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Photography, filmmaking, social media, travel & technology by @itchban

DJI Mavic Air: Working on a secret DJI project

Australian Launch Campaign

Hi friends! It has been a crazy past few months for me, running around, working on back to back campaigns with a bunch amazing brands. December saw me running around NSW, to Jervis Bay, Melbourne then straight to Hong Kong; my excuses for the lack of blog posts.

Most recently I had the honor of working on a secret project with DJI! This was a dream come true for me. DJI is one of my favourite brands as you'd probably have guessed just by looking at my Instagram feed

They contacted me about a little over a month or so before the actual launch and asked me if I wanted to get on board a secret project. They didn't say what it was as it was still early days, but I said yes immediately. I mean, I love all their products; what could possibly go wrong?  Not knowing what I just said yes to, I didn't hear from them for a short while. Almost out of mind a few weeks after that I received a text to schedule in an initial project briefing - it was actually happening! 

The new product they wanted to send me was a smaller, lighter, faster version of my Mavic Pro - the Mavic Air. Not long after that initial briefing the Air arrived at my doorstep. 

My role for the Mavic Air Australian launch campaign was pretty significant. I was tasked to create a bunch of content (photos and a short video) with the Mavic Air and be their guest speaker at the Australian launch in Sydney. There was going to be so many people at this event - people I knew plus a bunch more important industry & media people.

Like most people, I have a healthy fear of public speaking but I knew I had to leap out of my comfort zone for this one. I wasn't about to pass up this opportunity to work on such a big project with DJI. My good friend @matjoez vlogged the event if you want to watch it here.


The shoot

Only a few days after the initial briefing the brand new DJI Mavic Air arrived at my doorstep. Just in time - about two and a half weeks ahead of it's public release.

Not going to lie, the tight schedule and the terrible weather & poor quality light made me a little nervous. The first week of receiving the brand new drone was forecast to rain and storm the entire week. This was followed by a whole week of windy, gusty conditions (40km+ gusts). In the end I only had about 5 days to shoot, edit and prepare a full presentation.

The Air's ability to capture 4K at a staggering 100Mbps in my mind was it's standout feature. (If you want to see native 4K sample footage from the Mavic Air, I put together some clips in the video below). Of all my deliverables, I knew that the video was going to be the core of my role in this launch. It would either make or break my presentation. Knowing that, I planned to film at as many epic locations as I could with video as the priority. 

In the short time I had, I visited a forest, Sea Cliff bridge, the northern sand dunes, a secret coastal cliff location, an abandoned pier and of course our local rock pools & beaches. See the video above.

I think I was able to do a decent job in putting content together in such a short amount of time. Given the very rough flying conditions I'd definitely say that the Mavic Air was able to keep up. 

My First Impressions on the Mavic Air

I think the video I was able to put together in such rough flying conditions and a tight schedule speaks for itself. It is a very capable & technologically advanced drone, despite it's small and compact size. DJI have jam packed it with all the latest technology. 

Overall I think it's positioning is still somewhere in between the smaller Spark and it's older brother the Mavic Pro; but there are definitely times where I question if it is a better drone than the Mavic Pro.

For the every man/woman - I think the Air ticks off all the boxes. It is the perfect drone for the large majority of people. If you value portability and great video quality, there is no better drone out there at the moment.

I am heading overseas on a trip to Malaysia and Japan, and I will most likely only bring my DJI Mavic Air with me. My Phantom 4 Pro will likely be left at home this trip. If you're interested in whether or not it holds up, let me know via the comments below and I'll do a follow up post.

Come follow me on Instagram @itchban and YouTube /itchban.

4K Sample footage

Mavic Air Photography Samples