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Air v. Pro - What am I missing?
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Airball
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I use the Mavic Pro for commercial stills and video. The consensus I’m seeing says the Air makes the Pro obsolete.  I don’t get it.  
  
  
The Air has a slower lens (2.8 versus 2.2) with less ISO range (1600 versus 3200). I’m not concerned about noise at the high end of the ISO range – that’s what Neat is for.
  
  
The field-of-view is wider on the Air (24mm versus 28mm equivalent), adding more spherical aberration. The Air has HDR, which you won’t use if you shoot RAW.
  
  
On the video side, the Air has a one-stop frame rate improvement at 2.7K, but you get the same result by shooting an ND filter on the MP. No difference at 4K.  
  
  
The Air has a higher bitrate (100 Mbps burst), but even at the 60 Mbps of the Mavic Pro you’re throttled by the write speed of your SD card i.e. looks like an improvement on paper but no real world benefit.
  
  
The Air has no OcuSync, less range, and shorter flight time. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great for what it is, but why would I replace my MP with it?
  
  
I’m not trolling, I’m genuinely asking if there’s something I’m not understanding that’s leading people to say the Air is superior to the Mavic Pro.  
  

2018-1-23
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dspecgsx
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Nobody said it was superior....but it's cheaper.
2018-1-23
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Nebuchadnezzar
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i prefer Mavic Pro ... without air
2018-1-23
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Fedway
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I think that you are right on target.  The Air is positioned between the Spark and the Mavic Pro.  I don't think that it was ever intended as a Mavic Pro replacement, but it may be a better fit for someone looking for something a bit more capable than a Spark on a tighter budget.  I expect that we are going to see an update to the Mavic Pro pretty soon that will clear up DJI's product positioning.
2018-1-23
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MiniPalourde
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Is it cheaper than the MP though? I heard it was 799 USD but is that with the RC?
2018-1-23
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Mikedefieslife
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The slower lens is going to be a benefit unless you're flying at night. Nearly everyone flies their drones in daylight, to get 58/50fps which many will want for a more natural look to their films, you need a ND filter anyhow, so slower lens there will be more times where you can forego this filter, or use a lighter filter. For the same reason, the ISO doesn't matter too much either. Yet, the difference in 60mbs vs 100mbs is massive. The Mavic Pro is badly restricted by its bitrate especially in shots with more detail. The increase in bitrate should help that enormously, and certainly give more leeway when colour correcting.
2018-1-23
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alex_bogdi1988
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I love the fact that it has the rear object avoidance and some of the features like the 32mb photo mode, BUT the lack of OccuSync and the lower flight time is a killer for me. I am waiting for the Mavic 2, which should come out this year. I am sure DJI will make it a lot better as it needs to compete with the Autel drone now.
2018-1-23
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JensIR
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It is not a Mavic, it is a "Spark Pro"  
2018-1-24
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DroneFlying
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The consensus I’m seeing says the Air makes the Pro obsolete.

What source(s) of information led you to believe that there is such a consensus? You're actually the first person I've seen suggest that.
2018-1-24
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Airball
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DroneFlying Posted at 2018-1-24 03:43
The consensus I’m seeing says the Air makes the Pro obsolete.

What source(s) of information led you to believe that there is such a consensus? You're actually the first person I've seen suggest that.

That’s just my observation after watching a dozen ‘review’ videos. Very unscientific. Problem is, I don’t trust that we’re getting legit comparisons – who’s going to say anything negative about the Air and risk not getting any more free drones from DJI?

In the TomsTechTime videos, the stuff from the Air looked really good. But in the Casey Neistat video (with 200% and 500% crops), the footage from the Air looked terrible compared to the Pro. So who knows.

My fear is that DJI has shot themselves in the foot. They may have been trying to fill in a gap in their product line, but in reality they may have killed both the Spark and the Mavic Pro.

Who in their right mind is going to buy a Spark now? And if people are persuaded by the vlogers, and unless we see reasons to the contrary, I think very few people will by buying a Pro over an Air.

If that’s the case, it won’t be good for DJI and by extension, for DJI customers. I don’t know if it’s possible to give the Mavic Pro a 100 Mbps bitrate via firmware update, but if it is, DJI should do it to avoid losing those customers.  
2018-1-24
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A CW
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It's not being presented or marketed as superior or even a replacement of the Mavic Pro - it's an additional model in the DJI line up thats sits above the Spark and below the Mavic Pro but has latest tech i.e. flight autonomy 2.0 and new flight modes. It's not a pro grade drone but looks like the best mini drone out there today!  And no, it's not better than the MP/P.
2018-1-24
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Airball
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A CW Posted at 2018-1-24 06:04
It's not being presented or marketed as superior or even a replacement of the Mavic Pro - it's an additional model in the DJI line up thats sits above the Spark and below the Mavic Pro but has latest tech i.e. flight autonomy 2.0 and new flight modes. It's not a pro grade drone but looks like the best mini drone out there today!  And no, it's not better than the MP/P.

"And no, it's not better than the MP/P."

Why though? Perception is reality and while DJI (obviously) isn't promoting the Air as a Mavic killer, the influencer community certainly is.

DJI needs to get out in front of this, because the number of (non-professional) customers who understand the advantages of OcuSync, etc. are pretty small compared to number of people who will see the Air as a cheaper and better version of the Pro.

If the Air can produce better video footage than the Pro, that's a deal breaker, despite some of the advantages of the Pro (range, flight time). That why I say, if DJI can push 100 Mbps to the MP via update they need to do it.
2018-1-24
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A CW
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Airball Posted at 2018-1-24 06:16
"And no, it's not better than the MP/P."

Why though? Perception is reality and while DJI (obviously) isn't promoting the Air as a Mavic killer, the influencer community certainly is.

Reality check - MONEY - pure and simple. It's a business, it's launched a new and exciting product and I know what I need to know about what each drone can do for the money I paid. People will be presented with their options and it's down to the individual to decide what's right for them. Anyone who is that easily 'influenced' will need to learn the hard way - not that unboxing a brand new Mavic Air will be a hard experience LOL
2018-1-24
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LeftHandMedia
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A CW Posted at 2018-1-24 06:04
It's not being presented or marketed as superior or even a replacement of the Mavic Pro - it's an additional model in the DJI line up thats sits above the Spark and below the Mavic Pro but has latest tech i.e. flight autonomy 2.0 and new flight modes. It's not a pro grade drone but looks like the best mini drone out there today!  And no, it's not better than the MP/P.

It's all objective. I think it's better in many ways!
Mavic Air 4K 100 mbps (I promise you, this is a big upgrade from the MP)
2.7K @ 60fps (Which will scale really well to 4K)
1080 @ 120 fps.  Many more opject avoidance sensors.  (I fly backwards with the Phantom 4 Pro a lot!)
None of those options exist on the Mavic Pro.

I agree wholeheartedly with Tony (Northrup) in his review, I know the shots I want before I put the drone in the air.  I don't fly around and shoot random stuff for 27 minutes.... I also fly within line of sight, so I will never need 2.4 miles or more.  For OccuSync, I have a Phantom 4 Pro, and now I'll have a great B Cam/Travel drone!

I know this will not be the case for everyone, but I think it will be for the masses.  
2018-1-24
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ny300z
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I agree with everything you said. Personally if it sits somewhere between a Spark and Mavic Pro that's even more reason that I dont not see the point of this bird at all. (other then more $$$ for DJI)

2018-1-24
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A CW
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LeftHandMedia Posted at 2018-1-24 06:39
It's all objective. I think it's better in many ways!
Mavic Air 4K 100 mbps (I promise you, this is a big upgrade from the MP)
2.7K @ 60fps (Which will scale really well to 4K)

It's all a bit 'tit for tat' as we say - my drone can do this and yours can't but mine can do this bla bla bla - people will buy what they like and what suits their needs. BTW - I never fly aimlessly for half an hour with any drone I own LOL
2018-1-24
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LeftHandMedia
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A CW Posted at 2018-1-24 07:08
It's all a bit 'tit for tat' as we say - my drone can do this and yours can't but mine can do this bla bla bla - people will buy what they like and what suits there needs. BTW - I never fly aimlessly for half an hour with any drone I own LOL

Hmm...

I was responding to your "and no, it's not better than the MP/P" declaration. I was stating facts that may prove opposite of your statement.  I personally think that's a false statement. I also wasn't playing the "Mine is bigger than yours" game.  I listed features that are in fact, not included, on the MP/P, which to many people, might make the Air a better option.  For me, the options I listed make it better than the MP/P.  

I don't look at the MP/P as a pro drone, but the interesting thing is, the Air camera/software just might produce better image quality than the MP/P, and many people make $$$ off the MP/P...  The MP/P footage always looks so muddy to me. That 100mbps could help a lot with that!
2018-1-24
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A CW
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LeftHandMedia Posted at 2018-1-24 07:39
Hmm...

I was responding to your "and no, it's not better than the MP/P" declaration. I was stating facts that may prove opposite of your statement.  I personally think that's a false statement. I also wasn't playing the "Mine is bigger than yours" game.  I listed features that are in fact, not included, on the MP/P, which to many people, might make the Air a better option.  For me, the options I listed make it better than the MP/P.  

The Mavic Pro does c.4K - the Air does not. There's one for you.
Really my friend, I'm not interested in these comparison statements - the Mavic Pro Platinum is £450 more expensive for many reasons and I consider it a brilliant drone for my needs as I do my P4P more than a mini drone. I want OcuSync or lightbridge transmission and a 25-30 minute flight everytime - that makes the MPP a better drone for me!
2018-1-24
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djiuser_ZbznK5M
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A CW Posted at 2018-1-24 06:04
It's not being presented or marketed as superior or even a replacement of the Mavic Pro - it's an additional model in the DJI line up thats sits above the Spark and below the Mavic Pro but has latest tech i.e. flight autonomy 2.0 and new flight modes. It's not a pro grade drone but looks like the best mini drone out there today!  And no, it's not better than the MP/P.

See this is my take as I am just coming into this.

I expect the Spark line to literally market to the snapchat/facebook/selfie group and maybe even stay more budget oriented.  I think the idea and benefit will be they can use older tech and smaller almost toyish to get people to buy into their brand. Some will jump to more expensive drones, others will just upgrade as they damage them or new tech comes down the pipe.

Then within the Mavic line there will be two, possibly 3 tiers. Mavic Air, Mavic Pro and maybe they will keep the platinum or refresh the pro II after its been out and introduce a Pro II Platinum.
Spark - Entry selfie focused toy
Mavic line 2-3 tiers with alternate release cycles.
2018-1-24
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Chriswood718
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The Mavic air hasn't proven to have the Flyway function that mavic pro and spark have.
2018-1-24
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DroneFlying
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Airball Posted at 2018-1-24 05:56
That’s just my observation after watching a dozen ‘review’ videos. Very unscientific. Problem is, I don’t trust that we’re getting legit comparisons – who’s going to say anything negative about the Air and risk not getting any more free drones from DJI?

In the TomsTechTime videos, the stuff from the Air looked really good. But in the Casey Neistat video (with 200% and 500% crops), the footage from the Air looked terrible compared to the Pro. So who knows.

That’s just my observation after watching a dozen ‘review’ videos.

That's understandable, then: I would imagine that a "review" video that claims it's about the new Mavic-killer will get quite a few more views than one that says, "Meh -- it's just a cross between a Mavic and a Spark."
2018-1-24
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Airball
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DroneFlying Posted at 2018-1-24 13:59
That’s just my observation after watching a dozen ‘review’ videos.

That's understandable, then: I would imagine that a "review" video that claims it's about the new Mavic-killer will get quite a few more views than one that says, "Meh -- it's just a cross between a Mavic and a Spark."

Agreed. And here’s why that’s a problem for Mavic owners. DJI is crushing the resale value of a used MP. Not a problem if you’re going to keep your drone forever, but if you want to upgrade at some point you’re SOL.

The Air should be differentiated based on price, size, and gimmicks like ‘Asteroid’ shooting mode. It should not be differentiated on professional features like bitrate i.e. because it’s not a professional drone.

DJI, if you’re trolling these boards, I’ll say it again – push a 100Mbps bitrate with the next MP firmware update. With Autel breathing down your neck, now is not the time to be alienating your professional customers.  
2018-1-24
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DroneFlying
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Airball Posted at 2018-1-24 14:23
Agreed. And here’s why that’s a problem for Mavic owners. DJI is crushing the resale value of a used MP. Not a problem if you’re going to keep your drone forever, but if you want to upgrade at some point you’re SOL.

The Air should be differentiated based on price, size, and gimmicks like ‘Asteroid’ shooting mode. It should not be differentiated on professional features like bitrate i.e. because it’s not a professional drone.

DJI is crushing the resale value of a used MP.

Oh, I doubt that. Flight time is important to many people and there's a pretty big gap between the Pro and Air. The Air's compactness is nice, but that and the marginally lower price aren't compelling enough to make me wish I had an Air instead of a Pro.
2018-1-24
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Airball
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DroneFlying Posted at 2018-1-24 14:26
DJI is crushing the resale value of a used MP.

Oh, I doubt that. Flight time is important to many people and there's a pretty big gap between the Pro and Air. The Air's compactness is nice, but that's about the only real advantage and at least for me isn't enough to balance out the significantly reduced flight time.

If you don't consider the additional detail and improved color grading capabilities of video shot at 100Mbps significant, then you're underestimating the needs of the professional consumer. I don't cruise around aimlessly for 25 minutes at a time, so the benefit of an extra few minutes of flight time are totally lost on me.  

I'm debating whether to dump my MP right now before the bottom falls out and either buy an Air or wait for the Autel Evo. If your's works for you, that's great. I don't think you'll find your perspective to be shared by most professionals - I guess we'll know soon enough.
2018-1-24
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Airball Posted at 2018-1-24 14:43
If you don't consider the additional detail and improved color grading capabilities of video shot at 100Mbps significant, then you're underestimating the needs of the professional consumer. I don't cruise around aimlessly for 25 minutes at a time, so the benefit of an extra few minutes of flight time are totally lost on me.  

I'm debating whether to dump my MP right now before the bottom falls out and either buy an Air or wait for the Autel Evo. If your's works for you, that's great. I don't think you'll find your perspective to be shared by most professionals - I guess we'll know soon enough.

If you don't consider the additional detail and improved color grading capabilities of video shot at 100Mbps significant, then you're underestimating the needs of the professional consumer. I don't think you'll find your perspective to be shared by most professionals - I guess we'll know soon enough.

If I were a "professional consumer" (whatever that is) interested in very high-quality video, I'd at least buy a Phantom 4 Pro instead of any Mavic. By all means ditch the Mavic if it doesn't work for you, but I don't think there's going to be a huge increase in the numbers being sold or decreases in resale value any more than there was when the Spark was released. But if you're convinced otherwise -- that the YouTube reviews are correct -- then by all means sell yours now and beat the rush.
2018-1-24
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Airball
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DroneFlying Posted at 2018-1-24 14:46
If you don't consider the additional detail and improved color grading capabilities of video shot at 100Mbps significant, then you're underestimating the needs of the professional consumer. I don't think you'll find your perspective to be shared by most professionals - I guess we'll know soon enough.

If I were a "professional consumer" (whatever that is) interested in very high-quality video, I'd at least buy a Phantom 4 Pro instead of any Mavic. By all means ditch the Mavic if it doesn't work for you, but I don't think there's going to be a huge increase in the numbers being sold or decreases in resale value any more than there was when the Spark was released. But if you're convinced otherwise -- that the YouTube reviews are correct -- then by all means sell yours now and beat the rush.

"If I were a "professional consumer" (whatever that is)"

I'll clear it up for you. FAA Part 107 certified for sale of commercial video obtained via UAV.

It's not a hobby for us - it's a job. That's why we can't afford to be apologists for DJI and why we don't appreciate it when DJI undercuts the feature set of our equipment with their latest toy drone.

Of course I don't buy in to the YouTube reviews. But that's not the point. DJI - give us the features you're giving to the hobby consumer. At this point it really feels like we're being soaked for the MPII and the P5. Considering the negative PR allegations from late last year, the last thing DJI should be doing is giving their customers another reason to walk.
2018-1-24
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Airball Posted at 2018-1-24 15:01
"If I were a "professional consumer" (whatever that is)"

I'll clear it up for you. FAA Part 107 certified for sale of commercial video obtained via UAV.

So should DJI just stop producing new models that might reduce the Mavic's resale value until you're done with yours? Please clarify what it is you're saying they should do differently so that even us "apologists for DJI" can understand.

You're claiming that you make money selling drone videos, but all you were willing and able to afford was a $1,000 Mavic? And now you're upset because a few YouTube videos made you think it might lose some of its value because of the introduction of the Air?

It sounds like you lack cash flow, foresight, or both. In any case, I'm surprised that the benefits of 30-40% of additional flight time would be lost on someone who claims to be a "professional consumer . . . certified for sale of commercial video obtained by UAV." Even most recreational fliers understand the usefulness of significantly more flight time and if you don't then I can only guess that a lot of your "commercial" work involves drone selfies.

2018-1-24
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Chriswood718 Posted at 2018-1-24 11:27
The Mavic air hasn't proven to have the Flyway function that mavic pro and spark have. https://youtu.be/m8Z9NNNub_E

Hope not as it has not reach the market yet, but don't worry it will flyaway.
2018-1-24
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Airball
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@DroneFlying You've proven you're either a paid shill or a kool-aid drinker, so move along and troll somebody else little boy.

Although it's easy to understand why DJI needs people like you on the payroll:

goo.gl/Zad2tr

2018-1-24
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DroneFlying
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Airball Posted at 2018-1-24 15:51
@DroneFlying You've proven you're either a paid shill or a kool-aid drinker, so move along and troll somebody else little boy.

Although it's easy to understand why DJI needs people like you on the payroll:

Ah, yes, the classic "anyone who disagrees with my gripe must be paid by DJI" argument: that's an oldie but a goodie. You should go watch some more YouTube videos to find out what else to think, then come back and share what you learned.
2018-1-24
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Airball
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Ah, yes, the classic "anyone who criticizes my master must be relentlessly trolled": another oldie but goodie.
2018-1-24
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Nebuchadnezzar Posted at 2018-1-23 11:07
i prefer Mavic Pro ... without air

I prefer mine in the "AIR"
2018-1-24
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Lucas775
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JensIR Posted at 2018-1-24 00:11
It is not a Mavic, it is a "Spark Pro"

Why they called it a Mavic is beyond me.  What a slap in the face to the Mavic community.
2018-1-24
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Gimpy
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DJI must not think the Air is an upgrade from the Pro or otherwise they wouldn't be selling it for less money.
2018-1-24
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iceman#1
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it's not a Mavic Pro successor, it's a new model between Spark and Mavic, like others already said.
You are looking from the wrong side to the Air. You have to look from the Spark side, like I do.

almost same aperture
4K
higher bitrates
more frame rates
longer flight time
foldable arms -> smaller travel size
longer range
backward sensors

it's the Spark I wanted to have half a year ago. it closes many open gaps the Spark had. I'm not a cinematographer, I want a drone for family and vacation films with small size and long flight time and good camera with 1080p 60-120fps. So for me it's ideal (still to be proven).
Its' a Spark Pro

For people who have the Mavic Pro and are happy with its size have normally few reasons to downgrade.
2018-1-25
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Deja Vu
It's like hearing my kids argue over their toys.
Children, children, settle down, I used to say...



Nothing say argument like a new DJI drone.
2018-1-25
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Chriswood718 Posted at 2018-1-24 11:27
The Mavic air hasn't proven to have the Flyway function that mavic pro and spark have. https://youtu.be/m8Z9NNNub_E

Your log playback shows no GPS reception & the distance to the drone as 9.1 million meters away.  I never saw a "Home Point recorded"message pop up in the log.  Typically you would.  Did you wait for a lock before taking off?
2018-1-25
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Airball Posted at 2018-1-24 15:01
"If I were a "professional consumer" (whatever that is)"

I'll clear it up for you. FAA Part 107 certified for sale of commercial video obtained via UAV.

Imagine how Inspire 1 owners must feel!  What about Phantom 3 Pro users who saw the cool features included in a Spark? I feel you are being unrealistic.  The Mavic Pro is nearly a year & a half old.  So Ford should never update the F-150 because it hurts the resale value of those who bought the previous model?  In time there will be a Mavic 2 & it will have even more features.  This is nature of things.  There's always something better around the corner...
2018-1-25
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A CW Posted at 2018-1-24 07:44
The Mavic Pro does c.4K - the Air does not. There's one for you.
Really my friend, I'm not interested in these comparison statements - the Mavic Pro Platinum is £450 more expensive for many reasons and I consider it a brilliant drone for my needs as I do my P4P more than a mini drone. I want OcuSync or lightbridge transmission and a 25-30 minute flight everytime - that makes the MPP a better drone for me!

Who uses C4k...?  Not interested in comparison statements? Was it not you that said it was not better than the MP/P? If you make that kind of a statement, why are you not able to receive constructive criticism?  

Cheers mate!
2018-1-25
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LeftHandMedia Posted at 2018-1-25 08:37
Who uses C4k...?  Not interested in comparison statements? Was it not you that said it was not better than the MP/P? If you make that kind of a statement, why are you not able to receive constructive criticism?  

Cheers mate!

I do - and far more than I've every used FHD @ 96p.

And it is clearly not better for my needs.

2018-1-25
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