DJI unveiled its tiny Spark drone on Wednesday, and it's sort of the anti-drone for consumers.
It's small enough to fit in your hand, launches and lands from there, can be controlled almost entirely with gestures, lets you take a selfie from just 10 feet away, has a whole collection of pre-programmed video shots to help you figure out what to do with it, and even charges via a standard micro USB port.
Plus it's available at a consumer-friendly price of $499.
It is, in other words, the answer to the two questions DJI hears from consumers most about drones:
"Is it easy to fly?"
"How am I going to use it?"
The drone, which goes on pre-sale today and ships mid-June, seeks to dramatically shorten the distance from a consumer buying a drone (DJI said 46 per cent of costumers have the intention to buy one this year) to actually flying one.
Spark, DJI's smallest and lightest drone, is not at all imposing like the DJI Phantom series or even the foldable and excellent - but more expensive - DJI Mavic Pro. Spark doesn't fold, but at this size, that may not matter.
It is also, though, not DJI's most powerful drone. The quadcopter's 1 2/3-inch sensor can shoot 12-megapixel images, but only shoots up to 1080p video at 30 frames per second (fps), which may still be more than enough for most consumers. Images can be saved to a removable micro SD card.
DJI did do something extra with the camera, using the Spark's on-board infrared to detect image depth information and blur out the background on pretty cool-looking drone selfie shots.
The camera is on just a 2-axis gimbal for maintaining image stability, but it gets an assist from electronic image stabilization.
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