DJI generated a lot of anticipation before presenting its new proposal. Once the interest in a product that stood out because of its small size grew significantly. Now, after having tried for a few days I have a clear and formed opinion about what the new DJI Spark offers and whether it is worth it or not.
Before continuing it is important to know that it is not an off-road like the Phantom 4. Neither an option as interesting as the Mavic Pro or spectacular as the DJI Inspire 2. But I’ll give you a general outline as a nearly perfect product for the vast majority of users. Interesting for those looking for their first drone, that is manageable to transport and simple to fly. If you think we start and go away by section.
DJI Spark Features
|Dimensions||143 x 143 x 55 mm|
|Maximum Speed||50 km / h in Sport mode|
|Maximum Service Height||4000 m above sea level|
|Flight time||Approximately 13-15 min according to conditions (wind affects autonomy)|
|Positioning System||GPS / Glonass|
|Connectivity||Wifi 2.4 / 5.8 Ghz (frequencies)|
|Control||Control by gestures, through mobile command or app|
|Camera||12MP 1 / 2.3″ CMOS sensor|
|Lens||FOV 81.9º 25mm f / 2.6 (Equivalent to 35mm)|
|Photography Resolution||1440 × 1080 with ShallowFocus, 2300 × 1280 with Cloth (horizontal), 960 × 1280 with Cloth (vertical), 1440 × 1080 (with no object), 1440 × 1080 (following a target with ActiveTrack or Gesture mode)|
|Video Resolution||1080 at 30 fps (MP4 – MPEG-4 AVC / H.264)|
|Storage||Micro SD Cards|
These are the main features of DJI Spark but there are more details that you can consult on the DJI website. Along with its dimensions the most outstanding is the new control by gestures that incorporates. Feature that gives you independence by not needing neither the app installed on the smartphone nor the remote control.
Contained dimensions for a drone that is not a toy
The DJI Spark draws much attention because of its small dimensions. Its 143 x 143 x 55 mm make it very manageable, easy to carry and seems to not infuse as much respect as the Phantom or even the Mavic Pro to the novice user.
Of course, looking like a toy drone does not make it one. It is a well-constructed product, of materials that transmit good sensations and robustness, and is loaded with all the technology that has made DJI famous.
It is also important to know that despite not being afraid to fly it does not mean that we can do it anywhere and under any circumstances. It is important to take into account the laws and good practices that the competent agencies of each country communicate, so eye.
From here little more than telling you not to see in pictures. The arms are not foldable as in the Mavic, it includes the option of placing protectors to fly inside safely or for when we make use of gestures to interact with him, in the back we have access to the charging connector and slot for microSD, and the gimbal of the camera is 2 axes.
You may also like to read: The Inspire 2 and Phantom 4 Pro from DJI want to fly very high
DJI Spark, the flight experience
Flying a DJI drone is not complicated. Yes it is true that depending on the model the feeling of risk will be greater at the beginning. But between the user guide, tips and all the technology it offers it is very complicated to have an accident if we go with caution.
In this DJI Spark all this is fulfilled and from the first moment we can launch ourselves to fly it. It is advisable to do it in places where you comply with the regulations and do not endanger anyone or anything. And if you are going to use gesture control, first look at how it works, what are the gestures and functioning of each.
That’s it, that’s it. There is nothing more relevant. Or almost, just like we said the above is also important to know the application, its options and what to do in case of emergency. The latter can be summarized practically in maintaining the calm since it has a system that in case of loss of connection with the control returns to the point of takeoff. Therefore, gratuitous tip , it is important to take off from points that facilitate the emergency landing.
From the gestures I have to say that the experience has not been what I expected. Sometimes the recognition was not as effective as it would have been . It was hard for Drone to recognize my hand or my gestures, usually because I was in situations where lighting was not optimal. When I recognized myself well I admit that the control by gestures greatly simplifies the use and can be more than interesting to take advantage of the intelligent flight modes offered as well as the option to take photographs. These modes are:
- Rocket, Spark ascends vertically with camera pointing down
- Drone, moves away from goal while rising
- Circle, orbits around a target
- Helix, trace an upward spiral motion around a target
With the smartphone plus the DJI Go application (available for iOS and Android) the control is better but it keeps on happening like with the other DJI drones or other manufacturers, the precision is not the best and the scope depends a lot on the device. In my case I tested with an iPhone and a Huawei P10, with both the radius of action was quite reduced and soon it was gone the connection was lost (about 30m). Therefore, if you plan to fly it seriously, to squeeze all your video and photo capabilities, the best thing is to acquire the remote control.
The use of the remote control I think is the best way to enjoy to the maximum of any drone in general and of DJI in particular. The levers give more precision for each movement, greater coverage and overall better experience. Which justifies the $180 it costs.
Leaving aside the control, the DJI Spark’s flight is good but by dimensions and weight (300gr) with the slightest gust of wind suffers. This not only affects flight safety and stability, but also autonomy. The drone has to force more engines to stay in position and at the end the battery consumption increases, reducing the normal flight time which is usually about 13-15 minutes per battery.
When the weather conditions are favorable to fly the DJI Spark is a super fun experience. It is capable of reaching up to 50 km / h so it is not only a good product to exploit its multimedia side, also its recreational side and have a good time.
Finally, I used to say that flying a DJI drone is safe and I repeat it. The different systems that incorporates anti-collision work very well. The detection is fast and it helps a lot not to crash the drone if we are beginners. Anyway, if you are newbie try tripod mode help in the first flight. This mode is thought to obtain better images by the reduction of speed that offers and the less sensitivity when making sudden movements with the remote control. And to novice users this allows you greater control.
A good camera but with limitations
DJI incorporates a camera similar to the one of the Mavic Pro only with some limitations. In part understandable not to cannibalize this model and also by technical decisions.
This camera makes use of a 12MP sensor and is capable of capturing video at 1080p and 30 frames per second. We do not have video option in 4K. This is not a big problem but it is true that at least with Full HD resolution, it would have been nice to be able to record at 60p.
At the level of quality the image offered by the video clip of the DJI Spark is fine. Dynamic range, sharpness, color fidelity, etc. I think it allows for very interesting results for fans of video or aerial photography. Of course, if you want to express that section with greater solvency and quality the Mavic Pro or Phantom 4 are better options. Of course, for a professional level the Inspire 2 is the option.
However, the DJI Spark camera is on a good level and also highlights the stabilization of its 2-axis gimbal. Valuing to the right extent the type of drone that is I think the work of DJI does not have big hits. And if by some chance does not end up calling you much attention for the camera but for all other features, the only solution is to have patience and wait for a future renovation to improve that section.