DJI unveiled its new Spark drone this week. The DJI Spark is a consumer-oriented drone that runs $500 and comes in several body colors. It can be controlled by gestures, your smartphone or the DJI controller.
The Spark’s body has a smaller footprint than the typical smartphone and makes the DJI Mavic Pro look big by comparison.
As you can see from the above video, the Spark offers a lot of versatility with the gesture control that appears to make it easy to fly it (with control) indoors.
The Spark has an HD video camera on-board with a 2-axis gimbal. The video can be transmitted to your smartphone up to 2km away. You can also use DJI Goggles to view the FPV footage. Additionally, Spark captures 12MP still images.
The Spark has a new QuickShot Intelligent Flight Mode for making quick, simple shots with a cinematic effect. To shoot one of these modes, select a QuickShot, and Spark will fly along a preset flight path while recording a short video and tracking a subject along the way.
Four QuickShots are available: Rocket, sending Spark straight up into the air with the camera pointed down; Dronie, flying up and away from your subject; Circle, rotating around the subject; and Helix, spiraling away from a subject as it flies upward. For each QuickShot, Spark will automatically create a 10-second video from your flight that is ready to share on social media.
Previously introduced Intelligent Flight Modes such as TapFly and ActiveTrack can also be found on Spark. Developed based on DJI’s vision technology, a new TapFly sub mode called Coordinate allows Spark to fly to a location you tap on your mobile device screen. TapFly’s Direction Mode lets you keep flying in the direction you tap on the screen. Using ActiveTrack, Spark will automatically recognize and track an object you choose, keeping it at the center of the frame for perfect shots of objects in motion. Whether you are using TapFly or tracking a subject, Spark’s 3D Sensing System will actively sense obstacles in front of the drone.
If you have the standard remote controller (available with the Spark Fly More Combo), you can fly the Spark in Sport Mode, which can deliver top speeds up to 31mph. Sport Mode sets the gimbal to first-person view (FPV) by default, so the camera moves with you as you fly.
DJI Spark also introduces a couple new shooting modes for photography: Pano and ShallowFocus.
In Pano Mode, the camera creates horizontal or vertical panoramas by automatically adjusting its gimbal and heading, taking a series of pictures and stitching them together in-camera.
ShallowFocus Mode gives you a simulated depth of field similar to what we see in recent smartphones like the iPhone 7 Plus and Huawei Mate 9.
The DJI Spark will ship in mid-June and is available at a base price of $499, which includes the drone, battery, charger and three spare propellers. The Fly More Combo includes an additional battery, an extra prop, the standard remote, propeller guards, a charging hub and a shoulder bag for $699. You can order the DJI Spark here at B&H Photo.
Bengt Nyman says
I frequently photograph from a boat which I run myself. Do you know if the new Spark Drone can be controlled to execute one of its QuickShots and return to land on board in case I am busy controlling the boat.
Eric Reagan says
If the boat is moving, I’d say that would be a tough proposition. In the launch video, they have the Spark taking off from and landing in your hand, so that part of it seems pretty precise. I just don’t think we’re too the point where we should expect it to land on a moving target by itself (probably not too far down the road though).