New DJI Spark drone can be controlled by hand and shoots 1080p HD video

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Leading camera drone company DJI has launched the neat and compact Spark model – a mini camera drone that’s the first to allow users to control it by hand gestures alone, without the need to master a separate remote controller.

When a Spark drone takes off from your hand, it automatically enters what’s called ‘Gesture Mode’. This features new advanced gesture controls like ‘PalmControl’, which lets users control Spark with hand movements. In Gesture Mode you can also send Spark up and away from you, take a selfie and call it back just by using your hands.

Camera info
The camera in the Spark drone features a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor that shoots stabilised 1080p HD video and captures 12 megapixel photos. Spark’s 2-axis mechanical gimbal and UltraSmooth technology dramatically reduce shake and rolling shutter effect to capture cinematic shots. When flying with the remote controller accessory the Spark can deliver 720p real-time video transmission from up to 1.2 miles (2kms) away.

Lightweight model
The Spark drone weighs just 300 grammes and you have the choice of operating it via a remote controller, a mobile device, or by hand gestures alone. It will be available in five different colours: Alpine White, Sky Blue, Meadow Green, Lava Red and Sunrise Yellow.

Quickshot Intelligent Flight Mode
Spark incorporates a new QuickShot Intelligent Flight Mode that, when selected, will fly a Spark along a preset flight path while recording a short video and tracking a subject along the way.

Four QuickShot settings are available:
• Rocket, which sends Spark straight up into the air with the camera pointed down.
• Dronie, which flies up and away from your subject.
• Circle, which rotates the drone around the subject.
• Helix, which spirals away from a subject as it flies upward.

For each QuickShot the Spark drone will automatically create a 10-second video from your flight that is ready to share on social media.

TapFly & ActiveTrack modes
Previously introduced DJI Intelligent Flight Modes such as TapFly and ActiveTrack are also found in Spark, but a new TapFly sub-mode called ‘Coordinate’ allows Spark to fly to a location that you tap on the screen of your mobile device. TapFly’s Direction Mode lets you keep flying in the direction you tap on the screen.

Via ActiveTrack a Spark automatically recognises and tracks an object you choose, keeping it at the centre of the frame. Whether you are using TapFly or tracking a subject, Spark’s 3D Sensing System will actively sense obstacles in front of the aircraft.

Remote controller option
With the remote controller accessory operators can switch to Sport Mode and fly a Spark at speeds of up to 31mph (50kmph). Sport Mode sets the gimbal to first-person view (FPV) by default, so the camera moves with you as you fly. Spark will also be compatible with DJI Goggles for an immersive FPV flight experience.

DJI GO 4 app
An array of filters and automatic editing templates available in the DJI GO 4 app enables creators to quickly edit videos and share them directly to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms.

FlightAutonomy system
Spark’s FlightAutonomy system consists of the main camera, a downward-facing vision system, a forward-facing 3D Sensing System, dual-band GPS and GLONASS, a high-precision inertial measurement unit and 24 powerful computing cores. These features allow Spark to hover accurately with vision system assistance at up to 98 feet (30 metres) and sense obstacles from up to 16 feet (5 metres) away.

Like all the recent DJI drones a Spark can return to its home point automatically with a sufficient GPS signal. While using the remote controller, if the battery gets too low, connection is lost, or the operator presses the Return to Home (RTH) button, a Spark will fly back to your preset home point while sensing obstacles in its path.

Price and availability
The RRP of a DJI Spark (including an aircraft, a battery, a USB charger and three pairs of propellers) is £519 (€599). The Spark Fly More Combo includes an aircraft, two batteries, four pairs of propellers, a remote controller, propeller guards, a charging hub, a shoulder bag and all necessary cables – it has an RRP of retail price of £699 (€799).

Find out more…
To discover more about the capabilities and specs of the DJI Spark just click here.