When it comes to predicting the future, Hollywood has had its fair share of fun. We may not have flying cars and time travel as of yet, but one thing it has completely gotten correct is the use of drones.

Drones are steadfastly changing the world of imagery as we know it and up until the past year or so the good ones have been pricey, and bulky.  The folks over at DJI, however, shifted that in a major way with the Mavic, and have just created yet another intuitive product that’s smaller, lighter, and significantly cheaper, putting it at a price point that is making it accessible to the masses. Meet the DJI Spark. Priced at $499.

The absolute basics of the Spark is that it provides up to 16 minutes of flight time and has a flight speed of up to 30mph in strong winds, but it’s so much more than that and absolutely packed with tech and convenience. The Spark comes equipped with a 12mp camera on a 2-axis gimbal, and offers 1080p playback while supporting a 720p HD WiFi real-time video transmission from up to 1.2 miles away. Not only is it enabled with GPS and senses obstacles in its path, keeping it from getting lost and allowing it to return home safely, but it has:

  • Quick Launch – With Face Aware it launches by recognizing you, hovering quickly into place.
  • Gesture Control – Take your photos either with a controller or simply by using gestures it recognizes.
  • Quickshot – various quick settings which will get the Spark to do cinematic works like rocket ascending, circling a target/subject, Helix, and more.
  • Tapfly – Almost like Google Maps you tap on a location on your phone screen and the Spark flies there
  • ActiveTrack – Automatically recognizes objects and tracks accordingly

As can be seen, one of the best parts of Spark is the ease of use – anyone can use it. The Spark is activated by recognizing the face of its owner and can be launched from the palm of your hand, while returning home when you signal it. It can be controlled by remote control, hand signals, a mobile device as well as DJI Goggles. If you don’t know how to fly it, you can simply tap the fly button and it will do the work for you.

Shot sequences can be lined up ahead of time to capture the shot. There is also an option to automatically change to a shallower depth of field. With the ability to hover in place and recognize these commands, it is changing the selfie game as we know it.

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The DJI Spark is a very clever drone aimed at the everyday user. The price of the drone and accessories is right and the simplicity is even better. This looks like the democratizing drone, and even for $699 the FlyMore package is a great deal.

If you want one of these soon it’s probably best to order one now, and especially if you want to lock in the FlyMore price of $699 before it goes up to $853. You can order them here.


  • 2-Axis Stabilized Gimbal Camera
  • 12MP Still Photos / 1080p30 Video
  • Gesture and TapFly Control
  • FlightAutonomy with Obstacle Detection
  • Subject Tracking from Various Angles
  • GPS- & Vision Position-Based Navigation
  • Top Speed of 31 mph in Sport Mode
  • Up to 16 Minutes Flying Time
  • Combo Includes Remote Controller
  • Charging Hub and Two Total Batteries

The Camera

The Spark’s camera has a significant amount of dynamic range to offer compared to your average smart phone. If you’re wondering how the quality of stills and video fare compared to the Mavic Pro, it is comparable but obviously not in the same tier produced by the Mavic’s camera. The camera may only have 2 axis optical stabilization, but makes up for it with built-in electronic image stabilization which allows the footage to remain stable even with such a small gimbal. The gimbal on the Spark may be more robust than that of the Mavic Pro but DJI didn’t include any protection for the camera when in-transit

size, weight, & portability

The Spark fits in the palm of your hand and can even take off from your hand. With a rugged build even for its size, its compact portable nature makes it the perfect toy to take with you for travel & leisure. While higher end drones offer higher video quality and fancy specs, the Spark is just your everyday companion, perfect for documenting trips and moments with simple take-off and flight maneuverability.


The DJI Spark is more nimble than the Mavic, and feels like it has a power to weight ratio comparable to a Phantom. While the guesture control features are heavily advertised for the Spark, in actuality you can’t do much controlling with your hands if you want to use it to it’s full potential, but it could be the start for more exciting technological developments in DJI’s future. With forward & downward facing image sensors and GPS lock, the Spark finds your face and locks onto it allowing it to track and control its position, but only within a 10 foot range. There is also a lack of rear/lateral object avoidance which limits what you can do with it.


The remote controller for the Spark is practically identical to the one for the Mavic minus the inclusion of the LCD screen which is useful for showing available flight-time, battery life, and more. The prop guards you see in the left image are an additional cost even though they seem like they should be a safety necessity for all those virgin drone fliers hoping to break into the hobby with this product. Just like with the Mavic, the Fly More Combo is definitely worth an extra $200. It comes with an extra battery (highly recommended since the Spark has a 16 minute flight time), remote controller, prop guards, extra propellers, and a carrying case.

Another notable accessory that has yet to be announced is the Battery Case which allows you to charge the Spark without removing the battery and also charge the additional batteries. Like the Mavic’s charging hub, the Spark Battery Case successively charges each battery (meaning it will charge the battery with the least power first) and contains the power to  charge all three batteries twice on a single charge.

We got to see a live demo of the DJI Spark at the DJI New Product Experience at the Microcenter in Tustin, where you can purchase and pick-up DJI Drones.

We sat down with Senior Communication Manager Michael Oldenburg to discuss how the Mavic Pro fares against the new DJI Spark.

They say the best camera is the one you have with you and by that logic, the best drone is the one you have with you, which for many people, will likely be the DJI Spark.