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DJI Air 2S vs. Mavic 3: 4 Must-Know Facts

  • DJI drones account for more than 60% of the world’s drones.
  • The first DJI prototype was produced in founder Frank Wang’s dorm room.
  • The DJI FPV series allows users to get an all-new view of their drones through a head-mounted display.
  • DJI drones are used by fire departments and police around the world.

DJI has a half-dozen drone collections, from the Mini to flagship drones in the Ronin and Mavic series. While the DJI Air 2S isn’t in that class, many consumers purchasing their first drone are interested in the DJI Air 2S vs. Mavic 3 comparison. These drones are on opposite ends of the pricing spectrum, but you need to understand what’s under the hood before choosing the model that’s right for you.

DJI Air 2S vs. Mavic 3: Side-by-Side Comparison

DJI Air 2SDJI Mavic 3
Weight595 grams895 grams
Range12km15km
Flight Time31 minutes46 minutes
Max Speed5 m/s to 19 m/s5 m/s to 19 m/s
Max Hover30 minutes40 minutes
Primary Camera20MP CMOS 1-inch20MP CMOS 4/3
Secondary CameraNone1/2-inch CMOS
Video Resolution[email protected] 30 fps, [email protected] 60 fps[email protected] 50 fps, [email protected] fps
GNSSGPS, GLONASS, GalileoGPS, Galileo, BeiDou
Internal Storage8 GB8 GB
Size Folded (LxWxH)180 x 97 x 77 mm221 x 96.3 x 90.3 mm
Size Unfolded183 x 253 x 77 mm347 x 284 x 107.7 mm

DJI Air 2S vs. Mavic 3: What’s the Difference?

Camera

DJI Air 2S, Drone Quadcopter UAV with 3-Axis Gimbal Camera, 5.4K Video, 1-Inch CMOS Sensor, 4 Directions of Obstacle Sensing, 31 Mins Flight Time, 12km 1080p Video Transmission, MasterShots, Gray
$974.00
  • 【1-INCH IMAGE SENSOR】Equipped with a 1-inch image sensor and large 2.4μm pixels, DJI Air 2S is capable of 5.4K/30fps and 4K/60fps video. Operating Temperature Range-0° to 40°C (32° to 104°F)
  • 【MASTERSHOTS】The next evolution of QuickShots, MasterShots is an advanced intelligent feature that gives users the best shots in any location with just a tap.
  • 【THE CENTER OF ATTENTION】FocusTrack features Spotlight 2.0, ActiveTrack 4.0, and Point of Interest 3.0, making it a breeze for DJI Air 2S to follow or circle your subject. Max Service Ceiling...
  • 【ONE BILLION COLORS】The 10-bit Dlog-M color profile can record up to one billion colors while retaining all the little details that make footage pop.
  • 【7.5 MILES MAX VIDEO TRANSMISSION】DJI Air 2S features DJI's most advanced O3 (OcuSync 3.0) image transmission technology, giving you an ultra-smooth, clear, and reliable image feed every time you...
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01/26/2023 10:06 pm GMT

Cameras are an important part of any drone, regardless of its classification, style, or price. It’s also an area where you’ll see a considerable difference between the DJI Air 2S vs. Mavic 3. The DJI Air 2S has a 20MP CMOS sensor that’s 1-inch in size.

It produces vivid images with a 88° FOV and can shoot in burst mode, timed, as well as make use of HDR. The highest video rate for this drone is 5.4K at up to 30 frames per second. In addition, the DJI Air 2S can handle 4K UHD and 2K at 60fps or FHD video at a full 120 frames per second.

The DJI Mavic 3 has a 4/3 Hasselblad 20MP sensor along with a secondary ½-inch CMOS camera. The dual-camera system is an obvious advantage. Even its video capabilities are boosted. Specifically, 5K video is bumped up to 50fps and it records 4K video at 120 frames per second. You’ll appreciate that second lens in Explorer Mode along with the aperture control.

With the Hasselblad sensor and secondary camera, the Mavic 3 is the clear winner. That’s because it allows you to shoot at higher frame rates in 4K, even if both have a largely similar set of modes and features.

Range and Speed

DJI used their new O3+ in the Mavic 3, which gives it an increased transmission range. With a clear line of sight, this drone is rated at 15km or 9.3 miles. By comparison, the DJI Air 2S has O3 sans the Plus with a range of 12km. It’s not a huge difference, but more notable than you’ll see with the speed.

The maximum ascent and descent speed for the DJI Air 2S is 6m/s in both S and N modes. It can fly up to 5,000 meters above sea level at a maximum distance of 18.5km with no wind at a top speed of 19 meters per second. In addition, the drone has a wind resistance speed rate of 10.7m/s.

You’ll get the same descent speed from the DJI Mavic 3, although C mode takes things down to 1 meter per second for ascent and descent. It has a slightly higher service ceiling area of 6,000 meters above sea level and a higher wind speed resistance at 12m/s. The maximum flight distance for this drone is listed at 30km in ideal conditions.

The DJI Mavic 3 has a better range overall, although we don’t think most users will notice a difference in performance or speed when using the same controller. Keep in mind, those numbers will vary based on conditions, just like battery life.

Flight Time

Having a drone that can ascend or get to your point of interest quickly is important, just like having a great camera. Those are just two parts of the package, however, as you won’t get far or have much fun with poor battery life.

With drones, battery life means flight time and it’s another area where the DJI Mavic 3 has an advantage. It has a large 5,000mAh battery under the hood with a weight of 335.5 grams. It does increase the overall weight but provides you with a maximum flight time of 46 minutes with no wind. The Mavic 3 can also hover for 40 minutes before the battery runs dry.

The DJI Air 2S is smaller, with a lighter battery that weighs 198 grams compared to the behemoth found in the Mavic 3. It’s an “intelligent” flight battery that tops out at around 3,750mAh with an impressive flight time of 41 minutes. Hovering time dips dramatically, however, at only 30 minutes with the DJI Air 2S drone.

Features

DJI Mavic 3, Drone with 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad Camera, 5.1K Video, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, 46 Mins Flight, Advanced Auto Return, 15km Video Transmission, with DJI RC-N1 Remote Controller, Gray
$2,049.00
  • Imaging Above Everything - With a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad Camera, the sensor provides a 12.8-stop dynamic range that retains more details in highlights and shadows, upgrading your work to a professional...
  • 46 Minutes of Flight Time - Stay in the air longer and capture more with a breathtaking max flight time of 46 minutes. This lets you get all the shots you want on just a single battery.
  • Fly Safer - DJI Mavic 3 drone with camera is equipped with advanced Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing. This lets you fly confidently and safely wherever you are.
  • Explore and Capture more - the DJI Mavic 3 drone offers a 15-kilometer max transmission range, which means you can fly farther to explore and capture more. And with the O3 Plus Transmission system,...
  • Smart Return to Home - With a new Advanced RTH system, Mavic 3 camera drone can return to its home point on a fast, safe, and optimized route. Whether activated by low battery or the pilot, getting...
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01/26/2023 10:11 pm GMT

The DJI Air 2S is older than the Mavic 3, so it’s only natural that the newer drone has updated features. Both only come with 8GB of storage space onboard, as well as a basic controller, unless you decide to upgrade. The main differences are in the sophisticated navigation systems, which is where obstacle avoidance comes into play.

The older Air 2S has the same basic features as APAS and ActiveTrack, keeping your drone stable and on the right flight path. With the Mavic 3, you’ll get APAS 5.0 and ActiveTrack 5.0. DJI also gave the Mavic 3 omnidirectional obstacle avoidance which covers the drone from all angles while airborne.

The DJI Air 2S has a 4-direction sensor system which is highly effective but lacks sensors on the sides. Simply put, it’s a bit smarter with better avoidance and newer features than the Air 2S.

Price

There is a notable price difference between these two drones, which should come as no surprise in our DJI Air 2S vs. Mavic 3 comparison. What can be challenging is choosing where to purchase these drones. The base package for the DJI Air 2S is priced at $999, with the RC-N1 remote, 3 sets of propellers, and one battery.

The Fly More Combo doubles the propellers and adds two more batteries for $1,299. The premium bundle has the same accessories as the Fly More Combo, but with the DJI Smart Controller and a price tag of $1,499.

You’ll need to pay $2,049 for the base package on the DJI Mavic 3 in the same configuration. Meanwhile, the Fly More Combo is $2,849, with extra batteries and propellers. While the Mavic 3 is the more expensive drone across the board, packages offered through third-party sellers can make the price difference easier to swallow if you’re torn between these drones.

DJI Mavic Air 2 Drone on white background
The DJI Mavic 3 has a 4/3 Hasselblad 20MP sensor along with a secondary ½-inch CMOS camera.

©Robert and Monika/Shutterstock.com

Design

Now that you know what’s under the hood of these drones, it’s time to look at their size. Drones in this class are designed for portability, and while the DJI Air 2S and Mavic 3 share the same design language, there is a substantial difference in size and weight.

The Air 2S is a smaller drone measuring 180 x 97 x 77mm when folded. When unfolded, the height doesn’t change; the length only goes up by 3mm, but the width expands to 253mm. The drone has a total weight of 595 grams.

With an extra camera and a larger battery, the DJI Mavic 3 tips the scales at 895 grams. Unfolded, it dwarfs the Air 2S at 347.5 x 283 x 107.7mm, but has a smaller form factor, measuring only 221 x 96.3 x 90.3mm when folded.

DJI Air 2S vs. Mavic 3: Which Is Better?

The DJI company has a drone for everyone, and the Mavic 3 is in the flagship class. It makes use of the company’s newest technologies, with the Hasselblad camera and hardware ensuring smooth video at the highest frame rates. It beats the DJI Air 2S in every important metric, but whether it’s the best choice for you depends on what you’re looking for from a drone.

The DJI Air 2S is a step down in terms of flight time and range, although it’s the better choice for consumers looking to buy their first drone. Alternatively, the Mavic 3 Cine is also an option for consumers interested in Apple’s ProRes Codec, more storage, and premium accessories like the DJI RC Pro smart controller.

Up Next…

DJI Air 2S vs Mavic 3: Comparison with Price, Specs, and More FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Do you have to register the DJI Mavic 3 or Air 2s in the United States?

Yes, any drone weighing over 250 grams must be registered with the FAA unless flown under the Recreational Flyers exception.

Is the DJI Air 2s or Mavic 3 waterproof?

No, while both drones have a measure of water resistance, neither has a waterproof rating.

How many variants of the DJI Mavic 3 are there?

There are dozens of combos, depending on where you shop, but only two models with the DJI Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Cine.

Will the Mavic 3 or Air 2s work with DJI Goggles?

No, neither of these drones works with the FPV goggles or the company’s motion controller at this time.

Do you need a license to fly the DJI Mavic 3?

What’s required depends on your location, so you’ll need to check the regulatory agencies in your country beforehand.

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More from History-Computer

  • DJI Mavic 3 Available here: https://www.dji.com/mavic-3/specs
  • DJI Air 2s Available here: https://www.dji.com/air-2s/specs
  • DJI Support Available here: https://www.dji.com/support
  • FAA Available here: https://www.faa.gov/uas
  • Digital Camera World Available here: https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/buying-guides/dji-mavic-3-vs-air-2s