A Detailed Review of the DJI Air 2S vs Mavic Air 2


The DJI Air 2s and the Mavic Air 2 are both great drones. DJI's Mavic Air 2 was the first drone to use a 1/2-inch camera with 4K/60p video quality capabilities and 48MP still photography.

Hobby enthusiasts can determine the value of the DJI Air 2S vs Mavic Air 2 by looking at the price difference between the two air models.

There are a few significant differences between DJI Air 2S and Mavic Air 2. However, the Mavic Air 2 has a longer flight time. How do you choose? Let's have a look.

We'll talk about the difference in two drones to give you an accurate choice when shopping for the best drones available today but first here is live Amazon pricing of both the base model kits.

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Table of Contents

DJI Mavic Air 2

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DJI Air 2S

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Intelligent Flight Modes

The Mavic Air 2S and DJI Air 2S are equipped with intelligent flight modes that enable remote controlled pilots to automatically film clips.

The only new video feature the Mavic Air 2 lacks is Mastershots, which compiles a video of what it believes are the best shots, including background music and titles. A quick drone session on a road trip could really benefit from this feature.

In addition, both DJI consumer drones feature other flight modes, including Point of Interest 3.0, which gives the ability to orbit dynamic objects such as people / cars and Spotlight 2.0.

It records exclusively in 1080p to make clips that can be easily shared with friends and family members via social networks such as IG, Facebook, etc.

Drone Features

Among the improvements to the DJI Air 2S is its improved Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS 4.0), which can interpret the world in four directions at any given time. The DJI Air 2S aircraft has sensors on the front, rear, bottom, and front, while the Mavic Air 2 has sensors facing forward, rearward, and downward.

DJI has upgraded the sensor with binocular zoom technology which helps locate objects from further distances much faster. APAS 4.0 can detect problematic obstacles in the path of the drone and automatically map around them instead of stopping in place.

Using DJI's advanced ADS-B technology, each model recognizes manned aircraft on their path and signals the pilot whether to land or yield to the aircraft.

The DJI Air 2S has included ActiveTrack 4.0 which is quite a step up from ActiveTrack 3.0 used by the Mavic Air 2. In this mode, the drone can be configured to follow a moving people just by drawing a rectangle or square around subject on the cellphone screen.

Both drone models include subject tracking but the A2S is aimed at more accurate tracking. Both drones are also equipped with a number of quick shots such as Circle Dronie and Helix.

Drone Design

The Air 2S is only slightly taller than Mavic's predecessor the Mavic Air 2 and is weighed 550 grams versus 570 grams. The two drones' diameters on air is almost the same with both drones being carried. The only external difference between the two is the addition of the upward-facing obstacle sensor.

Camera design and construction are quite significantly different but more on that later. The new model is 180×97×77 mm folded and weighs 595g (take off) compared to 183×253×77 mm for the Mavic Air 2 and weighs 570g (take off).

The weight difference gives the DJI Air 2S more stability in windy conditions especially when the drone inclines slowly downward.

Photo / Video Capabilities

The DJI Air 2S has a radically different camera than the original Mavic Air 2, but there are no obvious differences in design.

The Mavic Air 2 captures resolutions over 48MP while the DJI Air 2S captures 20MP. Both include HDR photography JPEG and Raw capture and DJI Hyperlight technology combines photos like smartphone images for less noise.

Despite the fact that 48MP sounds better than 20MP, the DJI Air 2S takes higher quality photos and videos because it has a larger imaging sensor.

With the Mavic Air 2, you can shoot four types of panoramas: horizontal, vertical, 180°, and 360°. After determining the angle of view, you begin shooting the panorama.

5.4K is now available on the Mavic Air 2S, while 4K is available on the Mavic Air 2. The video bitrate is 150 Mbps, up from 120 Mbps on the predecessor. The wider focal length for 22mm means an even wider shooting range which some might not want but we personally prefer.

The DJI Air 2S color is much more pleasing than other drones in its class.

Among the first unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to offer 4K60p video, the Mavic Air 2 also offers the ability to shoot 8K hyperlapse sequences, although the utility of using hyperlapse at 8K resolution is debatable.

Another major difference is support for 10-bit data capture (D-Log) on the DJI Air 2S, whereas the Mavic Air 2 is limited to 8-bit (HDR video), and doesn't include a log-gamma profile.

Users will see slight cropping in 4K 60fps mode with the 1/2-inch sensor thereby producing an approximate 1.5x crop to the naked eye.

You can always digitally zoom to compensate (there is no optical zoom sadly) or adjust the extra space at the end of the edit. This will mean the video footage is much sharper in quality and detail.

Still Photography

DJI Air 2S has the largest sensor the previous Air 2 and it has only half an inch. Image resolution has dropped to 20MP on the Mavic Air 2. The new version comes with excellent still image shots thanks to the quad-bayer sensor which gives pixel blocking capabilities for 48-MP photos as per requirement.

It is safe to say that the drone is now as effective as the premium Mavic 2 Pro in terms of the camera; in a smaller lightweight package which is a great advantage. It is such a small drone. The drone comes with a full one inch sensor which is the same size as on the Mavic 2 Pro drone.

Physical and Performance Differences

Mavic Air 2S uses the same battery as the air 2. The Fly More-compatible versions of the two models have three total batteries. They work with the small shoulder bag. Performance and acceleration are similar between the two models with the 2S having a max speed of 64.8 km/h (42.5 mph) in sport mode. The older Air 1 delivers battery life for 34 minutes in comparison to Air 2. It offers five extra minute battery life. On the 2S there is a horizontal obstacle avoidance sensor and large cameras with a one inch sensor. The Air 2s can reach speeds up to 80 km/h.

Zoom: A useful bonus feature on the Air 2S

It uses a 5.4k resolution for a useful digital zoom function. It's no longer in the Mavic Air 2 lineup. The zoom function is available for 10 bits videos, 120fps slo-mo images or stills.

It's not quite as versatile as we'd hoped but it is worth bearing the weight of the zoom function for an unusual type of shooting you intend to use it.

The camera can take pictures at a resolution of 5K but it offers some leeway which helps it to use an sliding scale of Zoom in different resolutions. We don't recommend more than 2x zoom, but it's still useful.

Flight Performance

The Air 2 series clocks at 54kph (33mph) against the Mavic Air 2 at 43 Kph. In the sports mode they both fly to an impressive 68mph (42mph) but that doesn't mean there was much to add about flight performance. Every DJI drone on the market flies perfectly in Butter Smooth Control. At 34 minutes in no wind, the older air 2 remains in the air about 3 more minutes than the younger air 2. The older DJI drones can last 34 minutes longer in wind rather than longer.

According to the manufacturers, the Air 2S has a flight time of 31 minutes and the Mavic Air 2 is supposed to have a flight time of 34 minutes. Our tests showed that the Air 2S offers about the same flight time (around 20 minutes) as the Mavic Air 2.

Remote Controller

The Mavic Air 2 was launched along with a new remote control design. It's bigger and boxier than older controllers. It is no integrated screen but a smartphone will mount to the top instead of beneath its base.

DJI Air 2S vs Mavic Air 2
DJI Air 2S vs Mavic Air 2: Remote Controller

Additionally, you can use the DJI Smart Controller for $749 without requiring a smartphone or dealing with cables. Many remote pilots may prefer this option due to its integrated 5.5-inch screen using OcuSync 2.0 (O3 for the Air 2S model).

DJI Air 2S vs Mavic Air 2
DJI Smart Controller

MasterShots Example

Which is the best drone for you?

The latest version of the DJI Air 2S is an updated 1-inch image sensor. It is a bit cheaper than the Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom, but a little more expensive than its predecessor. The drones are almost the same but the new device has an upgraded camera, improved obstacle avoidance and zoom capability.

This DJI Air 2S is one of the very best drones available for aerial photographers on-the-go. It features a 1-inch CMOS sensor, upgraded functions, such as MasterShots, and this drone is also equipped with increased tracking and safety features.

In spite of Mavic Air 2 still being a powerful tool, DJI Air 2S has proven to be the ideal all-in-one option for aerial creators.

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