Over the past few years, the consumer drone market has grown at a rate of knots, but as you can tell from the shortlist for this category in the T3 Awards 2019, DJI has become a dominant force in the air. The brand has developed groundbreaking new technologies that have influenced scores of other brands and other types of tech – one look at the new RockSteady-infused DJI Osmo Action camera will tell you that.
So our pick for this year's top drone is, in many respects, a no-brainer: it's the hugely impressive DJI Mavic Air, a foldable 4K quadcopter that excels in flight performance and pro-level video capture.
The Mavic Air is all about freedom, enabling you to adventure far and wide and document the views and the action. Stuff the drone into your backpack as you scout a location, then unfurl it to capture 32MP Sphere Panoramas (which stitches together multiple images), HDR images and 4k30fps 100Mbps video and 1080p 120fps slow-mo.
The full suite of smart camera modes are truly class-leading, including fan favourite video modes Boomerang and Asteroid. Both enable you to take spectacular shots without spending hours sweating away trying to hone your piloting and aerial photography skills. If you create content to share online, Boomerang and Asteroid alone will elevate your aerial photography game exponentially, adding stunning new dimensions to your footage.
The Mavic Air is also one of the world’s most portable drones to house a three-axis gimbal, keeping shots smooth and judder-free. There’s loads of other smarts to celebrate here too, including the drone's ability to automatically determine the right exposure settings for the light you’re shooting in. Clever stuff.
We also love the fuss-free SmartCapture gesture control function, whereby you use specific hand gestures to launch and control the drone, and to take photos or videos. Ultimately, aerial photography and drone flight has never been more accessible or more fun than with the Mavic Air.
Full shortlist: DJI Mavic Air, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, DJI Spark, Parrot ANAFI
Check out more of this year's award winners on our main T3 Awards 2019 page.