DJI has released it's new drone model the Mavic Air. The new drone, which is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, has a whole host of new features including a wider-angle lens, automatic focus, better flying sensors and camera abilities.
Consumer drones haven't really been around that long, and finding one that fills all of a video producer's needs was nearly impossible to find. If you wanted to shoot professional footage, you had to settle for a larger drone, but if you wanted something that was more nimble in air, you had to sacrifice video quality. DJI tries to bridge this gap, and seemingly pretty successfully, with the Mavic Air.
The new drone has smart sensors that stop it from crashing into objects from in front of the drone and behind it, as opposed to just in front on the older model. Similarly, it has smart tracking which can allow you to lock onto an object or person and have the drone follow it from in front of behind. It has other smart features including orbit mode, which takes video as it flies automatically around an object or person, and automatic landing if if ever loses radio contact with the smartphone controlling it. Another nifty feature is gesture control. You can use hand signals to control certain aspects of the drone's flight path.
One draw back of this model over the last one is the shorter flight time (21 minutes on the Air) but in the world of small drones that is really plenty of time to get what you need.
Drones are a great way to get cinematic shots that only used to be possible to get by having a helicopter and can really give your videos another level of professional edge. If you are in the market for a small drone, and one that is relatively inexpensive at $800, then this is definitely the drone for you.