Announced last month, the Mavic Air is the newest drone from DJI. It fits in between the Spark and the Mavic Pro in DJI’s lineup, but what are its key selling points? We had the chance to speak with DJI about the new drone this week at The Photography Show. We chat about its key features, saw how it performs first hand, and there might be a hint as to what may be coming in the future.
Demands on technology companies these days are pretty intense. It used to be that a company released a product, customers either loved it or hated it, and then a new model came out in 5 or so years to replace it. Today, it’s very different. No sooner had the Sony A7III been announced, for example, than wishlists appeared for a theoretical Sony A7IV. People want to see new camera kit far more often than they used to.
When it comes to drones, the “upgrade cycle” is even shorter, with people expecting new and upgraded models on an annual basis. Lately, there’ve been a number of rumours surrounding several new possible models from drone leaders DJI. The Mavic Pro 2, the Phantom 5, the Inspire 3 and a new fixed-wing drone, the DJI VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing). The “leaks” on specs so far look quite exciting, but can they really be believed?
After a drone collides with a US Army Black Hawk helicopter just last month, we’re already hearing about another incident involving a helicopter and a drone. This time, though, the helicopter was forced to make a crash landing. The incident is currently being investigated and if proven to be true would mark the first drone-related crash of an aircraft in the USA.
According to Bloomberg, during a flight last week involving a student pilot and instructor, a drone was spotted in front of their Robinson R22 helicopter during a flight. This forced the instructor to take over and take corrective action to avoid the collision, hitting the tail of the helicopter into a tree and causing a crash landing.
With the recent announcement from DJI about the Mavic air, DJI now has a drone at each $200/$300 step (give or take) from the $499 Spark*, through the $799 Mavic Air ending with the $999 Mavic pro (or $1,100 for the Platinum Pro).
But which is the drone you
want need? With the steps being so small it is tempting to jump to the next level for just a few more dollars, but should you? Here is a breakdown on what each of those drones will do for you and which is better for each of their intended uses.
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.
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.
The Typhoon H from Yuneec made a bit of a splash when it first launched. Finally, a commercially available 6 motor hexacopter that could maybe compete with the likes of the DJI Phantom series. And the price wasn’t really all that different, too. But it didn’t quite gain the traction of its competitors. I know a few people who owned the Typhoon H, but then later switched to DJI for newer and more advanced features.
Now, Yuneec have finally responded with the improved Typhoon H Plus. Billed as a serious tool for professional drone filmmakers, the updated Typhoon has seen some nice tweaks. It’s had the size of the sensor physically increased, as well as the stills resolution, and the 4K UHD framerate has doubled from 30fps to 60fps.
At least, it will in New Jersey. The State legislators have just approved a ban on operating drones while intoxicated. When signed into law, the bill will punish pilots who are drunk or otherwise inebriated with up to six months in prison or a $1,000 fine. The vote went through 39-0 in the State Senate and 65-0 in the State Assembly.
It’s not clear exactly when the bill will go into law, but as drone usage rises daily, it sends a pretty clear message. While there is a minimum size requirement for FAA drone registration, there doesn’t appear to be one for this ban. It does state that it will use the standard 0.08 blood alcohol level as being too drunk to fly.