DJI Mavic 3 vs Air 2S

DJI Mavic 3 vs Air 2S
(Image credit: DJI)

DJI Mavic 3 vs Air 2S - how do you choose between these two capable camera drones? Since the first DJI Mavic, a series of drones has arrived built on different variations of the same folding airframe, some smaller, some bigger. With generous sensor sizes the DJI Air 2S and DJI Mavic 3 are both appealing variants for modern creatives, but the right choice for you will depend on what kind of material you’re looking to capture (as well, of course, as your budget). Helping weigh though – and other – factors, welcome to a DCW versus.

There are two versions of the Mavic 3, the Mavic 3 which records to a standard micro SD, and the Cine edition which (for a good bit more cash) includes an on-board SSD with 1TB storage to allow the capture of uncompressed video like Apple ProRes 422 HQ which, in turn, accelerates the creation of video.

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Header Cell - Column 0 DJI Mavic 3DJI Air 2S
Take-Off Weight895g 595g
Size347.5×283×107.7 mm183x253x77 mm
Folded size221×96.3×90.3 mm180x97x77mm
Diagonal span380mm302mm
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Header Cell - Column 0 DJI Mavic 3DJI Air 2S
Axis3 (pitch, roll, yaw)3 (pitch, roll, yaw)
Tilt-90˚ to 35˚ (+/- 135 to 100 mech)-90˚ to 24˚ (+/- 135 to 45 mech)
Roll+/- 45˚ (mech only)+/- 45˚ (mech only)
Pan+/- 5˚ (+/- 27 mech)+/- 100˚
Tilt speed100˚/s180˚/s
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Header Cell - Column 0 DJI Mavic 3DJI Air 2S
Range - FCC (USA)15km (9.3 miles)12km (7.4m)
Range - CE (UK/EU)8km (5 miles)8km (5 miles)
Phone gripiPad mini / PhoneiPad mini / Phone
Live View quality1080/601080/30
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Header Cell - Column 0 DJI Mavic 3DJI Air 2S
Resolution20 MP (5280 x 3956)20 MP (5472×3648)
Resolution (Tele)12 MP-
Sensor size4/3-inch (1/2-inch for tele)4/3-inch (17.3 x 13mm)
ISO Range100-6,400100-12,800
FOV84˚ (main)88˚ (22 mm)
FormatsJPEG or DNG (Raw)JPEG or DNG (Raw)
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Row 0 - Cell 0 DJI Mavic 3DJI Air 2S
Resolutions5.1K @ 50fps 4K @ 120fps 5.4K @ 30fps 4K @ 60fps
Bitrate H.264 / H.265200 Mbps150 Mbps
SSD Write speed471 MB/s (Cine only)-

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook