DJI Air 2S pairs bigger 5K camera with auto-editing for drone video

DJI has revealed its newest consumer drone, with the DJI Air 2S pairing the portability the Air range is known for, with a new, larger camera sensor for better video and images. The 1-inch sensor is capable of 20-megapixel still images or 5.4K video, DJI says, and there's new post-flight software which promises to do some of the heavy lifting around editing for you as well.

That's being called MasterShots, and it taps a number of new features to produce a fully edited video at the end. The drone autonomously plans its flight path, DJI says, picks from Proximity, Portrait, or Landscape capture modes, and then begins recording its footage.

At the end, you can pick from various themes and the DJI Fly app will edit the raw footage accordingly. Other video tools include FocusTrack – where you can highlight a subject and then have the Air 2S autonomously fly around it, track it to keep it in frame, or be flown manually while automatically keeping the subject centered – and the usual QuickShots and Hyperlapse presets.

The camera can shoot 5.4K at 30fps or 4K at 60fps and 150Mbps. A new digital zoom, meanwhile, supports 4X zoom at 4K 30fps, 6X at 2.7K 30fps, 4X at 2.7K 60fps, 6X at 1080P 60fps, or 8X at 1080P 30fps. It's mounted on a three-axis gimbal for smoothing, and there's a choice of H.264 or H.265 capture plus Normal (8 bit), D-Log (10 bit), and HLG (10 bit) color profiles.

For stills, the new SmartPhoto mode uses scene analysis to switch automatically between HDR, Hyperlight, and Scene Recognition modes, based on which the drone believes will produce the most appealing result. 8GB of onboard storage has been included, too, for images and video.

As for flight, there's up to 31 minutes of flying time from a single charge, and the DJI Air 2S has four antennas and the company's latest OcuSync transmission system, O3, for up to nearly 7.5 miles of range and better resilience to radio-dense environments. Four-way sensors – including upgraded front, rear, bottom, and top obstacle sensors – promise better abilities at spotting incoming objects at faster speeds.

The Air 2S will even adjust the angle of its flight, depending on how fast you're piloting it and the needs of the obstacle detection system. At lower speeds, DJI's Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) 4.0 has a wider field-of-view than before. Fly faster, though, and the angle of the Air 2S tilts forward so that the new upward obstacle sensor can be brought into play more.

There's also an upgraded Return-To-Home (RTH) feature, which brings the Air 2S back to its launch position if the battery gets critically low or the connection with the controller is lost. Of course, there's also geofencing for areas where you're not meant to be flying drones at all.

The DJI Air 2S – which has apparently dropped the "Mavic" branding used on the previous DJI Mavic Air 2 – is up for order today, priced at $999. For that, you get the drone itself, the remote controller, a battery, and the necessary cables and parts. A $1,299 Fly More Combo throws in two extra batteries – bringing the total to three – along with a charging hub, ND filters, and a shoulder bag to carry it all. DJI is also offering DJI Care Refresh, its drone insurance plan that covers crashes and flyaway incidents, for the Air 2S.