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.
|DJI Spark||Yuneec Breeze 4K||DJI Phantom 3 SE|
|Maximum flight time||16 minutes||12 minutes||25 minutes|
50km/h → continue…
Affinity Photo for iPad
The Fujifilm X-E3 is a 24MP mid-level APS-C mirrorless camera, designed as a smaller, more touchscreen-driven sister model to the SLR-like X-T20.
In terms of their internal hardware and specifications, the two cameras are very similar, but the X-E3 relies more heavily on its touch panel for moment-to-moment operation, as well as retaining a more rangefinder-like form factor.
It’s slightly smaller than the previous X-E models, with the removal of the four-way controller and built-in flash allowing the body to be made a little lighter and more compact. A clip-on flash is included in the box, but it’s a simple affair with no tilt or swivel capability to compensate for the decision to make it a separate component.
- 24MP APS-C sensor with X-Trans color filter
- Improved AF tracking
- Wi-Fi with Bluetooth for constant connection to a smartphone
- Shutter speed and exposure comp dials
- Twin clickable command dials
- AF Joystick
- 4K (UHD) video at 30, 25, 24 and 23.97p
- USB Charging
The more advanced use of the touchscreen, with directional swipes of the finger replacing the role of the four-way controller, pinch to zoom in playback and the option to use the screen as an AF touchpad when the camera’s to your eye doesn’t come at the expense of physical controls for all the main exposure settings.
The X-E3 also becomes the first Fujifilm model to gain Bluetooth, which establishes a full-time connection between the camera and a smartphone, allowing instant transfer of images as you shoot them. [or faster re-connection of Wi-Fi if you’re just choosing to send selected images]
The company also says it has improved its AF Tracking algorithm so that it can track smaller and faster subjects. Fujifilm say this improved algorithm will also come to the X-T2, X-T20, X100F and X-Pro2 in fimrware updates in November and December 2017.