When you think of DJI, the first thing that comes to mind is expensive and rather bulky but powerful drones. However, your perception might soon change as DJI on Monday launched 'Spark', which is not just the cheapest drone made by the company but also its most compact one yet. With a starting price of just Rs. 43,000 ($499 in the US) in India, DJI Spark is a mini camera drone that brings along some new features that have previously not been seen on DJI drones.
The new DJI drone weighs just around 300 grams and is comparable to a soda can in terms of size. DJI Spark has a maximum flight time of up to 16 minutes, is capable of recording 1080p videos, and comes with a 12-megapixel sensor for taking still images. "Spark's 2-axis mechanical gimbal and UltraSmooth technology dramatically reduce shake and rolling shutter effect to capture cinematic shots effortlessly," the company said in its release.
Moving to the highlight of the new drone, DJI Spark can be controlled with hand movements. With the PalmControl feature, for the first time in a drone by DJI, the Spark's movement can be controlled by users by just using their hands.
"Controlling a camera drone with hand movements alone is a major step towards making aerial technology an intuitive part of everyone's daily life, from work and adventure to moments with friends and family," said Paul Pan, Senior Product Manager at DJI. In case you don't prefer hand movements, you can always choose to control the drone with your smartphone.
Apart from PalmControl, DJI Spark comes with Quickshot feature, which creates 10-second video from flight to easily share on social media. Some of the other features from DJI including TapFly and ActiveTrack can also be found on the new mini drone from the company.
DJI Spark can reach maximum speeds of up to 50kmph and with Sport Mode, the camera flies with you as you move along. While the new drone comes with some of DJI's other shooting modes, it introduces two new modes, i.e. Pano and ShallowFocus.
"In Pano Mode, the camera creates horizontal or vertical panoramas by automatically adjusting its gimbal and heading, taking a series of pictures and stitching them together. ShallowFocus allows you to put part of a picture into sharp focus while the rest of the image is softened, creating photographs with a shallow depth of field," the company said in its release.
Apart from the main camera, the DJI Spark comes with a downward-facing vision system, a forward-facing 3D Sensing System, dual-band GPS and GLONASS, a high-precision inertial measurement unit, and 24 powerful computing cores, as per the company.
The standard DJI Spark kit will include an aircraft, a battery, a USB charger and three pairs of propellers. Users can also choose to get their hands on the Spark Fly More Combo, which includes an aircraft, two batteries, four pairs of propellers, a remote controller, propeller guards, a charging hub, a shoulder bag and all necessary cables, with a retail price of Rs. 60,000.
The shipping of the drone has been estimated to start from June 15 in the US and each user can only purchase a maximum of two units due to limited availability. Further, the company is also giving away a 16GB microSD card with the DJI Spark.
Just like some of the other recent drones from DJI, the Spark flies back to the preset home point when user presses the Return to Home (RTH) button, the battery gets too low, or the connection is lost.
DJI Spark has been launched in Alpine White, Sky Blue, Meadow Green, Lava Red, and Sunrise Yellow colours but the company says that the availability of different colours might depend on the different sales channels.