Versatile dual-camera DJI Air 3 flies faster and for longer
DJI has announced the follow up to 2021's Air 2S folding camera drone, doubling the cameras up front, extending flight time and video transmission range, and the Air 3 is the first in the series to feature omnidirectional obstacle detection.
"The DJI Air 3 is the first drone of our Air Series which offers professional features like dual primary cameras and omnidirectional obstacle sensing and at the same time retaining its lightweight capabilities with a weight of just 720g for more freedom and flexibility," said DJI's Creative Director, Ferdinand Wolf. "The drone is the perfect all-rounder for your outdoor adventures and offers you a more diverse camera language."
As mentioned above, the stabilized gimbal is home to two primary cameras. The wide angle unit is built around a 1/1.3-inch CMOS image sensor offering a 24-mm format-equivalent focal length and F1.7 aperture, and the medium telephoto with 3x optical zoom also feeds a 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor but sports a 70-mm focal length and F2.8 aperture.
Both are capable of 48-megapixel images and 4K HDR video at 60 frames per second, with support for 10-bit D-Log and HLG color. The new drone is also the first in the Air series to support 2.7K vertical video for immediate sharing on socials.
FocusTrack combines three technologies to keep a subject in the center of the frame, one of which is the latest version of ActiveTrack 5.0 for automated flight and return-to-home functionality. There's a Night Mode that bumps the ISO from 6,400 to 12,800 for shooting 4K video in low light locations, along with slow-motion modes. Content can be wirelessly sent to a smartphone courtesy of QuickTransfer, and the LightCut app can select high points from footage while also adding effects is required.
The omnidirectional sensing chops shape up as fisheye vision sensors at the front and back of the Air 3 to cover forward, rear, left and right angles while the bottom comes with binocular lenses and a 3D ToF sensor. If the setup registers an obstacle, APAS 5.0 kicks in to zip around it.
Horizontal flight speed has increased from 19 m/s with the 2S to 21 m/s, and ascent/descent has also bumped from 6 m/s to 10 m/s. The Air 3 boasts the latest generation of the company's video transmission system, with the O4 technology enabling stable Full HD live feeds at 60 fps to be sent over a distance of up to 20 km (12.5 miles).
DJI has boosted the flight time from 31 to 46 minutes, which was determined by DJI after testing the drone in a windless environment at a constant 28.8 km/h (17 mph). An optional charging hub can top up three batteries at the same time, and now supports a power accumulation function where the battery holding the most charge can draw from the others to give "pilots the freedom and flexibility to make the most out of their flight during for example hiking in the mountains or biking in the forest, where charging possibilities are limited."
The Air 3 folds down to 207 x 100.5 x 91.1-mm (8.15 x 3.95 x 3.58-in) dimensions for easy transport in a backpack, and tips the scales at 720 g (25.4 oz). With a RC-N2 remote, the drone can be had for US$1,099. A Fly More bundle including two more batteries and a charging hub comes in at $1,349, and that same package but with a RC 2 controller (which features a built-in 5.5-inch 1080p display) is priced at $1,549. The video below has more.
Product page: DJI Air 3