So if you live under a rock you wouldnâ€™t have seen the announcement of the new DJI Mavic Air but if youâ€™re Airâ€¦.. breathing gear seekers like we are you would know that less than 24hrs ago DJI announced their new small foldable drone.
Iâ€™m not going to beat around the bush I want to flat out say it right from the beginning. I don’t like the idea of the Mavic Air. Hereâ€™s why.
Firstly if youâ€™re anything like me and need 4K60 in a convenient form factor then skip even thinking about the Mavic Air because DJI didnâ€™t even think about putting it in. Don’t get me wrong I love the Phantom 4 Pro+s that we have and use but they are justâ€¦ well huge and annoying to travel with.
Secondly every single time you take a Phantom 4 Pro out to fly someone will come up to you and ask you 1000 questions about it or tell you about the legalities of flying a drone. Look mate. If I didnâ€™t know what the laws were or if I wasnâ€™t allowed to fly in that area then I wouldnâ€™t even get the drone out of the bag. This has happened more times than I can remember.
In fact in Fiji I went to a secluded place and a kid came running out of nowhere at the drone to try picking it up as I was pushing the throttle to 100% for take off. Anyways Im going off topic. The idea of a small drone that does 4K60 appeals to me because of the way people perceive it when you take it out to fly. A small foldable drone wonâ€™t bring attention to the fact youâ€™re about to fly nor would people quiz you on how legal it is to fly.
Letâ€™s talk about the other features.
The 21 minute flight time. Its decent.
Price. Its decent.
12MP sensorâ€¦. Well they could have just as easily crammed the larger sensor in but I understand why they didn’t for price and packaging reasons.
Intelligent flight modes.
Well I donâ€™t use them nor have I ever used them so they donâ€™t really appeal to me personally but it might be something youâ€™re interested in.
The 32MP sphere panoramas are actually pretty cool. I do like that but again not really something thatâ€™d make me buy it.
8GB internal storage. I actually love this idea. The amount of times Iâ€™ve accidently left a MicroSD in a card reader or on my desk before a shoot is ridiculous and I think this is a great little backup system.
Some things I would like to have seen.
A remote with an integrated screen kinda mixed between the Mavic Pro and the Phantom + controller. I love no having to setup a phone or plug in things when I want to fly. Turn on the controller and drone and youâ€™re good to go.
The 1 inch 20MP sensor. Again probably for good reasons but it would have been really nice to see.
If the Mavic Air had 4K60 I would have immediately hit the pre-order button, despite having a terrible experience with DJI customer service in the past and bought the Air.
If youâ€™re looking for a drone that falls somewhere between the Mavic Pro and the Spark then the Mavic Air is probably for you. If you were hoping for a drone with some of the more Pro features but in a smaller form factor, then youâ€™ll probably want to skip the Mavic Air. Lets hope DJI announces a folding drone with 4K60 in the near future.