While most of South Africa was trying to enjoy yesterday’s Freedom Day public holiday under lockdown, DJI introduced a new drone to its ever-growing lineup with the Mavic Air 2.

The new offering is more than just an incremental update though, with the drone’s array of specifications and video shooting capabilities all getting a significant upgrade compared to the original Mavic Air. As such it should prove a tempting device for drone enthusiasts, content creators or prosumers.

So what is it packing?

In the two years since the first Mavic Air took flight, DJI has improved upon a number of elements, with the most immediate to jump out being the new camera, battery life and flight time.

The new sensor is a 48MP one, with a fixed 28mm f/2.8 setup. The default setting on the Mavic Air 2 will take 12MP-sized images for users, but that can be bumped up to the full resolution, which will naturally impact how quickly the memory gets filled up.

Shifting to video, the Air 2 can shoot up to 4K at 60fps, with HDR-enabled 4K available at 30fps. There isn’t fully fledged 8K video recording on hand, but the Air 2 can export 8K time lapses (Hyperlapse as DJI terms it), if that’s your thing.

While 8K on all shooting modes is not available presently, DJI does say a June update will change that.

In terms of battery life, the Mavic Air 2 features a 3 500mAh unit. This yields an estimated flight time of 34 minutes, with it dropping slightly to 33 minutes when there are windy conditions.

Having used previous DJI drones in the past, we recommended opting for the Fly More pack which adds another battery to the mix, along with a charging hub for up to three units.

As for when you’ll be able to purchase the Mavic Air 2 locally, DJI has not revealed specifics outside of the US for now. The same goes for price, with the Mavic Air 2 costing $799 (~R15 068) Stateside, and the Fly More bundle going for $988 (~R18 633).

For now we’ll have to wait to see when it will be arriving locally, but there is indeed something for drone enthusiasts to look forward to post-lockdown.