- 1 Optics and workmanship
- 2 Technical data soon
- 3 Unpack and set up
- 4 The first flight – without taking off
- 5 First “real” flight and test of gesture control
- 6 My conclusion to the gesture control
- 7 No foldable propeller arms – not necessarily a disadvantage
- 8 Photo quality: 12 megapixels with impressive results
- 9 Bokeh photo mode – almost like the DSLR
- 10 Video quality and stability of the recordings
- 11 Comparison of video quality between DJI Spark and Mavic Pro
- 12 Everything on “Auto”: Currently no video settings available
- 13 Fair-weather camera
- 14 Update 30.09.2017: DJI Spark test video at dusk and thunderstorm
- 15 iPhone control or better remote controller?
- 16 Fly More Combo – also a must-have
- 17 Obstacle Avoidance Test: How well does obstacle detection work in practice?
- 18 Extremely quickly ready for use
- 19 The stealth drone – Spark is classified more as a toy
- 20 Often criticized: The battery life
- 21 (Still) no support in the Litchi app
- 22 Smaller price, less fear of loss, more interesting flights
- 23 Buy DJI Spark or DJI Mavic Pro?
- 24 Pros and cons of DJI Spark and Mavic Pro
The DJI Spark is the smallest model that DJI currently has on the market. My copy arrived just over three weeks ago and has been in use many times since then. I have gained some experience and would like to pass this on to you in the form of a test report.
In my “drone arsenal” is currently in addition to the DJI Spark for about 600 euros and a DJI Mavic Pro, which costs about 1,200 euros, a Phantom 4 and an octocopter from Asctec, which without accessories a few years ago already over 10,000 euros tasted. So, I can look back on some experience with some models and a few years of practice trying to classify the performance of the DJI Spark compared to the Mavic Pro. The comparison with the AscTec Falcon 8 but let’s get away because the price difference is too large and the use cases are too different. But let’s just start. 😉
Optics and workmanship
I think the DJI Spark is very good in appearance. The different colors you can choose make things a little more interesting. My model is sky blue, but there are also white, red, green and yellow. To give you a picture of the DJI drone, I’ve put together some shots here, all taken with my iPhone 7 Plus.
I also like the workmanship very well. Although the DJI Spark is mostly plastic, it feels very high quality. The material also appears to be relatively sturdy, so occasional bumping causes at most a few scratches but does not cause major damage. My Spark I have been relatively frequent in use for several weeks, in which the device was not treated very squeamish – it was not ugly thereby from my point of view and cracks or Abspitterungen are not to be found.
Technical data soon
I do not want to go into all the details of the “Specs” because we have summarized these in the first article about the DJI Spark here. For those who have not read this article or do not want to read it now, I can summarize the most important:
The Spark weighs just under 300 grams and is thus a flyweight compared to the other models of DJI. The DJI Mavic Pro weighs about 750 grams more than twice the Spark and works in spite of the folding mechanism on the arms somehow much more massive than the weight difference would be expected.
Flight time / battery capacity
The batteries of the DJI Spark have 1,480 mAh and allow a flight time of 16 minutes, which settles in practice on about 12-13 minutes since you have to think of a residual maturity of about 3 to 4 minutes already on the flight home. From about three minutes remaining time the DJI Spark wants to initiate “Return to Home”. If you break this off and keep on flying, you have to be prepared to land on the spot after one minute of rest time – without being able to intervene. This can be very uncomfortable when flying over water or over the forest.
On YouTube, you can find great videos on this topic ( source ), showing how people in full clothes run into the water to save their drone. This “return-to-home” emergency program makes not only the DJI Spark but also the Phantom or Mavic. That’s why I always fly so that I’m on the way home from 4 minutes remaining time.
Camera sensor and /resolution for video and photo
The sensor of the camera is supposedly the same, which was installed by DJI already in the Mavic Pro. However, the look before it is much smaller, which also affects the image quality. But more on that later. Spark’s resolution for video is “only” 1080p at 30 frames per second and 12 megapixels (3,968 x 2,976 pixels) for photos.
Why only 1080p and not 4K?
The obvious question about the low video resolution is “Why does not the camera record with 4K if it is the same sensor that manages the Mavic Pro 4K?”. Quite simply: because the gimbal of the DJI Spark has only a 2-axis stabilization and the inevitable occurring wobbly must be digitally stabilized. For this purpose, a smaller part of the complete video is cut out, so that you have video footage of the stabilization process in all directions. This is done internally and on the SD card lands only the finished stabilized material – in 1080p, since it had to be cut properly. That’s why the Spark ultimately only delivers 1080p while internally capturing and processing more pixels.
As already mentioned: Another important difference to the Mavic is the camera gimbal, which is equipped in the Mavic with 3 axes and in this way receives buttery videos, even if the drone wobbles left and right. In the DJI Spark was waived on the stabilization of the Yaw axis (Y-axis), which poses no problem at all photos, but with twists makes them sometimes a bit jerky.
In practice, you notice the difference, for example, when you select the quick shot “helix”, in which the drone moves away from the pilot in an ever-increasing circular motion, but still keeps it in focus. For this maneuver, a steady (automatic) turning of the drone is the basis, so that the pilot remains in focus. Unfortunately, you can clearly see that the DJI Spark here corrected constantly so that the recording is not very “smooth” over in my view.
The Quickshot does not (yet) exist on the Mavic Pro, but the manual rotations work very smoothly on the DJI Magic Pro when you have some practice. With the Spark is often even with practice, not much to save, because even medium-small gusts of wind can lead to lateral wobbles.
Unpack and set up
Unpacking is a bit like DJing at DJI. The packaging is on a “high level” and accordingly you can easily get all the stuff out. When setting up myself, however, I have – based on its own stupidity – something difficult.
I ordered the DJI Spark Fly More Combo directly because I wanted to have the controller with me and I did not want to miss the additional battery and charging station. The bag was less important to me, as the space in it is usually not enough for all the things I want to take with me. Nevertheless, the purchase of the Fly More Combo is also worthwhile for the other accessories.
After unpacking, first charging the batteries and the controller is the first compulsory event. With the Fly More Combo charging station about 40 minutes charging time (up to three batteries charge parallel) as a time frame still bearable if you have been waiting weeks for delivery.
During the store, I thought, I could also make the obligatory firmware updates directly. But to do that, you first have to pair the Spark with the iPhone, so that the firmware can be loaded. Actually, a relatively simple and self-running process, once the connection is established. But in that case, I did not know how to pair the Spark with the iPhone, because there is no included cable that would connect the controller to the iPhone.
Instead, you have to connect via Wifi. And here came me the first gray hair: in the WLAN menu I could see a DJI device, but where is the password to the device? So Google started up and read (no idea why I read no instructions!). There was that you can find the password on the plastic package in which the DJI Spark is transported – or alternatively in the battery compartment of the Spark itself.
Wrong wifi password: RC is the controller and not the Spark!
Unfortunately, I always got the message that the password was wrong, which seriously puzzled me. After some time, however, came the enlightenment: I have seen in the WLAN only the remote controller, while I have entered the password for the Wi-Fi Spark. The password for the remote controller can be found on the back of the controller. * Front clapping *
Fly More Combo is already paired!
The reason for this misunderstanding with the various wifis and passwords (which happened to others as well!) Is the fact that the Fly More combos are shipped directly from the factory so that the remote controller is paired with the Spark. If this happens, the user will no longer see the Wi-Fi Spark but only the controller’s Wi-Fi.
In order to “see” the Wi-Fi of the Spark, one must first disconnect the coupling between the Spark and the Controller (switch on the DJI Spark, if switched on, press the Power button for about 6 seconds until it beeps twice (at first it beeps once)).
Said and done. After decoupling both, I was able to connect to the Spark and the controller with the right (!) Access data via WLAN and import the corresponding updates via the DJI Go 4 app.
The first flight – without taking off
After the batteries were full, the Spark was coupled and the weather also fit, I went into the garden on an open space and I first wanted to try the gesture control without iPhone and without a remote controller. Here I failed miserably for the second time, while the spark in my hand only accusatory, red blazed contrary.
To get to the bottom of it, I had to open the DJI Go app on the iPhone. This has then announced to me, I have to activate the Spark first with my account with DJI. The whole thing was within a few seconds since I already had an account with the manufacturer of the other drones. See how it works in detail here in this support video from DJI.
By the way: Without activation, the Mavics, Phantoms, and Sparks only work in “emergency” and felt 90% of the functions are severely limited. It is almost a “duty” to click on a DJI account and activate the devices with it.
First “real” flight and test of gesture control
Well, when I had done the activation, it could finally start with the gesture control: DJI Spark turns on, wait until he “started up”, then hold his outstretched arm in front of his face (where drones in principle have only reluctant!) And twice briefly press the power button. As in the many demo videos, the LED rings on the front arms of the Spark went green and the quadrocopter took off. The first sense of achievement!
Now the control via palm in Jedi mode was on the todo list. So the Spark holds his hand in front of the camera and slowly move to the side. With a little delay, the drone follows the hand but keeps a distance of about one meter from the palm. Going to the Spark, she backs away. If you withdraw yourself, you follow the hand and keep the distance. An interesting experience.
Basically, the controls work this way, but it has for my taste too much delay and unfortunately works in only half of the cases. Maybe it’s on the palm of my hand, but I’ve also seen in other people’s videos that they often had to swing sideways several times with a swing of their arms until Spark followed them.
A tip about this: Sometimes it works better if you use a fist instead of the palm of your hand to control it. Maybe that makes more impression in the gesture recognition. 😉
What works relatively safe, is the command “flying away”, which is initiated by waving. Then the Spark flies about 4-5 meters to the rear and about 2-3 meters in height. Now you form a box with the thumb and forefinger of both hands and the Spark responds with a flashing red LEDs on the front. If it does not flash anymore, the photo is taken. That worked very well!
My favorite Move: You form a Y with your arms and then the Spark slowly comes flying towards the pilot and floats in front of you in the air to take new orders. If you now hold your palm under it (distance about 30 cm), then it goes slowly into descent and lands on the palm. Perfect! This is something I miss on the Mavic Pro when traveling in rough terrain with tall grass: starting and landing from the hand.
My conclusion to the gesture control
The gesture control is definitely still in its infancy. In my opinion, the reaction time is too slow and the reliability of the recognition of commands is still too low. If I swing my arm three times and the Spark only recognizes it the third time, it gets annoying with time. Sure DJI will fix it here, but the gesture control is a feature I do not need anyway. For the reason: Not bad, if it does not work 100%. For this, the Spark gets no deductions from me in the overall standings.
No foldable propeller arms – not necessarily a disadvantage
Many people have criticized the idea of the Spark, that it does not have foldable arms, as they are used for example in the Mavic Pro. Sure, it would have been possible to optimize the size again, but the foldable outriggers are definitely at the expense of durability.
When drones crash, it’s mostly on one of the outriggers. These usually break at the weakest point and that is the hinge of the folding mechanism in the Mavic Pro. The DJI Spark has been designed by the manufacturer but to be very robust. This can already be seen on the camera, which does not require extra gimbal protection or lens cover. The design of the boom is also chosen so that they are wider at the approach to the “body” of the drone and thus can withstand high forces.
That this design is a concept that works, you can see in this video, in which a Youtuber subjects the Spark to a “durability test”. He flies into trees, drops them to the ground, throws them away with a rope, shaves bushes and flies in the pouring rain. And what can I say: The Spark holds everything through. Not even a propeller broke down.
With the Mavic Pro, this would have been quicker because even falls from a small height can cause the Mavic to break the boom.
For me, the choice of fixed motor arms is understandable and correct. The Spark would like to throw in the backpack and take it everywhere and have quickly ready for use. You definitely do not want to pack them in cotton wool and carry them through the history of the world with a huge transport case.
Apart from that, DJI himself probably sees a certain potential that the normal user in the Quickshot modes rushes into one or the other tree or bush. As it is for the in-house repair department safely relieving, if the plane a little bit off. 😉
Photo quality: 12 megapixels with impressive results
There are various reports on the Internet that compare the photo quality of the DJI Spark with that of the DJI Mavic Pro. Authoritative – after all, both have a 12-MP sensor. In practice, the comparison is also justified in good, sunny weather. However, you can quickly see the difference when taking photos in situations that are less well lit or have high contrast between dark and light areas. Example of this you will see below in the comparison of video quality because there are the same differences between the cameras come to light.
Add to this the fact that the Mavic Pro can record photos in RAW format (DNG), while the DJI Spark currently only delivers JPGs, then the Mavic Pro has a double advantage over the Spark.
Nevertheless, I would certify the DJI Spark a good photo quality, because, in most situations, the photos are absolutely sufficient. Even if you want to photograph corporate buildings or homes for a website on behalf of, you can use the DJI Spark.
Quick improvement of the photos by photo lemur
Thanks to good post-processing, you can get more out of the photos of both drones anyway than most people think. So that you can see what I mean, I have here just two photos unedited (in the left picture area) and post-processed (right side of the picture, fully automatically improved by photo lemur ) set. Both photos are taken with the DJI Spark and were calculated to be a suitable size for the web.
The software Photolemur I call at this point as a tip, because just users of the Spark should fall into the appropriate target group. Hardly anyone who is on the go with this snatch-and- snatch ratchet drone wants to tinker for 5 minutes per photo in Lightroom or Affinity Photo. With Photolemur you can improve a whole folder of photos in one go – that’s what you like as an ordinary gas consumer. 😉
Here are a few photos that I’ve just made with Spark. These photos were only small, but not post-processed.
For home use, the photo quality of the camera is definitely sufficient. Add to that the easy transportability and the Spark is a great flying camera for athletes, outdoor freaks, and hikers, who might find the Mavic Pro too unwieldy and awkward.
Bokeh photo mode – almost like the DSLR
You already know the effect of the iPhone 7 Plus. Also in this photo, a depth effect is digitally recreated in the photo, which is otherwise only synonymous with DSLR cameras out: While the foreground is sharp, the background of the photo is blurred. The DJI Spark has a special photo mode that DJI calls “Bokeh”.
Compared to the iPhone 7 Plus you can adjust this effect in the DJI Go App later. There you click on the edit button and then have the opportunity to select the object in the photo, which should be sharp. A small slider next to the fader icon lets you set the strength of the effect. If you are satisfied with the result, you can secure the photo in the camera roll of the smartphone.
Technical Implementation and resolution of the Bokeh photos
Technically, the bokeh effect is realized by the Spark within about 1-2 seconds, a good 20 photos from different heights (total height difference is perhaps 30 cm) makes. From these photos, the DJI Go app calculates later a depth profile of the scene, with the help of which she calculates the shallow depth of field in the photo.
The photo resolution of the bokeh photos with 1440 x 1080 pixels is significantly smaller than the normal photos of the Spark. So they are mainly for use on the web for social media platforms or other websites.
The result is pretty good in most cases. However, if you focus on an object in the background, the foreground becomes blurry, which looks very strange when you have individual objects that stand in the foreground – you can see this in the example photo with the blurred tree trunk (bottom photo). Here simply the blurring of the outline of the trunk is missing. That’s why it looks very unnatural …
Video quality and stability of the recordings
In terms of video quality, in my view, you have to look at the size of the camera and the drone as a whole. Compared to the Mavic Pro, the Spark definitely performs poorly, as the 4K recordings of the Mavic Pro are more detailed, better in difficult lighting conditions, and the 3-axis stabilization is much softer when turning.
Nevertheless, the video quality of the DJI Spark is impressively good. Clear 1080p are not 4K, but many Youtubers and amateur filmmakers this resolution is sufficient. If you look at other drones in this price range, such as the Beebop 2 by Parrot or other models, then you quickly realize that DJI has set the bar very high for other manufacturers. Personally, I do not know any drones in this price range that could match the Spark’s photo and video quality.
By combining the gimbal’s 2-axis stabilization and internal digital stabilization, the video footage is extremely stable. If you make slow flights without turning the drone around the yaw axis, then the video recordings are completely free of jerks. Only when turning the drone is the difference to the 3-axis gimbal of the Mavic Pro to see.
Comparison of video quality between DJI Spark and Mavic Pro
Often the video quality is compared to these two drones. The technical differences can be seen here in the table:
DJI Mavic Pro sensor
|size||1 / 2.Pro sensorCMOS||1 / 2.3 inches CMOS|
|resolution||12 MP||12.35 MP|
|field of view||81.9 degrees||78.8 degrees|
|cover||ƒ = 2.6||ƒ = 2.2|
|video recording||only 1080p 30fps @ 24Mbps||up to 4K 30fps @ 60Mbps|
|ISO area photos||100 – 1,600||100 – 1,600|
|ISO range videos||100 – 3,200||100 – 3,200|
The sensor of the Mavic Pro is marginally larger and the resolution is, of course, many times better with 4K, but a difference that can not be read in numbers is the dynamic range. This can be seen in a good camera in that it can handle high contrasts and, for example, still be able to display structures in dark areas of objects, while at the same time a bright sky is also correctly exposed and free of ghosting, white clouds (overexposed areas). And this is where the camera of the Mavic Pro has fewer weaknesses than the Spark. It can be recognized by the example screenshots that I have built in the article below (video comparison). Nevertheless: The DJI Spark delivers for the size and price range from a very good video result, which I do not want to talk bad.
Everything on “Auto”: Currently no video settings available
The DJI Spark is clearly not aimed at filmmakers. While the DJI Mavic Pro offers a relatively large number of settings for video recording (different resolutions and frame rates, D-Cinelike, D-LOG and similar things), the Spark only has 1080p at 30fps and everything on “Auto”. As output format, there is only the MP4 format (MPEG-4 AVC / H.264). For example, those who like to record at 25fps, 60fps or in DLOG mode will not be happy with the Spark.
As indicated above, the difference between the camera and the Mavic Pro and Spark is not so easy to see in good weather. Of course, you can see on a 4K TV that the image of the Spark can play less detail, but if you look at the whole thing on a Full HD TV, the difference of the video resolution becomes relative again.
I think these screenshots make it clear that the Spark does not make bad videos compared to the Mavic Pro, but it does reveal weaknesses in the borderline. Whether this ultimately comes to light in the moving picture, of course, depends on the film and the corresponding post-production.
Update 30.09.2017: DJI Spark test video at dusk and thunderstorm
Since the Spark is so small and cheap, one dares, of course, a bit more. For example, a few months ago I flew with her in the twilight and in the thunderstorm. It was already raining a bit, there were storm gusts and the following video was produced, which was only edited but published without post-processing. No cinematic masterpiece, but it shows what the Spark can do even in bad light and adverse circumstances.
iPhone control or better remote controller?
I have had several drones that were controlled by virtual sticks on the iPhone. I admit: So far, no one has done it as well as DJI at the Spark. The controller has little latency despite Wi-Fi transmission and feels very “direct”. Of course, you have no feedback, as you would expect from real tax picks.
It may still work to position the Spark for a photo shoot within 30-40 meters, but to fly clean in one direction at a constant speed for 10 to 20 seconds to shoot a video is useless. Especially the soft pans and slow flights make the video recordings of drones but something special. And you take that option when you fly without the real remote controller.
An additional disadvantage when flying with the iPhone is the fact that you cover yourself with two thumbs on the smartphone display much of the live image of the drone. This makes it much harder to see what the current picture looks like and where you’re flying.
Another advantage of the “right” remote control is the range. While I was able to reliably fly with the iPhone Wifi control to just 70-80 meters, the live image of the Spark with the controller only broke off after roughly 300-350 meters. The range is according to DJI specifications technically 2 km, but the drones of DJI recognize in which country they are “on the move” and adjust the transmission power accordingly. So here in Germany unfortunately only on smaller values, which are well below the manufacturer’s specifications.
My conclusion on the controller question: I think he is definitely a “must-have” if you want to make reasonable shots with the drone. You can use it to control the Spark much more precisely and thus faster than with the smartphone. The limitation of the range without a controller is also so enormous that you can not really take this permanently.
Apart from that, you can not activate the sports mode of the Spark without the controller and this is really a fun factor that you should not miss. A Youtuber said in his video: “When you activate the sports mode, the Spark behaves like a Tasmanian devil!” … a nice description. 😀
Fly More Combo – also a must-have
If you decide on the controller, you should buy directly the Fly More Combo, because if you buy the DJI Spark and the controller individually, you are almost at the combo price and with this fly-more compilation you still get an extra battery and a lot more “on top”. Overall, the Fly More Combo has a value of over 1000 euros, but only costs 799 euros.
Important links for you:
- Buy Fly More Combo: here at DJI in the Store
- Only buy remote controllers: here in the DJI Store
- Buy additional batteries: here in the DJI Store
Obstacle Avoidance Test: How well does obstacle detection work in practice?
Granted, I tested the feature a few times by flying in front of a tree or other obstacle. This has worked so far and even bushes with protruding branches and small leaves were reliably detected before the Spark would be pure noise.
But for the obstacle detection so also the flying around the same, so that the recording can continue to run. A typical area of application: You activate the active track mode, in which the spark follows an object and actively avoid obstacles. The Youtuber “The Everyday Dad” has tried this with his mountain bike. The matching video can be found here.
His test has yielded three interesting Results:
- The Spark actually holds out a lot. During his shooting, the Spark had to take three heavy blows and she still flew.
- The gesture control works with him only in half of the cases.
- The obstacle detection works so far that the DJI Spark stops before it flies into an obstacle, but it flies the obstacles only in a few cases.
Extremely quickly ready for use
What I see as an absolute plus point for the DJI Spark compared to the Mavic Pro is the quick operational readiness. I always hugged her in a wrap- around the case (from Ideal Solutions), the controller and smartphone in another, and she’s on her way in no time in the air. We’re talking about a minute here.
The carry bag from DJI was also included in the Fly More Combo and I use it for transport in the car on longer trips, but for my accessories (4 additional batteries) the bag is too small and too cumbersome if you want to fly fast.
The Spark makes a quick start extremely easy because unlike the Mavic Pro you do not have to hold out her arms, do not remove Gimbalschutz and also not looking for a suitable area to start, because of the starting and landing you just out of hand.
The stealth drone – Spark is classified more as a toy
I do not know about you, but whenever I was on a mission with a drone in inhabited areas, it took less than 5 minutes for the first resident to stand in front of me and – at best – ask critical questions. Often we were also – despite existing promotion approval and notice-say at the police and public order – insulted, what is really not very conducive to the attention when flying.
With the Mavic Pro, the quota of complainers has already decreased, as it is simply very small and much quieter than my octocopter, which makes quite good wind with 8 propellers. The DJI Spark, however, is, in turn, an increase, because it is even quieter than the Mavic. If you are still there with the small remote control and the smartphone, it looks more like toys than “professional surveillance”. You can hear the Spark, even if you fly at 100 meters in the quiet country above, but when a car drives by, drowns this without any problems the noise of the Spark.
I like to call the DJI Spark “stealth drone” because it is hardly noticeable and you can fly undisturbed. For me, that’s an argument rather to pack the Spark on hikes than the Mavic Pro, which attracts other hikers much faster.
Often criticized: The battery life
It’s true that the Spark is well below the 22 minutes of the Mavic Pro with about 13 minutes of realistic flight time. But I think that is whining on a high level. My octocopter has a flight time of almost 7 minutes and that was 1-2 years ago still a value that was quite realistic. DJI has set the bar itself so high through the Phantom series that you no longer want to step backward. So it looks like the 16 minutes that DJI is applying for Spark’s flight time is a bad one – even though it’s not, in my view.
In practice, the flight time with the battery is not too short: If you – as we in Germany – anyway fly “on sight”, then you can get away maybe 100 to 150 meters away. But then you can no longer seriously claim that you can see the orientation of the drone, which is actually the default for “fly to view”.
In order to fly to the scene, one needs perhaps a minute, then one for the return flight and so one has still good 10 minutes before the first Akkuwarnung the DJI spark starts. Personally, the flight time is still more than adequate. The only thing I can really recommend: Get more than two batteries. They flew empty really fast. I now have five pieces and am thus well supplied on longer hikes.
My practical tip: Buy DJI Spark Battery – here in the DJI Store
(Still) no support in the Litchi app
The Litchi app is a third-party app that lets you plan flights for most DJI drones in advance. You can realize with it camera movements over several minutes, which could never be implemented by hand. Before I talk about the porridge for long – here is a video that was completely realized with the Phantom 4 and the Litchi app. The pilot controls nothing more but looks at the iPad or iPhone while controlling. See for yourself which beautiful shots can come out of it.
Now the Litchi app has been updated to DJI Mavic Pro, but the Spark is not yet supported. Since the Spark is also systemically open to third-party apps, compatibility with Litchi may only be a matter of time, but there is currently no support.
I have just written to the support of Litchi and asked how it looks with the compatibility. The answer came immediately:
We hope to add support for DJI Spark soon, however, waypoint / orbit modes will not be supported.
Unfortunately, the most important flight modes will not be supported in the future as the DJI Spark can not technically implement these flight modes via the API. Video recordings, like those from Corfu above, will not be possible with the Spark. If I had to choose between the Mavic Pro and the Spark, the lack of Litchi support would be a reason to choose the Mavic.
Smaller price, less fear of loss, more interesting flights
I noticed that DJI Spark left me much less worried about the drone when flying close to objects. This is partly because I think the Spark also holds out a fall from 4 to 5 meters on the lawn and on the other hand you move not quite as much money through the area, as with the Mavic Pro.
Whatever the reason – the threshold for riskier flights (not risky to people or animals!) Is lower, making it more creative and exciting. This is a plus, which is often not included in the discussion of this drone, but in my opinion, should also play a role.
Buy DJI Spark or DJI Mavic Pro?
I have both drones available and I have to say that I want both. Technically, the Mavic Pro is naturally superior to the DJI Spark. That’s why it’s twice as expensive. The crucial question is rather: which drone is better suited for which purpose and what would you like to do with the drone?
The DJI Mavic Pro is the right choice for people who value discerning semi-professional video. If space and weight do not matter much, I would even recommend the Phantom 4 Pro or the Inspire 2. But here we compare two small, mobile drones and for me, only the Mavic Pro and the DJI Spark come into question.
Filmmakers who like to get a lot out of the recordings through post-production are also better served by the Mavic Pro. This simply offers more setting options in order to be able to record the raw data as optimally as possible.
The DJI Spark is in my view something for people who want to be super-mobile and put emphasis on low weight and low pack size. If you want to take pictures and videos on the fly, without having to play around with the drone, the DJI Spark is the right drone.
Last but not least, one should also consider the price difference: While one lands with Mavic Pro with accessories quickly at 1,500 euros, you come with the Spark in the Fly More Combo just 800 euros.
Those who can not decide, do it like me and just pick up both drones. If the transport and the volume do not matter to me, I have the Mavic with me. If I want to go with minimum luggage, I throw the DJI Spark in the backpack. Because here – as with cameras – the sentence applies:
The best drone is the one you have with you!
If the alternative is that you will not take any, then rather the Spark despite small compromises in quality.
By the way: If size, weight, and money do not matter, you can take a look at the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. This would be my recommendation, if you want to carry around his drone rarely, but puts a lot of emphasis on good shots. It scores points with a round-about obstacle detection, a really large sensor, a long flight time and a mechanical aperture! And some other features, which I suppress here, since the contribution has really become long enough. 😉
Pros and cons of DJI Spark and Mavic Pro
Some people like a quick summary of pros and cons arguments before deciding on a device. So here’s a little list that may help you find the right drone for your application.
|DJi Spark||DJI Mavic Pro|
|transport||very simple, because of low weight and robust construction||easy, but with accessories, you can quickly reach 1.5 kg and larger volume|
|Use for hiking and trekking||very well suited because it fits in every filled backpack||rather less good, as they quickly burst the place in small backpacks|
|Wedding filmmakers and photographers||maximum as a “goodie”||very suitable, because 4K and good Bildqualiät|
|landscape Photography||well suited||even better, because it can handle contrasts better|
|FPV flying||In my view, too little reach and too fast disconnects occur||Perfectly suited, because the video transmission is very stable|
|Use with DJI goggles||compatible, but unsuitable, because the connection breaks down extremely fast (in my case, sometimes after 40-50 meters)||very suitable; stable connection over several hundred meters with 720p resolution|
|video||well suited, because you can always take the DJI Spark||if enough space is available, the best choice, since the 4K resolution and D-Cinelike color profile offer more options for post-processing|
|Semi-Professional Videos||unsuitable, because too few settings and short flight time (16 min)||well suited because you can use different resolutions, refresh rates and filters such as ND filters; more flight time is also a plus (25 min)|
|vacation Photos||Photo quality is good in good lighting conditions||very good, as she also copes with high contrasts|
|RAW photos (DNG)||No||yes, it is supported; offers many options for post processing|
|Youtube / Vimeo||yes, if you can live with 1080p and 30fps||perfect, as it also supports 4K and different frame rates like 24fps, 25fps, 30fps and 60fps|
|athlete||yes, because she is very small and sturdy||yes, but it needs a lot more space in the luggage; Collisions end quickly with a broken Mavic Pro|
|Selfie Drone||very good, because it offers special Quickshot modes for it||yes, good, as it also supports Active Track; However, quick-shot modes like Dronie or Helix are missing|
|price||If you are looking for a low-cost entry into the world of drones, the DJI Spark Fly More Combo is very well-suited for you; high quality for an unbeatable price||If you have something more on the high edge, the Mavic Pro offers more picture quality for more money|
|Often on the road in rough terrain||very good, because you can start and land from the hand||requires one square meter of flat terrain for takeoff and landing; Hand start and landing not really recommended|
|Bokeh effect Photo||yes, available||does not yet exist, but could be supplied by a software update|
|Support by Litchi app||soon, but only very limited (almost not!)||yes, is fully supported|
|To buy?||Spark in the DJI Shop||Watch Mavic Pro at the DJI Shop|
If you still have question marks on your forehead, you can also write me what you would like to use the drone for, and I’ll help you make that selection. The advice is, of course, free, as long as I do not get twenty emails a day. 🙂