Drone photography/videography is definitely on the rise as more companies try to make them cheaper for the general consumer. For sure, DJI is at the front of the pack – by a great distance. They have incredible professional drones that can carry some pretty serious cameras and last year had released a mini drone called the Mavic Pro.
The DJI Spark, the New Mini Drone – Perfect For Travel Photos and Videos
Be Aware of Rules!
If you do fly a drone, make sure you pay attention to the rules and requirements where you are flying. As of last week, you no longer have to register your drone with the FAA (which means no $5 fee) but there are cities that have their own rules. According to a couple of sources, it appears that this new mini drone may actually be considered a toy in many countries due to its size so you may not have to deal with the same regulations as you would with the larger drones. But, before you fly, make sure you search for the rules in your area!
Yesterday, they announced a new mini drone that makes its big brother, the Mavic Pro, look big. Welcome to the DJI Spark!
DJI Spark Specs
- 2-Axis Stabilized Gimbal Camera
- 12MP Still Photos / 1080p/30 Video
- Gesture and TapFly Control
- FlightAutonomy with Obstacle Detection
- Subject Tracking from Various Angles
- GPS- & Vision Position-Based Navigation
- Top Speed of 31 mph in Sport Mode
- Up to 16 Minutes Flying Time
- Up to 1.2 Mile Control Range
- Control, Edit, Share with DJI GO App
DJI Spark – The New Mini Drone
Link: DJI Spark
I bought the Mavic Pro last year when it was released (got an awesome deal on it!) and have enjoyed playing with it a bit as I work to get better with controlling the little thing for videos I am working on. It is truly an amazing piece of technology with the same camera that was in their larger Phantom 4 while being about the size of a water bottle.
But, apparently, that size (and the accompanying price) was still too much for more of the general market so DJI decided to target that group next. That is what they did with this new mini drone, the DJI Spark.
To be clear, it is not in the same league with either the Mavic Pro or the Phantom 4s – and it wasn’t meant to be. This new drone is built to be the your go-everywhere companion to use for quick photos and videos. In many ways, it could replace the selfie sticks (but hopefully not too soon – no way I want to see as many drones as I see selfie sticks) for people in their travels.
The DJI Spark is designed to work with hand gestures and to even be able to take off from your hand. You can use your smartphone to control it and it has presets that will allow it to do such things as:
It has a bunch of other features as well that it borrows from its siblings. That includes the ability to track a selected moving subject, which should be nice for some sporting activities. But, since this is operating visually and aided by software, don’t expect it to be as great as something that is based on actual location (like the Airdog).
The Cost & Availability
The DJI Spark is already on pre-order with first shipments going out next month. It costs $499 but there is a more complete package that includes things like an additional battery, a battery charging hub, extra propellors, propellor guards (perfect for letting it launch from your hand), remote controller (otherwise you would use your hand & smartphone), shoulder bag, and larger charger. The Fly More Combo is priced at $699.
You can preorder from various sources and this would be a great time to put your Amex Offers for Adorama to work! Since they do not charge sales tax for shipments out of NY, you would essentially be getting $50 off the $499 item – not bad at all!
You can also order from B&H, Best Buy, etc. But, check to see that your preferred vendor has the color/package you want in stock. That’s right – this comes in five different colors! Also, you could buy from Amazon where DJI ships it directly as they are the seller.
These will likely sell out quickly. If you are interested, definitely check it out soon!
Capturing special memories during your travels is definitely still something that people love to do but now many people do that with a device that is always on them – their smartphone. This new mini drone gives you a nice way to take your travel photos from a different perspective and will also fit nicely in pockets, purses, and small packs. This could be a great new way to get some nice images on the go while capturing the beauty of your surroundings.