DJI's latest drone Spark weighs in just over half a pound but packs a tonne of powerful features that can fit into your palm at a price tag of $499.
Unveiled at DJI’s “Seize the Moment” event in New York City, portability and accessibility are Spark's biggest USP. The world’s largest consumer drone maker claims that users will be able to go from in-hand to in-the-air taking photos in just seconds. Geared towards entry-level pilots looking to capture drone-quality images and video, Spark has a number of consumer-friendly features.
Pilots will be able to navigate through basic controls such as distance and the shutter itself. Also with a simple wave of the hand Spark will return to its original take-off point at the end of a flight.
Notably, the demo of the functionality went exactly as planned, which isn’t always the case at these sorts of events. Spark is a perfect combination of gesture-based controls and the usual smartphone-based flight experience that will be familiar to previous DJI owners.
One can use gesture control to manoeuvre the drone in any direction or use a smartphone to control it up to 109 yards away. Battery life clocks in at 16 minutes of flight time on a single charge, but you can charge on the go with a Micro USB. The mini-drone is capable of hitting speeds up to 31mph and all of this comes in a 311-gram package.
It features a 12-megapixel camera capable of 1080p stabilised video but no 4K. The camera is mounted on a mechanical gimbal for stabilisation, and the lens itself has a 1/2.3-inch image sensor.
As part of Wednesday's demonstration, DJI also revealed a new app, dubbed Go 4, that aims to make it easier to edit and share clips recorded with the Spark. The simplified smart feature appears similar to Apple's Memories function in Photos for iOS 10.