Droneflyers.com received a review model of the DJI Spark Camera Drone before the official launch. We therefore have had a few months to put the model through its paces and determine the pros and cons of this ultra-portable quadcopter. Note that we have our initial review in this article as well as a number of Spark videos at our youtube channel. These may answer many of your questions, however the below is a summary of our thoughts at the present time. We will present most of the benefits and features in the beginning of the article and list out the major “cons” (what it doesn’t do, etc.) at the end.
What is Spark and who is it for?
The DJI Spark is the first mass-market ultra-portable drone that still has most of the features of the larger and heavier models. These include a camera gimbal, front and bottom sensors, dual GPS, FPV, an advanced App and an array of photographic and other options. Up until the Spark, the closest model to this ideal was the Parrot BeBop 2 – which has many of the above features, but lacks a gimbal (mechanical camera stabilizer) – instead using Electronic Image Stabilization to remove vibrations and other unwanted movement from the video(s). Most experts will agree that the mechanical (Spark) camera gimbal results in better overall video than EIS.
The DJI Spark is available with or without an option R/C controller. When purchased without the R/C controller, the range is limited and the model must be controlled using “virtual sticks” which are on the screen. Those who have no experience with either virtual or real “sticks” will likely need a lot of practice (and reading) to become familiar with operating the Spark via Mobile Device. Still, in our opinion, the Spark represents a truly useable camera drone/mobile device combo….something that we feel is lacking with most earlier models.
Adding the R/C controller makes the Spark a much more capable device – extending the range, the control “feel” and other options enough to make it a totally different experience. The R/C controller also features a “Sport” mode – which turns the normally tame Spark into a racer/FPV model that you’ll enjoy flying around the local fields. It can also integrate with the DJI Googles – giving you the full FPV experience (our DJI goggle review is here). [Read more…]