Skip to main content

DJI Air 2S Review

With a satirical edge and undertones of technology, gadgets and accessories, I aim to make my writing both informative and entertaining.

dji-air-2s-review

DJI Air 2S

There is still no better all-around drone than the DJI Air 2S. The Mavic Air 2S may sound like an incremental upgrade from the original Mavic Air 2, but it actually features several significant improvements that will please drone pilots of all stripes, including, most notably, a 1-inch sensor that has been impressively compactly housed within the aircraft.

The main selling point of the Air 2S is the 20MP 1-inch sensor, which is a slight improvement over the Mini 3 Pro's 13MP 1/1.3-inch sensor. Higher-quality images and a more stable response at high ISO are new features of the Mavic Air 2. Creative possibilities for aerial videographers are greatly expanded by the Air 2S's ability to record 5.4K video at 30 frames per second, 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, and 1080p video at up to 120 frames per second.

Even though it's not brand new, the DJI Air 2S is still a great all-around drone. The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a great option for anyone looking to shoot high-quality aerial videos and photos from a compact drone thanks to its combination of the Mavic 2 Pro's image quality and the Mavic Air 2's compact design. While the newest Mini 3 Pro is even more compact, the Air 2S manages to pack a larger 20MP 1-inch sensor into a folding design that weighs only 595g. The Air 2S is a little more expensive than its predecessor, but it's money well spent.

dji-air-2s-review

Specs

Sensor size

1in CMOS

Resolution

20MP

Lens

22mm f/2.8 (35mm equivalent)

Gimbal

3-axis

Max video resolution

5.4K/30p

Max bit-rate

150Mbps

Transmission system

Ocusync 3

Weight

595g

Dimensions

180x97x77mm (folded)

Flight time

31 minutes

dji-air-2s-review

Price and Availability

  • Announced 15 April 2021
  • Standard kit costs $999
  • Fly More Bundle costs $1,299

The DJI Air 2S is now available for purchase from the official DJI online store as well as a wide variety of other retailers. The DJI Air 2S can be purchased with either the basic kit or the Fly More Bundle, which is typical for drones manufactured by DJI. The basic package costs $999 and includes the drone, controller, one battery, propellers, a charger, and all cables in addition to the drone itself.

The Fly More Bundle is an excellent deal for the price of $1,299 because in addition to receiving everything that is included in the standard kit, you also receive two additional batteries, a charging hub that can accommodate three batteries, a shoulder bag, and a set of four neutral density filters.

dji-air-2s-review

Design and Controller

  • The Air 2S weights just 595g
  • It has a compact, foldable design
  • Also has the same controller as the Mavic Air 2

Compared to the Mavic Air 2, the Air 2S only has minor visual differences. Similar to other Mavic drones, this one can be folded up for easy transport. For flight, the drone's front arms rotate outward, while the arms in the back rotate down and out.

The folded dimensions of the Air 2S are just 180 mm, while the unfolded dimensions are a mere 183 x 253 x 77 mm. It's nearly indistinguishable from its predecessor, but its folded length is 4 millimeters shorter than that of the Mavic Air 2. The Air 2S is only 25g heavier than the Air 2, which is very impressive considering its larger camera, and weighs only 595g, which is just over half the weight of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

The Mavic Air 2 controller can be used with this drone. However, unlike the Mavic 2 Pro's controller, this one isn't foldable, comes in at 393g, and is noticeably larger. It syncs up with the drone more quickly than the Mavic 2 controller, but it lacks a basic display for viewing flight and camera settings.

Without the folding arms to support a phone, a telescopic grip secures the phone to the top of the controller, and rubberized sections at the bottom of the controller conceal the control sticks when not in use. Although it's a joy to use, it's a shame that the controller for the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom is so much smaller and lighter.

dji-air-2s-review

Features and Flight

  • Upgraded safety features
  • A new MasterShots flight mode
  • Real-world flight times around 20 minutes

The DJI Air 2S includes the same tried-and-true flight features that have made the Mavic series so popular among drone pilots, making it simple and safe to take to the skies. Depending on your skill level, you can choose from a variety of flight modes, automated video modes, collision avoidance, and manual flight control.

Single Shot, Timed Photo, Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB), HDR, Panoramas, and Hyperlapses are just some of the advanced camera modes available on the Air 2S. In addition, the new SmartPhoto mode captures high-resolution images by analyzing the scene and employing deep learning to select the optimal setting from among HDR, Hyperlight, and Scene Recognition.

This is perfect for amateur photographers who want to get professional results quickly and easily. QuickShots, DJI's standard automated camera movements, are also included in the video recording experience. Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Helix, and Asteroid modes are available, which is a huge plus for amateurs who want to quickly shoot a professional-looking video.

The Air 2S's FocusTrack mode has been improved with new presets that allow you to draw a box around the subject and have the drone follow it. In addition, there is Spotlight 2.0, in which the pilot guides the drone's movement while the camera follows a moving target.

While the new MasterShots mode may not deliver the same level of excitement as its name suggests, it does deliver some intriguing results. However, rather than being a practical tool for everyday use, this video serves as a demonstration of all the available QuickShots.

The Mavic Air 2S is equipped with four different types of obstacle sensors for your protection: front, rear, bottom, and top. These sensors use binocular zooming technology to detect obstacles from greater distances, even when moving at high speeds. Additionally, the drone can be programmed to either come to a stop or to autonomously fly around, under, or over obstacles when the Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) 4.0 is active.

AirSense is an additional safety feature that debuted on consumer drones with the Mavic Air 2. Using ADS-B aviation technology, this function in the DJI Fly app can track nearby planes and helicopters and show their precise locations on a mobile device's screen. The GEO 2.0 geofencing system also aids in keeping the drone out of restricted areas like airports. When it comes to safety, DJI has you covered with the Air 2S, though you should still follow all applicable laws regarding the operation of drones.

The Air 2S has a respectable 31-minute maximum flight time.

dji-air-2s-review

Video and Image quality

  • 1-inch 20MP sensor
  • Shoots up to 5.4 K video
  • Clean images even at high ISO settings

In terms of camera quality, the DJI Air 2S is superior. Here, it unquestionably succeeds. It has a 1-inch, 20-megapixel sensor and a camera with an equivalent focal length of 22mm on a full frame, allowing for an 88-degree field of view. The focus range of the Air 2S is the same as that of the Mavic Air 2, which is 60cm to infinity, and it has a fixed f/2.8 aperture.

The Air 2S's superior high ISO noise handling is the main reason why it produces better photos than the Mavic 2 Pro. Incredibly, even with a 1-inch sensor, the drone's photos are surprisingly clean at ISO 3200. Noise only becomes more apparent at ISO 6400.

In terms of frame rates, slow-motion video is achievable by shooting in 5.4K at up to 30fps, 4K at up to 60fps, or Full HD at up to 120fps. Digital zoom is also available, with a range of 4x for 4K video at 30 frames per second, up to 8x for 1080p video at the same frame rate. However, if you're shooting at 10 bits or 120 frames per second, you won't be able to use the zoom feature.

You have the option of recording video in either the H.264 or H.265 format, and you also have the choice between three different video color profiles: these are D-Log (10-bit), HLG, and Normal (8-bit) (10-bit). This offers the ideal selection of choices for individuals with both professional and amateur interests.

dji-air-2s-review

Verdict

The DJI Air 2S is an exciting option for photographers and videographers because it has a variety of impressive features, such as a one-inch sensor with 20 megapixels packed into a drone that weighs only 21 ounces.

At its price point and with its build quality and specifications, the Air 2S is a very capable drone that can be used professionally but is also easily learned by a beginner.

Almost a year after its release and with the Mavic 3 having been released within the past few months, the Air 2S's status as the best drone on the market has been the subject of much debate. It is, in my opinion. In my opinion, it is one of the best drones on the market right now because of the excellent value it provides.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Maina Wilson