Drones

Two years since I bought my DJI Mavic Air drone. Was it worth it?

Yes and No. Here’s why. Of course, this is just me trying to justify my tech purchases.

Probably the same feeling of those buying their first car or home. #GeekKilig


Was it worth it? Yes

  • DJI Mavic Air is still one of the most versatile drone designs and sizes (adventure friendly!)
    DJI Mavic Air Meets All Your Needs! | FORTRESS豐澤
DJI Mavic Air Fly More Combo (Arctic White) - Gimbals Philippines Gimbals.PH
  • I get to use it for work aerial shots coverage

  • Used it for covering Taal Volcano Eruption and now a volunteer for the BikeScouts disaster response team.
  • The succeeding DJI drones design weren’t as game-changing in terms of form-factor since Mavic Air got released anyway
    DJI Mavic Air Meets All Your Needs! | FORTRESS豐澤

  • The latest Mavic Mini (the entry-level consumer version) seems to be off with the wind speed in PH and remote signal reliability. For Mavic Air, there’s an FCC remote signal hack that improves the signal reception. I’d still recommend buying a second hand Mavic Pro or Mavic Air for ProSumer use if you plan to buy one soon.

DJI Mavic Air - design and power

  • Brought it to Taiwan, Vietnam, and Shenzen China to cover my adventures! Didn’t risk bringing it to Bangkok though since several reports document that they confiscate drones in the airports.  Shenzen, Taiwan, and Vietnam adventure shots on http://vlogs.techyjuan.ph
By the way, Mavic Air has gesture detection but never tried it. Didn’t want to Starwars force my drone to an accidental crash:

DJI Mavic Air FAQ: Things You Need To Know - DJI Guides

 

  • I used it as a talk demo for an “Innovation for Agriculture” at Phil Rice Research Institute. Show, don’t tell. 

My Mavic Air isn’t enterprise-ready but the talk added more context for them to see an actual drone. Here’s one of what enterprise drones for agriculture look like:

DJI P4 Multispectral Farm Drone | Dji drone, Dji, Drone

No, it’s not worth it since:

  • It’s still an early tech and expensive! (like most gadgets though) I bought it as post-grad school reward at PHP 50,000+. I think the current resell value is probably at PHP 30,000
    DJI Drones comparison guide — DJI Authorised Retail Store

  • I only get to use it at most once a month. Prior to joining drone FB groups, I have about five friends who bought a DJI Mavic Pro drone. After purchasing, they barely got time to use it because of the work schedule (haha). Probably just once every quarter.


  • I’m not monetizing it. So it might be better if you’re using it for work like photography or video projects ( Thank God I live near the scenic skylines of Intramuros and Pansit wires view of Escolta Heritage landmarks). Here’s a sample website with professional drone rental or services:
  • We’re in a pandemic and a global recession. If you don’t have enough emergency fund runway and have more liquidity risks during this pandemic, buying a drone might not have to be your purchase priority (nope, not counted as ‘tech essential’).
    Q&A: How Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Can Help Brands Navigate Troubled  Times – Advertising Week 360 • AW360

    https://www.advertisingweek360.com/qa-how-maslows-hierarchy-of-needs-can-help-brands-navigate-troubled-times/

So. The important question. Was it worth it? If I were to teleport back, will I still buy it or not?

Yes. Probably should have bought earlier so I could have covered Korea, Batad, Penang, and Palawan trips as well 😛

Two years of adventures unfolding and new heights with DJI Mavic Air:

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Wondering what my drone shots at Shenzen, China looked like?

Enjoy it below:

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