To tell you the truth, it’s not as simple as asking is the DJI Spark still worth it in 2019 because regardless of how expensive your drone is, if you aren’t a good pilot then your footage will be of no use anyway. My issue with most of the reviews of the Spark though? That most reviewers didn’t take it seriously enough. They looked at is as a toy because all the other more expensive drones had more features. But what if you never had a different drone?
The DJI Spark Isn’t Going to Fall Even If You Never Used a Drone
Out of the box, it’s relatively hard for one to imagine this drone being able to fly steadily at hight attitudes. It’s so light and so small that one would imagine that this is the kind of drone that you take off with and try to survive as long as possible before crashing. This DJI Spark review was started in Iceland, a country in which it’s not unusual for car doors to be broken by the wind.
The Spark is around $380 depending on where you buy, and I’ve flown some drones at that price range before. They felt like drones intended for crash landings. The Spark? Right away you realize why DJI is the leader when it comes to the drone industry.
Some reviewers in the past said that it can get thrown around by the wind quite a bit. And while it’s true that you probably shouldn’t fly the Spark on a windy day, it’s still able to fly in windy conditions. It’s not going to crash because of heavy wind if that’s what you are thinking.
While in Iceland, at one point, very heavy wind emerged, and my drone did end up flying away out of my sight. I imagined that the drone crashed since it also lost connection with my phone and I was about to launch a rescue party, however, out of nowhere it emerged back. When you launch the DJI app on your phone, “aircraft” gets mentioned, and that perfectly sums up what DJI is doing. Think of their bigger drones as of an Airbus A380 which would be used on some of the world’s longest trips meanwhile think of the Airbus A320neo as the Spark which is much smaller as the Spark. All aircraft need to be able to fly safely whether big or small, even if with fewer features. And that sums up the Spark. It doesn’t have everything that some other DJI products would have but at the end of the day it still needs to be as controllable as others, and it is which means that not only it is easy to fly, but that it also is able to avoid obstacles, detect high wind, or to fly back home.
The drone takes off and lands for you, with your permission, and is even able to do most shots itself which we’ll talk about later on, however, with that said, in order to make the Spark as tiny as possible, DJI sacrificed on the landing gear making the Spark a pain to land when you are around uneven surfaces, making landing the most dangerous aspect of flying the Spark.
I did read reviews that mentioned batteries falling out of the Spark while flying, but I didn’t experience that problem so perhaps that was since then fixed.
With modes that allow you to do a hand gesture to take a selfie, it makes sense for why one might not consider this drone seriously, but when you consider the drone seriously and act as if you were flying a more expensive machine, you can really get some amazing video with this drone.
It shoots footage that will fit any YouTube production you might want the Spark for.
My Issues With the Video on This Drone
My major complaint is that the Spark is pretty much stuck with 30 frames per second which I do find pretty limiting especially if I want to slow down the footage. 4K is also not there but that isn’t a big deal for me. Being limited to just 24mbps and no ability to shoot in S-log is also another reason for why one might go for a different drone.
Another issue I have is that the propellers do show in videos at times making certain parts of videos look amateur.
These kind of things are what put the Spark in the “for fun” category. With that said, does that mean that you can’t take serious video with it? It doesn’t. I already showed some examples of how great footage can look.
I don’t, however, recommend shooting at night with this drone. The footage seems to get shaky when it gets darker.
All of the videos have been shot in automatic because of the fact that I frankly couldn’t see much on the screen due to sunlight, hence I left it to the camera to figure it out itself.
While taking off is easy, landing is a bit more difficult, as the surface is almost empty.
This is where I think the separation between the Spark and bigger pricier drones really comes to be.
Cameras went a long way since 2016, and while the Spark doesn’t take awful pictures, they are average at best, especially for something that DJI calls a “selfie drone.”
I’d put it this way, landscape-wise, the pictures pass because the perspective provided makes the pictures very interesting, even if the quality isn’t necessarily there, but while the DJI Spark rocks the same sized 1/2.3″ as the DJI Osmo Pocket, with both offering 12mp, the issue on the Spark isn’t the megapixels but the f/2.6 aperture which is pretty high making it much harder to get pictures in darker environments and even harder to get that “blur” effect on a picture. Most phones these days come with f/1.7 with the Osmo Pocket coming with F/2.0 and that makes a massive difference.
It’s fine when it comes to landscape, it’s just not exactly great as what DJI states it’s great at, which is selfies.
However, for me, personally, not being able to take RAW pictures is the biggest issue for me. You can still edit your pictures but the possibilities are far more limited as you have much fewer data to play around with. And it’s factors like that would be why most wouldn’t consider this camera okay for professionals.
I’m not going to talk about gestures aspect of this drone that DJI did advertise quite a bit, but like already mentioned, the drone is able to detect objects, return home, and detect when wind is strong, but what most people with find the most useful is the ability for the Drone to track you allowing you to get some cinematic motions of you, that you otherwise would not be able to get, or at least not at the smooth level that drone is able to do it at.
That 360 degrees turn for instance is insanely hard to replicate manually. The drone does it without a single problem.
You’d assume that because of the size of the drone, the battery would be poor. And it is. But that’s the same with all other drones. The size of this drone limits the potential of a battery, but since it’s much lighter, it also takes less battery to fly it.
I personally get around 12-13 minutes on one batter which might not seem like a lot, but how long are you going to actually take footage for? In most cases, not that long. With that said, when it comes to shooting more complex scenes such as with a car movement where sometimes either a car or a drone can go too fast, that’s where problems with such time arise. Personally, when you are learning shooting with the drone, that’s where you really need more than 12-13 minutes of battery. Flying the drone isn’t hard but mastering different kinds of shots, that takes time.
That’s why I recommend that you get a bunch of batteries. I currently have 2 which has been enough for me in all scenarios, but I will be getting a third battery soon.
Get the Fly More Combo
In 2019, the DJI Spark costs around $380 which is an incredible price considering the DJI Osmo we also reviewed is around the same price and you are getting a drone that can fly hundreds of meters into the sky at speeds of up to 30 miles, but with that said, the question of “is the DJI Spark still worth it in 2019” depends mostly on what accessories you have with it.
The Spark by itself isn’t enough. You need extra batteries, you need a battery charger, and you need a controller. These are all a must and a difference between great looking content that is good enough to battle with the more expensive drones and for sure good enough to be used on the likes of YouTube, even with more complex projects.
And I do recommend that you buy theFly More Combo pack because if you don’t, you will overpay.
For instance, one Spark battery costs around $49. A charger? $69. A controller? $139. That’s $257 for all the essentials you need. Meanwhile, you can get all those with the Spark drone for $515 on Amazon. The drone itself is around $380 depending on the stock and color.
Why do you need all of these?
Well, the controller is vital because a touchscreen will never replace physical joysticks. Did you ever play a game with virtual joysticks on your phone and then played on your PS4 or XBOX? Major difference. if you want smooth cinematic footage, you need to have physical joysticks. The controller itself will also extend your range. With just your phone, you can only fly away by 328ft/100 meters which is nowhere near enough for cinematic shots, meanwhile, you can get around 1.2 miles/2 km with the controller.
My issue with the controller is that it wasn’t really designed for 2019 which shows enormously when you try to put in a phone without any major bezels. You end up not being able to press on some buttons.
Battery wise? Yes, one might be enough, but having one is a very bad choice, especially if going on a trip as it will limit you a lot. And even more, limiting when you want to learn using the drone. Yes, it’s easy to operate, but learning how to get the perfect cinematic shots that look professional, that takes time.
Meanwhile, a charger is a must as while you can, in theory, charge the battery from the drone directly, that means that you can’t ever fly it whenever you want to fly, and honestly, the battery charging from the drone is painfully slow like it would be the case with all other cameras too. That’s why I’d recommend a charger. Especially on a trip.
And speaking of trips, get a portable charger that supports American sockets or whatever type of socket you have. Depending on where you are going, you most likely will want to use a drone several times. Sure, you can, in theory, charge your drone while driving, if you drive for long enough, or you could get a portable charger that’s able to charge using that special charger that we already mentioned which will charge all your batteries much quicker.
My recommendation for such a portable charger would be the TYLT AWALL which is my favorite power bank ever made with a review on it coming soon, but in this instance, all you need to know is that it comes with a socket making it an amazing power bank for travel overall whether charging in the car, or while in the middle of an adventure. And it comes with 20,800 mAh of juice which will be enough for your phone and all drone batteries, and you will still have some juice left at the end of the day.
As far as the controller, what will make more of a difference than a camera is how you move the drone and the camera/gimbal, and that’s why a controller is essential.
Is the DJI Spark Still Worth it in 2019? By now you probably realized that it’s not that simple. The DJI Spark is able to get some amazing footage but does have some major flaws which might be the difference between why you go for it or not, but what this drone is better at than any other drone is portability. It’s a drone that you can put into a backpack while still having space for many other objects. And that’s what other drones don’t offer. If you have the budget to pay for extra space to bring a drone, that’s fine. Most of us are creators that are on a budget, and the Spark fits being on a budget.
Is the DJI Spark Still Worth It in 2019?
The likes of the Mavic Pro does allow for 4K recording, 96 FPS 1080p recording, a distance of 4.3mi/7km, RAW images, better aperture, slightly longer flying time, just to name a few, but it does also almost 3 times as much as the Spark.
There are much better drones than the Spark out, but at the same time, the Spark is the best all-around package for most because of it’s size, price, and overall value. You won’t find a drone at its price that is able to fly like the DJI Spark, nevermind being able to capture as the Spark can. And while it’s nice to have all the features the likes of the Mavic Pro has, not having them doesn’t mean you can’t get amazing shots. What will limit you is you believing that you need the best drone out there to get great shots.
Enjoy this DJI Spark review? Make sure to check out some of our other reviews!