DJI Mavic Air 2 Long Term Thoughts | Best DJI Drone?
A lot of you probably received these for christmas and you’re just wondering more information about this or how this is going to hold up over a long span of time. Well, i’m. Happy to report this is probably one of my favorite drones from 2020 and i’m willing to bet it’s, probably going to continue on into 2021. let’s get started Music, what’s, good everybody, ken here, you’re watching original dobo. Today we talk about the mavic air 2 from a long term perspective. This was released april, 27, 2020 and i’ve had three of these three of them, two of which i completely destroyed. We’Ll talk more about that here in just a second, but a lot of you probably received this for christmas and you’re wondering how good is this drone and is it worth it now seeing the final remote id ruling well i’m, happy to say yes, it is probably The one drone in dji’s lineup that does the most for the least – hopefully that makes sense – and yes that is even over something like the mavic mini or the the mini 2., all right let’s jump into the build quality, so the build quality of this squad is Actually, really exceptional, even after destroying two of these things, i’m happy to say that, after falling from several feet in the air, the first crash, this drone was really unaffected and unphased yeah. It had some minor scuffs on the front cowling, but it was totally able to still be able to fly.
I did go ahead and exchange it out for another one which i shortly destroyed after like a week and a half of getting that back, but even after destroying that one in it falling 200 feet to its demise on a concrete pavement, the damage wasn’t. All that bad yeah, the camera was blown out and it had a broken arm, but i expected it to be worse and i expected it not to be able to power on, to my surprise, it still powered on after it hit the concrete, so build quality. I don’t think anybody’s gon na have any issues here. It feels very solid when you pick it up, it feels so much better than the mini 2 and the mavic mini it even feels better than that of the altel evo lineup. If you ask me and that’s honestly saying something, because this is a 700 drone now the battery feels fine, it slips in still not having any problems. You still get that really satisfying click as you set the battery in there. The weakest point of the air 2 is going to come in line of the gimbal. Now this is where dji really sort of sacrifice quality for price, and they used a polycarbonate plastic on the gimbal and honestly it’s really really noticeable, especially in windy conditions. Now the first air had an issue where it would flip down, and that issue still sort of is here when you make abrupt stops with the r2 now.
Could it just be my unit? Maybe i need to calibrate it, but i do get this little issue where the gimbal will flip down when i’m, stopping and it’s just sort of weird like it just seems overly sensitive. So i have seen some people break this gimbal and able to fix it pretty easily, but it is going to be something that you’re going to want to keep an eye out. For the other thing. To keep in mind is that this little piece right here where it looks like there’s, an nd filter or uv filter isn’t, actually a uv filter so i’d highly suggest that you get yourself a set of nd filters for the air 2, because there’s actually nothing on Here that is your open element to your camera itself. So if you don’t want to scratch that put an nd or uv filter on that pretty much immediately, all right let’s talk about the transmission signal on the air 2., so the air 2 uses ocusync, 2.0 and honestly i’ve had zero issues now i’ve seen several people Complain that the transmission on this isn’t, quite as good as the mavic 2 pro – and that may be the case uh specifically because we are dealing with a new type of controller rc for the air 2 versus the other mavics that are in the lineup. But honestly, i haven’t had any problems with transmission whatsoever. I fly this in urban environments and i fly this in you know.
Obviously just suburb environments and it’s been absolutely perfect if you’re not pushing this thing out. Incredibly far at a length, i don’t think you’re gon na have a problem with this at all a lot of times. I see people doing these range tests, which are just really just honestly they’re played out at this point. Some of your best work will come when you are flying the drone closer to you out of proximity versus at a distance. I pride on latency over distance, so i rather have low latency over distance any day. That’S just me and the way i tend to fly, but i haven’t had any problems with the transmission signal. Now i did try the update that allowed you to use the smart controller with the mavic air 2, but i ended up downgrading that firmware because i was prioritizing whether or not i wanted the mavic 2 pro to use that or the mavic air 2, and because I was having problems with the pro 2 with the smart controller on the firmware update that allows you to use the air 2. I ended up downgrading the firmware in hindsight. I may go back to that firmware because i rather be able to use the smart controller with air 2 than the pro 2 now it’s a lot of twos. In that conversation, all right let’s talk about battery life with the air 2.. So over the course of eight months time i have used the same three batteries and all of these quads and i’ve charged them multiple times and keep in mind.
I am in florida and it does get really hot here and i’ve had no issues i’m, still able to get 28 to 38 or 28 to 30 minutes of flight out of this little guy and that’s from takeoff to land that’s, not talking about like what it’s Rated for that’s take off to land and i think that’s pretty damn good. Now keep in mind, my climate will depend on how this is going to perform. My drones typically run a lot hotter and harder down here because of the heat that some other people may not have to deal with in their climates now. One thing i want to talk about is the batteries, because, with the mavic 2 pro one of the biggest issues with that drone is the battery’s swelling, and i can firmly and safely say i don’t – have any problems with these batteries swelling on this quad and that’s. With three different batteries, i don’t notice that they teeter side to side on a flat flush surface, which is a good thing now, with that being said, if you fly it, take it out and put it on the ground, it will teeter slightly, but then it goes Back to its normal level – and i don’t notice a problem with that, so there is some expansion, but that is going to be normal because it is a lithium ion battery. So there is some expansion when it does get warm but it’s going to go right back to normal after it’s done.
But i think, as long as you store these batteries at a reasonable voltage 3536 and maintain them, i think you’re going to be okay and you’re. Not going to have any problems with this all right, let’s talk about the camera, because what good is a drone without a good camera and the camera on the mavic air 2 is really exceptional for a quad this size it packs a hell of a punch. It has a 48 megapixel quad, bayer sensor i’m, not going to go into what a quad bayer sensor is there’s plenty of descriptions and videos talking about what these sensors are. But technically this is an 8k sensor and i say technically with you know: air quotes and it does have 8k like features like the evo 2. But this one is only capped out at 4k, 60 frames per second and it does have hdr mode now. The dynamic range out of this camera i feel for video, is really exceptional. I find myself using 4k 60 quite a bit and when i’m really lazy, i’ll just throw it into hdr. If i don’t want to do any post, processing or color grading – and i just leave it in automatic – and i don’t notice any problems – stutters or any sort of jerky movement uh with any of those flights which is really important now the camera is going to struggle. Quite a bit in low light because it is a smaller sensor.
It is not a one inch sensor and because it’s you know a smaller sensor, you’re, probably going to want to limit your nighttime activity to just photos not going to see many gains in the video department. There is going to be a lot of noise introduced. If you use the cinelike, you will see some modest gains in dynamic range and it also opens up some room for some creative improvements. If you like to color grade your footage, i’ve always felt like decent alike on the dji cameras, does exceptional and it’s. Probably one of the easiest flattest profiles to color grade color correct and get an image looking to the way you want it with sort of that cinematic ish vibe. As far as photos go, i feel like this. Camera does exceptional with photos. Super sharp, detailed images. You also have that 48 megapixel mode, which i don’t find myself using too often it’s, not because it’s terrible it’s more so that i just forget, it’s there, the raw capabilities give you a lot of range to push. You get a 12 bit photo image out of this camera, which gives you enough room to really push the colors around quite heavily. In my experience, i find that the photos are detailed, sharp corner to corner and they just overly look really pleasing. I don’t really have any complaints and i don’t think most people will from a professional standpoint. I have used this professionally and honestly.
I’Ve never had anybody gripe or complain about the photos coming out of this drone. So that is a good thing all right. So let’s talk about the extras in this camera because there are some things that this drone does like sort of the extras um that i think need to be discussed. It does offer 8k time lapses. I really don’t do 8k time lapses. I don’t do time lapses. As often as i should, sometimes they just take more work than i want to put into filming or again i just forget that that feature exists. The other thing that this does offer is the ability to offer digital zoom, where you can zoom in on your image, by using the 4k image down sample to 1080p and allows you to sort of punch in further now the digital zoom from my experience works actually Really damn good and if you’re used to using something like a mavic, 2 zoom you’ll be happy to know that the aperture isn’t changing it’s a static aperture, no matter how you zoom in on your image now. Could you do this with other drones and software? Yes, of course, but i don’t think it’s executed quite as well as they have here on the mavic air 2, which is a nice feature, and then of course, like i mentioned before, is the 48 megapixel photo again while i don’t use this very often, it is A feature that’s available here that some users may find interesting now, the couple of times that i have tried the 48 megapixel photo.
I have found that the images be quite detailed and super super sharp. So if you want to give that a go, that is there for you to do now: it’s, not all sunshine and rainbows throughout the year. There are some downsides with this drone, but i don’t think that the downsides are really all that negative and i really, for the most part, don’t have a lot bad to say about this drone. So the downsides that i do have listed here are the low light capabilities are a bit underwhelming, somebody who finds themselves in situations where they do fly a lot at night um. The video is just sort of math it’s, not the best video. You do have to run an immense amount of denoiser on the video to get it to a workable point. So keep that in mind, if you do plan on flying this at night for photos it’s perfectly fine, but for video it’s it’s not going to be all that good um obstacle avoidance on this drone. It is a little bit lackluster if you’re used to the mavic 2 pro. There is no side obstacle avoidance and there is only front and rear. While that works plenty, okay, they did enable it to where you can turn off the pannin left to right. So you don’t accidentally smacking to a building the fact that the obstacle avoidance is in here to alert you when an object is coming close, it’s sort of a bummer on the side, because that’s how i destroyed this one time already.
I panned it and hit a building and it dropped 250 feet. I didn’t see the building that’s my fault, but it would have been nice to know that i was getting close to an object, even if it didn’t stop me, and it just alerted me like the mavic 2 pro does. That would have been awesome, but it’s, not there, but hey. You know that’s the price you pay for a 700 drone and then the last thing that i want to touch on is the fly app um. The fly app is still to me a little bit. Underwhelming um it’s, probably one of the biggest letdowns, although it’s gotten better they’ve pushed out update after update, which makes it a little bit more familiar. But if you’re, somebody who flies a mavic 2 pro or mavic, 2 zoom or even the phantom line coming back and forth between different apps is sort of annoying, because you have different things in different locations on each of the apps and the overall gui of it. Isn’T consistent, so if you’re looking for a consistent experience and you’re using one of the minis or the air 2, just know that if you go back to the go4 app it’s going to look entirely different. So i really hope that that’s, one of the things that dji can do in 2021, which is sort of tie all the drones under one unique application, which i think in turn will make the user experience better.
But there you go that’s my overview after using this from a long term perspective. Like i said i have nothing but great things to say about this drone and it’s, going to be the one that i take with me this year. On my travels and before you say well well, the mini 2 is is going to be able to skirt. You know the remote id regulations and blah blah blah blah blah. Well, the reality is remote idea. Remote id is not here yet it’s, not here yet it’s not going to be here for three years, so i have three years before this thing is going to basically be incompatible or need a module attached to it somehow to be able to utilize it effectively, which I’M not going to worry about that and as somebody who is a 107 pilot and somebody who does youtube professionally with profits in mind, like i make money on these videos, the mini 2 is irrelevant to me, because i’m going to still need to have something. That is broadcasting because i’m going to be classified as 107.. So, if i’m going to be classified as 107 anyhow, i might as well fly something that is going to give me the best bang for my buck and if i lose it by chance, i’m not going to be too distraught over it and i’m still going to Be able to get those really creative shots and, like i said, i think the air 2 gives you the most for the least at seven hundred dollars.
That two hundred dollar bump in price is definitely to me worth it over. The mini two. This doesn’t get blown around by the wind as much the decent alike, and the camera, i think is definitely better. 4K 60 is, is an absolute gem, especially if you want to slow shots down or get a really smooth cinematic feel to your footage. This is honestly the camera that you are going to want to choose so alrighty, so that’s going to do it for this video. I hope you guys enjoyed and if you picked up an air 2.