The DJI Spark – EVERYTHING We Know

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Overview

The rumored DJI Spark is appearing in pictures, videos, and reviews all over the internet. But what do we know other than a few “leaks?” Keep reading, and you’ll find a comprehensive breakdown of everything we know, and speculate, before the “big announcement” that’s coming on May 24th.

First, let’s talk about this poster. The Seize the Moment event claims that a huge announcement is to take place. It is likely that this could be referring to the Spark. But what about other drones. The Phantom 5? The OSMO 2? Maybe even a GoPro style camera, that uses the sensor technology from the cameras on the drones! Either way, this event holds an announcement that will (hopefully) answer all of our questions.

The Spark – First Looks

 
 

These images, off the bat, show an interesting upgrade in the charging mechanism. It looks as if the Spark will have a quick-release type of charging system, where you can simply place it down on the charging dock, and pick it up whenever it is done charging. This system, if powerful enough, is a big upgrade over the tedious process of charging the bigger drones, which requires the removal of the battery and then a large charging system. This quick release format could open up a new generation of portability. The only problem with this is: if the battery is locked in place, so that the drone can be placed on a charging dock, carrying separate batteries will be out of the question, restricting the potential flight time for more professional consumers. 

The size of the drone is clearly an upgrade from the Mavic, the current pocket-sized beast. Will this mean a smaller camera? If so, is it even worth buying? Well, this size difference and evident downgrade from the Mavic in terms of durability and quality indicate a reduced price. So, for one who wants a portable drone that provides decent image quality from the sky, and priced at something competitive to other entry-level drones, this could be the one. In addition, the small size means that the drone will probably be pretty quick, making the Spark a pretty fun drone. The photos of the Spark next to a ruler, as shown above, are said to be early prototypes, so while the charging system seems consistent with more recent photos, the sizing may vary.

This first shot from the side shows the possibility of obstacle avoidance sensors and even an HDMI port. Why HDMI? Is this direct connection targeting the less advanced flyers who want a simple plug and play viewing system at home?

This second leaked image gives insight into the camera, which appears to be capable of all of the image sizes that the Phantom 4 brought to the table. However, because the drone is so small, packing a stable gimbal might be an issue. In the video below, you can see the lack of yaw stabilization, which adds credibility:

 

Rumored Specifications

Model Name DJI Spark  DJI Mavic
Foldable design No Yes
Remote controller Unknown / Probably Smartphone Yes
Flight battery Removable – Unknown capacity 3s 3830mAh
Camera gimbal 2-axis 3-axis
Camera resolution Unknown / Probably 4k UHD 4K@30fps (3840 x 2160)
Real-time image transmission Unknown / Probably WiFi HD  720P
Max flight time Unknown Up to 27 minutes
Intelligent flight mode Yes Yes
Obstacle avoidance and Positioning system Dual ultra-sonic sensors and Optical flow camera Infrared positioning sensors
Brushless motors Yes Yes
Dimensions 170mm (L) x 140mm (W) (based on rumors) 83mm x 83mm x 198mm (folded)

More Rumors
• Charged through a USB port
• The battery on the underside of the drone is removable
• Quick release folding props
• 5.8GHz video and 2.4GHz remote control
• 2-axis camera with a potential dual lens
• Charging contacts (for the new dock system) underneath the drone with a charging station or docking bay
• Dual ultrasonic sensors

On the Mavic Pro and all of DJI’s other drones, there are four antennas for communication, which run inside the arm. There are cheaper IR cameras (it seems) for the obstacle avoidance system, which shows DJI cutting down on the quality of their cameras. This will allow for a cheaper retail price…

The Spark looks simple, and this is because it is. It is not supposed to be a revolutionary new high-quality aerial cinematography system; the DJI Spark is the first DJI drone below $500 (rumored price: $499). It does not have a revolutionary new camera either, intentionally; if you want a portable camera with near professional results, by the Mavic (on my shop page).

 

Pricing

Pricing is not easy to predict, despite the rumored $499 price tag. One theory states that there are going to be different prices for different versions. It’s estimated that it will cost around $600 for the purchase of a kit that includes 3 batteries and the RC, while the other will be around $450 for the DJI Spark alone.

One theory states that there are going to be different prices for different versions. It’s estimated that it will cost around $600 for the purchase of a kit that includes 3 batteries and the RC, while the other will be roughly $499 for the DJI Spark system.

Again, hopefully, May 24th answers our questions.

For more rumored information, check out this article:

Opinion

The DJI Spark, if a majority of these rumors are true, is just what DJI needs. Being an industry leading drone company, DJI needs a more affordable drone that includes their trademark quality. As of right now, buying a drone from DJI will cost near $1000. And this makes sense; every product from DJI is pretty incredible. Even in a time where the drone market is blowing up, DJI continues to provide the most advanced aerial quality. That being said, a smaller, more fun and more affordable is perfect. This could very well be the product that brings DJI’s reputation from solely expensive products to the most inclusive drone company yet.

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Last modified: May 18, 2017

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