As someone who enjoys very high-quality images from my 42-megapixel full-frame Sony Alpha 7R III, I was wondering how good the pictures would be out of my new DJI Air 2S drone.
Anyone who enjoys landscape photography will know that before they realize it, they are pixel peeping and fussing over the smallest imperfection in their photos. Of course, there’s no way I’m expecting that same quality to come from this drone, but the only thing it can do that I can’t do already is fly. So, ultimately, that is the only reason I bought this drone. The interesting question to answer though, is how big or small is that gap from what I’m used to?
To put it in perspective, the 20-megapixel, one-inch sensor of the Air 2S has a surface area of 7.4 times smaller than a full frame camera. To further help give a comparison, due to equivalency, the Air 2S is the same as shooting at 22mm, f/8 at ISO 800 on the full-frame camera.
As you can see in the comparison between the Air2s at ISO100 and the Sony A7III at ISO 800 the difference in quality is very minimal. Being fussy I could say that there’s a touch more noise and slightly less sharpness on the Air2s though.
The next picture shows how ISO performs from 100 through to 12,8000. I think the noise is usable for photography up to 400, with 800 at a push. 1,600 onwards though quickly falls apart and really isn’t usable. Note that the green light as the ISO increases is due to bringing down the ambient light and the green light on the drone becoming more obvious.
In the real world, understanding the limitations of the drone’s sensor helps when it comes to working around them. The photo below is of Rossbeigh, Ireland, and was shot with a three-bracket exposure which helped increase the dynamic range and helped lessen any noise.
For anyone who is trying to decide if they should get the DJI Air 2S for photography, in a nutshell, I believe the DJI Air2s — for the price — is the best quality flying photography tool you can get. It’s super portable, quick to get flying, easy to fly, and its greatest advantage is how it gives you the ability to get photos you can’t get on the land. Essentially, It’s a great addition to anyone’s photography toolkit.
About the author: Jamie Gillies is an award-winning wedding photographer based in Ireland. He loves to spend his spare time exploring and photographing the stunning landscapes of Ireland and documenting them on his YouTube Channel. To learn more about Jamie, you can visit his website, YouTube, or follow him on Instagram.