Since I first heard the word ‘drone’ in combination with photography I knew that I want one. No, that I need one! The perspectives and possibilities you have when flying a drone are endless. As soon as I heard of the DJI Mavic Air, I knew it would be the perfect drone for me. If this appeared to be right, you will read in this little review. I will focus on photography rather than on videography as this is all I tested out so far!
Written by Anskar
Why did I chose the DJI Mavic Air?
The size in combination with the price was the main reason why I wanted this drone so bad. I just waited for the right moment and got it for a decent price.
Before that I always thought about buying the DJI Spark but the fact that it doesn’t support RAW and the footage in general isn’t the best, couldn’t convince me over the low price.
But then DJI released the Mavic Air. Cheaper than the Pro and smaller than the Spark. But still with high quality content. That sounded too good to be true!
The Mavic Air is so small it would probably fit in my pocket. I simply don’t want to carry a massive drone with me every time I go out shooting. For the very same reasons I switched to a small mirrorless camera lately. I’m traveling and hiking a lot and I am in nature all the time. Additionally, I’m not a professional photographer that depends on the best possible quality of my images/videos. I want to catch the moment with at least possible extra weight on my shoulders.
Pros of the DJI Mavic Air
As mentioned before, the price in combination with the size and quality cannot be beaten on the market. Especially if you compare its overall performance to other drones. Little features like the removable joysticks just makes you happy when carrying it around. And it is built up in no time!
The quality of the images is decent. Of course, not as good as with the Phantom series but still really good.
With photography I haven’t had any problems with the battery life. And this is often the biggest point of criticism when I read through other reviews. Yes, you cannot fly as long as with other drones. But is that really an argument not to buy this drone? Batteries are something you can always get more of. They are small and can squeeze into every corner of your backpack.
Cons of the DJI Mavic Air
Often the signal is quite weak and the display is laggy. This is not much of a problem for photography but I can imagine it can be quite frustrating when filming.
Another con is, that the range is smaller than with other drones, but usually (and with ‘usually’ I mean sticking to the rules) it is sufficient.
I didn’t test it out under harsh weather conditions yet, but I can imagine that the Mavic Air is not that wind resistant. But even with a Phantom I would think twice before airing it in a windy place. It’s not worth to lose gear worth a thousand bucks just for the shot.
Although the overall image quality is good, there is some grain/noise in the shadows when taking darker images. This can simply be avoided by not underexposing your shots and/or do some noise correction in Lightroom afterwards.
Some features are missing, like taking pictures vertically, a nice feature Mavic Pro users cherish. But as you are a photographer, you just have to be a little bit creative! I often take several images and stitch them together afterwards. Think about your final image when taking the shot! See my blog post for how to shoot epic landscape shots.
Is the DJI Mavic Air for you?
Are you an adventurer, traveller, hiker, canoeist or mountain climber? Do you often roam around remote places or in nature, while trying to travel light? Well, then the Mavic Air is most certainly for you. It’s a small and smart drone, that fits in your backpack and still delivers some amazing footage! In my opinion, the Mavic Air has the best price/performance on the market. For the comparatively small price you get a drone that can deliver a lot. In direct comparison with the Mavic Pro I would still aim for the Air, mainly because it is cheaper and smaller.
But if you want the best possible image quality and don’t really care about carrying an extra bag with you, then the Phantom series probably suites you better.
Do you own a drone? If so, which one and why did you choose this specific drone? Looking forward to hear some stories and see some awesome shots! Hit me up on Instagram, where you can find more images taken with the Mavic Air!