(Pocket-lint) – DJI has unveiled a new consumer drone called the Air 2S and it builds on the previous Air 2 by adding an impressive 1-inch sensor to the camera.
Looking at its spec sheet and promised performance, this could well become the drone to buy this year. By adding in advanced features and optics in a drone that’s relatively well priced and compact, DJI has surely built a winner here.
The big story, of course, is the new sensor in the camera system. It’s a large 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor.
It’s a similar sensor to what we saw in the Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian four years ago. Of course, that drone was much bigger and had a much larger camera unit.
A larger sensor means better colour data and light capture, and being 20-megapixel makes it prime for high resolution video shooting too. Specifically, it can shoot up to 5.4K at 30fps or 4K at 60fps.
It also supports digital zoom at some resolutions:
- 4x zoom at 4K 30fps
- 6x zoom at 2.7k 30fps
- 4x zoom at 2.7k 60fps
- 6x zoom at 1080p 60fps
- 8x zoom at 1080p 30fps
DJI has added a feature called SmartPhoto too which takes multiple photos and then uses scene analysis to choose the best looking shots using HDR, Hyperlight (a feature to improve low light performance) and Scene Recognition. This, as always, is on a camera attached to a three-axis mechanical gimbal.
Optics are only part of the story with DJI and – as usual – the new drone features multiple sensors for obstacle avoidance and for enabling its automated QuickShot movements which make it really easy to create impressive cinematic effects.
A major new feature is called MasterShots. In essence, when enabled it will automatically choose a flight path and shooting style and then go to it and present you with a final sequence when it’s finished. All you have to do is press ‘Start’.
FocusTrack remains an important feature too, allowing you to focus on a specific subject and then either follow it or keep the camera locked on it while the drone moves.
Obstacle avoidance has been improved. Not only does it have four-sided sensors – on the front, rear, bottom and top of the drone – but they also include a new feature called ‘binocular zooming technology’. This detects when incoming objects are coming towards it from further away.
In addition, there’s APAS (Advanced Pilot Assistance System) 4.0 which will dynamically avoid obstacles as you fly the drone. Instead of stopping in front of them it’ll fly around, under or over them. It’s been improved over the previous iteration to offer a wider field of view.
Battery life seems impressive at 31 minutes flight time, while the latest controller includes OcuSync O3 to enable video transmission and control up to 12km away from the drone.
DJI’s latest drone is available to buy from today. As always you can buy it as a standard combo with all the basics to get you started. This means: the drone, a battery, cables and a controller. Buy it this way and it’ll cost you £899/€999.
However, there’s also a ‘Fly More’ combo which will get you two additional batteries (three total), a charging hub, a shoulder bag and – usefully – four ND filters you can attach to the front of the camera. This combo costs £1169/€1299.
Writing by Cam Bunton.