DJI introduced its new Air 2S designed to set what the company describes as a new benchmark for flight performance and imagery as an all-in-one portable camera drone, featuring preprogrammed content creation tools.

DJI Air 2S, according to the company, is the first drone of its size to capture 20-megapixel still images or video in 5.4K with a new one-inch sensor that was previously available only on larger, less agile drones. The drone includes a new MasterShots feature that uses automatic flight path planning to set the drone’s course while recording video. Upon completion of the flight, DJI Air 2S automatically merges the footage under one theme to create an video.

DJI explains Air 2S’s 31 minutes of maximum flight time and four-way directional obstacle sensors let the pilot focus on the shot while the drone’s safety systems warn when obstacles are getting close. APAS 4.0 is the most advanced autopilot system on any DJI drone and, when turned on, maneuvers around objects autonomously.

Air 2S also includes O3, DJI’s third iteration of OcuSync transmission technology, as well as an upgraded FocusTrack feature with a suite of programmed modes like Spotlight 2.0, ActiveTrack 4.0 and Point of Interest 3.0 designed to mimic the focus, control and movement of a professional video operator.

The drone’s new one-inch sensor is capable of recording 20-megapixel still images, 5.4K video at 30fps or 4K at 60fps and 150Mbps. Larger than the sensor on the original Mavic Air 2, it a larger pixel size of 2.4μm, capturing more information and detail for better photos and videos. DJI explains it allows users to get closer to the subject without moving the drone using a new digital zoom that supports 4X zoom at 4K 30fps, 6X at 2.7K 30fps, 4X at 2.7K 60fps, 6X at 1080P 60fps and 8X at 1080P 30fps.

DJI’s three-axis mechanical gimbal smooths out footage for what the company describes as professional-level quality and 8 GB of internal storage. Users can choose to record in H264 or H265, depending on their preferences for image detail and storage capacity and can also choose from three video color profiles, Normal (8 bit), D-Log (10 bit) or HLG (10 bit) to match their video needs.

In addition to standard photo options like Timed Photo, AEB and Panoramas, DJI Air 2S’s SmartPhoto mode records 20-megapixel photos using scene analysis and deep learning to automatically choose the best of three options that will create the most visually appealing image, including HDR, Hyperlight and Scene Recognition. HDR modes merge several images together while Hyperlight is designed for low-light scenarios and Scene Recognition can identify several common settings and apply camera adjustments to capture photos.

The standard configuration of DJI Air 2S retails for US$999 and includes the drone, remote controller, one battery and all the cables and parts needed to get into the air. The Fly More Combo retails for US$1,299 and includes everything from the standard combo with the addition of 2 batteries for a total of 3, ND filters, a charging hub and a shoulder bag.

(Photo: DJI)