Here is DJI again, trying to break a barrier that is technologically possible, but that I find it complicated to exceed if we find ourselves in markets where we have to have some conscience – also legality – if you want to take off a drone. Best we forget this and I present to DJI Spark, which is the most affordable model of the Chinese house.
No doubt, the evolution is spectacular, every new drone they pull out is significantly better than the previous one in flight capabilities, camera or intelligence. In this case, the path chosen is quite different: DJI strives to get a very competitive product at the best possible price, doing much harm to companies that aimed more to the drone to play than to do professional things with it.
Obviously, they will not give away anything, you have to pay 600 dollars for the most basic option, but I think a pretty powerful price. Companies like Parrot should be pulling their hair with the appearance of the little Spark, which is simple, small and camera.
The true power of this drone is its size, you can take it to any place without too much annoyance, and is that it weighs only 300 grams. As you can see in the images, there is a protection kit for the area of the propellers.
Remote control, smartphone or gestures
The first two forms of control we intuited, are those that already offers us any creator of drones in the market. The third, the gestures, seems rather curious: Spark’s camera and software do the work here, recognizing your hand.
It is called Gesture mode and through it we can tell it to move, to stay in flight stationary, or even to land in our hands (for this they always recommend to place the protection). The main idea of this is to send it to the air to make us a selfie and return, without touching any command.
12 Megapixel Camera
Compared to professional options this could be the weakest element, but the 1 / 2.3-inch and 12-megapixel CMOS sensor is sure to behave quite well. DJI has us well accustomed to this.
With the remote control, Spark lets you stream video in 720p in real time, up to 2km …
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The maximum quality of video that can be recorded is in 1080p format; the interesting thing is that this content will be stabilized mechanically and electronically.
Among the novelties of the camera, we are struck by a panoramic mode that works both vertically and horizontally: they take a series of photos and merge. Playing with the depth of field is ShallowFocus, it will give priority to one point and the rest will soften.
Smart Flight Modes
We have the TapFly or ActiveTrack modes known in the brand, with obstacle recognition. More innovative are the four options of QuickShot mode is recorded a video of 10 seconds, designed for social networks …
- Rocket, Spark ascends vertically with the camera pointing down
- Dronie, moves away from goal while rising
- Circle, orbits around a target
- Helix, trace an upward spiral motion around a target
Finally, we have the Sport mode, which obligatorily uses the remote control. Spark gets 50 kilometers an hour with it. The camera is put in first person mode for better handling, related to this mode it must be said that Spark is compatible with DJI Goggles, for a more immersive experience.
Flight autonomy? It sounded to me that we were not going to find the flight capacity of its older brothers, and that’s right, the Spark stays in 16 minutes flying in the best conditions.
Positioning systems? The camera itself, another pointing down, a front 3D sensor system, GPS and an inertial measurement unit. After all this is done after processing a brain with 24 cores.