DJI announced a new drone today, called the Spark. It’s designed to be easy-to-use while also being fun-to-fly. The Spark is so small that it can lift off from the palm of your hand.

DJI says that the “Spark is the first drone that users can control by hand gestures alone.” So no need to worry if you’ve never flown a drone before. When the Spark takes off from your hand, it will automatically be in Gesture Mode, which has gesture controls like PalmControl to control the drone via hand movements

The DJI Spark itself looks like a smaller version of DJI’s other drone, the Mavic Pro. The Spark also comes in white, blue, red, yellow and green colour options.

You can also tell the Spark to fly up and away from you, to take a selfie and then have it land back in your hand.

The Spark has four QuickShot modes:

  • Rocket, sending Spark straight up into the air with the camera pointed down
  • Dronie, flying up and away from your subject
  • Circle, rotating around the subject
  • Helix, spiraling away from a subject as it flies upward

The drone also comes with DJI’s intelligent flight modes such as TapFly and ActiveTrack. TapFy’s sub mode called Coordinate will allow users to choose a location for the Spark to fly to by using your smartphone or tablet. TapFly Direction Mode let users keep flying the Spark in the direction you tap on the screen.

ActiveTrack can automatically recognize and track an object that you choose and will keep it in the centre of the frame for the perfect shot, especially for moving objects.

By using the remote controller, users can switch the Spark drone to Sport Mode to fly the drone up to speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph) and the mode will set the drone’s gimbal to a first-person view by default.

The Spark has a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor that can capture 12-megapixel images and 1080p videos. The drone also has a 2-axis mechanical gimbal and uses UltraSmooth technology to “dramatically reduce shake and rolling shutter effect to capture cinematic shots effortlessly.”

There are two new shooting modes on the Spark, Pano and ShallowFocus. Pano Mode will create horizontal or vertical panoramas by automatically adjusting the gimbal and heading and takes a series of images and stitches them together.

ShallowFocus will allow users to take photos with a bokeh effect, where one part is in sharp focus and the rest is softened, to create a shallow depth of field. The Spark also comes with a FlightAutonomy system that utilizes the drone’s main camera, a downward-facing vision system, a forward-facing 3D Sensing system, dual-band GPS and GLONASS (which is a high-precision inertial measurement) and 24 computing cores.

ShallowFocus mode on the DJI Spark.

The Spark can hover accurately using vision system assistance at up to 30m (98 feet) and sense objects up to 5m (16ft) away. Just like past DJI drones, the Spark can return to its home point automatically when it has a sufficient GPS signal. If a user is using the remote controller and they press the Return to Home button, the Spark will fly back to the preset home point while also sensing obstacles in the way.

The Spark has a maximum flight time of up to 16 minutes and when using the remote controler, 720p real-time video can be seen from up to 2km (1.2 miles) away.

The DJI Spark will come with the drone itself, a battery, USB charger and three pairs of propellers and will retail for $499 USD. The Spark Fly More Combo comes with the drone, two batteries, four pairs of propellers, a remote controller, propeller guards, a charging hub, a shoulder and all the cables you’ll need, that will retail for $699 USD.

The Spark is available for pre-order from DJI’s website, their four DJI flagship stores and authorized dealers. Pre-orders for the Spark will ship in mid-June and the Fly More Combo and colour options availability will vary by retailer.

Source: DJI

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