The drone industry’s big trend has been making these flying contraptions as small as possible. This effort, of course, is spearheaded by none other than DJI who launched the Mavic Pro and absolutely blew everyone’s mind.
Well, the body is, at least. But that’s still an amazing feat considering just a couple of years back drones were absolutely massive. Don’t be mistaken, though, the DJI Spark isn’t going to be the last word in aerial photography but it does bring a few new tricks to the table.
The most obvious thing about it is its size. It’s definitely not the smallest camera drone in the world but when you consider the mighty amount features packed into it, it’s hard to not be impressed.
First, you’ve got the camera. It’s a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor that sits on a two-axis gimbal where you would usually find the camera. It’s also got a 25mm equivalent focal length an an f/2.6 aperture lens. This snapper can take 12-megapixel stills (with shallow depth of field, think portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus) and video up to 1080p resolution — so not quite Phantom 4 quality then.
But it isn’t designed to be a super serious video-making tool. In fact,it’s geared more towards the casual enthusiast as its price tag of USD499 (RM2,142) and intelligent features would suggest. Besides, DJI also boasts Spark’s ability to instantly edit and share videos to your social media.
There are more ways to control Spark because it’s got a bunch of gesture controls, allowing users to maneuver the drone in any direction by waving your hand about. It will activate when it recognises your face and can take off from the palm of your hand. What’s more, you can also beckon it to return to you and land right in your hands.
Users can also control the Spark with a smartphone (up to about 100 m) or opt for the full on controller which extends range to 2 km away. The Spark can also stream 720p video footage through DJI’s HD WiFi video transmission technology.
Besides that, the Spark has a slew of intelligent flight modes like tapfly, active track and a bunch more gestures. There’s also Quickshot which will let the Spark take “professional” shots for you like having it rocket up into the sky with the camera pointed down, or have fly upwards in a helix, spiraling around a single subject.
This new drone is capable of 16 minutes of flight time on a single charge but you can charge it via microUSB which is actually really nice. Speed, however, only tops out at 50 kph (in sport mode) but it does support DJI’s FPV goggles if you prefer to fly that way.
Spark has also got the many flight autonomy features you would come to expect from a DJI drone including return home, flight protection and an intelligent battery so you don’t run out of juice halfway.
DJI will offer the Spark in five different colours — Alpine White, Sky Blue, Meadow Green, Lava Red, Sunrise Yellow — plus a special combo deal where you can get the controller, propeller guards, a charging hub, an extra battery and more for an additional USD200 (around RM858).
For more info, head on over to DJI’s website.