(Pocket-lint) – After teasing a new product on its website last week and being susceptible to a leak yesterday, DJI has officially unveiled the Mavic Air drone. Taking inspiration from both the Mavic Pro and Spark drones, the Mavic Air is not only the company’s most portable drone to date, but it also arrives with an array of intelligent features to help you take amazing photos and videos from up high.
The Mavic Air weighs in at 430 grams, but while it may be heavier than the Spark, DJI says it’s its most portable drone to date, thanks to its folding arms and propellers that can sit flush with the body, in a similar fashion to the Mavic Pro.
The 12-megapixel camera sits in a recessed 3-axis gimbal in the belly of the Mavic Air, which, as the leaked specs said, features a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, equivalent to a 24mm f/2.8 lens. The Mavic Air’s camera can take HDR photographs, so shouldn’t be phased by bright sunlight. It’s also capable of shooting 4K video, although the leaked specs said it could shoot at 60fps. That isn’t the case, but the Mavic Air can shoot 4K at 30fps, or full HD 1080p up to 120fps for slow-motion video capture.
If you don’t happen to have a microSD card to hand, the Mavic Air has 8GB of onboard storage, so you can still take photos and videos, while a USB-C port lets you quickly transfer files onto a computer.
The Mavic Air introduces several new photo and video modes, designed to help both amateurs and professionals take stunning shots. A new Sphere panorama feature takes 25 shots in one minute and automatically stitches them together to create a 32-megapixel panoramic shot, but you can also take vertical, horizontal and 180-degree panoramic photos, too.
If it’s high-quality video you’re after, the QuickShot intelligent video modes are your best friend. They have pre-determined flight paths that keep the subject in frame and you can employ Rocket, Dronie, Circle, Helix or new Asteroid and Boomerang modes to give videos a professional touch without needing the professional piloting skills.
The Mavic Air supports gesture controls too, so you don’t always need a remote control to hand. You can control the Mavic Air using your hands from up to six metres away, telling it to launch, follow, take a photo, record video, push, pull and land.
DJI has fitted the Mavic Air with Flight Autonomy 2.0, which uses the drone’s seven onboard cameras infrared sensors to create an accurate 3D map of its surroundings, so it can better avoid any obstacles. As previously leaked, the Mavic Air has a flight time of 21 minutes, and can fly in winds up to 22mph and up to altitudes of 5,000 metres. New omnidirectional antennas let you fly the Mavic Air up to 2.5 miles from your location, all while streaming live 1080p video footage to the controller and if you put the Mavic Air into Sport mode, it can fly at speeds up to 42mph.
The DJI Mavic Air is available to pre-order now in Onyx Black, Arctic White and Flame Red colours for £769 including a battery, remote control, carry case, two pairs of propeller guards and four pairs of propellers. DJI will also offer a Fly More combo pack, which includes three batteries, travel bag, remote control, two pairs of propeller guards, six pairs of propellers, a battery to power bank adapter and battery charging hub for £949. Pre-orders will begin shipping from 28 January.
Writing by Max Langridge.