Full original post from our partner site Charged.io.
There is a new DJI drone on the market, DJI has officially announced the Spark, a very portable, compact drone. Attempting to make drone photography as simple as Android phone photography, this little machine is ready to fly by hand, literally.
DJI Spark can be a companion to your Android phone, or replace your phone as your selfie camera.
Our own John Velasco was in attendance at the New York event on May 24. The new drone and more were announced, head over to our partner site Charged.io for all our coverage.
Overview of the DJI Spark
Early leaks were fairly accurate in depicting the DJI Spark. We are looking at a fixed propeller arm quadcopter that is smaller than the Mavic Pro. Utilizing familiar folding propellers and a fairly new approach to controlling the machine, Spark is promising to be an easy to use camera, nearly ready to fly on a whim.
The concept is simple, focusing on immediacy, the DJI Spark was designed to be easy to use, simple to control and fit in your pocket. Your smartphone has all of these things, but only tells the part of the story of what you are seeing, Spark will include the side of the story showing how you are experiencing your adventures.
Double tap the power button while the drone is facing you, and it handles the rest. It tracks you just by using your palm, face your hand toward the drone and it stays right where you want it.
The DJI Spark takes portability to a new level, providing a nearly-ready to fly drone that you can slip into a purse or backpack. Packing similar cameras to the Mavic Pro, you’re assured pretty decent images. What it really boils down to then is how you control this new drone.
There is an optional dedicated remote control, but the DJI Spark was designed to work by hand, literally. Gesture controls maneuver the machine through the air from take-off to landing. Snap photos with a basic gesture and control the thing with your Jedi mind tricks. Face your palm to the machine and the front facing sensors will make the drone travel with you.
Hand gestures include:
- Wave to send drone out approx. 10 feet
- Create a box with your fingers to snap a photo
- Two handed wave and hold out your hand to trigger landing
There are extra controls available through the remote control, or your connected smartphone, including the full suite of DJI smart features from ActiveTrack, TapFly and more.
Adding value to the recently announced DJI Goggles, connect your new headgear to the new drone for the immersive experience.
Quickshot camera modes
The newly introduced Quickshot features include several flying modes and easy editing within the DJI GO 4 app. We’re working on a dedicated post to explore this in entirety, but for now, Quickshot includes:
Rocket – the camera faces downward and the drone rockets straight up.
Dronie – the camera faces the subject and flies slowly upward as it backs away from the subject.
Circle – the camera keeps a focus on the subject and the drone flies around it in a circle.
Helix – the camera keeps focus on the subject and the drone both flies outward, upward and circles around. Basically, it combines the Dronie and Circle functions.
Once your video is captured, enjoy fast and easy editing. Tap the button in the DJI GO 4 app and your footage will be automatically edited down to as quick and fun video, music included.
Looking at the spec sheet, we have a decently powerful flying machine. The DJI Spark houses what appears to be the same camera sensor as the Mavic Pro at 1/2.3-inch, however, the Spark is limited to just 1080P video. The camera is gimbal mounted to get the most of your shot.
DJI says the Spark will go up to 31 mph, but that is using the optional remote and in Sport Mode, which turns off most smart features and collision sensors. Speaking of, the Spark has forward facing obstacle avoidance only. Flight time with the 1,480 mAh battery clocks in at a maximum of 16 minutes.
GPS and GLONAS keep your new machine hovering with the same accuracy as the Mavic Pro, that includes front facing sensors to both track you as the pilot and to avoid collisions. Return to Home functionality is supported as well, as we should expect from all higher-end drones today. Tap the button or allow the drone to automatically return home when the battery gets low.
Pricing, colors and availability
Exciting news from an exciting drone manufacturer. We look forward to getting our hands on this drone, at which time we’ll bring you our full review.
Prices start at $499 for the drone alone. A Fly More bundle is also available for $699, including an extra battery, charging hub, carrying case and more. You can order today, then your new DJI Spark will ship in mid-June.
Order in one of five colors, blue, green, white, yellow or red.
What do you think so far, is the new DJI Spark the drone you’ve been waiting for?