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Spark advantages over Mavic Air
4628 35 2018-1-26
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Mr Sparkle
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Since Mavic Air debuted a few days ago, I know a lot of the users here were debating if they want to sell the Spark and get the new drone. The Mavic Pro is still superior in range, battery and video transmission (Ocusync). Spark however seems to be dumped by some users attracted by the younger Mavic Air. Before you divorce and sell your Spark please consider this:

Here I want to list out some advantages of Spark, feel free to contibute more if you can.

1. Sturdiness - Spark has no foldable arms, it is less breakable than the 2 Mavic Bros.
2. USB charging - You just need to carry a cable to charge the Spark, makes it more portable than Mavic Air.
3. Best colour - It has the best colour right out of the box. Prove:
4. Palm Launch - Critical for some situations like in a small boat or rock-climbing. Also, cool to show off and makes the drone looks friendly to drone-paranoia people. (if a bird flies from your hand, it must be domesticated.)
5. Cheaper - You are more likely to use it and not worried about damaging your expensive drone.
6. Size/weight - Still smaller and lighter than Mavic Air. Did you know that Spark is 205g without the battery? Mavic Pro's battery in comparison weights more than the Spark at 240g.
7. Toy look - Personally my favourite advantages over other drones. It looks like a RC toy and no one will bother you using it in public space. The sporty and rugged matte look is perfect for a drone, glossy elegant design is pointless for a device you use outdoor exposed to the weather.
2018-1-26
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S-e-ven
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Yep, she is so cute! ;-)
2018-1-26
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SOUNDWAVE439
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Sure mate why not right
2018-1-26
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Gunship9
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Never put up in the air with radio control anything you can't afford to lose.  Hazards of flying.  So the Spark's price is in the budget I can lose.  Cost of doing business.   People who can barely afford the Air will be all over DJI for a freebie if they lose their drone (tree, water landing, cliffs, bird intercept).

Plus, the Spark has pivoting blade ends.  Its more forgivable of wayward fingers.  The Air's prop design will lean in if it gets a hold of a pilot.  Love being able to hand launch and catch in rough terrain.
2018-1-26
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Bright Spark
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Well said. I would only add about the look - I think it is a style classic, rather than a toy.
2018-1-27
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Bright Spark
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And add that if MA drives spark prices low......I'll buy a yellow one.
2018-1-27
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Wachtberger
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As much as I love my Spark, I disagree with the colour statement. In that comparision video I found contrast and colours visibly the best with Mavic Air among the four with Mavic Pro very close to it. What I am not sure about yet is whether I'll like the wider angle of the Air camera. On Monday I'll be able to test it if weather allows :-).
2018-1-27
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heliman
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A good power bank can keep it going off the beaten trail.
2018-1-27
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Oracle Miata
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With the ability to use my Spark with my power bank, it will always be this hikers go to drone.   It’s super light weight, super durable, and is able to hand launch in less then ideal conditions.  I also ordered an MA,  but will continue my love affair with the Spark.
2018-1-27
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darkuser999
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Do we know for sure you cannot hand launch the Mavic Air?
2018-1-27
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A CW
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Ability to charge on the go and probably it's more robust and of course cheaper to purchase, service, repair and accessorise. Whilst placing the antenna in the folding landing gear to make the signal omnidirectional will increase range it could be a disaster in a light crash or even heavy landing as if the antenna system is broken mid flight - thats a serious problem
2018-1-27
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darkuser999
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Indoor Flying! - The Spark when flown is still substantially smaller making it still the most capable drone you can fly indoors...even through doors if you are a skilled enough flyer!
Camera aperture - is a tad faste/wider
2018-1-27
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Mr Sparkle
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darkuser999 Posted at 2018-1-27 15:40
Indoor Flying! - The Spark when flown is still substantially smaller making it still the most capable drone you can fly indoors...even through doors if you are a skilled enough flyer!
Camera aperture - is a tad faste/wider

Palm launch wasn't shown on the stage at the New York announcement and I didn't see it on any Youtubers videos either. The power button is at the bottom of the drone, makes it virtually impossible. I think DJI designed it like that on purpose. They have to give Spark some advantages in order to sell it. Mavic Pro has it's Ocusync and battery life and Spark has it's palm launch and USB charging.

There can never be a perfect drone, DJI will never make one.

You're right about indoor flying, Spark is small enough to safety fly inside the house. A real estate company can use it for filming interior fly-through of a house/office.

2018-1-27
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S-e-ven
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darkuser999 Posted at 2018-1-27 15:17
Do we know for sure you cannot hand launch the Mavic Air?

You can always hand launch and land a drone, that fits in one hand.
You just need the other hand for the app take off slide and the stick landing command
A lanyard helps a lot ;-)

I do not palm launch/land my spark, but very often I hand launch/land it.
Mostly when on 'compass error' starting ground, ferro-concrete or wet or .....
I think that this will work for the air, too
2018-1-27
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S-e-ven
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Mr Sparkle Posted at 2018-1-27 20:59
Palm launch wasn't shown on the stage at the New York announcement and I didn't see it on any Youtubers videos either. The power button is at the bottom of the drone, makes it virtually impossible. I think DJI designed it like that on purpose. They have to give Spark some advantages in order to sell it. Mavic Pro has it's Ocusync and battery life and Spark has it's palm launch and USB charging.

There can never be a perfect drone, DJI will never make one.

>A real estate company can use it for filming interior fly-through of a house/office.<

For me on this scenario there is always the question: Why the .... should a real estate company do that?
Using a Osmo gives there better results and less noise.
Ok, if it is a big villa with a entrance hall, flying a drone under the 8m high sealing can change the view (point), but otherwise .....? (just my2c ;-)
2018-1-27
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Mr Sparkle
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-1-27 22:31
>A real estate company can use it for filming interior fly-through of a house/office.<

For me on this scenario there is always the question: Why the .... should a real estate company do that?

A house with high ceiling (or hotel lobby)? You can get a nice shot of the room without using a ladder.
2018-1-27
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Mr Sparkle
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Another thing... some users here will frown on this but it's worth mentioning that you are able 'mod' your Spark, Mavic Air is brand new - it will be a while before someone found a way to 'unlock' it. Or maybe not, depends on DJI's security on this new drone.
2018-1-27
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Tom_A
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1. The new Mavic Air arms look like they are sturdier than the Mavic Pro arms.
2018-1-27
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Tom_A
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1. The Mavic Air arms at least look more sturdy than the Mavic Pro arms.
2. USB charging is slow. I have the charging dock but tried USB charging just to test it. I would rather bring a little extra stuff to not have to deal with long charge times.
3. Spark looked a little more saturated.
4. Not as convenient, but there are work-arounds.
5. It's still hundreds of dollars. If you are too afraid to fly a Mavic Pro, you'll likely be too afraid to even fly a Spark.
6. Light weight is nice but extra flight time is nicer.
7. I think the "Toy Look" argument is one of the reasons I ordered the Mavic Air. I wouldn't say toy look but it does look friendlier than a Mavic Pro.

I wanted more range, a better camera and I'm anxious to try out the new features. I really wanted 4K video, not because I necessarily want my end result to be 4K, but it helps maintain quality in the editing process. In some of my videos I did a "Vertigo" effect. To do this, you move away from a subject in the foreground. When you edit the video you zoom in on the subject.
Don't see why I would have to give up my Spark just because I am getting the Mavic Air.
2018-1-27
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Outie
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Once the Spark powers up no one will think it's a toy. You will still get all the attention regardless. Yea it's lighter but its battery life is also the smallest.
2018-1-27
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Mr Sparkle
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Tom_A Posted at 2018-1-27 23:18
1. The new Mavic Air arms look like they are sturdier than the Mavic Pro arms.

It's foldable, it's got moving parts - they will not be as sturdy as Spark.
2018-1-27
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Tom_A
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Mr Sparkle Posted at 2018-1-27 23:38
It's foldable, it's got moving parts - they will not be as sturdy as Spark.

True, but it's a sacrifice for the portability.
2018-1-27
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Mr Sparkle
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Tom_A Posted at 2018-1-27 23:42
True, but it's a sacrifice for the portability.

Yes the pro is also the con when it comes to the Mavic Bros.
2018-1-27
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Mr Sparkle
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Tom_A Posted at 2018-1-27 23:33
1. The Mavic Air arms at least look more sturdy than the Mavic Pro arms.
2. USB charging is slow. I have the charging dock but tried USB charging just to test it. I would rather bring a little extra stuff to not have to deal with long charge times.
3. Spark looked a little more saturated.



1. As mentioned before, the foldable arms will not be as sturdy.
2. USB charging speed depends on the power bank you got.
3. Mavic Pro has a warm look to it, the Air is similar. Spark is closer to Phantom 4.
4. Mavic Air has rigid propellers, can be dangerous launching from hand.
5. The price of Mavic Pro = 2 Sparks. I can keep one for backup, less worry.
6. That's true, but in the case of Air - it's only a little.
7. The black Air looks menacing, the white Air can be mistaken as a Spark from far away. Which one did you ordered?
2018-1-27
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Tom_A
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Mr Sparkle Posted at 2018-1-27 23:43
Yes the pro is also the con when it comes to the Mavic Bros.

I'm not seeing an onslaught of complaints about the Mavic Pro arms breaking and it's been out for awhile. I did see a couple photos of Sparks that managed to get their arms smashed off. It sounded like it was a pretty severe crash though.

Some little details that I have noticed:
1. The Mavic Air does come with OTG cables. I would expect the support for OTG to be more consistent with the Mavic Air because of this.

2. The connector in the center of the remote is a regular USB. No OTG cable needed to use DJI Goggles. Still not as convenient as the Mavic Pro, but a little better.

3. Although it is heavier, the Mavic Pro is just about as portable as the Spark because it folds up. The Mavic Air is even more portable than the Spark. The removable joysticks are a nice touch.

4. I've seen arms broken off both models of drones. The one common factor was that they had suffered a crash. That being said, which is more likely to affect overall durability, folding arms or fewer and less efficient obstacle avoidance sensors?
2018-1-28
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Tom_A
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Mr Sparkle Posted at 2018-1-27 23:43
Yes the pro is also the con when it comes to the Mavic Bros.

I'm not seeing an onslaught of complaints about the Mavic Pro arms breaking and it's been out for awhile. I did see a couple photos of Sparks that managed to get their arms smashed off. It sounded like it was a pretty severe crash though.

Some little details that I have noticed:
1. The Mavic Air does come with OTG cables. I would expect the support for OTG to be more consistent with the Mavic Air because of this.

2. The connector in the center of the remote is a regular USB. No OTG cable needed to use DJI Goggles. Still not as convenient as the Mavic Pro, but a little better.

3. Although it is heavier, the Mavic Pro is just about as portable as the Spark because it folds up. The Mavic Air is even more portable than the Spark. The removable joysticks are a nice touch.

4. I've seen arms broken off both models of drones. The one common factor was that they had suffered a crash. That being said, which is more likely to affect overall durability, folding arms or fewer and less efficient obstacle avoidance sensors?
2018-1-28
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Mr Sparkle
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Tom_A Posted at 2018-1-28 00:05
I'm not seeing an onslaught of complaints about the Mavic Pro arms breaking and it's been out for awhile. I did see a couple photos of Sparks that managed to get their arms smashed off. It sounded like it was a pretty severe crash though.

Some little details that I have noticed:

In a critical crash, all drones will break but it's common sense that a sturdy non-movable frame can withstood a less serious crash better than a foldable one.

OTG is only important to Android users, I tried it a couple of months ago, it didn't improve the signal for me - I'm an iPhone user. So yes, Mavic Air is better for Android users.

The Mavic Pro is definitely not as portable as Spark! Air maybe, definitely not the Pro - it's twice the weight, not to mention the battery is heavier as well. Even when folded up it's as big as those old school mobile phone from the 80s. Again, the Mavic Air's RC is both a pro and con. It's more portable, but I can see people losing those screw-on sticks and not able to fly on their trip.

I never relied on the sensors, I fly in Sports mode almost all the time, they are disabled.
2018-1-28
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hallmark007
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Mr Sparkle Posted at 2018-1-28 00:59
In a critical crash, all drones will break but it's common sense that a sturdy non-movable frame can withstood a less serious crash better than a foldable one.

OTG is only important to Android users, I tried it a couple of months ago, it didn't improve the signal for me - I'm an iPhone user. So yes, Mavic Air is better for Android users.

If you break a spark arm, you break the whole body, if you break Mavic arm that’s all you break.
I also think you should check the weights of your batteries, it’s completely wrong.
Spark is a great little Aircraft , but it has its limits and this is why you pay less for it.
2018-1-29
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Montfrooij
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That is true!
2018-1-29
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Gunship9
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-1-29 08:33
If you break a spark arm, you break the whole body, if you break Mavic arm that’s all you break.
I also think you should check the weights of your batteries, it’s completely wrong.
Spark is a great little Aircraft , but it has its limits and this is why you pay less for it.

Oh, the metal Mavic Air arm won't be broken.  It will be nicely whole in your hand with pieces of its mount to the plastic Mavic Air body.  I assume the arm is mounted to a single axis pivot rather than molded as part of the body like the Spark is.  More fragile.  Time will tell if the arms can move away from impacts to prevent more damage.

I think there will be less damaged Mavic Airs simply because their pilots will have more invested in them.  Fewer will be newbies or children with their first drone mindlessly launched into the wild frontier.  
2018-1-29
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AdamTheGreat
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I know everyone says that the Spark is affordable, and in terms of the other models, it obviously is. For me though, I had to save up for a while. Two kids and a stay at home mom makes it hard to splurge on myself. That being said, I was happy they priced the MA a few hundred out of my price range, I would have mulled over returning my spark and trying to figure out how to squeeze a few more hundred out of my budget.
2018-1-29
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LouisP
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For me it is the small size of the spark and the way that nobody questions you flying your little toy.   My next drone will be even smaller... I am sure it wont be long until we see a drone that is under 250 grams and is just as capable or even more capable than the spark.
2018-1-29
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ClarinetProf
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LouisP Posted at 2018-1-29 13:03
For me it is the small size of the spark and the way that nobody questions you flying your little toy.   My next drone will be even smaller... I am sure it wont be long until we see a drone that is under 250 grams and is just as capable or even more capable than the spark.

I agree.  Coming from 500 size helicopters, I don't even think about flying the Spark.  I've retired from flying "Grandpas Flying Woodchipper".
2018-1-29
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Bright Spark
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Same here. 200 gram spark won't be long!
2018-1-29
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SOUNDWAVE439
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More friendly since it is a small sized capable of hand launch bird
2018-1-29
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Todd in Chicago
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Drone?  There's a drone in the video?  ;-)
2018-1-29
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