DJI LAUNCHES SELFIE CAMERA DRONE
IT’S CALLED THE Spark and it’s the smallest drone yet from DJI which describes it as its “most personal product yet”. This is because one of the Spark’s party tricks is to automatically line itself up and take selfies… a bit more classy than a telescopic stick, eh?
There are already small drones available, but these are mostly toys, while the Spark incorporates all the smart technologies DJI uses in its bigger models, and incorporates a gimbal-mounted camera with a 1/2.3-inch CMOS image sensor. Full HD video is recorded at 30 fps and stills at 12 megapixels resolution. A really clever feature is the Spark’s ‘Gesture Mode’ which enables it to be flown by hand signals. It takes off from the palm of your hand and then fly either left or right, climb or descend in response to your hand gestures. Among these signals is one which will instruct the Spark to climb to an appropriate height and then snap a selfie. It will then land back in the palm of your hand.
The Spark can also be set to various other intelligent flight modes to automatically com- plete routines such as tracking a moving subject, or to record one minute of video footage while flying a preset path which is then edited ‘indrone’ to deliver a ten-second clip that’s ready to share on social media. Four of these ‘QuickShot’ flight patterns are available – Rocket (a straight up climb with the camera pointing down), Circle (rotates around the subject), Helix (spiralling up and away) and Dronie (climbing up and away). For stills photography there are ‘Pano’ and ‘ShallowFocus’ modes.
DJI’s advanced ‘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 30 metres and sense obstacles from up to five metres away.
You can, of course, fly the Spark more conventionally via a smart device running DJI’s GO 4 app or via an accessory controller which enables an extended range of up to two kilometres and a maximum speed of 50 km/h. The maximum flight time is around 16 minutes.
The DJI Spark weighs just 300 grams all-up and is ready to fly straight out of the box at $859 which includes a USB battery charger and three pairs of spare propellers. There’s a choice of five body colours, including blue, red and yellow. A ‘Fly More’ kit is available at $1199 and this includes the controller, a spare battery, a battery charging hub, four spare props, prop guards, all necessary cables and a custom shoulder bag.
For more information about the Spark mini camera drone visit www.dji.com/spark Distribution to camera stores in Australia is handled by C.R. Kennedy & Company.