The DJI Mavic Air 2S is a great entry-level professional drone, with a 1-Inch sensor, shooting 10-Bit Video at 5.4 K, and 20 Megapixel photos with HDR and RAW starting at $999. While great in many aspects, it’s helpful to be aware of some of the common problems before purchasing.
The most common problems with the DJI Mavic Air 2S include vision sensor errors, focus problems, tablet connections issues, poor low-light camera performance, issues with binding the transmitter to the drone, and a fixed aperture.
Problems like those mentioned above are a combination of Quality Control issues from DJI and the fact that this is an entry-level drone. Details of these problems and potential fixes are discussed below.
1. Vision sensor errors
With Omnidirectional vision sensors all around, this drone can automatically avoid obstacles in specific flight modes. This great feature is only as good as the software and hardware that controls those sensors.
Many Air 2S owners report that different visual and infrared sensors give errors right out of the box.
To address this issue, DJI suggests uninstalling and reinstalling the DJI app from your phone/tablet and performing a firmware update/reset to see if this fixes the problem.
In my experience, I do recommend trying DJI’s solutions before going any further, as that generally does help some.
If DJI’s remedy does not work, the root cause is most likely:
- Firmware issue on the sensor itself
- Hardware failure (lousy sensor)
- Bad sensor cable/disconnected cable
To fix problems caused by the above issues, I recommend exchanging the drone for a new one or contacting DJI for warranty repair. DJI does not recommend replacing the parts yourself, and no one besides DJI can fix most firmware issues.
2. Focus issues
The one-inch sensor gimbal on the Air 2S is excellent for most photo and video needs. When in autofocus mode, you can focus just by tapping on your mobile device screen where you want the camera to focus.
Or you may use manual focus mode and move the on-screen slider to fix the focus right where you want.
Some Air 2S users report the camera will only focus on objects extremely close to the camera.
Restarting the drone and DJI Fly App fixes the problem for many pilots, but if it continues, it can be a sign of a deeper hardware problem. There is no known way to fix this focus problem on your own.
If the problem persists, you should reach out to a qualified repair shop, send the drone to DJI for repair, or exchange it for a new Air 2S.
3. Tablet connections issues for Android and iOS – “RC Not Connected to Mobile Device.”
Using a mobile device to view your drone’s camera feed and telemetry data is necessary to capture the photos or videos you want. What do you do when you cannot get the app to recognize when your tablet or phone is connected to your transmitter?
DJI’s recommendation is:
- Uninstall and reinstall the DJI Fly application
- Try using a different cable to connect to the transmitter.
- Try another mobile device.
When those steps don’t work, the only fix is to send off the drone to DJI for repair or have a qualified technician, replace a part of the transmitter(or the entire transmitter), or exchange the drone for a new one.
4. Poor low light performance
The one-inch sensor on the Mavic Air 2S is better than the smaller sensors on the Mavic Mini or even the original Mavic Pro. However, low light performance does not compare to even the Mavic 2 Pro’s Hasselblad sensor of the same size.
If you intend to fly the Air 2S at night, you may be disappointed in how high you need to raise the ISO to capture what you want, which will lead to grainy footage and photos, causing you to need to do heavy post-processing to have usable pictures and videos.
The best way to address this issue is to use professional editing software like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom if you need to fly at night with the Air 2S. To clear up grainy video footage, using the Neat Video Plugin for Adobe Premiere is highly recommended as you can clear up high ISO noise and retain clarity.
5. Unable to connect the controller to Air 2S
The controller for the Air 2S is bound to the drone when you first get it from DJI, allowing for easy control of your drone while in the air.
Many users report that the controller will lose its bind during firmware updates. Or you may want to use the same controller on a backup drone.
To re-bind the controller, complete the following steps:
- Turn on the drone and controller.
- Connect your mobile device to the controller.
- Launch the DJI Fly app.
- Once in the camera view, tap the Settings button.
- Select Control, then select Pair to Aircraft (link).
- Press and hold the power button on the drone for more than four seconds, causing the drone to beep once, indicating it is ready to link.
- The aircraft will then beep twice, indicating linking is complete.
- The battery indicators on the controller will light up, showing the current battery level.
Try pairing a few times if unsuccessful the first time. If you continue to be unable to link the drone to the controller, do a firmware update using DJI Assistant on both the controller and the drone, and try again.
If you are unsuccessful, you will likely need to send the drone off for repair or exchange it for a new one.
6. Fixed Aperture
The lens on the Air 2S is a 22mm equivalent with an 88º field of view. This wide lens works great for most needs, but the aperture is fixed at f/2.8.
With no adjustment allowed, this limits the depth of field you can create in your photos and videos. While not a deal-breaker for most users, this requires you to adjust shutter speed and ISO to get the exposure you want.
This is more of a limiting factor for cinema use, but having good ND filters helps overcome exposure issues while keeping the shutter speed where you want for quality footage.
If you really need a variable aperture for your drone shoot, it’s worth picking up a drone that has this capability like the Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 3, or Inspire 2.