DJI has unveiled today the new model in its lineup, the DJI Mavic Air. The Air will retail starting at $799, fitting nicely between the cheaper DJI Spark and the higher-end Mavic Pro. The new drone had already been leaked quite extensively, and it appears that the specs were pretty much spot-on. The Air will begin shipping on January 28 to consumers and features a more lightweight construction similar to the Spark and a 3-axis gimbal like the Mavic Pro.
The new model strikes a good balance between the Mavic Pro's more premium features, such as longer flight times and ability to film in 4K, and the Spark's lower price and compact size. The list below contains a more complete breakdown of some of the highlights of the Mavic Air's specs:
- Weight: 430 g
- Max flight time: 21 minutes
- Max speed: 68.4 km/h (43 mph) in Sport mode
- Photo still resolution: 12 MP
- Video: 4K (3840×2160) at up to 30 fps, 1080p at up to 120 fps
- Panorama mode: 32 MP
- Maximum transmission distance: 4000 m (2.5 miles)
- Internal storage: 8 GB
Compared to the more expensive Mavic Pro, the Air does have a lower operational range (2.5 miles vs 4.3 miles) and a slightly shorter flight time (21 minutes instead of 27). However, the Air is actually a lot better than the Mavic Pro in quite a few aspects: it is smaller (6.61 x 3.26 x 1.92 inches vs 7.79 x 3.26 x 3.26 inches), lighter (430 g vs 734 g), supports a higher video bitrate (100 Mbps vs 60 Mbps), has a higher maximum framerate at 1080p (120 fps vs 96 fps), has a higher maximum speed (42.5 mph vs 40 mph), has a wider field of view (85 degrees vs 78.8 degrees), has improved sensors for obstacle avoidance, and supports more gesture controls and can track multiple subjects. And did I mention that it's $200 cheaper?
You can preorder the Mavic Air either directly from DJI's website or from B&H. The Mavic Air comes in Artic White, Flame Red, and Onyx Black. You can also choose to purchase the Fly More package for $200 more, which includes two additional batteries and a few other replacement parts. Honestly, if I were in the market for a drone, I'd probably seriously consider buying the Mavic Air over the Pro. If your only concern is the shorter flight time, you could probably just buy a couple more batteries and it would still come out cheaper than buying the Mavic Pro