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DJI Air 2S Review

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The DJI Air 2S drone is an incredible achievement, packing a top camera in a small airframe, and integrating the two with AI systems that are efficient and extremely easy to use. The camera is moved away from Air 2, welcoming photo enthusiasts to the world of drones with a higher level of accessibility that it has been in the past. Bikers, outdoor adventurers, travellers and surfers will be delighted by the drone’s features and size and it’s Mavic 2 Pro now looks extremely difficult to justify.

It changes what drone photography can be by putting a 1 inch sensor in a small package and then enclosing it with sophisticated safety features and compositional tools. However it could be viewed as simply taking the very powerful DJI Air 2, released just 12 months ago and boosting the specs up a little.

In a sense both perspectives are valid. When we look back on Air 2, Air 2, that drone was equipped with a new airframe, which was placed in between DJI Mavic 2 Zoom (905g) as well as the Mavic Mini (249g), providing DJI’s line of folding drones a unified style. Its 1/2-inch sensor was bigger than the one it replaced and, of course, certain fans believed that the Mavic 2 Pro’s one-inch sensor was better. way to the bottom.

Photographers who demand the largest sensor have received what they’ve always wanted however, before we discuss the details it’s important to note that size of the sensor isn’t all. . Drone users are constantly adjusting their expectations in AI for increasing security and subject tracking and they are likely to expect an easier way to share information.

What’s the camera’s capabilities?

The Air 2S’s first predecessor Air 2, that of the Air 2, sported a 48-megapixel camera that had a the quad-Bayer filter. Many would consider to be 12 megapixels , or 1.6 microns. The latest camera is a step ahead of it with 5472 x 3648 inches (20 millimeters) in 2.4 microns. Of course, the Air 2 gives the option of saving a file with a resolution of 48 megapixels however, and to be fair it looks pretty great, however the physics are at the 1 inch sensor’s back in terms of image quality.

Another obvious comparability is the Mavic Pro’s camera of 1 inch that has 20 megapixels, but provides a smaller field of view of 77@ (28mm EFL) as opposed to the Air 2S’s field of view that is 88@ (22mm EFL) which makes an obvious difference when shooting. Sometimes, a bigger field of view is advertised as if a bigger number is better, but it’s not the case with Air 2S seems to be at a point where I am reaching my limit and the digital zoom option is available but it’s only available in certain video modes.

Another notable differentiator in this camera from the Mavic’s is that the former features an adjustable aperture (f/2.8-f/11) however the Air 2S’s aperture is fixed. This may sound less than it really is due to the fact that Mavic’s photos look better when they are viewed from a wider angle and mainly because drones rarely involves blending the depth of field. However, it’s an excellent idea to utilize the focus peaking feature and you may notice yourself tapping the display to test the focus more frequently as you do on other models (exactly similar to Mavic 2 Pro) Mavic 2 Pro) and making sure you have ND filters (included in the Fly More kit) to use. Pro tip: Always have some wipes to clean the grease off of your phone’s screen in case it gets accumulated and can make it difficult to use particularly in bright light conditions.

Video quality

Moving to video specifically the increase to an maximal of 5.4K (5472 3078) is awe-inspiring for any drone, regardless of you’re using it is running at 30fps. Reduce the resolution to 4K (3840 2160 pixels) which not just makes the whole image expand to fit that of the original crop but the frame rates are increased to 60 fps or (in the model I tried) the digital zoom can be used at 30 frames per second or lower. Digital zoom will likely appeal to only those who wish to share images quickly, so the issue of not being available in 10 bit video modes is not to be a problem It’s also unavailable at 120fps which may hint at the limitations of the hardware.

My guess is that the majority of the time when shooting in 4K is the norm, and perhaps one of the low resolutions that are used by MasterShots auto-shot feature, the more standard crop with no zoom will be the preferred choice for most photographers generally. It helps to avoid sharp edges, and also helps bring you closer to the subject when you’re using features such as the automatic ActiveTrack to track a mountain biker you’ll be happy with them taking up less of your screen. However, you have the possibility of 5.4K (and perhaps some additional work on post) is usually an option for those who are the most committed.

Video sample taken at 4K resolution using the DJI Air 2S

The quality of video is impressive and can be seen in the 150Mbps bitrate (with easily surpassing even the speed of Mavic’s 2 Pro’s 100Mbps). Video can be recorded using 10-bit D-log. In addition, the processing algorithms for images go quite a ways to enable post-editing and post-processing mostly unnecessary for most. Some may see an advantage when switching to “Pro” mode to set the camera’s settings prior to beginning a shoot in which turning the camera could cause changes in exposure, however the camera does a great job of it, particularly when shooting at Cine rates (i.e. slow speeds to film).
Intelligent shooting

The ability to use drones to capture fascinating action, particularly video, is extremely appealing to those who love the outdoors. The improvements made to Air 2S Air 2S felt to me to make this experience more seamless than the previous drones.

The ease of dragging and tapping to frame a subject as well as allowing the drone choose (it detects human beings by itself) to track (using ActiveTrack 4) or else pay attention to surprising things, even though this isn’t something that’s new for DJI drones.

The area where you can see that Air 2S moves things along substantially is through the addition of upward-facing sensors for avoiding obstacles. When they are placed here (in addition to the pair on the underside and back) the drone will be able to look forward , whether it’s leaning into fast flight or moving slowly. This is a better design than the basic distance sensors on the rear of the Mavic 2 series which can barely detect the ceiling or a branch over the rotors. Perhaps some useful lessons learned during the development of this DJI FPV?

The good news can be that it was possible to utilize ActiveTrack in order to track me when I an obstacle moved about and the aircraft stayed focused on me and did not smash into vertical or horizontal obstacles, and avoiding any action when I turned and remained in my path.

DJI’s primary opponent in this space is Skydio However, although Skydio’s American company boasts about it’s AI collision avoidance compared to Mavic 2, it seems that their advantage in this field is rapidly fading, while the Air 2S is having their camera beat already.

In normal flight the safety sensors give the option of stopping and hovering or re-route the aircraft around obstacles and it was the case for me every time (though strangely, I needed to land to convince the system to change its direction).

DJI refers to the upgraded technology for avoiding obstacles APAS 4, and are determined to highlight the sensors in four directions. The remaining ones on the list are sensors with all-round capabilities but there aren’t any in the corners – however, the gimbal can panning, that can provide a partial solution in certain cases.

There are a few quirks with the software also. The fact that ‘MasterShots’ reduces the resolution of the system to 1080p and is easily overlooked, prior to when it starts its sequence of photos may seem silly, but the editing load that is provided by the DJI Fly app will provide will also be reduced. I am not a fan of it difficult to define the Hyperlapse manually-defined waypoints for flight paths difficult to establish, but an update to the software might solve this.

The Drone

It’s strange to not talk about the drone’s features until this point in this review. However, in this case the camera as well as the technology to support the pilot assistance features are the most talked about features. Air 2S Air 2S is, after all, clearly built upon an Air 2’s frame (with the addition of shell components to allow for the additional sensors on top). Based on your preferences and preferences, it will look better with a few extra eyes.

The 3-axis gimbal worked with no issues during my testing. When I look back at the space provided for the gimbal in Air 2, Air 2, a model that has a larger camera looks to be quite plausible even although the weight increases up to 595 grams (25g more) it feels similarly agile when in the air. The decrease in flight duration of three minutes to 31 minutes, doesn’t sound like much however I noticed that I was able achieve a bit less work while in the air.

The drone also has GPS/GLONASS (and was a perfect return-to-home during testing) and an LED that is downward facing, and new transmission systems called O3 (which can be the abbreviated name for what used previously known as OcuSync 3). Its range is up to 12 km (in FCC areas), and, in my tests, I did not experience any video loss in any way.

The controller is exactly the same that was used in the first Air 2, which marked an impressive improvement in terms of battery longevity and grip on phones over models that were included with other DJI drones that were portable. A few hours of use hasn’t made me see an issue with this drone.