The DJI spark is a diminutive drone that just screams to be put in your bag and taken everywhere you go. It’s likely to appeal to all levels of users thanks to its extremely compact size and strong feature set, but this miniaturization does come at a cost. Compared to most larger models it has shorter battery life, lacks a 3-axis gimbal and, notably, does not support 4K video capture. But, did we mention that it’s really small?
With an MSRP of $499, the Spark doesn’t have a lot of direct competition from models of comparable size and feature sets, though the closest alternative is probably the Yuneec Breeze 4K. If size isn’t a critical factor there are models with more impressive specs, such as DJI’s own Phantom 3 Standard and Phantom 3 SE, in the same price range.
The Spark is also available in a ‘Fly More’ combo that adds a remote controller, charging hub, spare props, propeller guards, and extra battery for $699.
- 12MP 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor
- 2-axis mechanical gimbal
- 1080/30p video
- Vision system for accurate positioning
- Gesture control
- 16-minute flight time
- Compact size
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s qualify this review (and really, any drone review). A drone is not a flying camera. Rather, a drone is an aircraft with a camera attached to it. Therefore, the true value of a drone is a balance between the aircraft and camera.
Since we’re looking at two distinct pieces of hardware merged together, let’s look at each one individually, beginning with the aircraft. We’ve included the Yuneec Breeze and DJI Phantom 3 SE for comparison.
||Yuneec Breeze 4K
||DJI Phantom 3 SE
|Maximum flight time
By Sponsored Content
See how the Zenmuse X7 is pushing the boundaries of aerial imaging.
When we announced the release of the Zenmuse X7 aerial cinema camera from DJI, we went over all of the tech spec goodness the camera has to offer. This time, we’re going to take a look at a short film shot entirely with the new Zenmuse X7 in order to let you see how the camera performs under very challenging lighting conditions. The DJI team, led by director Yehonatan Levin Richter of DJI Studio Europe, set out to film some architectural shots at Khazakstan’s Astana Opera but, according to Levin Richter, the team was inspired to create much more once they arrived onsite.
The video below explains how and why the DJI team decided to put the Inspire 2 and the X7 to the test by filming a simple yet emotionally charged story inside the Astana Opera.
From:: No Film School
Remember when the DJI Zenmuse X7 drone camera was released, and we said DJI had become a camera company without anybody noticing? You might consider the latest scores out of DxOMark proof of that assertion. The sensor testing company just released its review of the X7, ranking it above the popular Panasonic GH5 and on part with top-scoring APS-C sensors like the Nikon D7500.
Sporting the largest sensor yet for a DJI camera module, the X7 boasts a Super 35/APS-C sized chip that DxO discovered will hold its own against the leaders in that category. In fact, going through the rankings, you’ll find that only two APS-C sensors have ever scored higher than 86. And when you compare it to one of the top-scoring APS-C cameras (the Nikon D7500) and the often-drone-mounted Panasonic GH5, you see that DJI is not playing around:
As DxOMark points out in their conclusion, this is an impressive showing for the drone maker:
Thanks to an increase in its size as much as to technological advancements, the DJI Zenmuse X7’s sensor takes a significant step up in performance from the Zenmuse X5S sensor. In fact, it delivers results that compete closely with those from a high-scoring APS-C format DSLR, despite being housed in a camera that’s mounted in a stabilized gimbal and specifically designed for aerial photography.
Be sure to head over to DxOMark to read their full DJI Zenmuse X7 review. And then check out our own opinion piece about DJI’s transformation from a drone maker, into a full fledged camera company.