Chapter in this post:
The DJI Spark Mini drone was officially presented yesterday, May 24, 2017 and is now the smallest quadrocopter from the Chinese manufacturer ahead of the DJI Mavic Pro. The DJI Spark can not only be controlled via smartphone and app, but also with a controller and gestures. Automatic flight modes help the occasional flyer to record professional maneuvers and tracking shots or flights. The camera brings 12 megapixels to a 1 / 2.3 inch sensor and, according to DJI, "buttery smooth shots".
Reading tip: I put the small drone through an extensive test. You can read the article for full details and a comparison with the Mavic Pro here: "DJI Spark in the test with all advantages and disadvantages".
In autumn 2016, DJI Innovations was very enthusiastic about the Mavic Pro presented as a handy drone that delivers great performance, a good camera and practical flight modes in a compact format. With the DJI Spark, the currently best-known manufacturer of drones, especially camera drones, goes one step further: the DJI Spark, which was presented on May 24, 2017, measures just 14,3 cm x 14,3 cm x 5,5 cm and weighs only 300 grams. Nevertheless, it should be up to 50 km / h in sport mode. The DJI Spark is not a racing drone; nevertheless, with the DJI Goggles Realize the First Person View (FPV).
Buy DJI Spark: Order here directly from the manufacturer
Before I get to the data sheet of the DJI Spark, here is a brief note: the DJI Spark Fly More Combo Bundle costs only 200 euros more (i.e. 799 € instead of 599 €), but comes with additional accessories worth around 420 €. This includes another battery, more replacement propellers, protectors for the rotors, a second transport bag that fits everything, etc. All information, details and savings of the DJI Spark Fly More Combo Bundles I have listed you here.
Before I annoy you with a lot of running text, I'll summarize the technical data of the DJI Spark in a list. In the following you will get more detailed information - but here is a brief overview for all technically interested readers.
measurements and weight
Gimbal and camera movement
Speeds and altitude
Battery power and flight time
Camera and recording details
Connectivity and Location
Further technical data of the DJI Spark: directly on the manufacturer's website
The technical details can vary when using the iPhone or DJI controller. With exclusive control via app, the range is 80 meters away and 50 meters high. A much better connection is possible with the remote control unit, which is why you can use it to let the Spark ascend about 2 km. Incidentally, there are further limitations in the performance of the app itself, even if you couple the smartphone with the controller - I have summarized information about this for you below as news.
In April 2017 there was an update of the drone regulation in Germany. This states, among other things, that for drones over 250 grams, including the DJI Spark a labeling requirement applies. You have to provide the DJI Spark with a fireproof sticker on which your data (name, address, preferably also telephone number, etc.) are noted.
You can order the DJI Spark in two different sets for 599 euros or 799 euros each. In addition, the Spark can not only be ordered in the typical DJI white, but also in a few other colors. Here are the details of the scope of delivery and the individual options:
As mentioned at the beginning, the DJI Spark is a smart little drone with a camera that works well. The automatic obstacle detection, the automated return flight mode and much more simplify the use for amateur filmmakers. Basically all DJI drones from the Phantom to the Inspire to the Mavic have intelligent flight modes; In my opinion, however, the DJI Spark is designed for ease of use in every mode. There is always the right mode for the right photo or an exciting video. Here is some information summarized.
The ShallowFocus Mode for photographs creates the so-called bokeh effect. Bokeh means a blurring in the background and / or foreground while the object, the person or the animal remains sharp in focus. The ShallowFocus mode with bokeh as an artistic effect makes pictures in landscapes more attractive. There are two so-called pano modes for panorama shots. The Vertical pano mode merges three vertically captured images; the Horizontal pano mode creates a landscape panorama from up to nine images.
Selfies or drones can be made very easily with gestures so that you don't have to hold a controller or an iPhone in your hand in the picture. Simply wave with one hand or form a square with both hands and the DJI Spark knows that a picture should be taken. At PalmControl you control the DJI Spark with the palm of your hand to align it.
The QuickShot modes are intended for video recording with the DJI Spark's camera. Dronie is an artificial word made up of drone and selfie and thus stands for the recording of one or more people. While the person / s remain in focus, the DJI Spark flies in Drone Mode up and back - so it is "zoomed out".
The maneuver behind the Rocket Mode is stuck. Here the camera is pointed downwards while the drone flies vertically away from the object or person. So the recording gradually shows the whole scene.
revolve (Circle) and Helix are almost self-explanatory by the name: once the DJI Spark circles around the recording target and once it flies spirals around the target as it ascends. DJI provides an illustration with a graphic:
These modes are also known from earlier models such as the Phantom or Mavic. At TAPFLO all you have to do is tap the screen of your iPhone, iPad or Android device and the drone will fly in the appropriate direction. ActiveTrack keeps an eye on a moving target and tracks it.
The individual modes for video and photo recording are ideal for beginners. You don't have to be a copter professional to take photos or videos with the Spark. If you want to immerse yourself in the world of drones as a beginner, you will definitely get it here a reliable device from a well-known manufacturer. Whether drone selfies or professional-looking video material, everyone gets a chance to express their creativity.
Big descriptions are all well and good, but pictures - especially moving images - are known to say more than a thousand words. That's why I've picked out a few meaningful videos from YouTube or the DJI channel and a prototype test for you. German subtitles are available for the introduction (first video).
If you are looking for videos on Youtube yourself, I have a tip for you: If you see fisheye distortion in the video, then it is 100% sure to be a fake video that was shot with another drone. With the DJI Spark, there is no curved horizon or the like to be seen. You can find unedited recordings of Spark using this search term, for example "DJI Spark Footage" on Youtube.
Casey is now no longer allowed to circle around New York because the FAA is monitoring him, but he once went "out" for the DJI Spark and tested the pre-sale model of the selfie drone with his smartphone. A special feature here is that he compares the Spark with his previous favorite plane, the DJI Mavic Pro. And the Spark doesn't come off badly!
As can already be seen in the videos, the drone can be controlled with the controller (coupled with iPhone or Android smartphone) or exclusively with the mobile device. If you want to control the DJI Spark, you can download the corresponding app using the following links:
The DJI GO 4 app is recommended for all newer DJI drones that came or will be launched on the DJI Phantom 4 and higher. This means that this app is suitable for the Phantom 4, the Phantom 4 Pro, the Inspire 2, the Mavic Pro and the Spark. The control software for Android devices and Apple iPhone or iPad is free.
With regard to the new rules for drone flights that became public in April 2017, the following applies to the new model of the Chinese copter giant: Since the DJI Spark weighs more than 250 grams, it must be labeled. The corresponding badge is best made of metal with your details as an engraving. You can find good drone license plates that also fit the Spark in terms of size, for example here in the post. In any case, the marking must be fireproof. You do not need a proof of knowledge ("drone driving license"), as this is only necessary for copters weighing 2 kg or more.
A permit from the aviation authority / ascent permit is also not necessary; you only need them for machines with a weight of 5 kg or more. Nevertheless, the general flight ban applies over and around airports, over properties whose owners have not been asked, over public gatherings of people, operations by the police, fire brigade and rescue services, over government buildings, etc.
Recommended reading: Does my drone need insurance?
As a small Apple blogger, you don't get a preliminary model or prototype of a new drone in advance. That's why the DJI Spark has now been released in the official online shop ordered for the Apfelot house; a review with a test report on this page will have to wait. There is no doubt about the new mini model from DJI. And even if there was only disgraceful information and data in this post, I hope that you feel well informed - even if no big "DJI Spark Test" has been undertaken yet.
As part of the #SeizeTheMoment event for the DJI Spark in New York, other news about the Chinese top manufacturer was unfortunately a bit lost. When using the control apps for iOS and Android, there are currently instructions for users that the drones used must be registered:
Dear customer: DJI will release new versions of the DJI GO 4 and DJI GO apps next week. All customers will need to log into their DJI GO accounts again to complete the application activation process, or else the aircraft performance will be limited. To ensure you can use the new DJI GO 4 and DJI GO apps, make sure you stay connected to the internet after updating and complete the login process."
Translated short version: After updating the apps, users have to log in again and register their drones! Otherwise the copter's performance will be throttled. Exactly that means loud Computer IMAGEthat recordings are no longer streamed from the drone to the smartphone and the flight range is reduced to 50 meters in radius and 30 meters in height. If you want to use DJI Spark and Co. extensively, you MUST register your copter with the manufacturer in the future.
The drone controllers should be excluded from the registration or restriction DJI A3 and DJI N3 be. Both are not used in the Spark.
May 2017 is full of surprises at DJI: the goggles, the Spark (and the app story) ... What do you think of the hype about the new drone options? Are you looking forward to the new flight and video modes or do you think it's a shame that the drone weighs more than 250 grams and has to be labeled with it? Are you interested in this topic and do you want to buy the Spark as soon as possible - or do you not have an impulse to buy with this information and data? The Sir Apfelot team once did the Ordered DJI Spark Fly More Combo, since we "have to" deliver you a test. ;-)
If you are also interested in the small selfie drone from DJI, please leave a comprehensive comment on the DJI Spark topic;)
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After graduating from high school, Johannes completed an apprenticeship as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which resulted in his independence. For several years he has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others. His articles include product introductions, news, manuals, video games, consoles, and more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.