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Value prop for the DJI Spark
2048 10 2017-5-25
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adiru
lvl.3
United States
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So when it was still during rumor mill phases, lots of folks were almost  certain that the Spark contained a 4k camera, or at the very least a  2.7k-ish camera. No one seriously thought that it would end up being  only a 1080p and only at 30fps at that.

In fact during the speculation stage, the stage were people voiced their  ideal expectations, the YouTube video of that "Billy here..." guy he  speculated that although it appeared to be a two axis gimbal that in  fact it very well could end up being a true 3 axis gimbal with the third  axis actually housed inside of it all.

Turns out that wasn't true and didn't pan out either, Spark is only a two axis gimbal, a 1080p 30fps 2-axis gimbal at that.

Here is the problem though, by default it doesn't come with the remote  controller. Without the remote controller, the range is effectively just  only about 100m, or about the length of a football field. So remember  those videos of Copter dude chasing cruise ships out in the open seas?  Well that ain't gonna happen with the Spark, esp given that the Allure  and Harmony of the Seas themselves are many many times longer than  Spark's max range. In fact Spark could barely fly the length of one end  of even a Boeing 777X to the other end without hitting that max. How did  we go from 4.7 miles in the Mavic to less than the Wright brothers 12  seconds at the Kitty Hawk?

Seriously though unless you are planning on ONLY using it as a basic  selfie-drone, the Spark without a controller is all but useless. The  average consumer on the lookout for a selfie drone is not gonna spend  $500+ when they could spend far less and get a 4k selfie drone these  days, that isn't GEO locked.

The controller itself is gimped compared to the Mavic's version with no  LED screen whatsoever.  If vital stats cannot be read, what is the point  of the controller you are still going to need to hook it up to a tablet  or phone and use the app?!

And after you tack on the controller, the price skyrockets up to $699.  This thing is slower than the Mavic, infact more than 25% slower, it's  flight time is a measly 16 minutes theoretical max, but realistically it  probably more like 13 minutes. The camera is a lot worse. There is no  RAW option. Who in their right mind if they already have a Mavic is  going to pay another $699 for a Spark? Those who are new to droning  might as well pay a little more and get a Mavic, and those that only  want selfie capabilities and complete ease of use, should go for a much  cheaper drone, plenty of those on the market and a lot of those have 4k  cameras already.

To top it off, you really have to essentially use a controller if you  are going to use the Goggles with the Spark. And while I believe the  Googles are interchangeable and compatible with the Spark/Mavic/etc it  is come out that the controller isn't.

All in overall, I can't help but feel that DJI really shot themselves in the foot with this one.

Going from the Mavic to the Spark is like flying a Cessna after you've flow the F-22                                                

2017-5-25
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Capo
lvl.3
Flight distance : 57690 ft
United States
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You are looking at this from the top down. We know what to expect and the limitations. The market for this is young people, maybe their first drone they can put in their pocket or purse like a camera. The fact they can use their phone or hand to control, and the lack of range, would likely not be an issue for many who would buy this as is. Many of us with Phantoms and Mavics are distance limited by law as well (if we listen).
2017-5-25
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ahr69
lvl.2
Flight distance : 459 ft
United States
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ill let you know when and if it comes here in time. June 30th combo i'm thinking
2017-5-25
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trance728-
First Officer
Flight distance : 179738 ft
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United States
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Different markets. What about going from and Inspire 2 to a Mavic? You're comparing apples to grapes.
2017-5-25
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mtnlandpix
Captain
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United States
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I shoot real estate photos with a P4.  Which, by the way, I am very pleased with.  I ordered the Spark for two reasons:  First, FUN!  It's small and light, and I can easily take it hiking.  Second, it will serve as a back-up for my P4 on shoots.  I very seldom have to go more than 20 yards or so to get the photos I need.  Also, 4K video is useless to me for video.  1080P is just fine for my needs.  So, it's fun, and practical for me as a back-up.
2017-5-26
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H.Jelles
lvl.1
Netherlands
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Hi, from your point of view I do understand your post! But maybe take the 180 degree turn and think of people that like to hike or mountainbike (like me) but make serious day trips with all your stuff to cary with you. Than 300 gram, 2 additional battery and maybe the controller is not the weight to add to your back pack. Also the HD footage is not the problem if you like to tell the video story with more than only the drone camera. Composing a video story in 4K on your trip is not everybody his hobby in time. Especially if the audience is users of YouTube on a Smartphone. So in my humble opinion this is the great travel Drone for serious hiking and mountain biking. Hope to confirm that in the coming months ;-)
2017-5-30
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Bradders
Second Officer
Flight distance : 862283 ft
United Kingdom
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I brought the Spark and I already own a Mavic.... reason being is that the Mavic with case batteries in total has cost me about £1350, the spark on the other hand is half that at just £700, as long as the wifi transmission between the phone and controller is solid, then I'm happy, I accept the drawbacks for the added portability
2017-5-30
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R&L Aerial
Captain
Flight distance : 298100 ft
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United States
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There's more to cameras than resolution, frame rate, mega pickles and so on from what I've seen the spark takes really nice images and video.
2017-5-30
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GCBrent
lvl.4
Flight distance : 66286 ft
Australia
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I bought the Mavic for family videos and photo's while out adventuring as well as to trial it racing. Obviously its not going to be on the same level as my Helix but the HD video streaming will be much better than the analog signal of my current goggles.
2017-5-30
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Cravenfan
Second Officer
Flight distance : 125256 ft
United States
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It's a, "gateway drone" for me...my buddy brought his two year old drone over to my house a couple weeks ago and we thought it was awesome taking a video of the house, yard, etc.  I had considered a Mavic Pro and was leaning that way, but then saw this.  For me, I don't have a 4k screen, so that doesn't matter to me, not many people do.  I'll have 3 batteries when I'm done (same as the 3 spots on the charger) and that should give me ample time to fly, refresh, repeat.  

I'm brand new to this world, after getting a Air Hogs Millennium Falcon from my girls from Walmart's Christmas markdowns for $25.  So, to me, spending $1,000 on a drone was borderline divorce-worthy.  However, for me, this compact unit, with it's variable controlling functions and options of built in features and ability to fly with the remote (which I ordered in the "fly more combo") up to about a mile, was the thing that pushed me over the edge.  

Seriously, how far can you maintain Visual Line of Sight after a mile or more?  I see myself packing this on hunting trips, in the kayak, on the snowmobile, at the gun range, all kinds of ways to use it, beyond taking photos and videos with my family and my dog, at camp, etc.  

Back to the value proposition, for me, YouTube and the early reviews sold it for me.  Although no drone is everything to everybody, this drone was more than enough, for this guy.  Probably about $500 savings compared to a similar package for the Mavic Pro.  That will allow me to buy something nice for the wife.  
2017-5-31
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DTK
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1943159 ft
Australia
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My only worry is that no one has reviewed the controller yet. Just using your mobile phone for control will deem to be intermittent disruption/disconnection. So be aware that it is only good as a selfie flying camera and do not expect anything more.
2017-5-31
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