Drones might be getting smaller and more affordable than ever, but few have yet to hit the honest-to-goodness mainstream audience. To that end, DJI is putting a big bet on its smallest and easiest to control drone yet with the Spark.
Although the DJI Spark comes with a controller, you practically don’t need it, thanks to its intuitive gesture controls. Users can easily launch the drone from the palm of their hand simply by looking, telling it where to fly with their hands or telling it to take a photo by forming a picture frame with their fingers.
The DJI Spark comes with all same smart obstacle collision technology as its bigger Mavic Pro brother and then some with two GPS/GLONASS radios, as well as infrared cameras.
Additionally, DJI has introduced new four automatic flight maneuvers called Quickshots, which are similar to the GoPro Karma Drone’s Auto Shot Paths. Dronie Mode for taking an aerial selfie. Helix Mode has the drone take an upwardly spiraling path, and lastly. Rocket sends the drone straight into the sky with the camera looking down. Lastly, Circle will have the drone rotate around the users.
From these Quickshots, the Spark will automatically shoot at stitch together 10-second videos.
Measuring in at a scant 143 x 143 x 55mm, your morning coffee is probably bigger than this mini drone. Despite its diminutive size, the DJI is no small fry, with the ability to fly up to 31 miles-per-hour and a maximum of 16 minutes of total flight time.
In terms of video capture, the DJI Spark is equipped with a 12-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor that can capture Full HD video at 30p and 3,968 × 2,976 resolution images. In front of the digital sensor is a 25mm lens (35mm equivalent) that captures an effective 81.8-degree field-of-view.
The DJI Spark is available for preorder now for $499 (about £390, AU$670) and will begin shipping mid-June this year. DJI is also selling a Fly More kit that includes the drone with a set of replacement propellers, an additional battery, battery charging hub, and a shoulder bag for $699 (about £540, AU$940).