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DJI Air 2S versus DJI Mavic 2 Pro - The main differences

DJI Air 2S versus DJI Mavic 2 Pro – The main differences

As we have learned over the last few years, DJI is not afraid to compete, even when that means competing within its own product line-up. With the announcement of the new DJI Air 2S, it seems that the drone maker is now competing with its flagship drone, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Here are the main differences between these two capable drones.

DJI Air 2S versus DJI Mavic 2 Pro – The main differences

There are many differences between the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the soon-to-be-released DJI Air 2S. However, with the Air 2S, it seems that DJI is offering a new drone that might well outperform the DJI Mavic 2 Pro in many important aspects. While I haven’t been able to test it yet, I suspect that the video footage of the Air 2S will very likely be superior to the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

Both drones feature a 1-inch CMOS sensor that shoots 20MP stills and 4K video. However, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro has always been plagued by an inferior processor that resulted in soft 4K video footage. Up till now the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 easily outperformed the Mavic 2 Pro when it comes to delivering crisp 4K video footage. The new DJI Air 2S promises to record up to 5.4K video at 30fps or 4k video up to 60fps. We expect the Air 2S to deliver dramatically better video footage than the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and possibly even better than the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0.

So, where does the DJI Air 2S fall short when comparing it to the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Well, there are three important areas where the M2P will outperform the Air 2S:

Hasselblad color science – The Mavic 2 Pro might deliver better and more accurate colors when shooting photos or videos due to the applied Hasselblad color science. However, for many professionals and prosumers, this might not be a big concern as they will likely apply their own color grading to the photos or footage in post-production anyway.

Sideways obstacle avoidance – The Air 2S lacks obstacle avoidance sensors on the left and right sides of the aircraft. This can be a problem when you’re using some of the QuickShot features such as a point of interest where the drone will circle around an object automatically. This makes the drone slightly less fool-proof, however, I do not think that this will keep many people from buying the Air 2S over the Mavic 2 Pro.

Adjustable aperture – Arguably the main shortcoming of the Air 2S is the lack of a variable aperture. On the Air 2S, the aperture is fixed at f/2.8 which means that drone operators will have less control over the exposure and depth-of-field of photos and video footage than might be desirable. Prosumer and professional drone operators will surely be quick to point this out as the new drone’s main shortcoming. However, for most regular drone enthusiasts, this will likely not be a major concern.

With the price of the DJI Air 2S considerably lower than the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and with the new drone almost certainly providing crisper, sharper, and more colorful video footage, I think that the Air 2S will quickly become the most popular DJI drone and take the crown from the Mavic 2 Pro. It also raises the bar significantly for what we expect the DJI Mavic 3 to bring to the table.

The DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo comes in at $1,299 versus the DJI Mavic 2 Pro Fly More Combo at $1,998.

What do you think about the new DJI Air 2S? Do you agree with my view or do you think that there are other important aspects that I left out? Let us know in the comments below.

DJI Air 2S versus DJI Mavic 2 Pro - The main differences

High-resolution photos of DJI Air 2S without watermark

High-resolution photos of DJI Air 2S without watermark

High-resolution photos of DJI Air 2S without watermark

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High-resolution photos of DJI Air 2S without watermark

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6 comments

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  • Obvious question from a MA2 owner, are the batteries interchangeable between the Air2 and the Air2S?? And a second question, are the differences between Ocusync 2 and O3 hardware or just Firmware/Software??

  • I totally agree. I just recently got a friends M2P and compared footage and photos to a P4P, and as you say, the Phantom outperforms the M2P on Video and Photos although 8 bit. As well as 24 mm vs 28 mm.

    As I own an Air 2 and P4P myself, I noticed how close the Air 2 has come to the P4P‘s imaging quality.

    So, if the Air 2s can utilize the 1“ Sensor with a better Imaging Engine and improve even on the P4P‘s excellent performance, this will be a interesting new Drone.

    As for Active Tracking or flight Autonomy however, it will still be beaten by the Skydio 2.

  • It’s soft beacause it’s shooting a 10bit log image with zero digital sharpening. You have to add your sharpening in post and it’s just as good if not better than a phantom because you have total control over how much is added

    • Besides the P4P I fly a Inspire 2 with X5s and P7 shooting CinemaDNG/Prores RAW and know a few things about Postpro.

      I‘ve owned the M2P a year and worked hard on it‘s 10 Bit DLOG footage, to get decent results.

      Sorry, but still, any 8-Bit Phantom 4 Pro outperforms the M2P and it‘s lousy, mushy 10-Bit DLOG. It‘s propably the worst 10-bit ever created by a 1“ Sensor.