DJI Mavic Air 2 | Review

We take the all-new Mavic Air 2 for a spin in the Lake District

The kings of the commercial drone market, DJI, released their all new Mavic Air 2 – an update to the now dated original Mavic Air – in April, just before the start of the lockdown. And, because of this lockdown, we didn’t get the chance to bring the Mavic Air 2 out into its natural, epic mountain scenery, habitat right away. There are enough videos of people flying these drones in their back garden, and we didn’t want to add to that.

So, with lockdowns finally easing and the Mpora crew heading to the Lake District with team Outdoors Magic, to help them film their new Outdoor 100 buyer’s guide (keep an eye out for that – it’s a good one), we thought this would be the perfect time to finally let the new Mavic Air 2 stretch its wings.

The updated Mavic Air 2 now looks like a mini Mavic 2 Pro. Photo: Jordan Tiernan

This, the Mavic Air 2, is obviously an update to the original Mavic Air. DJI has now positioned it between the ultra lightweight Mavic Mini and the ‘prosumer’ Mavic Pro 2 in terms of size and video specs. We see this as an effort to clearly define each of their drone models and reduce the overlap. Quite a bit has changed from the previous model, so let’s jump straight into it.


First thing to mention is the size of this thing. It’s not tiny (like the original Mavic Air), but then again, it’s not large (like the Mavic 2 Pro). In fact, it’s fair to say that the Mavic Air 2 sits in the middle of these two models in terms of size. To be a little more specific than that, the Mavic Air 2 measures up 180 x 97 x 84mm when folded up – that’s still (just about) small enough to fit into the palm of your hand.

From left, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic Air 2 and Mavic Air. Photo: Jordan Tiernan

DJI have also scaled up the weight of the Mavic Air 2, too, with it coming in at 570 grams (including batteries). Compared to the 430 gram weight of the original Mavic Air, that’s a pretty significant addition to your camera bag.

This extra weight has essentially gone into more battery power. And with more battery power comes longer flight time, with the Mavic Air 2 offering an impressive 34-minute flight time – the highest of any of the Mavic drone series.

Combine this with an impressive range (more on that in the controller section) and you’ll find that you’re going to be able to shoot more, in areas that you’d never previously been able to visit on the now-measly 21-minutes offered by the original Mavic Air.

We’re big fans of the new controller. Photo: Jordan Tiernan


Something we here at Mpora were psyched to see change in the new Mavic Air 2 was the updated RC (remote controller). The whole controller has been beefed up over all, giving it a squarer design than the traditional rectangle found of the Air and Mavic Pro 2 RC.

This new design feels solid in the hand, and it’s great to have your phone sat at the top of the controller in a position that feels much more natural to look at, compared to the previous setup of it hanging off the bottom of the controller.

There’s said to be an improvement in antenna performance in moving the phone to the top of the controller. With this in mind, DJI claims that they’ve been able to improve the transmission range to up to 10 km, compared to the 4 km found on the original Mavic Air. In short, you’re going to have to be topping out the 68.4 km/hr max speed while breaking some drone safety laws before the RC connection will even begin to flinch.

The photos from the Mavic Air 2 are mighty impressive. Photo: Jordan Tiernan


So what does all this increase in weight actually give you? Well, that’ll be some pretty damn impressive photo and video modes shot on the equivalent to 24mm lens (with an 84º FOV), and a fixed aperture of F2.8. First thing to note is of course the ability to shoot colossal 48MP stills (with RAW capability too), on a new and improved 1/2” sensor (previously 1/2.3” on the old Air).

While these images do take up a fair bit of room, we found this to be a brilliant feature on the Air 2, as we’ve usually relied on panorama modes to take large images (which are time consuming and require still subjects), so it’s great to have the option to grab such a large image on the fly.

Now of course, the size of your megapixels isn’t everything in photography. On a few of our photos (12MP and 48MP resolution), I did notice visible noise (the same that we’re quite used to seeing with DJI drones). DJI have looked to address this with the addition of a nifty new shooting mode – HyperLight – which takes multiple photos in a burst and merges them together in order to reduce any unwanted noise.

Panoramas offer a great way to catch everything in frame. Photo: Jordan Tiernan


Onto the most important feature of a drone – video. We’re happy to report that the Mavic Air 2 is packing seriously impressive video qualities, with the options to shoot 4K footage up to 60 fps at 120 Mbps, all making full use of the ability to shoot in the H.265 codec at 120Mbps (a larger, less compressed file). If you’d like to shoot smaller file sizes, then there is also the option to shoot in the H.265 codec too.

In terms of these specs in the real world, we’ve been left impressed with the video that the Mavic Air 2 was putting out. While in the Lakes, we were also shooting with our Mavic 2 Pro and were consistently comparing the footage of both drones. It’s amazing to think that the 1/2” sensor, 570 gram Mavic Air 2 was pulling punches against the 1” Hasselblad sensor found on the 907 gram Mavic Pro 2, and holding up pretty well. That’s not to say the video quality is identical (it’s not quite on par with the Mavic 2 Pro), but it’s certainly a leap in the right direction from DJI.

On top of all this good stuff, DJI have packed the Mavic Air 2 with slow-motion options, with the choice between 1080/120 fps and 1080/240 fps – an ideal setting for those of you shooting lots of action sports. We could see this feature working well while filming skiers / snowboarders launching off huge booters, the same goes for mountain bikers of course.

We’re stoked to see slow-motion coming into drone tech, and it’s a pretty exciting sign of things to come for future Mavic releases. We’re looking forward to DJI refining slow-motion, and bringing it into higher resolutions. The Air 2 is also able to offer DJI classic ‘QuickShots’; Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Helix, Boomerang, Asteroid and Hyperlapses can also all be used to grab a quick crowd pleaser.

Ease Of Flying

While the original Mavic Air felt lightweight and twitchy, it seems as though DJI have smoothed everything out with the new Mavic Air 2 (this could be due to the increased weight). The Mavic Air 2 now handles more like the Mavic 2 Pro – controlled and planted. This is something that was hugely appreciated when flying the drone in high winds, as the original Mavic Air would frequently become a bit of a nightmare to try and control in high wind speeds.

The Mavic Air 2 is covered in sensors, to help make flying a breeze. Photo: Jordan Tiernan

App Update

Last thing to note is the new app. It’s had a little clean up, with much of the UI now looking much cleaner and uncluttered, making things a breeze to navigate and select your shot – we found this to be particularly useful when the pressure’s on. 


All in, we’ve been left pretty impressed with this new DJI release. In terms of buying or updating, we’d recommend checking out the Mavic Air 2. It’s a drone that shoots photo and video to an extremely high standard, and in such a small, usable, form that it makes the rest of the Mavic line look dated.

New RC on the right, compared to old Mavic Air RC. Photo: Jordan Tiernan

If you already own a Spark or Mini, then an upgrade to the Mavic Air 2 is worth a serious consideration – given the lack of weight and impressive price point.

It’s interesting to note that DJI has positioned this just beneath the Mavic 2 Pro, in terms of photo, video, and flight time. This could be signs of big things to come re: an update for the Mavic ‘Pro’ line of drones. Exciting times. 


For more information on the Mavic Air 2, head here.

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