DJI Mavic Air – My Thoughts

DJI Mavic Air – My Thoughts

Like most drone owners, I felt it was about time I shared my experience of owning what is undoubtedly a cool piece of technology. Was it worth the money? What are the good and bad things about it? Did I buy the right one? Let’s find out…

I bought my DJI Mavic Air from Amazon back in June this year for £830 for the ‘Fly More Combo’ kit. I also purchased a 64Gb micro SD card as well as some ND filters (more on those later), for a total investment just under £900. At the time, the Air was on a deal, and as I write this the same Fly More bundle is still retailing for £799, so not a huge amount cheaper.

Trying to choose between the Mavic Air and the Mavic Pro was, perhaps, the hardest part of the process. I knew I wanted something small and highly portable for my trip to Greece in July, but I didn’t want to sacrifice quality either, and the techno-geek in me wanted the ‘best’ version I could get. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the specs, but what complicated things for me is the Air has a higher Bitrate for recording (100Mbps versus 60Mbps on the Pro) but a shorter range (due to being WiFi-only) and lower battery life, meaning there is no clear winner even on paper, despite plenty of reviews and YouTube videos claiming that one or the other is the better choice.

Ultimately, it came down to a combination of cost and portability: the Air was about £250 less than the Pro when I bought it, and getting everything for under £1,000 felt like a big deal financially. Likewise, the Air is so much more compact, I knew it would be a better choice for taking abroad with me, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Having never flown before, I wanted to get some practise in before the holiday, so my first flight was at an RC flying club south of Norwich. Here are a couple of photos:

I was really pleased with the drone, from how easy it was to fly and the quality of the photos and video.

Back to those ND filters: I’d read plenty of reviews recommending some, and having done quite a bit of photography before, appreciated how useful they would be, especially in a hot, sunny country like Greece. Using ND filters is particularly helpful when shooting video, as the recommendation is to lock the shutter speed to twice the frame rate of the video (in this case 30fps at 4k), and shooting at 1/60 on a bright day is impossible without them.

 

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