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DJI Spark – Review after 6 months of usage

 

The DJI spark is the smallest and the cheapest drone ever made by DJI. But even though its super tiny size, it definitely packs a punch.

It’s been 6 months since I own my DJI Spark and I’ve spent plenty of hours in the air with it, and in today’s video I’ll let you what I like and what I don’t like about this drone.

 

And since I like to stay on the positive side, let me start with what I like about the DJI Spark first:

DJI Spark Advantages

Size

The biggest thing which I want to address first is of course the size of the drone. It literally fits in the palm of your hand and weighs next to nothing – just 300 grams, less than twice the weight of the DJI Mavic Pro, which was previously the king of the portable drones. So if you’re a traveller, a vlogger or you simply have plenty of equipment in your bag already, then the Spark will help you out with its extreme portability.   

Palm Takeoff & Landing

DJI Spark Palm Takeoff

Coming up at number 2 of the things I really like about the DJI Spark is the palm take-off and landing. You can literally fly the drone from the palm of your hand and not worry if there’s not enough space at your flying location – this is a huge advantage if you like to film on the beach (which is one of my favourite filming locations), as you won’t take a chance of having dust, sand or small rocks near your drone during take-off and landing.  I usually like to use palm takeoff only, as I normally hand catch it when landing, but I also use the force shutdown feature from time to time – i’ve talked about this method in my Spark 5 tips and tricks video, which you can watch here.

Sphere Mode

DJI Spark Sphere Mode

The next thing i really like about the DJI Spark is the sphere mode. This new mode has only been released a couple of weeks ago for the Spark, but I already love it and I think is a breath of fresh air coming from DJI. I like that they are pushing updates and new features to the drone, and more specifically, I love the effect of the Sphere mode, i think it definitely gives a unique look of our aerial shots.
Sphere mode is just like a regular panoramic mode, but it takes 46 photos of your location from each possible angle, then it stitches the photos together so you have this really cool Little Planet effect. And it’s all done automatically, so you don’t even need to transfer the photos to your computer, you can do it all from your phone.
I recently made a whole video about the Sphere mode on the Spark, so if you’re interested – watch it here.

Low Profile

Number 4 from the things that I really like about the Spark is how low-profile is –  I have to say, the small size and the overall design of the Spark help tremendously with the way I use it on a daily basis, as you don’t have to put the propellers on or even fold out the arms. You just take it out of your bag and you’re good to go. Unlike any bigger drones, this one is quieter in the air, less intimidating for the people around you and generally, less noticeable, which is something that I really like.

However, it’s not all sunshine and roses, as there are definitely some downsides of owning the Spark. And even though they aren’t that many or that significant, I still think it’s important to mention them.

DJI Spark Disadvantages

Lack of 4K

So first off, let’s talk about the most obvious one, which a lot of people complain about – the lack of 4K. The Spark can only shoot at 1080p at 30fps, it doesn’t support RAW images and it does not have colour profiles. And even though I understand those are some serious issues for some people, all of these issues are literally non-present in the bigger brother of the Spark – the DJI Mavic Pro. The Mavic is a couple of hundred dollars more expensive, but that’s the main idea of having a Spark – the drone is not made professionals or commercial flyers, but for hobby flyers who are not crazy about specs and features and simply want to have fun. If you are filming for YouTube and not for clients, most of your videos will be watched on a smartphone or a laptop, so all of a sudden 1080p doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.

And yes, even though I’d love to have 4K and more options and settings that I can tweak on my Spark, but to me, it’s not a dealbreaker. If those are some things that would bother you, then you simply need to get better camera drones like the Mavic Pro or the Phantom 4 Pro.

No Waypoints

The other small issue I have with this drone is the lack of WayPoints, which is easily fixed by using a 3rd party app such as Litchi. However, if you want to stick to the DJI Go 4 App, currently there’s no way of using waypoints. Hopefully we can see that in a future software update.

Limited Flight Time

DJI Spark Flight Time

I also need to mention the limited flight time. The Spark can stay in the air for roughly 12-13 minutes with each battery charge, and I don’t find that enough, so buying an extra battery or two is always a good idea. I personally have the Fly More combo which comes with 2 batteries, so my total flight time is around 20-25 minutes depending on the flight conditions.

Battery reliability issues

I also want to mention that many people have reported reliability issues, that are mainly due to the way the battery connects to the drone. Unlike the Mavic Pro which has the battery on top of its body, the Spark has two little hinges on the side of the battery, which fits just under the body of the drone. I’ve heard reports of fallen batteries in the middle of a flight so hopefully this will be improved with a more reliable battery holding mechanism for the Spark2.

I hope that we can at least get an upgrade from 1080p to 2k video recording with a future software update! DJI – please take a note.

Gestures

What I don’t see myself using at all are the gestures, which were one of the main selling points of the Spark when it was introduced. I find them to be more like a gimmick than a useful feature, and I almost never use any gestures, besides showing them off once or twice.

 

Final Words

To summarise, the DJI Spark is remarkable piece of tech that I simply love. I use it almost every day (well, as much as the weather allows), and although it has its issues, none of it is a dealbreaker for me and I still think it’s one of the best drones you can possibly get at that price point. If you’re not a professional and you’re filming for YouTube or your friends and family, the drone will be just fine for your needs.

However, if you’re more serious about your photo & video game, then the Mavic Pro or the Phantom 4 Pro are the way to go.

Questions? Please let me know in the comments below!

Thank you!

Video Review

Interested to see the Spark in action? Check my video review below:

 

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