DJI Spark The Ultimate Guide

by | Jun 4, 2017 | DJI Spark | 10 comments

What Is This Page For?

This page is the table-of-contents to all of the information that we’ve written about the Spark.

You probably have your eyes on the DJI Spark. You might even be ready to get one, but there are a few important things you should know before making your final decision.

After all, the Spark is relatively inexpensive compared to a DJI Phantom 4 Pro ($1,400) or Mavic Pro($999), but at $499, it still isn’t pocket change!

There’s a lot of articles and hype around the DJI Spark. Some say it’s the best drone ever. Others say it’s a waste of money (usually people who haven’t gotten their hands on it yet and didn’t plan to).

Here, we’re going to take a look at the facts, and give you as much information about the spark that we can.

This page is updated daily, so bookmark it and comeback often.

If you can’t find the answer to your Spark question on our site, just ask in the comments below.

DJI Spark vs Yuneec Breeze: Our In-House Comparison

If you’ve seen the Yuneec Breeze before, then you probably know that the DJI Spark is going to be its biggest competitor. We’ve had our eyes on the Breeze for a while now, and thought it was time to pick one up and do a comparison since the DJI Spark is now available....

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What is the Spark?

The Spark is a consumer drone made by DJI, a Chinese company founded back in 2006, and now known as the Apple Computer of drones. Before the Spark was released, DJI’s best-selling product was the Mavic Pro, and before that, the Phantom series. DJI’s goal for the last few years has been to make drones that are as small and easy to use as possible, while still providing a great amount of utility and high-end features.

A Quick Features Rundown

We can’t go over every feature of the Spark on this page, but here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know and how it compares to other drones.

Starting with video, the Spark can record in 1080p, at 30FPS. To stabilize the video, the Spark has a two-axis gimbal and additionally uses digital stabilization to smooth out any extra shakiness in your shots. It also shoots 12-megapixel photos with a variety of useful shooting modes.

You can take time-lapses, panoramas, exposure bracketed shots, burst pictures and even images that have depth-of-field (like portrait mode on the iPhone).

There are tons of ways to shoot video with the Spark. You can fly manually using your phone, use the optional controller, or go for one of the many automated shooting modes.

There’s Quickshot, a mode where you set up the shot and the Spark flies on a predetermined cinematic route of your choosing, and then there are other modes like Active Track which track and follow you around while recording video.

If you’re only interested in taking pictures of yourself (selfies), you can use Gesture mode. In Gesture mode, you can turn the Spark on and fly it using only hand signals. This allows you to take pictures of yourself without needing to hold a smartphone in your hand. It’s also a really cool way of flying the drone.

Real World Use: Does It Suck?

We’ve had the Spark for a few weeks now, and honestly, if you’re new to drones, the Spark is going to be a great experience, with the exception of gesture mode.

Yes, Gesture mode works, but it doesn’t allow you to activate other shooting modes like Active Track. There’s also no way to record video in Gesture mode.

I think a lot of people are going to quickly realize how limiting gesture mode is, compared to just using your phone as the remote, but that shouldn’t make you shy away from buying this drone.

Even if you were to take away Gesture mode, the spark is the most advanced, easy to use and useful drone in its price range.

It has been reliable, held up to a crash or two, it doesn’t fly unpredictably, the video quality is good enough for any beginner, and the build quality is just as good as DJI’s other drones at the $1000 price point.

Is the Spark Right For You?

The DJI Spark is a drone for consumers who want a small and cheap drone that does 90% of everything a larger more expensive drone can do. Whether you want to take selfies, landscape photography, or get into aerial filmmaking, the spark was intended to be a person’s first ever drone experience.

If you’re interested in drones, but you don’t know exactly what you will be using one for, the Spark is an exceptional choice. The Spark isn’t the best drone for video and photos compared to the higher priced options out there. But it is the best at being easy to use and having enough functionality to experiment with new ideas without investing too much money into your first drone.

Need More Info?

If you have additional questions drop us a note in the comments below.

DJI Spark: Teaching A Newbie How To Fly With Hand Gestures

Can he do it?

DJI Spark Introduction Video

What makes the spark different?

DJI Spark (Live Stream Event)

Recorded May 24th, 2017 in New York

What’s In the Box?

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About The Author

korey

Korey Smith, independent film maker, RC model enthusiast and co-owner of MyFirstDrone

  • Wouter

    Hi, I am interested in either the DJi Spark or Mavic Pro. I have never held a drone or flown with one and it’s more for fun than business at the moment. The Spark seams the best option for me but I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to taking photos or videos. But I am afraid the quality the Spark gives me with just 1080p and the two-axis gimbal is going to be good enough.

    I would definitely buy the Fly More Combo either way (Spark or Mavic Pro).

    Any thoughts on my dilemma?

    • koreysmith123

      If you can afford the Mavic pro, go for it. The Spark can get some great shots, but there’s nothing worse than getting a product and then being underwhelmed because you had the chance to get a nicer product and didn’t. The Mavic Pro Is a better drone in almost every way and the video quality is amazing. Plus, if you’re a photographer, the third axis allows you to get long exposure shots.

  • Kyle Farmer

    How long does it take the drone to launch? I use a Phantom 3 to herd cattle and sheep and am frustrated by the “warm up” time.

  • Markku Tavasti

    Spark looks interesting, but I suspect that those modes like helix, rocket, etc are unusable? I’m doing some sports (recumbent biking, paddling, etc) where I need my both hands. Would be nice to have helix-scene while moving, but it would need to program drone to do ‘follow me’ for X seconds, and after it helix? Idea is ask drone to follow and helix, put phone to pocket, and get myself moving. After 5-10 seconds from getting phone away there would be something worth taking video. Can you find out is it possible?

  • Zachary Hascoe

    How do I record video with the DJI spark? do I need a micro chip? If so, which one? I’m not an experienced drone user. Thank you

  • Alastair Small

    I am new to drones and am looking to buy one however I don’t know whether to get the phantom 3 standard or the spark. I like the spark because it is more portable and has obstacle avoidance and “quick shot” functions however it has limited camera filters and only has a two axis gimbal, short flight times and limited range without controller.

  • Dan

    What is this like for night photography? I use a phantom 2 with a go pro 4 attached for taking photos of our installations at the minute. I like it but it is not the smallest unit. We install LED lighting in car parks so usually send a drone up at night to get some good photos for case studies etc.

    Will this drone give us good enough photos to do our installations justice? Or do you recommend a higher quality camera?

    Thank you

  • Ben R

    You should say that the selfies taken in Gesture mode are only 1.4 megapixels (1440×1080; see page 25 of version 1.2 of the manual). This might be okay for Instagram, but just barely. It is not good enough for Facebook, or for printing 4×6 photos.

  • Bill Wright

    Korey, I expected a more critical review. I actually learned to tune my drone PIDs watching one of your excellent videos. This review is so lukewarm, un-opinionated, and less critical than I expected. I can hardly believe you authored it. Look forward to more from you.

  • Lorin Hollander

    Hi I am a Ham Radio operator and am interested in purchasing a drone to assist in launching wire antennas over very tall trees. I am deciding now between the Spark and the Mavic Pro. The required capacity, is most analogous to Drone Fishing, carrying a light braided fishing line unspooling from a spinning reel secured to the ground, So far it seems the best already existing technology exists for the Mavic Pro where DroneFishing .com has a very impressive payload release mechanism for the Mavic Pro that will safely carry a fishing line to a target area and with a push of one of the user configurable buttons on the controller, drop the sinker to the ground. The self (battery) powered mechanism plugs into one of the front LED lights and activates the dropping mechanism when activating the light from the controller. My question is whether the Spark can be used to drop a fishing line in this fashion. No, Dronefishing .com does not yet make a drop mechanism for the Spark, but perhaps others know of another that is as reliable as this one. Can the Spark have the power on to reliably guide such a fishing line / sinker drop over a 150 foot tree?

    Thanks

    Lorin