Finally Sony has showcased and revealed their UAV during the CES 2021. It is a quadcopter capable of carrying its Alpha Range of cameras. Like the Inspire 2, it carries 2 batteries for redundancy and safety purpose.
Although Sony has not release the specs of the drone, it is likely to have a flight time of 15-20mins based on the payload and size of the batteries. It should also be capable of flying at least 70-80km/h. This drone also allows dual pilot system where one person controls the flight the other controls the main camera gimbal.
As for the price range, it should be around the price of the Inspire 2 Advance Kit. My guess will be about US$9500 if it is released. It will be interesting to see what kind of lens can fit onto the gimbal.
So where does this drone fits into the industry? In my opinion, Airpeak tries to hit one level above the Inspire 2 series like the m600, but with a smaller footprint and a lower cost. As an aerial videographer, I often received request to film footages using the same camera as the ground shots. With only Inspire 2, Phantom 4 pro and Mavic 2 Pro in our inventory, we are unable to provide that service. Technically, we can deploy the m600, but the size and high maintenance cost makes it not practical. I am excited to see how the Airpeak can bridge that gap, and at what cost?
Sony has indicated her intention to enter the UAV filming industry, going to compete with DJI directly. Sony has traditionally been supplying imaging sensors to DJI’s camera, and now she has decided to make her own flying camera. Will Sony be successful or will she crash and burn like GoPro?
Personally, I am really excited and believe that Sony has the ability to make their own UAV and also to make their own processor and sensors without relying on a 3rd party. If Sony can bring their industry leading camera technology to their flying cameras, it may potentially bite off a big chunk of business from DJI. Now filmmakers can shoot with the same color profile from their ground cameras to their flying cameras.
Beating DJI in this industry is not going to be easy. DJI has already deeply captured the market and has many years of experience in making the world best gimbal. Can Sony create the same or better gimbal?
This is going to be exciting. Competition in the market is always good for consumers. It will bring about new innovation! Let’s see what Sony can offer in Spring 2021! Check out: https://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/airpeak/ for more details.
Max Transmission Distance (unobstructed, free of interference) 
10 km (FCC) 6 km (CE) 6 km (SRRC) 6 km (MIC)
Signal Transmission Ranges (FCC) 
Strong Interference (urban landscape, limited line of sight, many competing signals): Approx. 3 km Medium Interference (suburban landscape, open line of sight, some competing signals): Approx. 6 km Low Interference (open landscape abundant line of sight, few competing signals): Approx. 10 km
Operating Temperature: 10° to 40° C (14° to 104° F)
Voltage: 1200 mA 3.7 V (Android) 700 mA 3.7 V (iOS)
Supported Mobile Device Size: Max length: 92 mm
Supported USB Port Types: LightningMicro USB (Type-B) USB-C
Video Transmission System: OcuSync 2.0
Live View Quality: Remote Controller: 720p/30fps
Max Bitrate: 8 Mbps
Latency (depending on environmental conditions and mobile device): About 200 ms
Input: 100-240 V, 50/60 Hz, 0.5 A
Output: 12V 1.5 A / 9V 2A / 5V 3A
Rated Power: 18 W
Intelligent Flight Battery
Battery Capacity: 2250 mAh
Voltage: 7.7 V
Charging Voltage Limit: 8.8 V
Battery Type: LiPo 2S
Energy: 17.32 Wh
Weight: 86.2 g
Charging Temperature: 5° to 40°C (41° to 104°F)
Max Charging Power: 29 W
Name: DJI Fly
Required Operating System: iOS v10.0 or laterAndroid v6.0 or later
Supported SD Cards
Supported SD Cards
UHS-I Speed Class 3 or above is required. A list of recommended microSD cards can be found below.
Recommended microSD Cards
16 GB: SanDisk Extreme 32 GB: Samsung Pro Endurance, Samsung Evo Plus, SanDisk Industrial, SanDisk Extreme V30 A1, SanDisk Extreme V30 A2, SanDisk Extreme Pro V30 A1, SanDisk Extreme Pro V30 A2, Lexar 633x, Lexar 667x 64 GB: Samsung Pro Endurance, Samsung Evo Plus, SanDisk Extreme V30 A1, SanDisk Extreme V30 A2, Lexar 633x, Lexar 667x, Lexar 1000x, Lexar High Endurance, Toshiba EXCERIA M303 V30 A1, Netac Pro V30 A1 128 GB: Samsung Pro Plus, Samsung Evo Plus, SanDisk Extreme V30 A1, SanDisk Extreme V30 A2, SanDisk Extreme Plus V30 A1, SanDisk Extreme Plus V30 A2, Lexar 633x, Lexar 667x, Lexar 1000x, Lexar High Endurance, Toshiba EXCERIA M303 V30 A1, Netac Pro V30 A1 256 GB: SanDisk Extreme V30 A1, SanDisk Extreme V30 A2
1. The standard weight of the aircraft (including battery, propellers, and a microSD card) is 242 grams. Actual poduct weight may vary. Registration is not required in some countries and regions. Check local rules and regulations before use. These specifications have been determined through tests conducted with the latest firmware. Firmware updates can enhance performance, so updating to the latest firmware is highly recommended. 2. Due to local policy and regulation restrictions, the 5.8 GHz frequency band is currently banned in certain countries, including but not limited to Japan, Russia, Israel, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. Please use the 2.4 GHz frequency band when operating in these locations. Always check local rules and regulations before use, as they may change over time. 3. Maximum flight range specification is a proxy for radio link strength and resilience, not aircraft battery capability. It only refers to the maximum, one-way flight distance. Data was measured in an open environment without interference. Please pay attention to the return prompt on the DJI Fly app during actual flight. Refer to the following applicable standard in different countries and regions: FCC: United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Chile, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and other regions; SRRC: Mainland China; CE: UK, Russia, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Macau, New Zealand, UAE, and other regions; MIC: Japan. 4. Data is tested under different standards in open areas free of interference. It only refers to the maximum, one-way flight distance without considering Return to Home. Please pay attention to RTH prompts in the DJI Fly app during the actual flight.
Today we have the full specs of that the Mavic Air 2 can do. I believe this is somewhat a response to Skydio R2 with the new FocusTrack which is said to be much more effective than the Mavic 2 active track 2.0. From the demo we can see that the Mavic Air 2 can navigate through a forest trail avoiding the trees and etc. See the video here
Is it worth for owners of Mavic 2 Pro / Zoom to buy the Mavic Air 2?
Well, I must say I was really tempted by the 4K60p video and the 48MP camera. But without the ability to adjust aperture, to do dolly zoom is a huge sacrifice for me. Also, a 1″ sensor vs a 1/2″ sensor is also a big sacrifice for night video. You notice there is no night video of the Mavic Air 2 produced by DJI, except for the hyper-lapse video which is a series of still photos and not video. HDR Video is a plus point if the user wants to use the footage straight out of the drone. However, for most production house they rather shot in D-log and do color grading in post-production.
There are definitely some nice cool features and a huge upgrade from the first Mavic Air, but compared to Mavic 2, it may not be a real upgrade in some sense for the pro videographer who wants more control. But for those who want to have their first UAV, the Mavic Air 2 is a great choice.
Some dealers are said to have already gotten stocks of this new drone and will be ready to sell them when DJI officially release it end of February 2020.
This update is critical as it addresses some of the key problems that the 200 series have. One of which is the transmission and control problem. There are many reports that the 200 series loses control from the pilots very often resulting in crashes. The 300 series will allow 2 pilots to be separated kilometres apart and one pilot can hand over control to another pilot remotely. This is a fascinating idea, it means the drone can fly from point A to B without returning to A to land.
Personally, I do hope that this drone can use the Zenmuse X7 DL lens mount. Then this drone can also be used for filming and not just industrial application. Another feature I will like to see is an all-round obstacle avoidance like the Mavic 2 pro.
Had the chance to have a maiden flight at Banyan tree Lang Co,Vietnam. Like flying all new drones I tend to be a bit more cautious in the beginning. The Mini jitter a bit when it took flight due to the strong wind, but it held it’s position.
Gaining a bit more confident, I started to push the drone forward to fly towards the sea. The image ways surprisingly stable, no drop in signal and etc. (Note that you have to keep the remote controller’s antenna perpendicular and face the mini directly.) I flew for about 1km and decide to turn it around as I am unsure if it can handle the monsoon wind. The speed is significantly slower then Mavic 2 pro but it is very stable.
One thing I notice that is really strange is the mini seems to report different height as it fly level. This is unlike Mavic 2 Pro’s experience. Not sure if this is a bug?
What I missed most from Mavic 2 pro is the ability to shoot panoramic photos, RAW photo and time lapse video.
This is a welcome move by CAAS to make the airspace of Singapore safer and for drone operator to fly more responsibly. Parents should also understand that UAV more than 250g is not a toy and can kill if not operated with care. It should not be bought as a present for young kids who do not understand what kind of harm it can cause to public. The question now on hand is, how difficult will it be for the general public to register their UAV? How much will it cost? Will this move cause Singapore to slow down in adoption of new technology?
Only time will tell. Let’s wait and see. Mean while, please fly safe!
This new Mavic mini is meant to replace the spark @US$399. A drone slightly larger then most mobile phone, capable of flying for about 25 to 30min, shoots 4K@30fps, a range of about 4km and weighs only 245g (means can fly leisurely in most places in Singapore without permit).
Will you buy one? Essentially, is a Mavic Pro in a small form factor.