses a 1/2.3" CMOS sensor and the equivalent of a 24mm F2.8 lens, connected to a recessed three-axis mechanical gimbal for steadier shots. The final images are said to result in 12-megapixel stills that use new HDR algorithms to "preserve more highlight and low light details."
In regards to panoramic shots, Mavic Pro can combine 25 still images to make one 32-megapixel panoramic image in under one minute. The drone also supports other panorama modes, including horizontal, vertical, and 180 degree images.
For video, Mavic Air shoots stabilized 4K video at 30 fps with a maximum bitrate of 100 Mbps, another best for DJI's family of drones according to the company. The drone can also shoot 1080p slow-motion video at 120 fps. To store all of this footage, Mavic Air includes 8 GB of onboard storage and a new USB-C port so exporting data is easier. There's also a micro SD card slot to further expand storage.
Taking a cue from Spark's easy-to-use features, Mavic Air enables image and video capture in user-friendly modes like QuickShot, which lines out predefined flight paths that keep subjects in frame. SmartCapture includes various hand gestures that activate Mavic Air and command it to take pictures, follow you, record a short clip, land, and more, all without a physical remote.
More detailed controls can be found on the included remote controller, however, which has detachable control sticks that can be stored inside the remote controller for added portability.
Users will be able to fly Mavic Air for up to 21 minutes at a maximum range of 2.5 miles, and it can fly standby in windy conditions of up to 22 mph. When in the air, FlightAutonomy 2.0 helps the drone navigate complex outdoor environments using seven onboard cameras and infrared sensors, and a Sport Mode boosts speeds up to 42 mph.
DJI will sell Mavic Air in Onyx Black, Arctic White, and Flame Red starting at $799, with a package that includes the drone, battery, remote controller, carrying case, two pairs of propeller guards, and four pairs of propellers. A Mavic Air Fly More Combo will also be for sale at $999 and includes the drone, three batteries, remote controller, travel bag, two pairs of propeller guards, six pairs of propellers, a battery to power bank adapter, and battery charging hub.
Those interested can pre-order Mavic Air on DJI's website today, and it will begin shipping in a few days on January 28.
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