01 Dec 2017
4 min read
933 words
We review the DJI spark that has just landed at the Oliz store

With the advancements in technology, the world is becoming a smaller place, and in the process, even the gadgets that help us capture images of this world are getting smaller. One device that fits that description is the DJI Spark--the smallest drone that DJI is offering at the moment.

First up, I would like to thank Oliz Store for sending me this DJI Spark Combo Pack, which has recently hit their store. Inside the box, we have the drone, the remote control, two intelligent flight batteries, a charger and a battery-charging hub, propeller guards, two pairs of propellers, a micro USB cable, a storage box and a shoulder bag. The inclusion of the storage box and the shoulder bag means it's very easy to carry the Spark. But the convenient size also has some drawbacks, which I'll be talking about in a bit.

In my opinion, this is the best entry-level unit for beginners looking to use drones. And to make it beginner-friendly, the Spark features the smallest and least expensive drone camera DJI has ever made. The combo pack costs Rs 85,000, which is a reasonable price compared to other DJI drones' in the market.

The Spark is half the size of the Mavic Pro (also by DJI) making it as big--or as small--as a smartphone, and even with the extra battery packs, the Spark is still lighter than the Mavic. This compact design makes it very lightweight and portable. If only its rotor arms folded, you could very well carry it in your pocket.

Now, we know that DJI made this drone for laymen and not for professionals. So user-friendliness is the key factor here. In fact, it is so easy to operate the Spark that you can fly it with just your smartphone. But the best part is that you can control this thing even using only hand gestures.

With the smartphone, you have a virtual remote control with the DJI Go 4 app. Just connect your phone to the Spark using Wi-Fi and you're good to go. The app also lets you toggle between various modes such as active tracking and pre-programmed shooting, in addition to other useful photo and video settings. But we recommend that you use the remote control to get the most out of this drone.

As for the remote control, you have two options to either use just the remote control, or pair the remote control with your phone. The remote control gives users the most control and functionality, and that is why getting the Spark combo kit is highly recommended.

Flying the spark using either the smartphone app or the remote control is fairly simple, even someone with no drone-flying experience. Moreover, the smart sensors that detect objects and take-off points, and also help the drone land, make the drone a piece of cake to operate.

Lastly, you can manoeuvre the Spark with gestures, using nothing but the drone. Just hold it on your palm, with the camera facing towards you, and press the power button twice after turning it on. With this, the drone recognises and locks onto your face, after which it will take off and hover. Now, with your palms extended you can move it around, take pictures and videos, make it follow you and even have it land on your palms. It's a very swift and easy way to operate the drone, but DJI recommends using this mode only outdoors, with the propeller guards in place.

Now let's talk performance. The Spark can fly for up to 15 minutes (give or take a few minutes) on a full charge. It can fly at 50 kmph in Sport Mode (without wind) and the max transmission distance of the Spark is 100 metres (distance) and 50 metres (height). Those are good numbers considering the size and price of the Spark.

The Spark takes 12 MP stills and 1080p video footage. It's not exactly the best for professional use, but as I said earlier, it is for beginners. The footage captured on the two-axis gimbal results in some very nice shots, and the pre-programmed modes help with capturing some cinematic footage.

But the drone's small size, as I mentioned earlier, can be a problem. Due to its small size, the Spark can get a little shaky in windy conditions. Other than that, I don't really have any complaints.

So, is the Spark for everyone? For professionals, this little drone will not cut it. But for beginners and adventure freaks, it may as well be the smartest drone to start you flying.