Announced in April of 2021, the DJI Air 2S is the culmination of years of progress from the popular drone manufacturer. The first Mavic drone launched in 2016, which proved that a smaller airframe could be capable of great aerial imagery.
The Air 2S has what many consider to be the best camera of any Mavic drone to date, and that’s the selling point of this folding drone. It offers most of the best that DJI has to offer in terms of flight features and safety, then rocks a huge camera for a reasonable price tag. A win all the way around.
Why should I choose the DJI Air 2S?
As we write this at the end of April 2021, we are confident in recommending the DJI Air 2S to most pilots. The small airframe is easy to use, safe enough for new pilots, while the advanced flight features and camera quality will appeal to more experienced pilots.
Personally, the DJI Air 2S is my top pick for a consumer drone right now. There are better drones, and there are more affordable drones, but I love the balance of camera and capabilities for the price. DJI likes to outdo themselves with new drones, but the Air 2S should remain a favorite for a while.
The DJI Air 2S has a superb camera
First, and foremost, the DJI Air 2S camera is one of the best on the market today. At least as far as consumer drones are concerned. The 20MP camera is a full 1-inch sensor, able to record up to 5.4K video. Various video modes include slow-mo shooting and more, while various photo modes include HDR, panoramic shots and more. DJI familiar Quickshots modes are joined with new MasterShots — features borrowed from their hand-held cameras.
There’s another Mavic drone out there with a 1-inch sensor, but, the Air 2S goes a step further by offering up to 8X zoom.
If your goal with a drone is to put a camera into the sky, and you are not looking to spend the big money for a professional or commercial class unit, the DJI Air 2S is a fantastic option with a starting price of $999.
Appropriate price tag
In the world of drones, prices vary greatly depending on the capabilities of the aircraft. If you were looking for an inexpensive toy to play in the back yard, this isn’t it. However, if you were looking to put the best possible camera into the sky for the best bang-for-the-buck price, we have never seen a drone with a 1-inch camera for under $1,400 before. The DJI Air 2S for $999 is an excellent value. Keep in mind, you can get into 4K video recording for under $500 with the DJI Mini 2, but the difference in image quality is worth the price, if you can afford the upgrade.
If you happen to live in a country that allows flight beyond visual line of sight, the DJI Air 2S will impress you. For the rest of us, you should never lose connection with your drone, as the radios on the Air 2S are rated for 7.5 miles, that’s a 12KM range. My first drone couldn’t make it to the other end of a football field, the Air 2S is good for over 130 football fields, unless you’re talking Canadian football…
The latest flight features
The new flight range, enabled by O3 (OcuSync 3.0,) is not the only updated protocol DJI launched with the Air 2S. Keeping your drone safe, while offering some in-flight smarts, the new APAS 4.0 will help your drone autonomously navigate its environment. Point of Interest 3.0, Active Track 3.0, Spotlight 2.0, and the addition of MasterShots give you the best possible camera modes from the sky.
Matured line of accessories
Throughout the years, drone manufacturers have played with different accessories for their drones. Some came with stickers that you can color yourself to make your drone ‘pretty,’ others offered up too many, or too few, extra propellers. The Fly More combo for the Air 2S is well equipped, offering up a couple extra batteries, a charging hub, ND filters to get more out of that camera, a few extra propellers, and a carry bag. If you are like me, you’re not looking for toys and trinkets, just the best tools to keep your drone in the sky safely, and for as long as possible. No fluff in the Air 2S pack, just the right tools.
Compatibility with Mavic Air 2 parts and accessories
For the first time in the history of Mavic drones, DJI has launched a machine that isn’t a complete re-design from a previous generation. You could not swap parts between the Mavic Air and the Mavic Air 2, but Mavic Air 2 parts fit the Air 2S perfectly. If it was a tough decision to upgrade from the Air 2 to the Air 2S, that decision may be easier knowing you can keep a lot of your accessories for the new drone.
Overall, the DJI Air 2S is the kind of drone that most hobby pilots can consider investing in. It’s safe enough for new pilots, fun enough for some sport pilots, and rocks a camera that competes with drones twice its price. There’s a lot to like.