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DJI Avata vs. DJI Air 2S (Here’s my Choice)

The newly released DJI Avata is causing some buzz among drone users. That’s because it combines the features of an FPV drone and a camera drone.

But is it as good as previous camera drones, such as the DJI Air 2S? This article explores that in detail.

But briefly, between the DJI Avata and DJI Air 2S, which one is better?

The DJI Air 2S has a better camera, longer flight time, more intelligent flight modes, and overall stability necessary for a photography and videography drone.

DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo with Smart Controller
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Drone with 4K Camera, 5.4K Video, 1-Inch CMOS Sensor, 4 Directions of Obstacle Sensing, 31-Min Flight Time, Max 7.5-Mile Video Transmission, Gray.

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03/07/2024 02:16 pm GMT

The DJI Avata is faster, more agile, and has more stabilization and works best for those looking for an FPV drone or those who want to film chase videos.

DJI Avata Pro-View Combo
$1,399.00

DJI Avata + Intelligent Flight Battery, DJI Goggles 2 + Battery, DJI Motion Controller.

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03/07/2024 02:31 am GMT

Please keep reading to learn which of these two drones is best for your activities.

DJI Avata vs. DJI Air 2S – Overview

The DJI Avata is the newest DJI drone at the time of writing this, and their second FPV drone after the DJI FPV drone.

While it has some improvements, such as a better camera, higher resolution, and better FPV experience, it doesn’t entirely replace the DJI FPV.

However, these improvements make it fit into more industries than the DJI FPV. But how does it measure up to the DJI Air 2S?

The DJI Air 2S came in 2021 as an upgrade to the DJI Mavic Air 2.

The Mavic drones are a long line of high-performance photography and videography drones which often find use cases in industries like real estate, wedding photography, inspections, and even drone mapping.

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DJI Avata vs. DJI Air 2S – Detailed Analysis

Let’s look at how these drones compare based on their main features and what or who they were made for.

Size, Weight, and Design

Considering these drones are made for different purposes, it’s understandable that their designs should be different.

The DJI Air 2S is a drone in the Mavic series. That explains the foldable design, larger propellers to lift its weight off the ground, front, back, top, and sideways sensors, and an overall design similar to the previous DJI Mavic Air.

On the other hand, the DJI Avata comes with an enclosed design, and instead of unfolding arms, it has smaller propellers enclosed in inbuilt propeller guards.

Looking at these drones from the outside, the DJI Avata is built to be more rugged and works best in areas where there might be numerous obstacles.

But the DJI Air 2 S compensates for all these with the inbuilt sensors (more on this later).

In terms of size, these drones are almost the same size.

The DJI Air 2S measures 180*253*77 MM (LWH) while unfolded, while the Avata measures 180*180*80 MM (LWH). But when folded, the Air 2S’s width reduces to 97 MM, making it easier to pack.

While the DJI Avata seems larger in some aspects, it is lighter since it weighs 410 grams, while the DJI Air 2S weighs 595 grams.

The extra weight of the DJI Air 2S is an added advantage since it means it can withstand stronger winds better than the Avata.

Gimbal design and image stabilization

The gimbal design is one of the most significant deal-breakers between these two drones. The DJI Air 2S has a 3-axis gimbal design, while the DJI Avata has a single-axis gimbal design. To understand how different these are, let’s look at how they work.

A 3-axis gimbal stabilizes the camera in the roll, pan (yaw), and tilt.

The yaw stabilizes the camera when you film the subject as you move horizontally, the tilt stabilizes the camera as you film an object moving vertically up or down, and the roll stabilizes the camera as the drone moves forward horizontally.

However, while 3-axis gimbals are the most ideal, there is one flaw. They stabilize the image by zooming in and out and re-cropping the footage. So, if you are making quick turns, there will be too much zooming, making it unsuitable for an FPV drone.

That explains why the DJI Avata has a single-axis gimbal. Instead of zooming in and out to keep the horizon level, a single-axis gimbal will keep the drone focused on the horizon regardless of the orientation or acrobatic movements.

As a result, you end up with a larger FOV and more stable footage, regardless of the movements. And if you check these drones’ specs, the DJI Avata does have a larger FOV (155 degrees) than the DJI Air 2S (88 degrees).

In addition to the single-axis gimbal, DJI added RockSteady and HorizonSteady image stabilization technologies. RockSteady stabilizes the image, while the HorizonSteady complements the gimbal to make the horizon seem level as you fly the drone.

One ideal scenario where an FPV drone with a single-axis gimbal would be helpful is when you are chasing fast-moving objects.

You have to turn a lot and still keep the subject in the frame and the horizon level and stabilize the image when moving at high speeds, as shown in the video below:

DJI has designed the Avata to have all these features built-in.

But for slower videos where you don’t have to turn a lot (which accounts for the majority of drone footage), the DJI Air 2S’s 3-axis gimbal still takes the day.

Camera

Besides the FOV and gimbal design, the DJI Avata and DJI Air 2S have other notable differences regarding the camera.

Sensor size

The DJI Air 2S has a larger sensor (1 inch CMOS) compared to the DJI Avata’s 1/1.7 inch sensor. Larger sensors mean better images even in lower light conditions since more light goes into the camera.

Image resolution

Secondly, the DJI Air 2S offers 20MP still images, while the DJI Avata can offer up to 48 MP still images. Well, you may wonder, “Isn’t 48MP of higher quality or detail than the 20MP?” Not exactly.

That’s because the DJI Avata uses the Quad Bayer technology, which takes 12MP images and uses the pixel-binning technology to make them 48MP.

This technology has worked with several other drones, including the DJI Mavic Air 2, the Air 2S’s predecessor, but it has its flaws.

For instance, zooming is limited with pixel-binning, and you may not always get the best detail in the images. Pure 20MP images from the DJI Air 2S still look better in most cases than those from the DJI Avata.

Video resolution

Both drones can shoot in 4K at 60fps and 1080p at slow motion, but the larger sensor in the DJI Air 2S enables it to produce slightly better footage than the DJI Avata.

Better still, the DJI Air 2S has the added advantage of shooting in 5.2K at 30fps. While it only looks like a 1.2k difference, the pixel number shows the real difference.

A 5.2K video has 5280*2972 pixels dimensions, resulting in 15,692,160 pixels or 15.7 megapixels.

A 4K video is equal to 3840*2160 pixels which results in 8.3 megapixels.

As you can see, 5.2K is almost double the size of the 4K.

ISO range

While you can always get the best shots at ISO values of between 100 and 500, both drones offer a comprehensive ISO range in both Manual and Auto modes.

  • DJI Air 2S – ISO value 100 to 3200 in Auto and 100 to 6400 in Manual mode.
  • DJI Avata – ISO values 100 to 2500 in Auto and 100 to 25600 in Manual mode.

Color profile

While both the DJI Avata and DJI Air 2S produce usable footage or footage you can manipulate in post-production, you are likely to get better results with the DJI Air 2S.

Why? The DJI Air 2S uses the D-Log color profile, while the DJI Avata shoots in D-Cinelike.

The difference between these two profiles is that D-Cinelike has a broad range of colors that come with the footage right from the SD card.

D-Log is flat, and you will have to do a lot of editing with video editing software to apply contrast and accurate coloring.

Another difference is that D-Cinelike preserves the edges, while D-Log is designed to make the edges look better and brighter. Since D-Log is flatter, it gives you more room for editing and manipulating the footage, producing better results.

In addition to using D-Log, the DJI Air 2S also shoots in 10-bit, which translates to more colors available during editing than DJI Avata’s 8-bit.

Internal storage

Internal storage isn’t much of a deal-breaker since you can always (and should) get third-party SD cards, but it’s an added advantage if you forget them at home, or if they don’t have enough space.

The DJI Avata comes with 20 GB of internal storage while the Air 2S has 8GB, both of which can store a considerable amount of footage when need be.

Intelligent flight modes

In addition to a better camera, the DJI Air 2S comes with advanced intelligent flight modes such as:

  • FocusTrack (ActiveTrack, Point Of Interest, and Spotlight)
  • Quickshots
  • Mastershots
  • Hyperlapse
  • Waypoints

Each mode has different ways to launch them, allowing you to make cinematic footage easily.

But with the DJI Avata, to create shots similar to or close to the intelligent flight modes in the DJI Mavic 3, you need to be very skilled at flying FPV.

Range

The DJI Avata and the DJI Air 2S come with DJI’s state-of-the-art transmission system known as OcuSync.

However, the Air 2S has the OcuSync 3 since it was released over a year before the Avata, and the DJI Avata has a more upgraded version known as the OcuSync 3+.

DJI mainly improved the bitrate and transmission power with the new transmission system and enabled Wi-Fi transmission.

With that in mind, below are the ranges you can expect from these drones depending on your region’s frequency regulations.

ProtocolDJI AvataDJI Air 2S
FCC6 Miles7.4 Miles
CE1.2 Miles5 Miles
SRRC3.7 Miles5 Miles

Despite having the latest transmission system, the DJI Avata seems to have less range than the DJI Air 2S, especially in the CE and SRRC regions. This explains why some range testers experienced cut-offs after flying some distance from the controller.

Luckily, the DJI Avata is also compatible with the previous DJI FPV goggles, which use the OcuSync 3.0, so you may bet better range with those.

But as far as range is concerned in this comparison, you will experience longer ranges and stronger connections with the Air 2S.

Safety

DJI is known for its advanced safety features, such as obstacle detection, collision avoidance, and vision sensors, which you will find in the DJI Air 2S.

But if they were to add all these features to an FPV drone, it wouldn’t really qualify as an FPV drone. That’s because FPV flight is manual, and it’s up to the pilot to mind the drone’s safety.

That’s why, unlike the all-direction obstacle detection and avoidance in the Air 2S, you only have downwards sensors in the DJI Avata.

Combined with the propeller guards, the lack of all-direction obstacle sensors makes the Avata the perfect drone for tight areas or indoor shoots.

However, both drones have ADS-B, a feature that detects and warns drone pilots of any oncoming low-flying manned aircraft.

Battery and flight time

Again, the main difference here stems from what these drones were made for. The DJI Avata leans more towards an FPV drone than a camera drone.

And if you have flown FPV drones, you’ll know that they are designed to burst at high speeds and fly for only a few minutes.

The DJI Avata has an 18-minute flight time thanks to the 2420 mAh battery. This is more than most FPV or Cinewhoop drones can offer.

On the other hand, the DJI Air 2S is designed to create the best footage possible. And you will want to stay aloft longer to take more footage or cover a whole event, which explains the 3750mAh battery and 31-minute flight time.

Speed

Being an FPV drone, you can expect the DJI Avata to be faster, achieving speeds of up to 62 mph (27m/s) when in Manual Mode, 31 mph (14 m/s) in Sport Mode, and 17 mph in Normal mode (5 m/s).

But the DJI Air 2S isn’t that slow in comparison, achieving speeds of up to 19 m/s when in Sport mode, 15 m/s when in Normal mode, and 5 m/s when in Cine mode.

The DJI Air 2S is designed to fly fast in Sport mode to get to where you want to film, then use the Cine or Normal mode to create smooth footage.

On the other hand, the DJI Avata is designed to fly fast as it tracks a fast-moving object while stabilizing the footage.

Controllers

Are you looking for an immersive flight experience and a control method out of this world?

Then you will love the DJI Avata. It comes with a Motion Controller that allows you to control the drone with your hand, and the DJI Goggles 2 that allows you to control the drone through head movements.

But to access features like Manual mode, you will need the DJI RC FPV controller.

As if the immersive experience isn’t fascinating enough, you can view it in up to 4K at 60fps.

On the other hand, the DJI Air 2S comes with the standard RC-N1 controller, similar to the one on the Mini 2, and you can only view the footage by connecting your smartphone to the controller.

However, DJI has a smart controller, which you can get alongside the DJI Air 2S.

This smart controller has an inbuilt screen where you can view the live footage but no immersive experience like the DJI Avata. And the resolution on the smartphone or smart controller will be 1080p at 30fps.

Price

How much do these two drones cost, and are they worth it? Let’s find out.

The DJI Air 2S starts at $999 for the drone, controller, one battery, propellers, and all necessary accessories as a complete package.

DJI also offers a Fly More Combo, which includes the drone, three batteries, a charging hub, a bag, and ND filters, all for $1299.

The DJI Avata starts at $1,168 for the drone, motion controller, and DJI Goggles V2 (similar to the ones on the FPV), or $1,388 if you want the new Goggles 2.

If you already had the DJI FPV, you’d be in luck since all you’ll need to do is buy the drone, which costs $629.

But if this is your first FPV drone, you will have to pay at least $1,168. You can also get the Fly More kit for $279, which includes two extra batteries and a charging hub.

I believe the DJI Air 2S offers the best value, especially if you are only looking for a camera drone.

For $1,299, you will have everything you need to get started, while for the Avata, you will have to spend an extra $279 for the Fly More kit and an extra $250 for the controller since it only comes with the motion controller.

DJI Avata vs. DJI Air 2S – Which One Should You Get?

You must first understand what you need the drone for before you can choose between these two drones.

If you want an immersive experience, want to film chase videos, or want to join the world of FPV, then DJI Avata is a perfect choice.

If you want to do professional photography for industries like real estate and are looking for a drone that will produce the best footage possible for less than $2,000, then you should go with the DJI Air 2S.

The pricing and learning curve involved in flying an FPV also makes the DJI Avata more expensive and not ideal for a beginner looking for their first drone.