Los Angeles, CA—DJI, a leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, launched Spark. The company’s first mini camera drone is designed for ease of use. The drone lifts off from the palm of a hand to capture and share special moments on the go.
Pilots of all skill levels can control Spark using hand gestures alone. “Even if they’ve never flown a drone before, flying Spark is easy because the only remote controller you’ll need is your hand,” the company announced.
Spark was designed to fit into almost any bag. It weighs 10.6 ounces—less than a can of soda. In addition, the mini camera drone is ready to launch within seconds and can be operated by a remote controller, a mobile device or hand gestures alone.
When the drone takes off from a hand, it automatically enters gesture mode. New advanced gesture controls like PalmControl let users control Spark with hand movements. In this mode, pilots can also send it up and away, take a selfie and call it back with just hand movements.
“Controlling a camera drone with hand movements alone is a major step toward 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. “Spark’s revolutionary new interface lets you effortlessly extend your point of view to the air, making it easier than ever to capture and share the world from new perspectives.”
Intuitive Flight Operation
Spark comes with new flight options developed to empower pilots to capture and share memorable moments. The QuickShot intelligent flight mode was added to help create pro-quality videos. Users select a QuickShot and Spark will fly along a preset flight path while recording a short video and tracking a subject.
Four QuickShots are available. Rocket sends the drone straight up into the air with the camera pointed down. Dronie enables the aircraft to fly up and away from the subject. Circle makes the drone rotate around the subject. Helix directs the drone to spiral away from a subject as it flies upward. For each QuickShot, Spark will automatically create a 10-second video that is ready to share on social media.
Previously introduced intelligent flight modes, such as TapFly and ActiveTrack, are also provided. Based on DJI’s vision technology, a new TapFly sub mode—coordinate—allows Spark to fly to a location tapped on a connected mobile device’s screen. TapFly’s direction mode lets users keep flying in the direction that is tapped on the phone screen. In addition, using ActiveTrack, Spark will automatically recognize and track a pilot-selected object, keeping it at the center of the frame. Whether using TapFly or tracking a subject, Spark’s 3D sensing system actively senses obstacles in front of the aircraft.
Furthermore, with DJI’s remote controller accessory, operators can switch to sport mode and unleash Spark’s speed potential of up to 31 mph. Sport mode also sets the gimbal to first-person view (FPV) by default, so the camera moves with the pilot. The drone will also be compatible with DJI Goggles for an immersive FPV flight experience.
Spark houses a camera with a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor able to capture 12 megapixel photos and shoot stabilized Full HD 1080p video. The drone’s two-axis mechanical gimbal and UltraSmooth technology reduce shake and the rolling shutter effect. This helps to capture more cinematic shots.
The drone includes many previous DJI shooting modes with two new additions: Pano and ShallowFocus. In Pano mode, the camera creates horizontal or vertical panoramas by automatically adjusting its gimbal and heading. It takes a series of pictures and stitches them together. ShallowFocus allows users to put part of a picture into sharp focus while the rest of the image is softened. This creates photographs with a shallow depth of field, known as bokeh.
Various filters and automatic editing templates available in the DJI GO 4 app enable creators to quickly edit videos. They can then share them directly to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms.
Flight Safety Features
In addition, the camera drone’s FlightAutonomy system consists of the main camera, a downward-facing vision system, a forward-facing 3D sensing system, dual-band GPS and GLONASS, a high-precision inertial measurement unit and also 24 computing cores. Consequently, Spark is said to hover accurately with vision system assistance to 98 feet and sense obstacles from 16 feet.
Like all recent DJI drones, Spark can return to its home point automatically with a sufficient GPS signal. While using the remote controller, if the battery gets too low, the connection is lost or the operator presses the Return to Home (RTH) button, the drone flies back to the preset home point while sensing obstacles in its path. It also integrates DJI’s GEO system or NFZ geofencing to provide up-to-date guidance on areas where flight may be limited by regulations or raise safety or security concerns.
Moreover, the drone is powered by a high-energy density LiPo battery and has a maximum flight time of 16 minutes. When flying with the remote controller accessory, it enables HD 720p real-time video transmission from 1.2 miles away.
Price and Availability
Spark will be available in five colors: alpine white, sky blue, meadow green, lava red and sunrise yellow. Its retail price, including the aircraft, a battery, a USB charger and three pairs of propellers, is $499. DJI’s Spark Fly More combo includes an aircraft, two batteries, four pairs of propellers, a remote controller, propeller guards, a charging hub, a shoulder bag and all necessary cables. The combo kit has a retail price of $699. To watch a video of the mini camera drone, visit http://bit.ly/DJISparkPlaylist.
Preorders start shipping in mid-June. Color options and Fly More Combo availability may vary at different sales channels.
DJI Care Refresh for Spark, a new one-year coverage plan, will permit customers to obtain up to two full replacements that are new or equivalent to new, for a small additional charge. dji.com