DJI is the 800-pound gorilla of the drone world. At this point, every time the Chinese company introduces a new drone, it’s basically cannibalizing sales of its own existing products.
Never will that become more true than next week, when its new Mavic Air drone is unveiled. Far smaller than the older Mavic Pro, the Air folds up small enough to fit into a coat pocket — its most important feature by far.
But the Mavic Air is less expensive, too ($800 including remote controller), yet still does 4K video capture from a camera that’s on a 3-axis gimbal that reduces camera shake and provides super-stable video. And the Air has sensors on the back so that it can avoid collisions, either forward or backward.
You can control the Air with hand motions, just as you can the $400, non-folding, equally small DJI Spark. In fact, you can use even more motions.
On the Spark, those “use the force” hand gestures were iffy. No matter how spastically you waved your hands, the drone sat motionless. When I review the new Air next week, I’ll see if DJI has managed to improve that feature.
In the meantime, on paper, anyway, the Mavic Air is one juicy semi-pro drone indeed!
David Pogue, tech columnist for Yahoo Finance, welcomes non-toxic comments in the Comments below. On the web, he’s davidpogue.com. On Twitter, he’s @pogue. On email, he’s firstname.lastname@example.org. You can sign up to get his stuff by email, here.