Monday, 28 August 2017

DJI Spark review.



DJI are renowned for pushing new ideas and boundaries that nobody ever sees coming, and their drones seem to just keep getting smaller and smaller, but yet pack in more technology......

Welcome the Spark!

The spark is currently DJI's smallest contender, that gives it's users a taste of it's larger siblings like the Mavic and Phantom series drones.

It still comes complete with some amazing features like collision avoidance, and sports mode, but what still makes it a winner is it's micro size coming in at 143×143×55 mm and weighing just 300g!....it's the ultimate stealth rocket!

The collision avoidance isn't as advanced as the Mavic but does still do an amazing job of 'seeing' objects up to 5M away, and will fully activate if on a RTH mission.



In Sports mode, the spark will give you a maximum speed of 30mph (virtually no wind), which considering the micro sized brushless motors, is amazing. There's so much that DJI have packed in to this handheld super drone, they've really made an 'all round' drone for the average user. Obviously it's no pro, BUT, where it counts the most, it'll perform just as well as the others.

It'll film in 1080p, and take 12mp photos. It will also stream to your device in 720p, which is ideal for the user to see where the spark is.

There are a few ways to control the drone...

1- palm control. 
Palm control is activated by turning on the spark and allowing it to finds its GPS points, then by holding it in your hand at arms length, looking directly at the gimbalised camera, and pressing the battery twice. It'll then recognise your face and arm the motors. Once the power is sufficient, then you let go! Place your palm about 2 meters from the spark, and hold your palm open at the camera. The lights will flash green to confirm it has seen your hand. From this point you can move the drone with the movement of your hand. If you wave at it, it will ascend backwards and start tracking you. You can use a series of gestures to control the spark.

2- Mobile device.
Use your mobile device to control the spark, with its virtual joysticks. You still see the DJI go 4 app on display, but ghosted in front of it is the joysticks. You'll get around 80m range using your phone,






3- Transmitter.
If your thinking of buying a 'fly more combo', you'll get a transmitter which will enable you to have full control without virtual sticks. It will still only give you approximately 80-100m range BUT....






4-Transmitter tethered to mobile device.
This little trick will enable a far greater range. Tethering my handset to my mobile device has allowed me to see a 638m distance, which via wifi is tremendous!

Obviously, that range will depend on where you intend to fly from. To get any decent range, it should out in the open and unobstructed, and obviously local laws should be abided by.

You'll still get great gimmick features like, follow me, active track, and POI which is pretty standard with DJI these days.... but remember this is a huge amount to stuff into such a tiny frame.

The fly more combo, will give you an extra battery ( which sees running times of up to 15mins), a carry bag, prop guards, charging ancillaries(hub), and spare props. This will cost you around £698 but if you want to just go for the spark, then it'll set you back around £519.

Overall, I do think the spark is a bit over priced, but all DJI gear is because they control the market, however, this a great piece of kit with character and versatility, that all the family can enjoy.

For more info please visit www.dji.com/spark

Specs...
 

Aircraft

Takeoff Weight300 g
Dimensions143×143×55 mm
Diagonal Distance (propellers excluded)170 mm
Max Ascent Speed9.8 ft/s (3 m/s) in Sport Mode without wind
Max Descent Speed9.8 ft/s (3 m/s) in Auto Landing Mode
Max Speed31 mph (50 kph) in Sport Mode without wind
Max Service Ceiling Above Sea Level13,123 feet (4,000 m)
Max Flight Time16 minutes (no wind at a consistent 12.4 mph (20 kph))
Max Hovering Time15 minutes (no wind)
Operating Temperature Range32° to 104° F (0° to 40° C)
Satellite Positioning SystemsGPS/GLONASS
Hover Accuracy RangeVertical:
+/- 0.1 m (when Vision Positioning is active) or +/-0.5 m
Horizontal:
+/- 0.3 m (when Vision Positioning is active) or +/-1.5 m
Transmitter Power (EIRP)2.4 GHz
FCC: 25 dBm; CE: 18 dBm; SRRC: 18 dBm; MIC:18 dBm
5.8 GHz
FCC: 27 dBm; CE: 14 dBm; SRRC: 27 dBm; MIC: -
Operating Frequency2.400 - 2.483 GHz; 5.725 - 5.825 GHz

3D Sensing system

Obstacle Sensing Range1-16 ft (0.2 - 5 m)
Operating EnvironmentDetects diffuse reflective surfaces (>20%) larger than 20x20 cm (walls, trees, people, etc.)

Camera

Sensor1/2.3" CMOS
Effective pixels: 12 MP
LensFOV 81.9° 25 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.6
(shooting range: 2 m to ∞)
ISO RangeVideo: 100-3200
Photo: 100-1600
Electronic Shutter Speed2-1/8000 s
Image Size3968×2976
1440×1080 with ShallowFocus
2300×1280 with Pano (horizontal)
960×1280 with Pano (vertical)
Still Photography ModesSingle Shot
Burst Shooting: 3 frames
Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3 bracketed frames at 0.7 EV bias
Interval: 2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s
Video ResolutionFHD: 1920×1080 30p
Max Video Bitrate24 Mbps
Supported File SystemsFAT32
Photo FormatJPEG
Video FormatMP4 (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)

Remote Controller

Operating Frequency2.412-2.462 GHz; 5.745-5.825 GHz
Max Transmission Distance2.412 - 2.462 GHz (unobstructed, free of interference)
FCC: 1.2 mi (2 km); CE: 0.3 mi (500 m)
SRRC: 0.3 mi (500 m); MIC: 0.3 mi (500 m)
5.745 - 5.825 GHz (unobstructed, free of interference)
FCC: 1.2 mi (2 km); CE: 0.18 mi (300 m)
SRRC: 0.7 mi (1.2 km); MIC: -
Operating Temperature Range32° to 104° F (0° to 40° C)
Battery2970 mAh
Transmitter Power (EIRP)2.4 GHz
FCC: ≤26 dBm; CE: ≤18 dBm; SRCC: ≤18 dBm; MIC: ≤18 dBm
5.8 GHz
FCC: ≤28 dBm; CE: ≤14 dBm; SRCC: ≤26 dBm; MIC: -
Operating Current/Voltage950 mAh @3.7 V
Supported Mobile Device SizeThickness range: 6.5-8.5 mm
Max length: 160 mm

Intelligent Flight Battery

Capacity1480 mAh
Voltage11.4 V
Max Charging Voltage13.05 V
Battery TypeLiPo 3S
Energy16.87 Wh
Net WeightApprox. 0.2 lbs (95 g)
Charging Temperature Range41° to 104° F (5° to 40° C)