DJI, a Chinese drone company, is making a huge breakthrough with something small. They are looking for a way to bring small, light-weighted and easy-to-use drones that can launch from your palm to the masses. At DJI’s “huge Seize the Moment” event in New York City, DJI announced the launching of their tiny DJI Spark drone, making last year’s once-considered-small folding Mavic Pro look huge by comparison.
The DJI Spark is very light, which only weighs 300g (0.67 lb), measures 14.3 com (5.6 in) along each side and 5.5 cm (2.1 in) tall. A physical remote controller is also available or you can control the drone through DJI’s mobile app. Unbelievably, it can be controlled entirely only by hand gestures. Now you can send the drone flying and snap selfies and shoot videos, as well as back again with only your hands! The DJI Spark can hover up to 30 m (98 ft) and sense and avoid obstacle which is 5m (16 ft) away.
It can travel at a maximum speed of 31 mph (50 km/h) when on Sports Mode. It can also switch the gimbal to FPV mode if you would like to see what your drone sees, with DJI’s Goggles. Similar to all of DJI’s drones, the Spark will automatically return home if the connection is lost or if the battery is almost flat, or if the pilot presses the return-to-home button.
With a total flight time of 16 minutes, DJI claims that it is able to transmit 720p video from up to 2km (1.2 miles) away. Videos captured is at 1080p and stills at 12 megapixels, with built-in camera with a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor attached to two-axis mechanical gimbal.
DJI has implemented several features that’ll make your flying experience more interesting and fun. The most entertaining is the so-called QuickShot flight mode. This feature sends your drone along four pre-programmed flight paths to capture a 10-second video of wither you or your surroundings. These flight paths include Circle, which it will automatically circle a targeted object, Helix, where it spirals away while flying upwards, Rocket, having the camera facing downwards while it rockets straight up, and Dronie, where it flies up while facing the subject.
Spark has also a really cool mode called Coordinate, where you can send your drone to a specific location you choose on your smartphone, along with some shooting modes, which includes PanoMode, which adjusts the gimbal and camera to snap several pictures and make them into a panorama. The other shooting mode is ShallowFocus, which creates a bokeh effect. It also has a feature called the DJI’s ActiveTrack tech, which allows the drone to track an object on screen.
DJI Spark will be available in five different colours: white, blue, green, red and yellow, and will be on retail for US$500, while kits which includes the remote controller will be at US$700, but the package will also include an extra battery, bag, extra propellers, and guards. They are available for pre-order now, and will be expected to be shipped by mid-June.