The DJI Air 2S has a 1-inch sensor
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The DJI Air 2S has a 1-inch sensor

David Lee
Zurich, on 15.04.2021
Translation: Octavia Hurst
DJI sets the bar high: the Air 2S drone has a much larger sensor than the Air 2. This promises better recordings.

The pace of development for DJI drones remains high. Just one year after the DJI Mavic Air 2, the Chinese manufacturer is already launching its successor, the Air 2S. The fact that the new model isn’t called Air 3 indicates a smaller upgrade. But when it comes to the camera sensor, the change is quite drastic. Its diagonal was doubled from 1/2 inch to 1 inch.

For general classification: in terms of size, performance and price, the drone is halfway between the tiny Mini and the big Pro. .

Air 2S (4K)
Dji Air 2S (4K)

What we can expect from the sensor

A larger sensor can adjust better to differences in brightness. For drone photography, this is important because the sky is usually much brighter than the rest of the image. Especially with backlight. Here's a picture of the DJI Mini with a very small 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sky on the right is overexposed, but the houses are very dark.

no information available about this image

The Air 2 already handles strong contrasts quite well. However, it has to reduce its resolution from 48 to 12 megapixels for this. The new Air 2S doesn’t need that: it’s generally at 20 megapixels. A higher resolution with at least the same high dynamic range is to be expected here. According to DJI, the sensor can handle brightness differences of 12.6 f-stops in RAW format.

What else is new?

The camera can create videos in 5.4K and, of course, in 4K and Full HD. The maximum frame rate is 30, 60 or 120 fps depending on the resolution. The 10-bit colour profile DLog-M is also available.

The aperture of the lens is f/2.8, it doesn't seem to be adjustable like on the Mavic 2 Pro.

To detect obstacles, the Air 2S has sensors for the front, rear, top and bottom. The upward detection is new compared to the Air 2. Obstacle avoidance algorithms are also said to have been improved.

OcuSync 3.0 is used for the transmission. This should ensure an even more stable connection. Live videos are broadcast in full HD. The Air 2S is compatible with the smart remote control and also with the remote control of the Air 2.

Also new are the Mastershots, a further improvement of the previous Quickshots. These are flight manoeuvres that the drone performs automatically while keeping a selected subject in focus. For example, circling the subject and ascending at the same time. In a master shot, ten different flight manoeuvres are performed at once. The software automatically creates a short film from the footage.

The rest is reminiscent of the predecessor. The drone still has 8 GB of internal memory, is slightly heavier (595 grams) and flies for 31 minutes in calm conditions.

As usual, the drone is also available as a FlyMore combo. This package includes a total of three batteries and a corresponding charging station, ND filters, more spare propellers and a shoulder bag.

The drone is available now.

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David Lee
David Lee
Senior Editor, Zurich
My interest in IT and writing landed me in tech journalism early on (2000). I want to know how we can use technology without being used. Outside of the office, I’m a keen musician who makes up for lacking talent with excessive enthusiasm.

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