“Holy smokes.”

So begins Casey Neistat’s review of the recently released DJI Mavic Air. And it only gets more complimentary from there.

 

To give the Mavic Air the proper scenery for its maiden voyage, Casey heads down to Bermuda’s pink sand beaches. That, and they have “more forgiving” drone laws than those enforced around his office in downtown NY.

With three other DJI products in tow for comparison–the Spark, the Mavic and the Phantom 4–Casey, along with Peter McKinnon, get to flying. Here’s some of the footage:

Upon the Air’s “maiden landing,” which Casey performs by landing it into his palm and swiftly rotating the body upside down, Casey exclaims: “Thaaat’s incredible, incredible. Initial review, initial response: everything you’d expect from a DJI drone.”

He concludes that as far flying goes, the Air is a “marked improvement” over its smaller cousin the Spark, while falling “in line with” its larger siblings the Mavic and Phantom 4.

“My favorite drone I’ve ever used.”

Back in the studio, Casey breaks down his reaction:

  • Elegance – “If I had to pick a word to describe the design of this thing, it would be elegant.” That goes not just for the body, which Casey applauds a feeling less like a toy in the way the Spark does, but also the accessories. The carrying case, he adds, feels like it should have a Chanel logo on it.
  • Design – The Air seems well thought out, as evidenced by its details. For Casey, the ones that stand out are the outward-folding landing gear and built-in gimbals. “It feels like DJI wanted to make a beautiful product in addition to one that works really well.”
  • Footage – “Stellar,” is Casey’s choice word here. More importantly, he says the Air crosses the “threshold” of diminishing returns wherein the “untrained eye won’t be able to tell the difference between the footage from this” and one from a much larger, more expensive, difficult-to-fly drone.
  • Drawbacks – Unlike most tech “journalists” out there, Casey isn’t afraid to temper his excitement with “minor” criticisms. He has two: 1. The lens protector is confusing to place back and a “pain in the ass” which he ultimately just threw out and 2. The air is awkward to fold and it feels like you “might be breaking it.”

Conclusion: 

Ultimately, Casey concludes, this is “my favorite done I’ve ever used” and it is likely going to replace “all the drones in my canon of hardware.” Further if you had told him three years ago he’d have this kind of recording power in such a tiny body packed with the ability to fly, he says, “I might not have believed you.”