We all like to imagine we can use the Force every once in awhile. Now our imagination has quickly become reality with DJI’s newest and smallest drone yet, the Spark. You can hold it up with one hand, but that’s not even its most exciting feature as a mini-drone. Watch this video from DJI to see what we mean.
That’s right, this drone is motion controlled. It recognizes certain hand movements according to its user that allow you to position it where you want in the sky. With yet another gesture, in the form of a frame, you can take a picture with the camera pointed at you. That being said, it’s probably the most advanced and user-friendly drone on our list of best camera drones.
While you’re certainly able to fly the drone with your hands and a controller, the Spark also slightly autonomous. What we mean by this is in the absence of clear control over the drone, its sensors will pick up obstacles in its way. Another one of its systems will recognize airports and stadiums and warn you to stay away.
The Spark’s camera is built into the nose of the aircraft. What is interesting about the Spark is its employment of a 2-axis system. While the drone itself turns or arcs its body, the camera will remain stationary. Other drones employ similar axis systems but few, if any with a camera built into it. This gives the pilot shake free pictures and videos.
The highest quality setting on the Spark is 1080p at 12MP, which isn’t the best, but still great for non-professional use. What the Spark lacks in the highest quality cameras it makes up for in versatility. Sure, you’re not going to get shots similar to dedicated DSLR cameras, but you’ll be able to shoot from angles and views far beyond the range and capability of any hand held camera.
Its camera has multiple shooting methods that work in tangent with hand movements. The 1080p camera will compensate for factors such as light and shadow to get you a quality picture or video. If you plan on flying the Spark outside of hand range, then be prepared to divert more control to the actual controller.
With a flight time of only sixteen to seventeen minutes, it’s not the type of drone to take out into the wilderness unless you have adequate backup power. You’re probably going to be maximizing its hand gesture features and the drone’s sensors don’t reach for miles. That being said, the drone still comes with a smart controller with a built in video transmitter. This will allow you to fly the drone outside of the hand gesture recognition area.
It was difficult for us to find anything bad to say about the Spark. Its hand gesture recognition software is still state of the art, so you can’t completely wield the power of the Force with this drone. That mean’s no crazy flips or tricks just by moving your hand in weird motions.
Nevertheless, the drone utilizes a variety of tools and software that are easily learnable, making it the ideal hobbyist drone.