DJI Spark: All information about the popular selfie drone
She is small. Tiny. The new drone from DJI is not much bigger than a soda can and fits easily on a palm. This makes the DJI Spark the smallest model in the range of the Chinese manufacturer DJI. Nevertheless, the little racer has a lot to offer!
Currently best price for the DJI Spark in the Fly More Combo package
DJI Spark and the gesture control
The DJI Spark introduces a feature that has not been in the drones yet. Alone by hand movements you can maneuver the small quadrocopter. This is a wonderful relief especially for selfies. For other drones you have to hide the remote control behind the back or put it somewhere in group pictures and selfies. With the DJI Spark, such recordings can be carried out in the future simply with the gesture control. Especially for private photos a wonderful thing!
If you want, you can even start the DJI Spark directly from the palm of your hand, without having to operate a smartphone or a remote control. Put the DJI Spark on your palm for this function and press the power button twice. Then the drone with the camera recognizes you as a pilot and starts automatically. Simply terrific, to capture private memories and to be in the air fast! The elaborate assembly of the copter before each start is thus eliminated.
If this is too tricky, can also with the Smartphone or one Remote control to serve the DJI Spark. Of course, this opens up more options and the range increases. By using a smartphone, the copter can fly up to 100 meters away, when using a remote control, the range even increases to a radius of up to 2 kilometers. Keep in mind that such flight distances are not allowed in most countries.
Also known DJI intelligence in the DJI Spark
In addition to the gesture control, the DJI Spark is equipped with a number of other great features that we z.T. already know from other drones like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. This includes, for example Active track (tapping a moving subject in the app will track the object from the copter) or Tab Fly (by tapping a certain point in the app, the drone automatically flies to that location).
Of course, the well-known security features for DJI continue to play a major role. In addition to the established Return to Home (Copter returns to the start point when disconnecting) DJI Spark also owns one obstacle detection (obstacle avoidance). This allows the copter to detect obstacles up to 5 meters away, avoiding collisions.
For a more precise navigation of the copter is not just a Spark GPS-Module integrated, but also the Russian navigation system GLONASS is installed. This allows a more precise control of the drone in the open air.
Also the well-known Vision Positioning System (VPS) is back on board. With this system, Spark can orient itself in space without GPS / GLONASS and hold its position. This feature allows you to take photos in your living room with the copter.
So that you do not fly unintentionally in areas in which the operation of Coptern is not allowed, the DJI Spark takes into account local flight bans (for example, around airports, temporary bans on major events, etc.). I’m curious to see if the restriction zones of the new drone regulation are included in Germany (eg federal highways and motorways).
Now the sky is getting colorful
For launch, the DJI Spark was only available in a combo package that costs 200 euros more and includes other accessories such as a remote control, a spare battery, more propellers and a shoulder bag.
Furthermore, you can expand your equipment with the DJI Goggles – a video glasses, with which you can control the Copter directly in the “pilot’s perspective” (First Person View).
The camera of the DJI Spark
The camera of the DJI Spark takes 12 MP pictures (3968 × 2976 pixels), which is sufficient for many users. The video resolution is up FullHD (1920 × 1080 pixels). The frame rate is 30 fps, so you can record with the DJI Spark no slow motion. However, this is rarely necessary for aerial photography anyway – especially for the target group that DJI addresses with this selfie drone.
To make your drone recordings more exciting, DJI has with the Quick shots automatic maneuvers introduced:
- Rocket: In this quicksuck, DJI Spark flies straight up while the camera is looking down.
- Dronie: In a Dronie the DJI Spark starts on an object and moves diagonally upwards away from the subject, so that the environment becomes visible.
- Circle: In this quicksick, the Spark orbits the subject in a smooth motion.
- helix: For a helix, the spark circles around an object like a circle, but moves farther and farther from the subject. With that, the Spark flies upwards in a spiral.
A quickshot will be recorded within one minute and saved to create a 10-second clip.
In addition to these video options, there are also new photo modes. With Pano You can create a panorama photo without having to put together the individual pictures to a complete work. The app already does it for you. Depending on the setting, the DJI Spark uses up to nine frames to put together in a panorama. By ShallowFocus A depth of field is created, so that the actual motive is more effective. I myself find this effect in the demo footage of DJI, however exaggerated.
What good is the whole camera technique if you do not get to cut your footage? Lots of aerial shots are on hard drives and memory cards without ever being seen by anyone else. The post-processing is quite expensive. Also for this problem, DJI has come up with something clever!
DJI promises that with the new one DJI Go 4 App can cut the footage into a finished video in no time. An editor in the app simplifies the post-processing and also allows to insert your own music and logos as well as to use color filters. Everything is put together so that you can immediately share your recordings with your friends!
How DJI Spark differentiates itself from other selfie drones
The camera of the DJI Spark is not very suitable for filmmakers, which is why I see this copter in the category of selfie drones. DJI itself focused on the use of private users in the product presentation. Everyone should be able to share everyday experiences with their friends and family with DJI Spark.
Of course, there are already other drones in this segment, such as the Yuneec Breeze or the Parrot Bebop 2. However, these copters are missing one mechanical image stabilization. Although Parrot and Yuneec use digital image stabilization, the quality of a gimbal can not be achieved.
DJI went one step further with the Spark and equipped the mini-drone with a 2-axis gimbal. Thus, the camera is always aligned according to the flight movement, so the images are very stable – even in difficult flight conditions. There is one here clear quality improvement in the recordings, which makes DJI pay well though. The Yuneec Breeze is already to have for about 350 euros, while DJI requires for the Spark at least 599 euros (Addendum: Meanwhile, the DJI Spark for about 400 euros available). Here everyone must decide for themselves whether the new functions justify this extra charge. Who takes the extra charge in addition to a better camera suspension also gets a drone with gesture control and obstacle detection, which does not exist so far in the segment.
Is the DJI Spark the new travel drone?
The DJI Spark is not just because of its small size ideal companion on excursions and trips. The new quadrocopter from DJI weighs just 300 grams (take-off mass) and is therefore super portable.
But the developers have also thought of the everyday application in another point. For example, the battery can be via a power bank with a MicroUSB connector charge. This is super handy on the way!
My conclusion to DJI Spark
The DJI Spark is clearly aimed at individuals who want to immortalise their everyday lives for the circle of acquaintances or themselves from new perspectives. The maximal Flight time of 16 minutes is low compared to other DJI models; Nevertheless, that should satisfy the needs of most home users. In this area the DJI Spark seems to be a real alternative, e.g. to be DJI Mavic Pro. The price of 599 € I think in comparison to the competition for too high.
If you want to take professional pictures, you might be disappointed with the camera and the flight performance. Thus, images can only be saved as JPGs (no RAW / DNG possible) and the resolution is limited to 1080 pixels at 30 frames per second.
Hobby pilots I can recommend the DJI Spark but absolutely. I really enjoyed chasing the little quadrocopter through the air.
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