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News & Notes

DJI Spark Is A Drone Designed for the Masses

Seize the moment with the DJI Spark

May 24, 2017

Only a month after its most recent drone launch, DJI announced today its highly anticipated personal (or selfie, if you prefer) drone, the Spark. After weeks of leaked photos and video, the speculation is finally confirmed. And it’s pretty much exactly what we expected — with a few surprises.

What makes it so special?

The DJI Spark is a drone designed for the masses, with features and capabilities meant for the first-time drone operator. It's a compact, travel-friendly photography drone — the smallest that DJI has made to date. However, counter to speculation, the Spark still comes in over the 250-gram weight limit set by Canadian hobby regulations. It also places the Spark just barely above the FAA’s established lowest-risk weight class.

Some leaks speculated that the Spark would be a racing drone, especially considering DJI’s recent foray into racing territory. But that’s not the case. The Spark is a drone focused primarily on photography — considering it shoots 12 megapixel stills and 1080p video — but can still reach speeds of up to 31 mph. Not bad.

The DJI Spark can fly for up to 16 minutes. And while the battery can be swapped out, the Spark can also be charged with a standard micro-USB charger.

The main feature of the Spark that sets it apart from its competitors is its gimbal — other mid-range “selfie” consumer drones use digital image stabilization, resulting in occasionally shaky video footage. Despite the Spark’s compact airframe and extremely light weight, it still captures clear, stable video.

But that’s not all — the Spark also has obstacle avoidance, which is almost unheard of for a drone of this size. The Spark has ultrasonic and vision sensors on its bottom and a forward-facing 3D sensing system, enabling stable indoor and outdoor flight as well as obstacle detection.
The DJI Spark drone is available in five different colors.
A personal touch

It was clear from the DJI announcement that the Spark is a drone for everyone. Michael Perry, DJI director of strategic partnerships, explained 46% percent of Americans have a purchase intention for a drone this year. But the general public is concerned about the ease of use for drones, and exactly how they would use a drone.

DJI designed the Spark for these consumers, focusing on simplicity. The drone features a variety of gesture commands, including palm landings and selfie capture, building upon the abilities of DJI drones like the Mavic. The Spark also features new autonomous flight patterns like Rocket and Helix as a part of DJI’s new QuickShots app feature.

“QuickShots makes complex shots as simple as tapping on your screen,” Perry said.

The Spark is available in five colors: Alpine White, Sky Blue, Meadow Green, Lava Red, and Sunrise Yellow. Like the Mavic, the Spark also features folding propellers, which make it easier to store on the go.

The consumer drone market has seen an influx of inexpensive, personal photography drones in recent months, including the Yuneec Breeze and ZeroTech Dobby. The Spark represents yet another move by industry giant DJI into total drone dominance. It will be telling to see how competitors respond to the Spark — will there be more investment into the personal drone market, or will the industry soon see a move into a different audience?

You can preorder the Spark today ― it’s slated to ship on June 15. The basic Spark drone package costs $499, which includes 6 propellers, a battery and its charger, a micro USB, and a storage box. For $699, you can get the Fly More Package, which includes: the Spark, two batteries and a charger, a controller, 8 propellers, a micro USB, storage box, shoulder bag, propeller guards, and battery charging hub.

Price Comparison Table:
  • DJI Spark: $499
  • DJI Spark Fly More Combo: $699
  • ZeroTech Dobby $349.00
  • Yuneec Breeze 4K $374.99
  • DJI Mavic Pro: $999.00

Key features:

  • Light weight (10.6 ounces or 300 grams)
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Two-axis gimbal
Featured image: DJI