DJI’s rumored soda-can-sized drone is here. Packing a 12MP camera with a mechanical shutter on a 2-axis gimbal, the DJI Spark is everything we said it would be. And more.
Announced yesterday at DJI’s event in New York, the Spark comes in at a predicted $499, for the drone, and $699 for the drone and a few extras (case, batteries, etc). For first timers, this drone is amazing. Anybody can fly it, literally, as it can be controlled with your hands. In addition, DJI packed a two axis gimbal into the drone, allowing for some pretty solid footage. While some test flights of the drone have shown a few issues along the “yaw” axis (the axis not stabilized), the Spark’s videos still outperform almost all of the competitors at this price point; drones such as the Parrot AR drone, for example, do not come close.
In terms of features, the Spark does a great job of integrating all of DJI’s existing technology. The Spark has forward obstacle avoidance technology, which is huge for a drone of this size, and even more important considering that the drone can be controlled from one’s hands; any system that relies on this type of technology could potentially be problematic, so obstacle avoidance is crucial. The GPS and return to home functions are included too, as expected
As you can see, the drone’s small size means that the battery has to downsize accordingly, only giving 16 minutes of flight time. However, the drone can speed up to 31 miles per hour, and while this is too slow to be considered a racing drone like several rumors thought the Spark would be, this is still pretty quick, and one will be able to perform aerial tricks if he or she so pleases.
The sensor is a similar size to older Phantom models, 12 effective megapixels. The focal range is 25mm, which is decently wide angle, at a maximum aperture of f/2.6 (fixed). The ISO is adjustable, from 100-3200, showing that the Spark can handle low light situations. There is a burst shooting mode and even auto exposure bracketing. Finally, the camera records at 1080p 30 fps, with a pretty slow bitrate of 24mbps, but since the size is small, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Writing does not do this justice, so enjoy the following videos watching the Spark in action.
Last modified: July 6, 2017