Anita Holder

***INTRODUCING DJI MAVIC AIR***

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INTRODUCING DJI Mavic Air: DJI Mavic Air | DJI Online Store
 
Prices: $ 999 (Single), $ 1,049 (Combo)
 
The brand new DJI Mavic Air features a new folding design and a fully stabilized 3-axis gimbal camera. The Mavic Air is available in three color options (white, red and black) with a base price of $ 999 including controller. The maximum flight speed of 42,5 mph (68,4 kph) makes the DJI Mavic Air very fast in every situation. Of course there is a forward, downward and backward Vision System. The DJI Mavic Air 720p real-time video transmission from up to 2.5 miles (4 km) away. The remote controller of the DJI Mavic Air is just like the one we’ve seen in the DJI Spark, but the Control Sticks are detachable. The battery will allow you to fly for a maximum amount of 22 minutes with no wind at a consistent 15.5 mph (25 kph). The camera itself is a 12MP shooter for still photos and a 4K UHD for video (3840 x 2160 30p). The max. video storage bitrate is 100 Mbps. Compatible with DJI Goggles of course!
 
THIS AIRCRAFT IS VERY IMPRESSIVE! For those you waiting for a smaller, more affordable drone from DJI with better camera quality, the wait is over: the DJI Mavic Air is an easy-to-fly mini drone that features all of DJI's signature technologies including foldable arms and a 4K camera. What do you think? Here’s a quick list of the enhancements and key features:
 
Key Features:
 
  • Weight: 430 g
  • Dimensions: 143.9×78.3×61.2 mm (folded)
  • Folding design / foldable arms & three colours
  • Forward, Downward and Backward Vision Systems
  • 3-axis gimbal
  • Max. Speed: 42.5 mph (68.4 kph) in Sport Mode
  • Flight Time: 22 minutes
  • Transmission Range: 2.49 mi (4 km)
  • Detachable Control Sticks
  • CMOS, 12MP, 4K Ultra HD (30fps)
  • max. Video Bitrate: 100 Mbps!
  • JPEG, DNG!
Edited by Anita Holder

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It will be interesting to see how it compares to the original MAVIC.  The MAVIC is great but the camera sucks.  They throw a lot of statistics out about the camera but I have no idea what they mean or if the camera on the air is much better than the original. 

I tried watching some of the videos but they wouldn’t play, I suspect they’re inundated with requests..  

 

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Some early reviews give it a "best of both worlds" thumbs up. 

First impressions/reviews: 

Tom's Tech Time

Fun For Luis

We Talk UAV

 

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The only thing that prevents me from buying any of the Mavic and smaller drones is the fixed aperature. For me the addition of fstops to the Phantom 4 Pro to slow the shutter speed (not to mention the mechanical shutter) was huge and made it a professional drone. 

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The MAVIC is a great little drone to fly around, it’s quiet, much safer than larger drones and you can shoot cool footage for Youtube. But the camera is crap.  

So in a way it’s such a disappointment because it would be so awesome if it produced footage as good as the Inspire2 with an X4.  But it doesn’t and that doesn’t make it a bad drone, quite the contrary, it’s a remarkable drone.  I just have the wrong expectations. 

Unfortunately my expectations are a result of the hype surrounding DJI’s marketing.  The DJI fan base is at work spinning the fact that this camera has 100mb bitrate as if that will overcome all the shortcomings of the original MAVIC camera.  

I’m also not sure why they Call it a MAVIC? It’s a different drone, like the Spark.  

1 hour ago, Glen McDowell said:

 For me the addition of fstops to the Phantom 4 Pro to slow the shutter speed (not to mention the mechanical shutter) was huge and made it a professional drone. 

I guess There are no real photographers amongst DJI developers and fanbase..  

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2 hours ago, Av8Chuck said:

The MAVIC is a great little drone to fly around, it’s quiet, much safer than larger drones and you can shoot cool footage for Youtube. But the camera is crap.  

So in a way it’s such a disappointment because it would be so awesome if it produced footage as good as the Inspire2 with an X4.  But it doesn’t and that doesn’t make it a bad drone, quite the contrary, it’s a remarkable drone.  I just have the wrong expectations. 

Unfortunately my expectations are a result of the hype surrounding DJI’s marketing.  The DJI fan base is at work spinning the fact that this camera has 100mb bitrate as if that will overcome all the shortcomings of the original MAVIC camera.  

I’m also not sure why they Call it a MAVIC? It’s a different drone, like the Spark.  

I guess There are no real photographers amongst DJI developers and fanbase..  

What about the Mavic Pro's camera makes it crap in your opinion?

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First of all, Nikon, Canon, Olympus and nearly every photo platform produces consumer level gear. While Nikon in its early days, trumpted that it was the NIKON F that professionals used, it was marketing hype to get vacation and family photographers to buy into the NIKON brand. And they did, hoping a $200 camera would make them all Eddie Adams'es.   Why should DJI be different.  George Eastman's motto, "You push the button, we do the rest," could easily be the slogan for the Mavic Air.  Its axiomatic that mass sales are necessary to be the base for developing of professional gear. That said, the dizzying product introductions by DJI suggests to me,  many of the products are "stalking horses" to determine what really flies?  DJI is well tuned into the pro/enterprise market.  The Inspire 2 and the Matrice series certainly go that direction  The Phantom4Pro is a gem because it has so much good going for it. 

It is my humble opinion you may see an advanced Mavic Air within 3-6 months with a bigger sensor.  And return of a focusing lens.  For the You Tubers, the choice of fixed focus or not.  But the Mavic Air is squarely planted to appeal to the millennials who want a cute, working, safe, "story telling" drone easy to use to get  footage on social media with no real bother. I too was disappointed that the Mavic Pro still utilizes the same sensor as Phantom 3 Pro.  While video is the darling for the You tubers, pod casts and the like, pro photographers still want high quality bit depth in the still image.  I think DJI understands that...but kinda shoots loyal consumers in the leg, when products are released as the next best thing since sliced bread, when Inspire came out with X5 camera, then not long after the X5S camera....and then the Inspire 2 able to lift the heavier camera easily.   I mean how many drones do we need to invest in, to get a fully realized piece of gear, with firmware that works without glitches....Cendence, Crystal Sky....sheesh...MO money.  I had hoped the big NYC press roll out for Mavic Air might be coupled with an announcement that  a huge unused Bronx warehouse in Hunt's Point,  had been bought to install an East Coast Genius Bar and Service Center with highly skilled technical help that can do more than read the printed playbook.  Oh well I can dream, I guess.  

Jonathan Atkin NYC/owner/pilot   Phantom 2, Phantom 3 Pro, Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic Pro, Inspire 1 (two aircraft)  Inspire 2. 

Edited by jonathan atkin
extra word unneeded.

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It’s not the sensor or the SOC that let’s the Mavic down it’s the codec, it’s got aaggresive NR and the codec is not at all making the best of its input especially at low light or repetting patterns.  It was not as good the P4 from an image standpoint and that was a shame for many but in good light it was ok, lower light levels it really began to show limitations.  

The Air is looking like it’s really shinning in this area, I seen a lot of footage now and honestly I was very impressed, out the box in auto especially it’s looking great, much improved over the Mavic. 

 I don’t believe it’s using an Ambarella SOC for the camera at all so I’m not sure how they are doing the image processing, perhaps Intel and the extra 40mbps it helping the improved codec retain a lot more detail especially once the areas the Mavic struggles. 

Footage wise it’s looking very impressive for a small drone and looks to be the best 1/2.3 output DJI have produced yet.  

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11 minutes ago, Intimo said:

Video comparisons between the spark, air, pro, and phantom.

 

 

This is not a good comparison.  Its nice to see side-by-side comparisons but much of what he's saying is not accurate.  Yes a higher bit rate is generally better but good quality footage has more to do with the CODEC, there are CODECS that have lower bitrates but much better quality.

Also much of the discussion about dynamic range had more to do with contrast than latitude.  Sharpness on all of these camera's is pretty bad and the detail on all but the P4 is really pretty bad.  The P4 is much better in all categories anything else is wishful thinking.

I do agree with his statement, "it really depends on where your going to use the footage."  If its Youtube then all but the SPARK is good enough.  If your doing broadcast or stock footage then none of these camera's is good enough, but tons of people will try to pawn it off as stock footage..

If you don't have a MAVIC get the MAVIC AIR.  That's a no brainer decision, not because of the improved camera but more for the reduced size, cost, and the sense and avoid - see the second video...

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