DJI’s New Mavic Air Is a Nice Compromise Between the Spark and Mavic Pro
For some time now, potential DJI Spark buyers often faced a dilemma. The Spark is no doubt a great beginner’s drone, it packs plenty of DJI’s intelligent flight features and is the most portable and affordable aerial photography drone in the company’s lineup. But it lacked 4K video and its camera gimbal stabilizes on only 2 axis instead of 3.
Those who couldn’t live without 4K and a 3-axis camera gimbal system had to go for the Mavic Pro which is significantly larger than the Spark. Not only that, it costs more than twice the Spark’s price. Now with the newly-released Mavic Air, DJI has made it a lot easier for these potential buyers to decide.
The Mavic Air is DJI’s attempt at striking the middle ground between the Mavic Pro and the Spark. It is an entry-level model that has a 4K camera gimbal system with 3-axis stabilization but is smaller than the Mavic Pro and slightly bigger than the Spark.
- Foldable quadcopter design
- 3-axis camera gimbal system
- 4K / 30fps video (100Mbps) / 12MP photos
- 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor with f2/8 lens
- 24mm focal length
- 120fps slow motion video (at 1080P)
- 3D environment sensing (front, bottom and rear sensors)
- 8GB internal storage (Micro SD card slot included for extra storage space)
- 21-minute flight time
- FlightAutonomy 2.0
- QuickShot modes
- 68.4km/h maximum speed (19m/s)
- 720p Live View (up to 4km range)
- Foldable remote controller with removable sticks
- Available in white, black and red canopy covers
Priced at $799 for the base kit, the Mavic Air seems to be the perfect compromise between the Mavic Pro and Spark. Unlike the DJI Spark, the Mavic Air base kit comes with a transmitter (remote controller). For those who want longer flight times, there is the Mavic Air Fly More Combo (pictured below) with 3 batteries and battery charging hub at $999.
The Mavic Air’s transmitter looks very similar to the Spark and Mavic Pro’s although it is not exactly identical. It features the same foldable handles and antennas. A key difference on its transmitter is the removable control sticks which can be stored at the bottom of the transmitter itself.
And for those who want a more immersive flying experience, there is the Mavic Air Fly More Combo (with DJI Goggles) that sells for $1298. This kit is essentially the Fly More Combo kit with a DJI Goggles thrown in.
At the moment there is no way to get non-DJI goggles such as Fatsharks to view FPV feeds from DJI drones without the use of cables so this is probably the most elegant way if you want to enjoy immersive FPV flying with the Mavic Air (although it is somewhat pricey).
Up to this point, the Spark has been DJI’s volume seller thanks to its reasonably affordable price tag and class-leading flight features so it would be interesting to see if the new Mavic Air could outsell the Spark or if DJI would be updating its Spark range soon with a new model.
At the moment, the Mavic Air stands in a class with very few rivals. These include the Autel Robotics EVO and the Walkera Vitus Starlight both of which sell for less than $1000. The DJI Mavic Air can be purchased at Amazon, the DJI Store and GearBest.