The DJI Air 2S turned a lot of heads when it was first launched in 2021, boasting of huge upgrades compared to its predecessor. But it didn’t get to monopolize the spotlight for too long because the DJI Mavic 3 was introduced late last year. While both are excellent drones, they cater to different needs plus there’s a significant gap in their prices. So which drone should you be flying? To help you decide, here’s an in-depth comparison that covers their design, features, and camera quality.
DJI Air 2S vs Mavic 3 Comparison Chart
The DJI Air 2S is more portable while the Mavic 3 is more robust.
The DJI Air 2S is the more compact model of the two, measuring in at 180 x 97 x 77mm when folded while the Mavic 3 is at 221 x 96.3 x 90.3mm. It’s lighter by 300g too so it’s the better pick if you need something that you can easily slip inside your bag and carry around with you. However, the size difference shouldn’t matter too much while these drones are in use unless you need to fly through tight spaces.
While the Air 2S is the clear winner when it comes to portability, the Mavic 3 looks and feels slightly more robust. You wouldn’t feel the need to baby it too much while you’re out in the great outdoors. Also, its rubbery mask, although a little unusual, provides more protection than the Air 2S’ gimbal cover. You can also tuck the Mavic 3’s propellers against its sides to keep them safe while it’s stowed away.
If you were to remove their batteries, you’d understand why the Mavic 3 is much heftier. Its battery is significantly bigger which translates to longer battery life. While the Air 2S can only last up to 31 minutes, the Mavic 3 can fly for up to 46 minutes. This completely justifies the Mavic 3’s size.
The DJI Mavic 3 has more advanced features than the Air 2S.
The DJI Mavic 3 has more nifty features compared to the Air 2S which allow it to fly further, faster, and safer. While both drones are steady in the air, the Mavic 3 leaves the Air 2S in the dust despite being bigger and heavier. The Air 2S tops out at 6m/s in terms of ascent speed while the Mavic 3 can easily manage 8m/s. If we’re talking about horizontal flight, the Air 2S can’t go any faster than 68.4kph while the Mavic 3 can hit a maximum speed of 75kph. As for distance, the Mavic 3 can go as far as 15km which is 3km more than the Air 2S. However, you’d need special permission to go this far because the drone would be completely out of your line of sight.
While both the Air 2S and the Mavic 3 are equipped with sensors all around, only the latter can see obstacles on the side. So if you tend to fly in crowded areas, there are less chances of crashing into trees with the Mavic 3. In addition, the Mavic 3’s return to home feature is much more advanced than the Air 2S’, able to calculate windspeed and plan out the most efficient route back to you. This decreases the chances of it running out of battery and having to return to home base sooner than anticipated.
While the Mavic 3 has the upper hand in many areas, you should be able to record top-quality footage with the Air 2S as well. Both models come with DJI’s MasterShots, QuickShots, and Active Track systems which help a lot in shooting buttery smooth videos.
The DJI Mavic 3 has a more capable main camera than the Air 2S.
The DJI Air 2S comes with one camera that’s mounted on its gimbal. Equipped with a 20MP 1-inch type sensor, you can expect this camera to churn out excellent images in RAW, JPEG, and HDR formats. It’s able to capture excellent videos too with a maximum resolution of 5.4K at 30fps. But of course, you have the option to shoot at Full HD at 120 fps or 4K at 60fps as well. While the Air 2S’s camera specs are impressive, the Mavic 3 takes things a step further.
Instead of one, the Mavic 3 has two cameras. The main one makes use of a 20MP four-thirds sensor which is almost the double the size of the Air 2S’. This gives the Mavic 3 the ability to shoot even higher quality images, ones that are comparable to a mirrorless camera’s output. Its video resolution is more impressive as well, capable of shooting 5.1K at 50fps, DCI 4K at 120fps, and Full HD at 200fps. What’s even more surprising is that it has a variable aperture that ranges from f/2.8 to f/11 so you have full control of lighting.
As for the Mavic 3’s second camera, it’s not exactly good for taking photos or videos but rather for zooming in on far-away objects to see if they’re worth flying to. It’s equipped with a f/4.4 lens with a 28x hybrid zoom so it should definitely come in handy.
The DJI Mavic 3 has more impressive features and higher camera quality but the Air 2S is more affordable.
DJI Mavic 3
DJI Air 2S
The DJI Mavic 3 is the obvious winner of this comparison. It has no problem going the distance, plus it’s able to fly through the air at impressive speeds while still being safe. Most importantly, it delivers high-quality images and videos, almost as if it’s a mirrorless camera flying through the air. While it not the most portable drone, this is understandable given that it has a bigger battery that can last up to 46 minutes. If you’re a professional photographer or videographer, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.
But if you have no use for the fancy features that come with the Mavic 3, save your money and go for the DJI Air 2S instead. While it’s a more basic model, it’s more than enough if you just want to take quality photos and videos to remember your travels by. It’s compact and portable too so it won’t weigh you down as you go on your adventures.
The DJI Mavic 3 is a worthwhile investment if you’re a professional photographer or videographer in need of advanced drone features. The Mavic 3 can go the distance, is fast but safe, and has amazing camera performance.
None so far. However, the DJI Mavic 3 is available today in the standard version as well as part of the Fly More Combo which comes with a wide range of handy accessories.
The DJI Mavic 3 can go as far as 15km which is 3km more than the Air 2S. However, you’d need special permission to go this far because the drone would be completely out of your line of sight.
The DJI Mavic 3 has plenty of advantages against the Air 2S. It has better battery life, more impressive camera specs, and is able to go longer distances at faster speeds. It has more safety measures in place too.