DJI Air 2S Review
I’m Alex Colon and I’m here with Jim Fisher. And today we’re talking about the DJI Air 2S.. This is DJI’s latest drone and you might notice the name. Air 2S sounds familiar.. This is sort of a sequel to the Mavic Air 2.. It’S a 999.99 drone, we could just say 1000., And this is DJI’s latest high end small drone.. So Jim do you want to just start by giving us an overview about the drone itself? Sure it’s right here in front of my face. And as you can see, if you know DJI’s drones, the Air 2S is very much like the Mavic Air 2 from last year. It’s, almost the same airframe.. The obstacle sensors have been slightly repositioned for better automatic flight, but it’s an Air 2 minus the Mavic name. DJI has been dropping that from the line they also dropped Osmo from their little pocket cameras they’re now just the OMs. So this is just the Air 2S and the S is for sensitivity for the camera. It’s, a one inch sensor size instead of a one over 2.3 inch., So you have much better photo quality at 20 megapixel versus the 12 megapixel version of the Mavic Air 2. The Air 2 has a 48 megapixel mode that gets you …. That puts it more on the same level for images, but I would still for photos say this is a better camera despite having fewer pixels. Okay, so I definitely want to go over the cameras, but let’s save that let’s.
Do that closer to the end. Let’s. Just go over some general things about the drone itself, starting with battery life.. How is the battery life here? It is the exact same as the Air 2. So it gets you about 30 minutes of flight. DJI rates it at 30 minutes of hover time or 31 minutes of flight. That will vary a little bit based on conditions.. I had the Fly More Kit, so I was able to take it out with three batteries and run through all three one morning. And I got closer to …. I didn’t drain, all of them, but doing some math and extrapolation roughly 28 minutes of real world use in my mind, so that’s a half, an hour. Okay, and you mentioned the Fly More Kit.. This is something that we pretty much talk. About. DJI offers different kits with all of its drones.. What comes in the Fly More Kit here, The Fly More Kit. The big advantage is two extra batteries.. You also get some neutral density filters to the lens and a small carrying case and it’s. I don’t have it in front of me 1299. I want to say. Or 129.99 Yeah. That sounds right. Yeah.. We can double check that and we’ll … We’ll have a subtitle in there ’cause it might be 100 off, but it’s, either 1200 or 1300 for the Fly More Kit.. Alright. So another big thing about drones, DJI drones in particular – are the number of safety features that they come with.
. So what safety features are you getting here in the Air 2S? You have everything the Air 2 had, which is pretty extensive.. You have forward as well as rear obstacle avoidance sensors. You have bottom sensors to read the ground. So, if you’re flying without GPS, it’ll still kind of stay steady, if you’re inside somewhere in a larger space. It’s got the ADS B air sensor, which will let you know if there’s a manned aircraft in the vicinity. That’s very important., The FAA is going to be Regulating that or is attempting to put that as a you know, a necessary thing for consumer drones in the future, so you’re a little future proofed here. If those regulations do go into effect., You have dual GPS. You have Return to Home, Find my Drone on a map.. It’S really meant … they’re meant to be as safe as possible to fly., And now you mentioned the FAA.. You do need to register this drone correct Yeah. This is heavy enough to require the registration even for recreational flight which costs 5 for a couple of years and is good for as many drones as you own.. So if you have 10 drones and you’re, just flying for fun and you’re, a really big drone, hobbyist Five bucks, not a big deal.. If you want to fly commercially, there is now the Part 107 knowledge test is being rolled out to the new version of that and that’s. What you would take for a commercial flight.
Right and as far as the FAA regulations go, we do have a story about that on PCMag.com. So if you’re curious, we update it pretty regularly. As new information comes out, you can check that story out and it should tell you everything you need. So flying the Air 2S. I know it comes with a remote control., There’s also a phone app.. Can you explain a little bit about how you control it and how those work Sure, let me just get the phone app here., You get the remote control with it. You can have an iPhone or Android phone plug in it comes with the cables for Lightning micro. Usb and USB C they’re short and they’re modular and they stay in the remote when you’re not using it, which is nice.. The clip is big enough for phablets, like the iPhone 8 I’ve got in here, and you see a view from the drone’s camera full time.. You’Ve got these two control sticks.. This one moves your drone up and down in the air and yawls it left and right. So it just kind of … will do this kind of motion where it just pivots on its side for pans., And this one actually is used to fly the drone in different directions forward back left and right.. So you kind of hold it like a video game, controller and you’re flying it and you’ve got the camera view in front and there are some automatic flight modes too.
. You can do orbit shots drone ies, where it kind of pulls back and takes your selfie shot on its own. Without you taking control of it and a new thing called master shots which combines several of those camera moves into one clip., It’s kind of a nice. Little addition that lets you get pro video moves without kind of learning, how to do it and you can see how the drone camera works and eventually you know, work to pan the camera. While you fly forward in a slow, thing., It’s a way to learn how to get better drone shots as well as leverage automatic ones for people who just want automatic shots.. So are these all of the same features that you can find on the Mavic Air 2 or are any of these specific to the Air 2S Master? Shots is the one that is specific to the Air 2S and I’ve tried it out at a park just with a selfie video. And what it did is. It just took me and the quick shots mode, which has been the long thing where it does. The drone ie and the orbits and everything and the corkscrews it kind of combines all those different flight moves into one three minute, video and then you can cut out the different takes from that that you like.. The only downside that I saw with the quick shots – and I need to confirm this with DJI – is that it only works at 1080p, just because it’s, using some of the in app video editing, features to make it.
Okay. So a lot of the features are the same as the Mavic Air 2, which brings us to what we were talking about earlier. The camera here, which is really the main differentiator.. Can you tell us what’s different about the camera here and ultimately do we think it’s worth the additional 200 Sure the big difference is the sensor size., The one inch sensor in this little tiny drone camera is has about four times the surface area as a typical Cell phone camera sensor a point and shoot camera sensor. A one inch class is what it’s called. And the net benefits of that are better dynamic range for your images. You can have …. You have a lot of room with your raw files here to open up shadows, pull in highlights et cetera, just like you would with an interchangeable lens camera.. It also supports higher quality video.. This will record 10 bit D Log versus eight bits, so you have twice as much room for video color correction. I should say twice as much leeway for color correction in Final Cut or Premiere., And it also does HDR HLG, which is the higher quality ready to … pre graded, no color correction required ready to show on a UHD HDR TV, video format.. It is a little trickier to edit that type of footage. You need to have better software.. I used Final Cut Pro for it, especially for the HDR workflow it’s a lot better than Premiere Pro, but it’s .
.. there’s a learning curve there that pros may already be used to, but consumers shopping for. A drone may still want to look at the Air 2, because it’s 200 less and those extra features may not be something you’re getting a lot out. Of.. The resolution is the other thing.. While we did mention that for stills this is just 20 megapixels, which is plenty for video. This does 5.4K, which is about twice as many pixels as 4K. It’s, a 16 megapixel per frame versus an eight megapixel per frame., So for video you’re, getting twice as much data twice as much information. If you feel like you want to crop in the video in post to punch in for 1080p use digital zoom, that is something that the extra pixels and the video will come in helpful for and may be worth the extra money for you., Okay. So, ultimately, at the end of the day, what you’re saying is that you feel that the 800 Mavic Air 2 is probably still the better choice for most casual everyday consumers, whereas the Air 2S is more geared toward pros Yeah. This is not … there’s. Also, a Mavic 2 Pro, which is a little older, now and doesn’t, have the AirSense sensor, but also has a one inch camera that is maybe actually even a little bit better than this in some regards, but not in others.. I think I would give slight preference to this for the customer, who had previously looked at the Mavic 2 Pro and really wanted the best image, quality and video quality out of a drone.
. But for most folks you can get away very well for 200, less with the Mavic Air 2. Maybe save some extra money for the extra batteries which are very helpful. Alright. So this is the DJI Air 2S. We gave it four stars.. We have an in depth review on PCMag, where we go into all these details that we just spoke about and many many more. You can see sample video there sample images and it will really help you make a decision if this is the right drone for you..