DJI has announced a new drone to its stable, introducing the DJI Mavic Air, price tag $799 / £769, which boasts and a pocketable body design and 4K video recording at 60fps.
Like its sibling, the Mavic Pro, the Mavic Air boasts a foldable body design for portability, but DJI says it has streamlined the Mavic Air’s design so much that it is half the size of the Pro. The head of DJI’s North American unit, Michael Perry, demonstrated the Mavic Air at the company’s press conference in New York and fit two Mavic Air’s in the pockets of his coat and a newly designed controller in his jeans pocket. In another video he showed himself pulling a folded Mavic Air from the pocket of his cycling jersey.
The Mavic Air features a newly design camera with a 1/2.3in CMOS sensor that can record 4K video at 60fps and Full HD at 120fps for slow-motion action sequences. It can also record video at 100Mbits/s.
In terms of stills, the Mavic Air camera can produce 12-megapixel images and also offers a new panorama mode which is achieved by the drone capuring up to 25 frames, which are then stitched together in-camera in under one minute to produce an ultra-high-resolution image.
DJI says the pixels in the Mavic Air’s image sensor are larger and more sensitive to capture more precise colours. Along with the new sensor are a host of new shooting modes, such as HDR, Asteroid and Boomerang.
Asteroid mode stitches a spherical panorama along with a short video clip, for instance, while Boomerang records a video along a flight path in the same way that a boomerang flies.
The camera is secured by a newly designed 3-axis gimbal, and the Mavic Air offers revamped obstacle-avoidance sensors on the front, back and underside of the drone.
DJI says the Mavic Air can fly for 21 minutes on a single charge of the battery, which is slightly less than the Mavic Pro. The Mavic Air also boasts gesture controls just like the Spark, with new controls added and refinements to its sensitivity.
ActiveTrack lets you track an object automatically with the Mavic Air while keeping it locked in the centre of the frame. DJI says the mode’s algorithms have been improved to compensate for conditions like irregular movements or a subject’s speed changing.
FlightAutonomy 2.0 processes data gathered from the Mavic Air’s seven onboard cameras and infrared sensors, DJI says, to construct a 3D map of its environment for more precise hovering and better flight performance.
And its revamped forward and backward dual camera vision systems can sense obstacles up to 20 meters (66 feet) away. To help navigate through more complex environments, DJI has developed new Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems for the Mavic Air that help pilots avoid and bypass obstacles automatically.
Other features include compatibility with DJI Goggles, 8GB of internal media storage and an enhanced Visual Positioning System.
The DJI Mavic Air price tag is $799 / £769 for the drone only, or you can buy a combo pack for $999 / £949 that includes two extra and propellers. In the box you get the Mavic Air, remote controller, Intelligent Flight Battery, charger, power cable, extra propellers and guards, gimbal protector, carrying case, spare control sticks, battery charging hub, battery to power bank adaptor and travel bag.
The DJI Mavic Air is available now from DJI’s website.