DJI wants everyone to be able to fly a drone. At least, that's the message it seems to be sending with the Spark ($859.00), the company's smallest aircraft yet. It's a selfie drone you can interact with just by waving your hand. It's also a short-range quadcopter that can be controlled with your smartphone, complete with forward obstacle avoidance and subject tracking capabilities. Add an accessory remote and you've got a very capable bird, with a 31mph top speed and a robust operating range.
Can it be all things to all people? Not really. It works well for selfies and quick shots, but battery life is short, the video editing process isn't as easy as promised, and flying with your smartphone is kludgy. If you want a drone, but don't want to have to worry about learning to fly one like a pro, the Spark is worth a look. But if you want a more versatile quadcopter in a small form factor, and are interested in learning to fly it manually, the DJI Mavic Pro is a stronger, albeit more expensive, choice.
The Spark is tiny. It measures 2.2 by 5.6 by 5.6 inches (HWD) and weighs 10.6 ounces—DJI points out it weighs less than a can of soda. It's not foldable, though the propellers do fold in for easy transport—you don't have to remove them for storage, so the Spark is always ready to fly. And there are colors. You can get it in Alpine White, Lava Red, Meadow Green, Sky Blue, and Sunrise Yellow. As you can see, our review model is Sunrise Yellow.
It uses microSD memory to store images and video. A removable battery promises 16 minutes of flight time per charge, though in our field tests, the best we managed was 12 minutes. It's still better than the six minutes you get with tiny selfie drones like the Dobby. There's a micro USB port, so you can plug the Spark into a portable battery pack or your laptop to recharge its battery. Extra batteries are priced at a reasonable.
Smart Return To Home
New shooting modes - Pano and ShallowFocus
Either USB or charging pad options
2 axis gimbal with 2K camera
5 different colours to choose from
Up to 16 minutes of flight time
2km HD Wi-Fi video transmission
Spark up your life with this DJI camera drone
The DJI Spark is the latest in small drone technology and some are calling it the Mavic’s little brother. There is a lot of technology crammed into the small stature of DJI’s latest camera drone. Infared sensors to detect and avoid collisions, charging pad making it easier to get the DJI Spark ready for its next flight, and, a 2-axis gimbal with a 2K camera for brilliant drone photography.
This high functioning compact drone is 143mm by 143mm and can be easily stored in your backpack. To make drone flight even easier, you have the choice of controlling it with your smartphone via the DJI GO App or the DJI Spark controller (sold separately).
The LiPo battery used on the Spark has a high energy density for optimal performance. To ensure your safe flight the 12 intelligent protection functions including the all important remaining battery life help you determine remaining flight time and when you should bring your Spark back down.
The brand new DJI Spark camera has an aerial optimised F2.6 wide-angle lens with a 25mm equivalent focal length. This lens features five elements arranged into a single group that fits into a smaller and compact frame.
The DJI Spark onboard camera is equipped with a 12 megapixel, 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor. You can capture stills at 12 MP and super stable video at 1080p. You will capture and record precision colours as the larger pixels have a higher light sensitivity allowing your Spark to get you fantastic video or stills.
On board UltraSmooth technology combined with the Spark’s 2-axis mechanical gimbal ensure the shake and rolling shutter effect are drastically reduced giving you the perfect platform for aerial photography.
Endless possibilities with different shooting modes
If you are familiar with the DJI stable of market-leading camera drones you’ll be pleased to know the DJI Spark comes with all the previous drone shooting modes along with two brand new modes:
Pano – by automatically adjusting its heading and gimbal the Spark can shoot either horizontal or vertical panorama.
Shallow Focus – capture photos with a shallow depth of field with the inbuilt 3D vision technology.
Intelligent flight modes
TapFly - With the tap of a finger, you can fly in any direction without your remote.
ActiveTrack - Trace: track your subject from front, behind or circle around it. Profile: Follow your target from a fixed perspective
Gesture mode - From take-off to landing and even taking selfies, you can control your mini drone using your hands.
Quickshot - videos with a tap
Shoot professional footage with the tap of a finger. There are four different options to choose from when shooting with QuickShot:
Rocket - take off with the camera facing downwards
Dronie - with the camera locked on your subject, the DJI Spark will fly backwards and upwards
Circle - the drone will circle around your subject
Helix - Whilst flying upward, the drone will spiral around your subject
Small in size, big in features
Your DJI Spark is no slouch when it comes to speed. With its lightweight and aerodynamic design, the Spark’s quad motors will propel you forward at 50 kph once you’ve engaged Sport Mode. With an advanced flight control system, your Spark will intuitively move with precision.
You will get 720p real-time video transmission from up to 2 km’s away with the Spark’s innovative HD Wi-Fi technology.
Smart Return to Home is the ‘get out of jail free’ card particularly for new flyers and on most DJI drones and the Spark, in particular, your home point will be pre-set and with the onboard FlightAutonomy system returning to home will be a simple task with sufficient GPS signal in the case of lost connection, low battery or pilot instruction.
FPV Flight ready
The Spark can be used as an FPV craft by simply switching to sport mode. The gimbal will move the camera with as you fly and the experience can be further enhanced through the use of DJI Goggles.
Precision Flight Autonomy
As with any of the new DJI craft, there is an impressive array of technology to enhance the crafts awareness to its flying environment. The Spark is no different. The FlightAutonomy system includes a 3D sensing system, high-precision inertial measurement unit, vision positioning system (VPS), dual band GPS, and, 24 powerful computing cores. With VPS assistance you will be able to hover your Spark with accurate precision at up to 30m in height and obstacles will be sensed from up to 5m away.
Be informed of where you can fly
Knowing where you can legally fly your drone is important given the larger numbers in the air these days and stricter safety precautions being enforced. The GEO system from DJI will inform you where flying your Spark will raise security/safety concerns ie: airports, stadiums and enable you to be a responsible drone flyer.
The DJI Spark comes in 5 different colours - white, blue, green, red and yellow. Which will you choose?
If you like this drone, you should also check out the Yuneec Breeze.
DJI - Introducing Spark (02:28)
Meet Spark, DJI’s first ever mini drone. Signature technologies, new gesture control, and unbelievable portability make your aerials more fun and intuitive than ever before. With five different colors, there’s a Spark for everyone.
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DJI - Introducing Spark
Meet Spark, DJI’s first ever mini drone. Signature technologie...