DJI Air 2S Review: The Best Drone You Can Buy
This alone is worth upgrading to the previous version, but the updates don’t stop there. The Advanced Pelota Assistance System (APAS) now uses a wider field of vision to detect obstacles. This means you can make flights more automated and worry less about your surroundings. Maybe I’m outdated, but I still find it hard to rely on automation in tight situations.
Air 2S also inherits DJI’s O3 flight system (formerly known as OcuSync) from the company’s end FPV drone. I haven’t had time to review that yet, but I’ve flown enough to say that the claim of approximately 7 miles (12 km) is accurate, which also applies here. In terms of battery life, the company requires a 31-minute flight. My tests were close: it was mostly 30 minutes, and I was flying in some windy conditions.
The Air 2S doesn’t have any side-by-side sensors found in the more expensive Mavic 2 Pro, but avoiding collision is a big step up from previous drones in size and price. As usual, Sport mode detects all obstacles; use at your own risk.
These are all welcome improvements, but the favorite part of the Air 2S is what DJI calls MasterShots. Open the MasterShots menu in the wizard app, select an object, and it will automatically calculate the flight paths of different types of shots.
Send the drone on its way, and it will record everything. Then the app will combine all the footage into a single piece. It’s a simple way to get tons of B-roll (any additional content you’re shooting) without having to do much in the end.
But it doesn’t always work well. For example, I tried using MasterShots in the car sitting in front of my house. The app had no trouble detecting it and drawing the route, but it was unable to fly the path because there was a large tree in the way of some of the planned shots. My solution was to climb a little higher and get what I could with MasterShots, and then fly by hand to accomplish everything I needed.
Fortunately, MasterShots has not taken or left the feature. All videos recorded in this way are available separately from the latest editions created by the applications. This means that if you don’t like the edited results, you can take the RAW footage and edit it yourself in the software of your choice.
The Air 2S is available today for $ 999, and includes a drone, a remote controller, and a battery. The Fly More combination is also priced at $ 1,299, which comes with two other batteries, a neutral-density filter (available on bright days), a charging center, and a shoulder bag.