Dji Spark Review - Is it the perfect camera drone under $500?
Spark is a relatively recent drone release from DJI that is more than relevant even in 2019. Even with the new Mavic 2 and Air, there’s still a lot of value remaining for the Spark on the market.
And that’s mainly because this is simply the best choice you can make if you want a good quality travel drone for a budget ( and recently it got cheaper too).
Spark comes with a 2 axis gimbal, a lot of interesting flight modes and a beast camera that can take amazing photos.
Not only that, you can get a very complete package for quite cheap these days!
One of the most important factors for a camera drone is obviously image stability.
For the spark, this is quite obviously important, as DJI has mounted a 2 axis motorized gimbal on it. It’s not as stable as a mavic pro or air for example, but it’s up there for the win.
You should look for the following in a drone if you want good image stability:
- A 2 or preferably 3 axis gimbal is the best possible way to stabilize a camera. It’s usually found in more expensive builds.
- Electronic image stabilization. Drones like Parrot Bebop 2 or even the cheaper Tello have it.
- Get yourself a GO Pro drone and use a very stable Action cam with electronic or optical image stabilization!
This is generally valid for any type of drone. How long it stays in the air is even more important for making sure you take a certain shot, usually with more expensive camera drones in professional setttings.
The spark has 15 minutes of battery life, which is pretty much the minimum recommended for taking longer shots. However, you can always buy more batteries and fly all day long.
Drone GPS and stabile flight
You can take very nice shots with a drone that only has the previous items we’ve talked about, but if you want to be stress free… having a stable drone or GPS is the way to go.
The Spark has stunning gps accuracy, as it will return back to home within a meter distance.
However, if the wind is really powerful, it might have a difficult time staying in place.
Besides that, drones with GPS also come with useful functions like return to home and follow me, that can be super useful for saving time and money.
- Drones with GPS
- great for stability at higher altitudes and distances
- Safer with RTH options and if battery is too low
- Drones with Optical flow cameras
- much cheaper
- holds position pretty well under 20m height
- can work indoors too
This is a drone that competes with the likes of drones that were costing over $1000 a few years ago and it’s holding its ground even though it is much cheaper these days.
I think it’s perfect for the following categories of people:
- Professional photographers and videographers (especially weddings)
- People who like to travel a lot and want to carry a capable yet small camera drone
- Great for promoting your own business and create videos from above
- Good for real estate videos
The prices have evolved a lot over the time, so here’s a recent price history for the Spark to help you decide when you want to buy it.
|Price history for DJI Spark with Remote Control Combo (White)|
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This is a cinematic travel video made entirely with the Spark and it turned out pretty great! The limitation of filming in 1080p is not necesarily a compromise for most people that would shoot in that resolution anyway.
So if you’re an amateur photographer or want to make videos like these, don’t hesitate to get it.
How about some deeper camera specs?
If you’re trully a nerd and want more details about what this drone can do, check out the info bellow.
Just notice how this tiny camera can take 4k photos, and let me tell you, they’re simply beautiful and definitely on par with the ones on the mavic pro for example.
Whenever anyone gives me a budget under $500 I really have no choice but to recommend them the DJI Spark, it simply has no rival at this size.
- very compact
- takes 4k pictures
- a ton of useful features
- precise GPS and return to home
- can be flown without a transmitter or phone
- 2 axis gimbal may be limiting
- can't handle strong winds that good