The DJI Spark is DJI’s first real foray in to the mass market with a drone that offers a very low barrier to entry to operate. Not only is the Spark DJI’s smallest drone with a body the size of a smartphone, it is also their most affordable. The Spark can be launched from your hand with its facial recognition take off and it can be controlled through the DJI Go App. It can fly up to 100 metres away, this can be increased to over 1.2 miles (1.9km) with the DJI remote control (sold separately).
One big difference between the Spark and its bigger brother the Mavic Pro is its lack of 3-axis gimbal and ability to record 4k video. Instead it shoots full HD 1080p video using a 12 megapixel camera setup on a 2-axis gimbal. This is not a drawback for a lot of people this drone is aimed at because they likely do not have the ability or space to edit 4k video and just want a simple way to shoot and share their footage.
Spark has a 16 minute flight time and can fly up to 31mph (50kph) with the optional remote when in the sports mode setting. Its DJI flight autonomy includes GPS / Glonass, forward facing 3d vision sensing and vision positioning that all keep it flying stable. A nice feature of the Spark is that it supports direct charging over Micro USB, but also has a removable battery.
Spark is packed with gesture controls for taking photos and video. Its intelligent flight modes include QuickShot, ActiveTrack, Tap Fly and Gesture. A wave of the hands can take a photo, it can follow your hand making you look like some kind or Jedi master and even land safely on your hand. QuickShot is for creating cinematic movements and includes rocket, dronie, circle and helix, each creating a stunning style of video movement. TapFly allows you to simply tap where you want the drone to fly and it will use its front-facing sensors to fly there safely. ActiveTrack is perfect for following a moving subject. For photo it packs in pano and shallow focus modes for professional looking shots.
The Spark drones software can record video clips and edit them down in to video for you. Fly, Create, Share is the mantra of the Spark and the idea is to just have fun with it and share what you make without having to download it all and use edit suites before sharing. You can launch Spark from your hand using facial recognition, use some of the video features and have it return to home all with very little effort.
In many respects the DJI Spark is a good drone to build on as it has the option to buy the additional remote and first person view goggles. The price tag of $499 (£519) is much more widely affordable than the newer Phantom and Mavic Pro series drones. It does take the best features from the two series, combining all the portability of the Mavic Pro with the fixed body design of the Phantom as well as integrating all the intelligent flight modes and even adding a couple.
The DJI Spark is available in 5 colours direct through the DJI Store for £499 ($519) or you can upgrade to the ‘Fly more bundle’ for £699 ($699). This bundle is currently reduced by £196 ($154) at the time of writing this.
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