DJI Mavic Air vs Mavic Pro: which foldable drone is better?

    DJI has formally introduced its newest drone, the Mavic Air. This travel-friendly, 4K-ready drone is positioned to take the highlight from different drones within the shopper house with spectacular efficiency and a conveyable type issue.

    However, there’s nonetheless the Mavic Air’s larger and pricier older brother, the Mavic Professional, to think about. Right here, we’ll take a look at how the 2 DJI drones stack up towards each other to find out if there’s a stable motive to decide on one over the opposite, so you may relaxation assured you’ve made the precise alternative when you purchase one.


    We’ll begin by having a look on the specs of every machine as they relate to cameras, sensors and storage. 

    The brand new Mavic Air packs a half.Three” CMOS picture sensor that may seize 12MP stills with HDR or create 32MP spherical panorama pictures. The digital camera is able to capturing 4K video at 30fps, 2.7K video at 60fps and Full HD video at 120fps. It’s recording can function at a quick 100Mbps bitrate, packing much more info into the video. The digital camera system has an 85-degree subject of view and is supported by a Three-axis gimbal for secure capturing. 

    The Mavic Professional’s digital camera system is similar to the Mavic Air’s, however there are some variations. The Mavic Professional additionally helps its digital camera on a Three-axis gimbal, however it solely has a 78.Eight-degree subject of view. Its digital camera can even snap 12MP nonetheless photos and shoot 4K video at 30fps. Nonetheless, to hit 120fps, it has to shoot at 720p, and it might probably’t seize HDR photos. It does get a leg up in skilled video purposes, although, as it might probably shoot in cinematic 4K (a better decision model) on the industry-standard 24fps. The Mavic Execs video bitratre is a bit slower than the Mavic Air’s, coming in at 60Mbps. 

    The Mavic Air edges out the Mavic Professional when it comes to sensors, with extra packed on to maintain the drone flying protected and avoiding obstacles. Nonetheless, the Mavic Professional takes that edge again in terms of operational distance, as it’s able to speaking with the controller as much as four.Three miles away in comparison with the Mavic Air’s 2.5-mile practical vary.

    Whereas each drones assist microSD playing cards, the Mavic Professional helps a 64GB most that doesn’t do a lot to compete. The Mavic Air can assist a 128GB microSD card, and it additionally has 8GB of inside storage for these instances you want an image or video in a rush. 

    Design and portability

    The designs of the Mavic Air and Mavic Professional are pretty related. Each characteristic foldable propeller arms coming off the corners of an extended, rectangular physique. Each even have a digital camera mounted within the entrance. The Mavic Professional’s digital camera is extra open, whereas the Mavic Air’s digital camera is barely nestled into the chassis.

    The place the drones differ most in design is of their respective sizes. The Mavic Air is roughly half the dimensions of the Mavic Professional, and it’s 41% lighter. The Mavic Professional weighs in at 1.62lbs (734g) whereas the Mavic Air is simply zero.94lbs (430g). The Mavic Air is simply as broad as its massive brother, however it’s shorter and shallower. The Mavic Professional measures 7.79 x Three.26 x Three.26 inches (198 x 83 x 83mm), whereas the Mavic Air measures a pocketable 6.61 x Three.26 x 1.92 inches (168 x 83 x 49 mm).

    The underside line is that the Mavic Air is by much more transportable. At DJI’s launch occasion, the presenter even made a degree of this by carrying his cellphone, pockets, and three DJI Mavic Air drones within the pockets of his vest, together with the wi-fi controller in his again pocket. To up the portability even additional, the controller has detachable thumbsticks to scale back its profile.

    Flight and management

    Whereas we’ve already talked about that the Mavic Professional has a larger vary than the Mavic Air, that’s not the top of the story in terms of flight and controls.

    Each the Mavic Professional and Mavic Air include distant controls and assist DJI Goggles for a first-person flying perspective. On these factors, the 2 are evenly matched.

    The Mavic Air sports activities a 2,375mAh battery that may assist 21 minutes of fly time. The Mavic Professional boasts a big Three,830mAh battery that will get it as much as 27 minutes of fly time. By way of complete flight distance potential with every drone, the Mavic Air can go 6.2 miles (10km) with out wind on a single cost, whereas the Mavic Professional can go Eight miles (13km).

    The Mavic Air is a bit zippier than the heavier Mavic Professional.  It will possibly prime out at 42.5mph (68.4km/h) in comparison with the Mavic Execs prime velocity of 40mph (65km/h) in sport mode. Each are a match when it comes to how they deal with wind, with every able to resisting 19-24mph (29-38km/h) winds.

    The controls of every drone are the place the 2 begin to diverge a bit extra. Whereas every could be managed with a cellphone or with the included distant management, they will also be managed with a pilot’s naked palms in quite a few methods by way of gesture controls. And people gesture controls have been upgraded within the Mavic Air. 

    Each the Mavic Air and Mavic Professional assist the autonomous SmartCapture modes known as Rocket, Dronie, Circle and Helix – every a flight sample for the drone to mechanically shoot a fast video. Now, although, the Mavic Air has added on Asteroid and Boomerang. Boomerang sends the drone out and away in an arc, then it circles again, returning to the pilot like a boomerang. Asteroid has the drone fly out to create a spherical panorama merged with video because the drone flies again towards the topic.

    The Mavic Air’s improved sensors can even assist it fly smarter whereas being piloted in any of its management modes. As a substitute of stopping when transferring towards an impediment like older DJI drones, it should create a flight path across the impediment and proceed within the course it was going. It additionally takes the lead in DJI’s “ActiveTrack” mode, which has it observe a topic and maintain it within the heart of the shot. ActiveTrack with the Mavic Professional works by drawing a field across the topic the drone is meant to observe, however with the Mavic Air, the pilot can simply click on on the topic to trace. Plus, the Mavic Air may even observe a number of topics. 

    All in all, the Mavic Air seems to prime the Mavic Professional when it comes to flight capabilities and controls, even when it can’t go as far or for as lengthy.

    Worth and launch date

    The Mavic Professional has a base value of $999 (£1,099 / AU$1,599), which incorporates the controller and an additional pair of propellers, together with quite a few different cables for connecting and charging.

    The Mavic Air is available in decrease at $799 (£769, AU$1,299) whereas nonetheless together with a controller, two additional pairs of propellers, the mandatory cables, and it provides in a set of propeller guards, a carrying case and spare thumbsticks for the controller. 

    The Mavic Air is available for pre-order now, and it’s anticipated to ship on January 28. The Mavic Professional has been obtainable for a while, and it can be ordered here.


    Whereas we’ll have to attend for our full Mavic Air assessment to actually examine these two fliers, the brand new drone already appears to prime the Mavic Professional in plenty of areas whereas at the least coming shut in others. Plus, the substantial distinction in value will probably put the Mavic Air nicely forward of its massive brother for many patrons.

    Anybody who completely wants the marginally elevated fly-time and vary or the cinematic 4K recording possibility of the Mavic Professional will in all probability follow the older and bigger drone, however for everybody else, the Mavic Air is, on paper, a extra succesful and extra inexpensive possibility that needs to be the clear alternative. It’s quicker and smarter, able to capturing in new methods, and the $200 financial savings on value is substantial.

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