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Seven million drones are expected to have been sold in the U.S. by 2020, according to Federal Aviation Administration forecasts. 2021 could see even bigger growth as the planet recovers from the pandemic that laid it still for almost 8 months. People will be eager to buy themselves new birdies and fly around in their newly recuperated freedom.
So what new models can we expect in 2021? What will DJI release? What will its competitors do? Let’s explore it in more detail below.
Before we move onto the speculative part of the article, here is a tabular overview of the best drones 2021 that are already released and on the market:
Sony to enter the drone arena
There is an official announcement that tech giant Sony is planning to launch their first drone and enter the lucrative market of flying cameras.
It plans to launch the project next spring.
The bare-bones announcement says only that Sony has been inspired by the “recent proliferation” of drones and the changes they have caused in both the industrial and creative sectors.
Airpeak will focus on multiple industries as well, though it has its work cut out for it if it intends to go up against DJI, which has become the first choice in the consumer UAV sector.
Expect more to be posted to the official website in time.
New DJI Drone Releases in 2021? – DJI Rumours
The last drone DJI launched was Mini 2 in November 2020 and prior to that they also launched two other Mavic Models – Mavic Mini and Mavic Air 2.
Now, there are a lot of rumors about the next Mavic model, Mavic 3 that is eagerly expected in Q2 of 2021.
Drone fans are still waiting to hear if DJI will release a major consumer drone in the first part of 2021. 2020 has seen the rollout of the Mavic 2 Air and Mini 2. There’s plenty going on. Additionally, it is not a secret that DJI has been making huge steps into other areas of production, like enterprise hardware and software, a sector that’s projected to far exceed the potential of consumer sales in the long term.
Chances for a new model in this year are slim and for one big reason: every new model needs to be integrated with AirSense technology that is planned to be launched by January 2021.
Furthermore, the new EU drone rules will not be finalized until later this year in November. These new rules and requirements will come in effect in June of 2021. Obviously, DJI will want to wait and see what these final rules and regulations will include to make sure that their new drones will meet any possible new requirements.
The first model to be released after the AirSense tech is rumored to be DJI Inspire 3 drone. This is the line of models that instigated the aerial photography industry boom and lead it into a full fledged business that continues to expand.
It only makes sense that DJI Inspire 3 is one of the leading candidate that is due for release in 2020 since the Phantom line seems to be shut down for good.
Best drones in 2021 (already on the market)
DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 48MP Camera 4K Video 8K Hyperlapse 1/2" CMOS...
6 used from $707.91
- 【UP YOUR GAME】: The Mavic Air 2 camera drone takes power and portability to the next level. It combines a powerful camera with intelligent shooting modes for stunning results. Push your imagination to its limits because aerial photography has never been this easy.
- 【NEXT-LEVEL CONTENT】: Capture impressive 48MP photos with a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor while the 3-axis gimbal provides 4K/60fps video. The secret to incredible HDR video is a high-performance Quad Bayer image sensor. OcuSync 2.0 has a video transmission distance of up to 6.2mi / 10 km and can also deliver 1080p FHD resolution livestream directly from the drone’s camera.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro - Drone Quadcopter UAV with Hasselblad Camera 3-Axis Gimbal HDR 4K Video Adjustable Aperture 20MP 1"...
13 used from $909.00
- Equipped with a Hasselblad L1D-20c camera with a 20MP 1” CMOS Sensor, the Mavic 2 camera drone lets you capture gorgeous aerial shots in stunning color detail.
- Up to 31 minutes flight time, 44 mph max speed, 907G takeoff weight, 3-axis gimbal for steady shots, 8GB internal storage, SD card Support up to 128 GB
- Functions include ActiveTrack 2.0, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, Hyperlapse, Low-Noise Design, Adjustable Aperture, HDR Photos
Autel Robotics EVO 2 Drone Folding Quadcopter 8K HDR Video and 48MP Camera EVO II Extended Warranty Expedition Bundle with...
- AUTEL AUTHORIZED - Includes Full AUTEL USA Protection
- EVO 2 - The Only 8k Folding Drone On The Planet | Features unmatched 8K video resolution up to 25fps and dynamic 48MP stills. The EVO 2 series features the longest battery life of any foldable drone (up to 40-minutes of flight time). With a top speed of 45mph and up to 9km range, you can now go further, faster.
- EVO 2 presents an all new sensor and storage package and omni-directional obstacle avoidance. We’re talking 12 computer vision sensors, 2 sonar sensors, and 2 LED landing lights, working together to create the best obstacle avoidance in the industry | Follow subjects autonomously at high speeds using Autel’s patented Dynamic Track 2.0 and watch as AI technology creates smart flight paths in real time. Object detection recognizes up to 64 subjects at once including people, vehicles, and animals.
DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo – Ultralight Foldable Drone, 3-Axis Gimbal with 4K Camera, 12MP Photos, 31 Mins Flight...
16 used from $409.99
- PACK LIGHT, FLY FREE: at less than 249 g, it weighs about as much as an apple and fits in the palm of your hand. compact and convenient, this small drone is your ideal travel companion, transforming how you capture your favorite memories.Max Wind Speed Resistance : 8.5-10.5 m/s (Scale 5).Operating Temperature : 0° to 40°C (32° to 104°F), Operating Frequency  : 2.400-2.4835 GHz, 5.725-5.850 GHz..Max Control Speed (tilt) : 100°/s. Shutter Speed : Electronic Shutter: 4-1/8000 s.
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom - Drone Quadcopter UAV with Optical Zoom Camera 3-Axis Gimbal 4K Video 12MP 1/2.3" CMOS Sensor,...
7 used from $809.99
- Powered by a 1/2.3-inch 12MP sensor with up to 4x zoom, including a 2x optical zoom (24–48 mm), 4 the Mavic 2 Zoom camera drone is all about dynamic perspectives.
- Up to 31 minutes flight time, 44 mph max speed, 905G takeoff weight, 3-axis gimbal for steady shots, 8GB internal storage, SD card Support up to 128 GB
- Functions include ActiveTrack 2. 0, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, Hyperlapse, Low-Noise Design, Adjustable Aperture, HDR Photos, Dolly Zoom
1 used from $429.00
- Weighing under 250 grams, Mavic Mini is almost as light as the average smartphone. This makes it exceptionally portable and places it in the lowest and safest weight class of drones, which in many countries may exempt it from certain regulations.
- In the United States and Canada, you can fly Mavic Mini without the need to register your drone with the government. - Required Operating System: iOS v10.0 or later. Android v6.0 or later
DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 20MP Camera 1" CMOS Sensor 4K H.265 Video 3-Axis Gimbal...
7 used from $1,779.49
- The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 camera drone comes equipped with a 3-axis motorized gimbal and a 1-inch 20MP CMOS sensor with a mechanical shutter that eliminates rolling shutter distortion.
- The standard controller features a smartphone holder. You will need to install the DJI GO 4 App on your phone to fly your drone.
- The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is a beast when it comes to flight performance. It has a maximum flight speed of 72 kph and an 8km transmission range with 1080p livestreaming and automatic frequency switching thanks to OcuSync 2.0.
HUBSAN Zino 2 Plus 4K Drone 60fps UHD Camera 3-Axis Gimbal 9KM Transmission GPS FPV RC Quadcopter, Auto Return Home...
- Equipped with 3-axis gimbal camera stabilizer that offers smooth and stable footage. Zino 2 Plus supports 12MP aerial photos and 4K/60fps UHD videos with max 100Mbps bitrate for shooting stunning videos and sharp photos
- Up to 9KM video transmission (no interference, no obstacle); Max flight time: 35 minutes (25km/h slow speed cruise); Drone battery capacity: 3800mAh. 6 level wind resistance. GPS Auto Return to Home: One-button RTH / Low Batery RTH / Failsafe RTH
FIMI X8 SE 2020 Foldable Desgin Drone Kit 8km Range 4K Camera UHD 100Mbp HDR Video 70mins Flight Time FlyCam...
- 8KM TRANSMISSION RANGE An increase in sensitivity by 5db ensures a longer transmission distance of up to 8KM. A second generation optimized TDMA video transmission system ensure uninterrupted video transmission at long distances.
- POWERFUL 4K CAMERA The FIMI X8SE 2020 is equipped with latest Hisilicon ISP chipset ensuring support for 4K UHD 100Mbp highly detail video. An updated F-log mode, DNG RAW format and adjustable camera settings allow drone enthusiasts to have access to a more creative system.
DJI Mavic Air 2
This is a brand new DJI drone that was released in April 2020. The drone saw huge improvements over its predecessors. This machine is a real beast with impressive flight time of 34 minutes, 48 MP photos and HDR capabilities.
The Mavic Air 2 weighs 570g (1.3 pound) and feautres a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor capable of 12MP and 48MP photos (JPEG and RAW). When it comes to video, the Mavic Air 2 can shoot up to 4K 60fps at 120 Mpbs. Mavic Air 2 is also capable to shoot in the H.265 HVEC video codec to improve efficiency without any loss in quality.
It is a bit more expensive but also much more feature rich than the Mavic Mini as you can see in our comparison of Air 2 and Mini.
DJI also introduced some new smart camera features on the new Air 2, called Scene Recognition and Hyperlight.
- Scene Recognition is made for detecting sunsets, blue skies, grass, snow, and trees. It then optimizes images with these objects for a stunning final photo.
- Hyperlight is a feature that is drumming around mobile markets – it aims to increase the quality of night shots by taking multiple photos and merging them to reduce the amount of noise (graininess) that’s common in low-light images.
The long awaited Evo 2 from Autel has jaw dropping specs which got many drone pilots very excited. Drone communities are buzzing and eagerly waiting for the new release. And you can’t blame them: 8k videos and 44 minutes of flight are unprecedented for this price range.
You can see some specs below the video and check this page for a pre-order from Autel .
Just take a look at some of the main specs and see it for yourself in this official introduction video:
The three user-changeable gimbal modules for the Autel Evo 2 are:
- 586 gimbal: provides an 8K video camera that will take still photos of up to 48MP and records 8K video at 25 fps, 6K at 30 fps, or 4K at 30 or 60 fps with a bit rate of up to 120 Mbps.
- 383 gimbal: features an Ultra-HD camera with a 1-inch sensor for 6K video and still photos of up to 20MP. It will record video up to 5.5K at 60fps or 4K video at 120 fps and has an adjustable lens aperture from f/2.8 to f/11.
- Dual-sensor gimbal: provides an infrared camera that takes infrared images of 640 x 512 or 320 x 256 and records video at 720p at 30 fps in dual image mode. It has the same 8K video camera as described above.
Xdynamics Evolve 2
This is the new, much improved Evolve model that will be released in May.
The new drone has a metal heatsink on the bottom along with obstacle avoidance and incredible range of 12 kilometers.
They have also made improvements on the controller that now has a touch display on the front, its dual touch screens have thousand nits of brightness and twelve kilometers of range. The battery life is 40 minutes on this drone which is impressive.
The camera is almost professional level – 4k 120 fps with a 4/3 inch sensor with a removable lens. This will make it the lightest drone that carries 4/3 inch camera as other drones with similar camera are professional models that are much bigger and heavier. Also, the camera is removable with a push of a button.
The drone weighs around 1.9kg or 4 pounds. Here is a more detailed review about the Xdynamics Evolve 2 drone, we update it regularly with new information about this premium drone.
This year could be marked by Evo 2 and eventually Mavic 3 release. Evo 2 is definitely coming out very soon but Mavic 3 is still a pendulum that can go either way. DJI will probably wait to see if Evo 2 will be as good as announced and how much will it rock DJI’s boat before deciding on the timing for their next model launch. DJI Inspire 3 is a long-shot and unlikely to be out in this year.