2019 didn”T see much from DJI in the way of innovation. The sub 250-gram Mavic Mini was introduced but besides that, not much, including a rumored Phantom 5, was released. Skydio announced, and started shipping the Skydio 2, a fully autonomous drone, late last year. As of now, they can”T quite keep up with soaring demand. If you order one today, chances are it many not arrive until October.

As far as drones are concerned, the star of the recent CES 2020 trade show wasn”T DJI. Autel took that honor by introducing the very first 8K camera drone. It comes in three modules with three different cameras. Here is how the Autel Evo II breaks down from beginner to professional levels:

Evo II

  • 8K video
  • 1/2? CMOS sensor
  • 48 million effective pixels
  • ISO Range: 100-3200
  • Max resolution: 8000?6000
  • Bitrate: 120mbps, 10-bit, codec unknown
  • Takeoff weight: 2.5 pounds

Evo II Pro

  • 6K video
  • 1? CMOS sensor
  • 20 million effective pixels
  • ISO range: 100-12800
  • Max resolution: 5472?3648
  • Bitrate: 120mbps, 10-bit, codec unknown
  • Adjustable aperture: f/2.8-f/11
  • Takeoff weight: 2.6 pounds

Evo II Dual

  • 8K video
  • Sensors: 1/2? CMOS + FLIR Boson sensor
  • ISO: 100-3200
  • Max Resolution: 8000?6000 (visual), 640?512 (IR)
  • Bitrate: 120mbps, 10-bit, codec unknown
  • Takeoff weight: 2.62 pounds

The flight time is up to 40 minutes in ideal weather conditions while the transmission range is up to 5.6 miles. Clearly, this is beyond line of sight and most users won”T need to fly this distance but Autel states on its site that this means “A stronger signal.” It can fly up to 45 miles per hour. 12 AI-powered computer vision sensors give it omnidirectional obstacle avoidance at speeds up to 15 mph. 8GB of onboard storage is available though it is recommended that you install a microSD card with up to 256GB of storage. What users may appreciate the most is that the EVO II doesn”T have geofencing installed. This feature, made popular by DJI keeps drones out of restricted areas but can pose issues if it can”T be disabled even after a pilot has secured clearance to fly.

The EVO II will cost $1,495 while the EVO II Pro is $1,795. Those interested in purchasing an EVO II Dual will need to contact Autel directly for pricing. The drone is currently in production and will hopefully be available for purchase shortly. Cameras are interchangeable meaning if you want to upgrade or downgrade your set up, you won”T need to purchase a completely new drone.

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