[ My First Drone! ] DJI Spark First Impression 大疆Spark飛行機第一印象

[ My First Drone! ] DJI Spark First Impression 大疆Spark飛行機第一印象

DJI Spark Fly More Combo First Impression Summary

  • Cool drone but carry bag was hard to pack and could be better designed.
  • DJI Spark did not come with a micro SD, so make sure you get one before you fly the drone.
  • Fly More Combo is pre-configured to be connected with remote controller, while the manual assumes you connect the drone first by phone. Try this to fix it.
  • As Spark does not have sturdy camera lens protection, it’s recommended you put a screen protector on Spark’s camera.
  • In order to use Gesture Control mode, you need to turn off Beginner Mode in DJI app!
  • To re-configure Spark to remote controller mode, follow instruction here under 4. How do I link Spark to the remote controller?

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Ta-da! This is the Fly More Combo package.

DJI Spark Arrived!

I have been wanting to get a drone for a long time, yet before all the drones did not satisfy my special need: to be easily carried while cycling and to get good bird-eye views.

This means that:

  1. The drone has to be light and small enough.
  2. The drone must have enough control range.
  3. The drone must have some nice photo quality.

This year my brother told me that DJI was releasing a new small and powerful drone called Spark. Heard that:

  • the drone was only 300 gram,
  • can fly 16 minutes per battery,
  • had remote control range up to 2km,

I decided to give it a try and got it directly from China.

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And… open!

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The combo came with a carrying bag.

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I ordered a yellow one so if it crashed, I could easily find it (assuming it was still alive).

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All the shits here: the drone, charger, remote controller and fan guards.

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Charging it up!

Everything was pretty neat except the carry bag: I found it hard to pack all my gears except the charger into it: the designer seemed to forget space for fan guards.

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I tried putting the fan guards at the side pocket. It worked but you have to put them after everything else.

Also a slight disappointment was the package did not come with a micro SD, so make sure you get one before your first flight!

DJI Spark Gesture Control Mode at Jinguashi (金瓜石)

I decided to test my DJI Spark right away at JingGuaShi, a gorgeous near-sea mountain area with many abandoned mining facilities.

I started with the gesture control mode since it was the simplest for me to learn. Under JingGuaShi’s high wind I successfully flew the Spark twice but then had a small crash once.

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With gesture control mode, Spark could directly take off from your hand.

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Testing Spark gesture control mode at an deserted old Japanese shrine.

I later found out that you need to disable Beginner Mode in order to fly gesture control mode properly. Also unlike Mavic, Spark did not have a sturdy camera protection. When I crashed I slightly scratched the lens at the side.

My solution is to cut a small piece of phone screen protector and stick it on the lens, so at least to avoid lens abrasion with the ground during crash.

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Here is my impression summary about the gesture control mode:

  • Remember to turn off beginner mode!
  • Overall it works well, yet the drone still missed your gesture occasionally.
  • When you want to land your DJI Spark, make sure your hand is at least 30 cm below the drone. I found out that if you were too close the drone won’t recognize the landing gesture.

DJI Spark Remote Control Indoor Test

The last test before putting the drone into actual work was the remote control indoor test. Probably due to my location in Taiwan, for indoor flight I had to again disable beginner mode.

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Ready to fly directly from my desk!

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The remote controller was ready with a green light left of DJI logo.

The indoor flight was pretty amazing: the drone implemented quite nice collision detection and could avoid bumping to the wall.

The only one occasion was during a take-off: my drone was placed too close to the wall, so while it took off it scratched the wall a little bit.

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Video: DJI Spark Indoor Flying Video

Recording the flight with my Sony Action Cam on my bike helmet.

DJI Spark Image Quality

During the indoor flight I took a few photos with my DJI Spark. I guess there’s still a lot of potential for improvement: the current camera worked only with enough light and was not good at close, moving object. Still some time to get to action cam quality.

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That’s my drone-flying face. I wore my bike helmet with action cam attached so my hands were free for remote control.

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Photo testing with my beer label wall.

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Testing to move camera downward.

Overall DJI Spark Impression Summary

Overall DJI spark was really wonderful, work as expected with just some slight glitch. I can’t wait to take it with my bike and do some real photo/video shootings!

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