The announcement of the Mavic Air gave us a glimpse in how DJI regards the camera drone market as a whole. The company owns it, and they know it. DJI’s launch of the Mavic Air solidifies its position in every pricing tier of the market. I was expecting more of a Mavic 2 Pro, but the technology inside the Air will make the next Mavic Pro all the more intriguing.

While it hosts a ton of features and literally fits in a pocket, let’s take an objective look at the battery life. I know, I thought like others when I saw the 21-minute flight time. We all want our drones in the air for as long as possible.

But rethink what the Mavic Air can do for 21 minutes. It shoots 4K at 30fps with a 100Mbps bitrate. Sensors for days. Machine learning. HDR. Sphere panoramas which involve stitching together 25 separate picture. 3-axis gimbal. All in a package that folds into the length and width of a smartphone.

And it stays in the air for 21 minutes.

Mavic Air and the Mavic Pro 2

While we don’t know when the Mavic Pro is in line for an upgrade, we can infer quite a bit from the Mavic Air. First, it’s nearly a lock it will grab the Phantom 4 Pro’s one-inch sensor. Instead of 12MP stills, it’ll be 20MP. The motor system off the Mavic Platinum is a lock for the next the Mavic Pro. More machine learning. New shot modes.

Mavic Pro and Mavic Air

And battery life. Right now the Mavic Platinum can stretch to 30 minutes in a perfect situation. Looking at the tech inside the Mavic Air, its footprint, we could be looking at DJI’s first push past 30 minutes of flight time.

Before the Air, I was counting on the Phantom 5 to break that ceiling, but not anymore. It should break it too, but we should see the highly portable Mavic Pro 2 unfold something we all want. Flight times past 30 minutes. It’s just a matter of when DJI announces the next generations of the flagship Mavic.

For now, the Mavic Air does what we wanted the Spark to do. 4K. 3-axis gimbal versus two. Even more portable. And at a price that isn’t a premium over the Spark. The Mavic Air retails for $799, and the Fly More combo hits the sweet spot of $999. It’s a compelling drone and shows DJI has no intention of slowing down.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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