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DJI’s Air 2S vs Mavic 3 Comparison Guide: Specs, Prices, & More

DJI’s Air 2S vs Mavic 3 Comparison Guide: Specs, Prices, & More

If you're on the hunt for a powerful drone, you can't go wrong with any of the impressive options from the acclaimed tech company DJI. This global leader is the force behind some of today's most innovative models, including the DJI Mavic 3 and the DJI Air 2S.


Released in April 2021, the Air 2S aims to provide a middle ground between popular options such as the DJI Mavic Air 2 and the Mavic 2 Pro. The Mavic 3 was released soon after in November 2021 and has already received considerable praise for its performance, even as compared to other DJI products.


In most cases, the decision to opt for a DJI drone is simple. Things get more complicated as you determine which DJI model is right for you. Key factors include size, camera performance, flight modes, and features such as obstacle avoidance. To help you weigh your options, we've highlighted all the details of the Mavic 3 and the Air 2S below:

Drone Design

Both the Mavic 3 and the Air 2S have sleek designs that are simultaneously practical and attractive. Foldable functionality is a big deal, as it makes drone ownership far more convenient for users who are short on space. This is an especially noteworthy function for the Mavic 3, as the Air 2S is compact even when unfolded.


We will get into detailed specs below, but for now, it's enough to know that the Mavic 3 has a larger sensor and is more sizable in general. From an aesthetic standpoint, however, there's a lot to love about both. Design considerations ultimately come down to sizing preferences.

Specs & Features

Unfolded, the Air 2S has a width of 253 mm, versus 97 mm when folded. The height is always 77 mm, but the length increases by a mere 3 mm when the drone is unfolded. At 595 grams, it's an appealingly lightweight option.


The Mavic 3 spans 221×96×90 mm when folded or 347×283×107 mm when unfolded. It weighs 895 grams but maneuvers easily, outpacing the Air 2S in terms of maximum ascent and horizontal speeds. The difference might seem small (46.6 miles per hour for the Mavic 3 versus 42.5 for the Air 2S) but this modest boost allows for more dynamic footage.

Camera Performance

Dual-camera functionality sets the Mavic 3 apart. The main camera has a 4/3 complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensor that produces 20 MP and frame rates of up to 50fps for 5.1K or 120fps with 4K.


The vast sensor on the Mavic 3 makes it a wonderful option for capturing images or footage in low light. The smaller, additional camera has a sensor that spans half an inch. Meanwhile, the f/2.8-f/11 aperture promises exceptional image quality.


The camera on the Air 2S gets the job done, but it's definitely not as desirable as the Mavic 3's dual-camera setup. The Air 2S relies on a fixed f/2.8 aperture, which limits the ability to control exposure. As such, neutral-density filters are essential.


Frame rates for the Air 2S reach 30fps for 5.4K, versus 60fps for 2.7K or 4K. This drone clearly diverges from the Mavic 3 with its 1-inch sensor. This limits the practicality of the drone in low light, but you may be surprised by how similarly excellent image and video quality are for the Air 2S during the day.

Battery Life

The most impressive drone camera will do you little good if you can't get enough battery life to score the right shot. The Mavic 3 is sure to please with its 5000 mAh, which delivers up to 46 minutes of flight time. The capacity on the Air 2S is decidedly less, at just 3750 mAh. This produces just over half an hour of flight time. For many users, this will be sufficient, but the Mavic 3 definitely provides an edge.


When determining how much flight time is necessary, it's also important to consider the faster speed of the Mavic 3, as this allows you to get more done in less time. What's more, the Mavic 3 is equipped with an Advanced Return to Home (RTH) feature that goes way beyond the RTH provided by its predecessors. This allows the drone to quickly determine the most efficient route to the initial takeoff location, even factoring in wind speed. 

Remote Controller

The remote controller is an important consideration when selecting a drone, but it probably won't make the difference when choosing between the Air 2S and the Mavic 3. After all, both rely on the RC-N1 controller — and both take advantage of the DJI Fly app. Some users may prefer to upgrade to the DJI smart controller, but the RC-N1 should be sufficient for most.


When examining controllers, transmission distance must be taken into account. This is where the Mavic 3 stands out, with a total of 15 km, versus just 12 km for the Air 2S.

Price

If price is your top consideration, you can't go wrong with the Air 2S, which can be found for $1,000. This is actually reasonable for a drone of this quality. That being said, you'll likely need to level up this particular drone with various accessories or battery packs, which cost extra. Options such as the Fly More Bundle provide considerable savings when you account for all the extras you might otherwise need to purchase separately.


The Mavic 3 is far pricier, requiring an investment of at least $2,199. If you opt for the premium Cine edition, you'll more than double your investment to a cool $4,999. As such, you'll want to feel 100 percent confident in this drone before you shell out for it. This high price tag will not be a big deal to some videographers, as the Cine edition is accompanied by ProRes 422 HQ support.


For casual photographers or videographers, price alone will make the Air 2S a far more compelling choice than either of the Mavic 3 options. At the professional level, an exceptional CMOS sensor and added flight time make the Mavic 3 a worthy rival.

Protect And Customize Your Drone With MightySkins

Ready to invest in the perfect DJI drone? Don't forget to order a customized skin or wrap from MightySkins. This adds a dose of personality to your drone while also protecting it from the elements. Check out our unique skins and wraps today or get started with your own design.

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