Autel’s new range of Evo drones is going to give DJI some stiff competition
Autel showed off four new drones at its CES 2022 panel.
Autel’s latest range of Evo drones is finally in the US, and they’re beastly. The four new Evo Nano and Evo Lite models offer upgraded cameras, able to record at up to 6K30 (for the Lite Plus), and with impressive low-light performance on all but the base Evo Nano.
They’re all specced and priced to compete directly against DJI in the consumer space, with high-tech features usually found in more expensive, larger drones. They were teased at the end of last year, with Autel waiting until CES 2022 to show them off fully.
Let’s dive in.
The diminutive Evo Nano is the same 249g weight as the DJI Mini 2, so it doesn’t need to be registered with the FAA before your first flight in the US. It’s got a 28 minute flight time, folding arms for transport, and a three-axis gimbal camera. To make it easier to fly, the Nano has forward, aft, and downward-facing obstacle sensors.
You’ll need your smartphone to fly it, paired with the included remote. You’ll also need a microSD card, as the Nano and Nano Plus don’t feature internal storage.
The main difference between the Nano and Nano Plus is the camera. On the base Nano, it’s a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor (like the one in your smartphone), capable of 48MP images and 4K 30fps footage.
On the Nano Plus, you get a 1/1.28-inch CMOS sensor, capable of 50MP images and 4K 30fps footage, with an f/1.9 aperture. It also has a different color filter array that offers better low-light performance.
The Autel Evo Nano and Nano Plus are shipping to distributors now. They come in Autel’s signature orange, red, white, or gray. The Nano Standard is $649, with the Premium bundle $799.
The Nano Plus Standard is $799, with the Premium bundle at $949.
The 1.8lb Autel Evo Lite takes the camera from the Nano Plus and puts it onto a four-axis gimbal design that enables portrait orientation photography and video. It’s also got phase detection autofocus and a dual-focus algorithm that should be able to track fast-moving subjects.
The camera can record 4k 60fps footage, so this is the one to get if you’re serious about photography or videography. You also get 6GB of internal storage and the option for expansion via a microSD card.
The Evo Lite Plus changes the sensor to a 1-inch class one, that can support 20MP stills, 6K 30fps, or 4K 60fps video. It only has a three-axis gimbal, as the larger camera needs the space. It also has an adjustable aperture from F2.8-11.
The Autel Evo Lite and Lite Plus are shipping to distributors now. The Evo Lite Standard is $1,249, and the Premium bundle is $1,549. The Evo Lite Plus Standard is $1,349 and the Premium bundle is $1,649.
Autel Dragonfish Series
We know, this isn’t the drone that most of you will be picking up but it’s freaking cool. The Dragonfish series is aimed at enterprise users; with three models and multiple payloads to tweak for a wide range of use cases.
The tilt-rotor design can do vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and changes to fixed-wing flight at a moment’s notice. It was designed for industrial inspections, forest fire fighting, coastal patrol, agriculture use, or even public safety.
Oh, and as to why you’re probably not picking it up? The price starts at $100K and can run double that depending on which model and options are chosen.
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