Intelligent shooting with the DJI Air 2S

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The DJI Air 2S drone is a stunning accomplishment, fitting a fantastic camera in a small airframe, and integrating the two with AI systems that are effective and extremely affordable. It is a step up away from Air 2, welcoming photo enthusiasts to the world of drones with a higher level of accessibility that it has been in the past. Bikers, outdoor adventurers, travelers and surfers will appreciate the Mavic 2 Pro’s size and features as it’s Mavic 2 Pro now looks extremely difficult to justify.

The new DJI Air is a new paradigm for what drone photography can be by putting a 1 inch sensor inside a compact package and then enclosing it with advanced safety features and compositional aids. However it can be viewed as simply taking the highly powerful DJI Air 2, released just 12 months ago and revising the specs up a little.

In a sense both perspectives are valid. In the past, when we consider earlier models, like the Air 2, that drone had a brand new airframe that was tucked into the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom (905g) as well as the Mavic Mini (249g), providing DJI’s line of folding drones a unified style. Its 1/2-inch camera was larger than the Mavic 2’s predecessor and, of course, certain fans believed that the Mavic 2 Pro’s one-inch sensor was better. way lower.

People who want large sensors have gotten what they’ve always wanted however, before we discuss the details it’s worth noting that size of the sensor isn’t all. . Drone users are constantly adjusting their expectations regarding AI in terms of increasing security and subject tracking and they are likely to expect an easier way to share information.

What’s the camera’s specs?

The Air 2S’s first predecessor which was Air 2, Air 2, sported a 48-megapixel camera equipped with a quad-Bayer filter. This is what many would consider to be 12 megapixels , or 1.6 microns. The new camera easily beats it with 5472 x 3648 inches (20 millimeters) in 2.4 microns. Of course, the Air 2 gives the option of saving a file with a resolution of 48 megapixels however, and to be fair it looks pretty impressive, however, the physics are in the favor of the sensor’s 1-inch size in terms of image quality.

Another obvious contrast is the Mavic 2 Pro’s camera of 1 inch that has the same 20 megapixels , however it provides a smaller field of view of [email protected] (28mm EFL) in comparison to the Air 2S’s wide [email protected] (22mm EFL) which makes an apparent difference when shooting. Sometimes, a bigger field of view can be advertised as if having a larger number is better, but this is not true. Air 2S seems to be at a point where I am reaching my limit and the digital zoom option is available however it is only available in certain video modes.

The other major differentiator in this camera from the Mavic’s is that the former features an adjustable aperture (f/2.8-f/11) and the Air 2S’s aperture is fixed. This may sound less than it really is due to the fact that Mavic’s images appear more appealing at the larger end and mainly because drones rarely involves blending with depth of fields. However, it’s an excellent idea to use the focus peaking feature and you may notice yourself tapping your screen in order to verify for focus more frequently than on other models (exactly like that of the Mavic 2 Pro) and making sure that you have ND filters (included in the Fly More kit) to use. A tip for pros: Keep some wipes to clean the grease off of your phone’s screen in case it gets accumulated and can make it difficult to use, especially in bright lighting.

Video quality

In particular, with regard to video the boost to an max of 5.4K (5472 3078) is awe-inspiring for any drone, regardless of the drone is running at 30fps. You can reduce it to 4K (3840 2160 pixels) however, not only will the whole image get a significant zoom to fit what’s in the frame, but the frame rates increase to 60 frames per second or (in the model I tried) Digital zoom works at 30 frames per second or less. Digital zoom will likely appeal to only those who wish to share their content quickly, and the lack of it in 10-bit video formats is to be a no-go Also, it’s unavailable at 120fps which may hint at the limitations of the hardware.

I’m guessing that the majority of the time when shooting in 4K is the norm, and perhaps one of the low resolutions used by MasterShots automatic shooting system, the standard smaller crop with no zoom is the most popular choice generally. It helps to avoid sharp edges and allows you to bring you closer to the subject when you’re using features such as the automatic ActiveTrack to follow a mountain biker you’ll be happy with them taking up some of your screen. However, you have the possibility of 5.4K (and perhaps some additional work on post) is usually an option for those who are the most committed.

Video sample taken at 4K resolution using the DJI Air 2S

The quality of video is impressive and is reflected in the bitrate of 150 Mbps (with easily surpassing even the speed of Mavic’s 2 Pro’s 100Mbps). The video can be captured in 10-bit D-log. The algorithm for image processing goes far to enable post-editing and post-processing mostly unnecessary for most. There is a possibility when switching to “Pro” mode to set the camera’s settings prior to beginning a shoot when turning could otherwise trigger changes in intensity, but the camera does a great job of this, particularly when shooting at Cine rates (i.e. slow speeds to film).
Intelligent shooting

The ability to use drones to capture fascinating action, particularly video, is extremely appealing to those who love the outdoors. The enhancements to Air 2S Air 2S felt to me to make the experience more seamless than the previous drones.

The ease of using a dragged and tap to frame a subject and even permitting it choose (it detects human beings by itself) to be following (using ActiveTrack 4) or otherwise pay attention to surprising things, even though this isn’t something that’s new in DJI drones.

The area where it is that the Air 2S moves things along substantially is through the addition of upward-facing sensors for avoiding obstacles. When they are placed here (in addition to the pair located on the back and underside) the drone is able to see ahead whether it’s leaning towards fast flight or moving calmly. This is a better design than the standard distance sensors located at the rear of the Mavic 2 series which can barely detect an overhead or a branch that is above the rotors. Perhaps some useful lessons could have been learned from an FPV for DJI?

The result can be that it was possible to utilize ActiveTrack for following me when I an obstacle moved about and the aircraft stayed in my direction and didn’t smash into vertical or horizontal obstacles, avoiding them when I turned and then continuing to follow me.

DJI’s main rival in this field is Skydio However, even though Skydio’s American firm boasts of the benefits of its AI collision avoidance compared to Mavic 2, it seems that their advantage in this field is slipping away, whereas the Air 2S is clearly beat already.

In normal flight the safety sensors provide the option of either stopping-and-hovering or re-route the aircraft around obstacles and it has worked every time (though it was odd that I needed to land to persuade the system that it was time to change its direction).

DJI refers to the upgraded technology for avoiding obstacles APAS 4, and are eager to focus on the sensors in four directions. The remaining ones on the list are sensors with all-round capabilities There are no sensors on the sides , but the gimbal can panning, that can provide a partial solution in certain cases.

There are a few quirks with the software, also. MasterShots’ ability to drop the system’s resolution to 1080p and is easily overlooked, prior to when it starts its sequence of images could be silly, but the workload on the edit that is provided by the DJI Fly app will provide will be decreased too. I am not a fan of that the Hyperlapse manually-defined waypoints for flight paths difficult to determine, however an update to the software might solve the issue.

The Drone

It’s odd to not discuss the drone’s features until this point in our review. But in this case the camera as well as the technology to support the pilot assistance features are the most talked about features. Its Air 2S is, after all, clearly based on its Air 2 frame (with the addition of shell components to take in the extra sensors at the top). If you like it and preferences, it will look better with a few extra eyes.

The 3-axis gimbal performed with no issues during my testing. In retrospect, the space provided for the gimbal in Air 2, Air 2, a model that has a larger camera looks to be a plausible option even although the weight increases up to 595 grams (25g more) The drone is like it’s as agile when in the air. The reduction from 3 mins of flying time to 31, isn’t important but I did notice that I could achieve a bit less work while in the air.

The drone also comes with GPS/GLONASS (and it was a perfect return to home during testing) as well as LEDs that face downwards, as well as new transmission systems, O3 (which refers to the short name of what was originally previously known as OcuSync 3). The range of this drone is 12km (in FCC areas), and, in my tests, I did not experience any video loss in any way.

The controller is identical that was used in the first Air 2, which marked an improvement of battery durability as well as phone grip over the ones that were included with other DJI drones that were portable. A few hours of use hasn’t helped me discover an issue with this drone.