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DJI Launches Smaller, More Affordable Drone

DJI has launched its smallest drone yet that will retail at almost half the price of its cheapest existing product.

The new Spark drone is being pitched by DJI as “the easy and fun camera drone for everyone” and features the ability to launch the drone from your hand and control its movements through Gesture Mode.

Gesture Mode also allows users to direct Spark into the sky to take a photo, which can then be called back using gestures.

“Controlling a camera drone with hand movements alone is a major step towards making aerial technology an intuitive part of everyone’s daily life, from work and adventure to moments with friends and family,” said DJI’s Senior Product Manager Paul Pan.

“Spark’s revolutionary new interface lets you effortlessly extend your point of view to the air, making it easier than ever to capture and share the world from new perspectives,” Pan said.

With a weight of just 300 grams, Spark weighs less than a quarter of DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro, and less than half the weight of the company’s cheapest and most portable drone to date, the $1699 Mavic Pro.

Spark can capture 12-megapixel photos, along with stabilised 1080p video assisted by a 2-axis mechanical gimbal and UltraSmooth technology. The drone’s FlightAutonomy system enables it to sense obstacles up to 5 metres away, and the optional $259 remote controller can receive a live 720p video transmission from up to 2km away.

An advertised flight time of up to 16 minutes means users will have less time in the sky than other DJI drones, but the company is also offering additional batteries for $79 each.

Spark will retail in Australia for $859 and will begin shipping from mid-June. A ‘Fly More Combo’ adds an additional battery, remote control and other accessories, and will retail for $1,199.

At a price point under $1000, DJI’s Spark will compete with drones like Ehang’s Ghostdrone 2.0 VR, which now retails for $899 after a $300 price cut.

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