DJI has launched the Mavic Air 2, a consumer-friendly drone that features a slightly larger 1/2-inch sensor (compared to the 1/2.3-inch sensor of the Mavic Air). It can capture 48mp photos and 4K 60fps videos. How is it for aerial 360 photos?
Here’s a product video:
The current Mavic Air takes 12mp photos and can take aerial 360 photos of 32 megapixels, so it might seem that the Mavic Air 2 should be able to take aerial 360 photos of 128 megapixels. Unfortunately it does not.
According to the specs, its spherical panoramas have a resolution of 8192 x 4096 (33.5 megapixels), less than a single shot from its still photo mode. That’s because the Mavic Air’s 48mp photos are produced through supersampling. The Mavic Air 2 takes multiple photos, stabilized with its gimbal, and the photos are combined to increase the apparent resolution to 48mp.
This method has worked well for cameras such as Olympus E-M5 Mk II, which takes multiple photos while using its sensor stabilization to shift the sensor with sub-pixel accuracy with each shot. The combined photo does produce significantly higher resolution. The difference here is that the Mavic Air’s photos will not be moved with sub-pixel accuracy. However, DPReview has a sample photo that does appear to show incredible detail. On the other hand, the photo is one where details could easily be filled in by AI or similar techniques. I’d like to see how it fares with a more complex scene, with non-repetitive elements.
In any case, it appears that the Mavic Air 2 cannot use supersampling for its aerial 360 photos, which have less resolution than even one of its supersampled photos. On the other hand, it appears that it is able to take multiple photos and combine them into HDR panoramas, and this appears to include its spherical panoramas.
If so, that would be a significant improvement from the Mavic Air. I’ll update this post when I get sample aerial 360 photos from the Mavic Air 2.
Meanwhile, an alternative option for capturing high resolution HDR aerial 360 photos is to use an XPhase Pro S, which can capture 135-megapixel 6-shot HDR photos, without ghosting.
WHERE TO BUY
If you’d like to get the Mavic Air 2, you can order direct from DJI. Thanks for using these links to support 360 Rumors at no additional cost to you so I can do more tests and reviews.x