DJI Expected to Unveil New Spark Drone on May 24
The rumors have been around for quite a while — that DJI is coming up with a new consumer drone called Spark and that it was designed for a market segment the company has never tackled before. Recently, DJI sent out media invites for an event scheduled for May 24 in New York and this is seen as a confirmation by many that the company is finally ready to unveil the Spark.
Chinese drone forums have been rife with leaked details and images of the Spark for the past several weeks. There is even a leaked video that shows the ultra-compact 2-axis camera gimbal system on the DJI Spark in action. The gimbal appears to be the smallest ever designed by DJI and it’s not surprising why they decided to leave out the yaw axis — to save space on what is already a very tight front end on the Spark.
Based on the video, other features that we might see on the Spark include obstacle avoidance sensors at the front and bottom and screw-in propellers. Though the Spark does not feature a foldable design like the Mavic, it is a lot smaller and was probably designed to compete directly against the likes of the Hover Camera Passport Drone, Yuneec Breeze and Zerotech Dobby. This is the market of portable selfie drones intended more for the lifestyle crowd than for professional aerial photographers.
There is also a lot of speculation as to what camera features the Spark will offer. From the looks of it, a 4K camera capable of taking 12MP stills is quite possible. The leaked video above also shows a sample flight video supposedly taken using the Spark. In the sample video, the OSD (On-Screen Display) shows important information and features such as GPS positioning and satellite count, return to home, auto take-off, flight speed and altitude. It is a bit hard to judge the quality of the camera’s optics and size of its sensor just by looking at the sample footage because it was taken at night.
Judging from the Mavic’s current price of $999, the Spark should debut with a price tag of roughly $500. Considering that the Hover Camera, Breeze and Dobby are all within the $500 – $300 range, $500 is probably a good guess.