Well, we knew it wouldn’t be long before the comparisons started coming. And what better excuse than a new drone for another Casey McKinnon collaboration? While much of that collaboration is over on Peter’s channel, He did take time to help Casey out with this pretty decent review of the new DJI Mavic Air which also compares it to the Spark, Mavic Pro, and Phantom 4 Pro.
It’s official, the leaks were legit, and the DJI Mavic Air is here. But now we have the final specs and details, and it looks pretty impressive. It’s almost like DJI actually listened to the collective sigh of disappointment when the Spark was rumoured last year and decided to give people exactly what they wanted.
Update: If you missed the DJI live stream, it’s at the bottom of this post.
So, it looks like the rumours were true. DJI are prepping to officially announce the DJI Mavic Air in around 23 hours (at the time of writing). And these leaked photos from Drone DJ offer some suggestion of what may be in store. It kinda looks like a Mavic Pro and a Spark got together and had a baby. But is it really deserving of the Mavic moniker?
With the tagline “Adventure Unfolds“, DJI’s new video is teasing something coming on January 23rd. Or at least, it’s being announced on January 23rd. But what could it be? There’s been some speculation that it might be a fixed-wing craft, but the leading theory is that it will be a new Mavic. More specifically, the DJI Mavic Air, a smaller version of the DJI Mavic Pro.
Although DJI did make a couple of announcements at CES 2018 recently for the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 and Ronin-S, they mentioned nothing of a new drone. Well, except for that little toy Tello. It makes sense that there’d be no big drone announcement, though. DJI typically like to make a big splash, giving new drones their own event. And a new Mavic would definitely be worthy of such an event.
DJI’s Osmo Mobile gimbal has been hugely popular since it was first released. But, one thing that gave the competition so much advantage was its cost. Being released at $299, the $150 or less alternatives were much easier for customers to swallow. DJI’s first answer was to drop the price to $199. But now they’ve have answered that price difference again with the new Osmo Mobile 2, at a mere $129.
After a while of shooting with the DJI Mavic Pro, I notice something weird, my footage was off. Whatever I did I could not get a clean sliding shot. Looking deep I realized many of my shots were a bit crooked. Turns out my gimbal was not calibrated. When you are taking photos or footage looking down, it’s barely noticeable but when you are trying to shoot anything with horizontal lines it becomes obvious.
The solution is easy, you need to calibrate the DJI Mavic Pro gimbal. Calibration may sound like a big word, but its simply telling the Mavic what is the gimbal “idle” position to keep the horizon level.
DJI has announced an update to its AeroScope drone tracking and identification system. The update allows drone operators who choose to do so the ability to opt-in to broadcast their information. The AeroScope system essentially functions as an “electronic license plate” for drones. They say that the new feature allows pilots to cooperate with authorities while still protecting their privacy.
It seems that crowdsourcing is not beyond intelligence agencies. At least, according to a leaked memo from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In it, they say that the Special Agent in Charge Intelligence Program (SIP) Los Angeles have “moderate confidence” that DJI is providing critical infrastructure and law enforcement data to China.
They also say that they have “high confidence” that they are “selectively targeting government and privately owned entities within these sectors to expand its ability to collect and exploit sensitive U.S. data”. It all sounds a bit James Bond to me, but this isn’t the first time DJI’s been in the middle of security controversy. Nor even the first time this year.
DJI’s new drone tracking system, AeroScope was announced last month. It’s designed to allow officials at airports, military installations and other restricted areas to easily spot unauthorised drone use.
The Verge went to talk to DJI North America managing director, Michael Perry to see how the system in action and find out how it works.
Wouldn’t you love to be able to go and rent a Mavic Pro for free? Well, apparently now, you can. At least, you can if you live in the USA or Canada. DJI have teamed up with National Geographic for their My Mavic contest. The prize, somewhat obviously, is a Mavic Pro.
Oddly, it says that rental is “world-wide” at the top of the page. The terms, though, state it is only open to residents of the USA and Canada. Given Canadians would be unable to actually fly the Mavic without risking breaking the law, including them is a bit redundant. Recent drone-related events aren’t going to help, either. Still, if you’re in the USA, you’re all set.