Recently, popular drone maker DJI revealed Spark, an easy-to-fly, portable aircraft at their “Seize the Moment” event in New York City. The palm-sized drone is being marketed as a “storytelling” device thanks to its smartphone-like features for photo and video, gesture-based control options, and small size.
Six months ago DJI unveiled the Mavic Pro, a drone aimed at solving the portability issue by being foldable. With the revelation of Spark, DJI has bettered itself by providing a solution that is truly portable. The newest member of the DJI drone family is about the size of a can of soda and considers everyone its target market. Unlike other drones, the Spark doesn’t need a lot of technical knowledge to get things started.
Spark Features & Capabilities
Launching the Spark is fairly quick: it uses FaceAware technology to lift off from the palm of the hand. Photos, including selfies, can be taken with simple gesture-based controls. An accompanying app helps the drone perform a range of maneuvers, including different kinds of flight patterns. A remote control can also be purchased for more control options.
DJI has equipped Spark with technologies that make capturing envisioned moments easier. Simply tapping on a specific location on a phone screen will take the drone to that place to snap a photo, a feat achieved with vision technology and available in TapFly mode. With ActiveTrack, Spark can keep close track of a subject and from the user’s choice of perspective.
Just like more recent DJI drones, the Spark also comes equipped with technology for detecting obstacles in its flight path and avoiding them. Landing the palm-sized aircraft is done by tapping the “Return to Home” button which beings the device back to the takeoff point.
DJI intends the Spark to be a flying device capable of capturing all of life’s moments. As such, they have equipped the drone with impressive video and photo features. The drone can take 12MP photos and record 1080p videos – features that are present in most modern smartphones.
Although there are drones that have better image options and 4K video support, the Spark delivers equally good photo and video at a smaller size and a friendlier price. Drone enthusiasts are accustomed to the high prices of DJI’s unmanned aerial vehicles, but the Spark will start retailing at $499 for the basic package.
In tune with the “seize the moment” theme is the quick edit and share feature of the DJI Spark’s accompanying DJI Go 4 app. With a selection of editing templates and filters, videos can be easily made more creative before being shared on various social media sites.
The Spark can remain in the air for just 16 minutes, a figure that many hobbyists might not be too keen about. However, the drone can be recharged through microUSB, a feature that allows it to be charged while in the field with a portable charger that is powerful enough.
The DJI Spark is already available for pre-order with shipments beginning in mid-June. It will cost $499 for the basic package and $699 for the package with extras, such as bag, remote, and second battery.