DJI's Upgraded Mavic Air 2S Has a Much Larger Camera Sensor

Illustration for article titled DJI's Upgraded Mavic Air 2S Has a Much Larger Camera Sensor
Image: DJI

DJI’s Mavic Air 2 drone already offers a great balance of price and performance, but with the new Mavic Air 2S, DJI is revamping its latest quadcopter with a way bigger camera sensor.


By jumping up from the half-inch sensor on the Mavic Air 2 to the new 1-inch sensor on the Mavic Air 2S, DJI says its latest drone “sets a new benchmark” for in-air image capture. The $1,000 Mavic Air 2S is capable of snapping 20-MP stills or 5.4K video at up to 30 fps (or 4K video at 60 fps). Its new sensor can also capture up to 12.5 stops of dynamic range, which is just short of the 14 stops you get from a Mavic 2 Pro, despite the Mavic 2 Pro costing $600 more.

Illustration for article titled DJI's Upgraded Mavic Air 2S Has a Much Larger Camera Sensor
Photo: Sam Rutherford

And while the Air 2S’s design has largely stayed the same, DJI still managed to add in two more obstacle sensors (for a total of four), which works with DJI’s APAS 4.0 (advanced pilot assistance system) to create what DJI says is its most sophisticated obstacle avoidance protocol yet.

The 2S also claims a strong battery life of 31 minutes per charge, with DJI’s OcuSync 3.0 tech delivering more than seven miles (12km) of range thanks to the addition of a new quad antenna setup. And while the Air 2S doesn’t have an optical zoom, it does support up to a 4x digital zoom at 4K, or up to an 8x zoom at 1080p/30 fps.

And of course, as it does with every new drone, DJI has come up with a few new photo and video modes. The Air 2S has a new MasterShots setting, which allows the drone to select its own path and image preset to best suit the conditions instead of relying on you to figure everything out. The Air 2S’s hyper-lapse mode has also been improved to deliver, smoother, less shaky footage with the help of electronic image stabilization.


So between its larger sensor, APAS 4.0, and all the new and existing shooting modes, the Mavic Air 2S should make a great drone for both beginners and more advanced users alike.

The Mavic Air 2S is available today. The standard kit goes for $1,000 (which includes the drone, remote controller, and a battery), and the more expensive Fly More Combo tacks on two additional batteries, an ND filter, a charging hub, and a bag for $1,300.


Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.


Lost credentials again

My problem with drones: I would like one, but not before I have some experience with one. I don’t want to buy an expensive one to find out I don’t like it, but I also don’t want to buy a cheap one and then spend more money to upgrade soon after. So I end up not doing anything. Anyway, over to my rant.

So it was with some surprise that I found out a 1" sensor is not, actually, 1" in size in any dimension. It only matters because I’ve been comparing them to APS-C and full frame sensors (16x24mm and 24x36mm approx). A 1" sensor is actually about 16mm diagonally (0.63"). This fucks with the mind even more when you consider that when people talk about a 35mm full frame sensor, it’s actually over 42mm in size.

Goes find table to flip.

Anyway, here’s Ken Rockwell’s write-up on this from almost 6 years ago. He explains: In other words, the only thing one inch about a “one inch sensor” is that a vacuum tube 50 years ago would have had an outside diameter of about an inch if it had an image pick-up area about the same size as the “one inch sensor” today.