The autonomy engine was a major difference. The tracking on the Mavic Air was good, but not great. It’s obstacle avoidance (APAS) was unreliable and I would not trust it to follow me in most circumstances. It flew phenomenally, it’s still a solid drone. But the Skydio 2 has been a game-changer. The autonomy for motion tracking is the best in the industry. This is the first drone I’ve had where I can actually trust that it will follow me and stay locked on. You need to be able to trust your drone, especially if it’s a large investment. You do have to be careful around small branches(as they are quite difficult to see) as well. Once you understand the limitations of the Skydio 2 and can spot potential hazards, flying the Skydio 2 is an absolute blast. The ability to manually fly with the controller while knowing that the OA system is active allows you to shoot video differently. You can worry less about obstacles and focus more on your filming. But at the same time, you can fly through denser locations and create a unique shot. Flying the Mavic Air was indeed fun. At times, however, it can be difficult to film exactly what you want in condensed areas. The camera quality was great, but the Skydio 2 really steps it up. Color grading isn’t necessary with the Skydio - you don’t hear that often when talking about cameras. The color science is great, and you have as many frame rates as you can imagine. I’m not sponsored or associated with Skydio in any way. I’ve been flying drones for the past couple years and this one is something special. I look at the Skydio 2 from a usability standpoint. Can it follow me? Yes. Can it produce cinematic content? Yes. Is it portable? Yes. Some of the qualities of the drone do require accessories in order to achieve great results. And their are a couple negatives. You cannot fly at night, storage is required to fly, and if you do not understand the limitations of the drone’s OA system, the results can be fatal. Inform yourself, read the guidelines, and you will have a blast with this drone. If your really into quads, in my opinion it’s worth it. It’s a great all-around drone that can produce incredible content.What particular differences stuck out?
No need to apologize. Drones are an interesting topic to talk about. I agree with you. Those few shortcomings you mentioned are great ways for Skydio to improve their drone. They have been listening well to their customers so far so hopefully they continue to accept feedback. This is my absolute favorite drone. It would take another miracle of a drone to change that!Agree with what you say 100%. The Skydio 2 has set the benchmark for the first generation of truly autonomous drones.
Being able to completely trust its ability to avoid obstacles is the number one feature I look forward to experimenting with. Add to that a truly great camera that rivals video shot by professional photographers further seals the deal for me. Once Skydio 2 irons out some of its initial shortcomings (i.e.,better Beacon/Drone communication, a better interior drone antenna design, smoothed out video when the drone has to quickly decide what path to fly when its surrounded by obstacles, etc,) other drone manufacturers will find it even more increasingly difficult to keep up.
P.S. I apologize for asking such an open ended question... was just curious how you liked the S2.