DJI Mavic Air vs Mavic Pro Review [2021]

DJI is one of the leading manufacturers in the drone world.

This is because they produce some of the best drones on the market.

They incorporate all of the latest advanced technologies into their units to give you drones that go beyond what you’d expect.

Regardless of your needs, DJI will most likely have a unit that meets your demands.

One of the areas where DJI shines is in aerial photography and they have quite a few units available.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the DJI Mavic Air vs DJI Mavic Pro.

Both these units come with similar designs and features like 4K recording and others.

However, there are some very important differences between the two which we’ll be highlighting today.

If you’re in the market for a new drone or simply wondered what’s the difference between the DJI Mavic Air and DJI Mavic Pro, keep reading this DJI Mavic Pro vs Mavic Air review.

Drone

Features

Price

DJI - Mavic Pro Quadcopter with Remote Controller - Gray
  • Control Range: 8 miles
  • Flight Time: 27 minutes
  • Weight: 1.62 pounds
DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller - Arctic...
  • Control Range: 6.2 miles
  • Flight Time: 21 minutes
  • Weight: 15.2 Ounces

DJI Mavic Air vs Mavic Pro: Brief review

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a brief review of the DJI Mavic Air vs Mavic Pro or check out the video.

DJI – Mavic Pro Quadcopter

DJI - Mavic Pro Quadcopter with Remote Controller - Gray

  • Control Range: 8 miles
  • Flight Time: 27 minutes
  • Weight: 1.62 pounds

The DJI Mavic Pro is a compact and foldable drone.

This makes it a great unit if you’re looking for easy portability.

It can be folded down to easily slip into your backpack or large pocket.

The drone opens up and captures 4K videos while the 3-axis stabilized gimbal delivers smooth footage.

The Mavic Pro is one of the first consumer drones to incorporate a fully stabilized 3-axis gimbal.

This unit can reach speeds over 40mph and OcuSync offers a long range of up to 8 miles and HD live video streaming.

In short, the DJI Mavic Pro is perfect for high-quality aerial photography.

Sale
DJI – Mavic Pro Quadcopter with Remote Controller – Gray
  • Fly for miles. From your pocket. Inside the Mavic’s pocket-sized remote controller is DJI’s…
  • No bumps and scrapes When you know what’s in front of you, you won’t bump into it. The same is…
  • Absolute Precision Flight Autonomy technology means the Mavic can hover precisely in more…
  • Stay flying longer Why fly for 10 or 15 minutes when you can fly for up to 27? With the Mavic you…
  • Use every single pixel The Mavic is the only drone of its size to carry an integrated high-precision…
  • Includes: DJI Mavic Pro Quadcopter [US Version], Battery, 16GB microSD, Propeller pairs x3, Remote…

DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter

DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller - Arctic...

  • Control Range: 6.2 miles
  • Flight Time: 21 minutes
  • Weight: 15.2 Ounces

After much success with the Mavic Pro, DJI came out with the DJI Spark which was far less expensive and also portable.

Later, they introduced the Mavic Air which bridges the gap between the Pro and Spark.

The Mavic Air comes with all the fun features of the Spark and the awesome flight features of the Pro.

Not only that but the Mavic Air came with some of its own special features as well like a 100Mbps data rate for video capture at an affordable price.

This launched the Mavic Air to the number one spot for the best video drone at a reasonable price.

Like the Mavic Pro, the Mavic Air folds down for easier portability and can almost fit comfortably in your pocket.

DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller – Arctic…
  • DJI Mavic Air, Arctic White
  • Supported USB Port Types- Lightning, Micro USB (Type-B), USB-C

Mavic Air vs Mavic Pro Specs

dji mavic air vs pro in hand

Let us start the comparison by taking a look at the specs of each drone.

You’ll see that even though they have many similarities, they are very different.

Design and portability

The DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Mavic Air come with similar designs. 

They both feature foldable propeller arms that come off the corners of a long rectangular body and a camera mounted in the front. 

However, the camera of the Mavic Pro is more open while the camera of the Mavic Air is slightly nestled into the chassis. 

The biggest difference between the design of these two drones is in their respective sizes. 

You’ll find that the Mavic Air is about half the size of the Mavic Pro and much lighter. 

The Mavic Pro weighs in at 1.62 pounds while the Mavic Air is a mere 15.2 ounces. 

However,  the Mavic Air is just as wide as the Mavic Pro but it is shorter and much shallower. 

To give you a better picture, the dimensions of the Mavic Pro are 7.79 x 3.26 x 3.26 inches while the Mavic air measures 6.61 x 3.26 x 1.92 inches. 

The verdict?

The Mavic Air is far more portable than the Mavic Pro.

So if portability is at the top of your list, go for the Mavic Air.

When DJI launched the Mavic Air, the presenter even made a point by carrying his phone, wallets and 3 Mavic Air drones in his vest pockets.

He also had the wireless controller which has removable thumbsticks for portability in his back pocket.

If this doesn’t convince you then I’m not sure what will.

Flight and Control

The DJI Mavic Pro and Mavic Air both come with remote controls and support DJI goggles for a first-person view.  

They are evenly matched in this aspect.

Moving on, there are some major and minor differences.

For starters, the Mavic Air comes with a 2375mAh battery which allows the unit a flight time of 21 minutes.

Meanwhile, the Mavic Pro carries a much larger 3,830mAh battery that delivers up to 27 minutes of flying time.

In terms of flight time, the Mavic Pro is the clear winner and gives you more time in the sky to capture stunning images and breathtaking videos.

Let’s talk about the control range.

The Mavic Pro has a control range up to an impressive 8 miles while the Mavic Air can only reach up to 6.2 miles without wind on a single charge. 

Having a longer range is great because it means that you should be able to control the drone better once there is no interference. 

It also comes in handy if you plan to fly the drone out to longer distances to capture videos and images. 

The Mavic Pro is indeed superior to the Mavic Air when it comes to the control range. 

However, always remember that the FAA regulations state that you should ensure your drone is within your line of sight during its operation. 

In other words, you should always be able to see your drone when it is flying in the air. 

If you plan to fly farther than your line of sight or using Goggles, you’ll need to use a visual observer next to and in direct communication with you.

This guarantees the drone’s safety as well as the safety of others. 

When it comes to speed, the Mavic Air due to its lightweight nature is far zippier than the heavier Mavic Pro.

The Mavic Air can reach top speeds of 42.5 mph while the Mavic Pro can reach up to 40mph in Sports Mode. 

They are both equally matched in terms of how they handle wind. 

They are both capable of resisting winds up to 19-24 mph. 

The controls of these drones are where we begin to see a bit of a difference. 

Each can be controlled using a phone or the dedicated remote controller as well as a pilot’s hands via gesture controls. 

The gesture controls in the Mavic Air have been upgraded which makes it far easier to control than the gesture controls of the Mavic Pro. 

As for the flight modes, both the Mavic Air and Mavic Pro support autonomous SmartCapture modes.

These include Rocket, Dronie, Circle and Helix. 

Rocket Mode allows the drone to fly straight up into the air with the camera moving to point downward following the subject you’ve chosen. 

You can set a height limit of either 40, 60, 80, 100, or 120 ft.  

After recording, the drone flies back to its original position. 

Dronie mode is a simple selfie mode. 

Once activated, the drone flies backward and upward, with the camera tracking you or the subject you’ve selected.

As the name suggests, Circle mode sees the drone circling around you or your subject.  

You choose a direction whether it’s left or right and the drone circles you or the subject at a constant altitude and distance from whatever starting point you choose. 

Helix mode has the drone flying upwards and away gradually spiraling around your subject which finishes at whatever height limit or radius you chose.

The Mavic Air comes with two modes that you won’t find on the Mavic Pro.

These are Asteroid Mode and Boomerang.

Asteroid Mode is kind of similar to Rocket mode where the drone goes straight up and away from the subject.

However, Asteroid Mode provides a stitched view of your surroundings that shows you and the earth in a kind of 3D-like globe.

In short, it captures a 32MP panoramic image and turns the image into one that looks like it was captured by a 360-degree camera.  

Boomerang is an extension of the Circle flight mode. 

However, instead of circling you or the subject, the drone starts close and flies away and comes back.    

In the end, the Mavic Air beats the MavicPro when it comes to semi-autonomous flight modes since it includes two additional SmartCapture Modes.

The Mavic Air also flies smarter thanks to improved sensors.

Unlike older DJI drones that stop when moving towards an obstacle, the Mavic Air creates a flight path around obstacles and continues in the direction it was going.

It also takes the lead with DJI’s successful Active Track Mode that tracks an object or subject and keeps it in the center of the shot.

To use Active Track with the Mavic Pro, you have to draw a box around the subject that you want the drone to follow.

However, the Mavic Air allows you to simply click on the subject you want to track.

The Mavic Air can also track multiple subjects.

All in all, the Mavic Air comes out on top when it comes to flight capabilities and controls even though it has a shooter control range and flight time.

Camera systems and sensors 

mavic pro vs mavic air snow

The Mavic Air comes with a 1/2.3’ CMOS sensor capable of capturing 12Mp images with HDR or 32MP spherical panorama shots. 

The camera can shoot 4k videos at 30fps, 2.7K Videos at 60fps and Full HD videos at 120fps.

You get an 85-degree field of view and the ability to record at a fast bitrate of 100Mbps to pack a lot more information in the video.

The entire camera system is supported by a 3-axis gimbal for stable footage.

On the other hand, the DJI Mavic Pro camera system is kind of similar to the Mavic Air but there are a few differences.

The camera system on the Mavic Pro is also supported by a 3-axis gimbal.

However, it only offers a 78.8-degree field of view while the camera can take 12MP stills and shoot 4K videos at 30fps like the Mavic Air.

However, to hit 120fps, it can only capture videos in 720p.

Unlike Mavic Air, the Mavic Pro cannot capture HDR images.

While this may be so, the Mavic Pro still has a leg up in professional video applications since it can shoot in cinematic 4K at the industry standard of 24fps. 

The video bitrate is a lot slower than the Mavic Air and comes in at just 60Mbps.

As you can see the Mavic Air is better than the Mavic Pro when it comes to the sensors.

Storage

Both the DJI Mavic Pro and Mavic Air support microSD cards. 

The Mavic Pro supports a 64-gigabyte microSD card which isn’t exactly much if you’re capturing high-quality 4K videos regularly. 

If you want something with a bit more storage, the Mavic Air can support a 128-gigabyte microSD card. 

The Mavic Air also has 8 gigabytes of internal storage while the Mavic Pro has none. 

This means if you don’t have a microSD card in the Mavic Pro, you cannot record and save videos or capture photos. 

It is clear to see who the winner is when it comes to storage. 

The Mavic Air trumps the Mavic Pro in this aspect. 

Price

The Mavic Air and DJI Mavic Pro are available in package bundles or stand-alone units.

The bundle packages offer way more value for your money. 

However, you may not want or have use for all the things that come in the bundle.

If that’s the case, then you’d be better off buying the unit alone.

Both these units are on the pricier side but one is far more affordable than the other. 

The Mavic Air is reasonably priced and has a few advantages over the more expensive Mavic Pro.

In this DJI Mavic Air vs Pro review, we can safely say if you’re looking for an awesome drone without spending a huge fortune, the Mavic Air is your best bet out of the two.

Final thoughts: Mavic Pro vs Mavic Air

We’ve come to the end of our Mavic Pro vs Mavic Air review.

We’ve found that DJI has taken all the best features of the Mavic Pro except the Ocusync technology and crammed it into a more compact, portable and lightweight unit.

They then added a few fun features of the Spark making the Mavic Air one of the best and most affordable video drones on the market.

However, the fact that it lacks OcuSync may turn others away.

On the other hand, the DJI Mavic Pro with OcuSync can connect to multiple controllers and Goggles simultaneously.

While the DJI Mavic Air has quite a few advantages over the Mavic Pro, the better drone is the one that best suits your needs.

The choice is tough between the two but take your time and perform some research on your own as well before making a purchase.

You can read more on the dji mavic air by clicking on the link or check out other photography drones in the best drone with camera post.

Drone

Features

Price

DJI - Mavic Pro Quadcopter with Remote Controller - Gray
  • Control Range: 8 miles
  • Flight Time: 27 minutes
  • Weight: 1.62 pounds
DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller - Arctic...
  • Control Range: 6.2 miles
  • Flight Time: 21 minutes
  • Weight: 15.2 Ounces

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