I finally got my DJI Spark past Tuesday after a 22 working days waiting period, since first ordered June 16th. Yes, I’ve ordered the red one. I saw on YouTube it was fast, really fast, so I though I would get a matching color with that statement. And after seeing it live, I fully convinced that this is the most beautiful color for this device.
First let me say that this isn’t in anyways a comprehensive review, it’s just my first impression about the DJI Spark, described. I previously owned the Phantom 3 Standard model and made a lot of movies with it, so for me, even though this is considered an entry device, it was a big jump in terms of embedded technology: sensors in the front and bottom, smaller size, better range with the controller, no constant interference warnings, being able to fly with the iPhone only (no controller), multiple flight modes and a much quieter machine. Overall, a big jump in technology, that makes me feel the Phantom 3 models are indeed something old, of the past.
The unboxing of the DJI Spark feels almost like opening an Apple product, it is very well packed and has that smell of new tech that I simply love. I got the Fly More combo, which is definitely the only way to go. Forget the less expensive version. You have to get the controller and extra battery if you want to use it properly. Otherwise, you will have it stored somewhere and never use it.
After charging the batteries, I gave it a go inside the office, just to see how the auto-flight mode works. It simply works. Then I went outside to see how the controller feels. It feels solid! The overall first experience is absolutely amazing. A lovely little flying high-tech machine. The controller fits very well in your hands, it gives you a steady grip, the sticks are rigid enough, the drone itself is fast and it feels not like flying a toy drone, as many people state. It is a prime product for sure.
Now about speed: tried the sport mode and… it really is super damn fast. You have to be careful though, as it takes some space in the air to “brake”, and you might miscalculate that needed space at first, so try it in an open space, not between buildings as I did. This sport mode is super handy when you want to quickly get to point A and start shooting. It takes more battery, sure, but at the end, you’ve spent less time taking that shot, which is one of the biggest advantages of this model.
The noise of a drone is something that lets people around it uncomfortable. The DJI Spark is less noisy, still sounds like a drone though (duh!). Well at least you can’t hear it when you’re flying 30m high in the air anymore, which is cool for everyone around it, not cool for the pilot, as it is a lot smaller and difficult to see. You can’t hear, you can’t really see it, so you have to rely on the image on your phone. Can you fly solo by looking only at the streamed video? I can’t!
The stability of the drone is ok, too. It is lighter, so less resistance to wind. Although it can hold quite a bit, it only takes a bit of wind to get it out of a straight lined course and have your short ruined. That is something that doesn’t happen with a bigger model. The 2-axis stabilisation system isn’t an issue. Forget about it. It is super stable, as you can see by the footage I’ve presented. Now if you want to fly fast, sideways, and make quick movements and have a steady image, you cannot achieve that with the Spark. Why would you want to do that anyways?
Speaking about image quality, the 1080P footage in ok, it’s decent, you can work it out ok. I don’t care it not having 4k. I see so many people obsessed with it, but we aren’t there yet with the 4K adoption rate. It is only expected to be in more than 50% of households by 2025, you’ll get a new drone by then, I’m sure! I just hope DJI will give us color profiles in upcoming releases. Until than, I crank the contrast and saturation a little bit down and have it restored in post. It feels just like D-LOG, although it isn’t, it give a bit more range. Don’t ask me why. Also, a big improvement over what I had previously is the streaming quality on the phone. It is amazing how clear the image is. Now I hadn’t have the chance to try to connect the remote controller with a cable to the iPhone, will do that soon and change this article to reflect my opinion. It is supposed to have less latency in the image transmission, as it is not streamed via WiFi. I’m ok with WiFi, it is pretty good. Sharp, colourful and fast.
At the end of the day, all I wanted was a device capable of being carried anywhere without being noticed, quickly set up, with quality materials and imagery, where things like battery time and 1080P “only” files aren’t an issue for sure. For now, I just cary it with me all times, and will try to use it more for photography than for videography, as I think this devices gives you more freedom in that field of creativity as well.
Are you willing to buy the DJI Spark but are unsure about it? Let me know through my Twitter, I’ll try to make my best answer your questions.
Until then, safe flying!