? – Image Credit – FStoppers
By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
If you’re trying to decide what drone to get for your first, DJI hasn’t really made it easy to decide. From the high end Inspire 2, 4th generation Phantom, to the Mavic and its little sister, the selfie obsessed Spark, there are plenty of options in the DJI line to choose from. Thankfully, a website has distilled all the information to make it easier.
DJI has released many drones over the past few years. The different models may seem similar to a newcomer, but each one actually addresses a different need. In the end, it all boils down to size and portability versus image quality and performance. Here we’ll analyze the main differences between the DJI drones to help you determine which one is the right fit for you. – FStoppers
Breaking down the information by Price, Image quality, portability, flight performance, and additional features, FStoppers has taken a concise look at all four DJI drones and given us a overview to help us decide. For many, just getting into the game, price may be the driving force. When you’re just starting out, you don’t want to lay down $3500 for an Inspire to learn on, or you may end up with an expensive pile of parts like this guy:
But for shooters like us, looking to get that cinematic bird’s eye view, you want the best possible image quality. The buyer’s guide breaks down the image sensor specs, how fast the camera’s aperture is, and how wide is the movement of the drone’s built in multi axis gimbal array. There’s also the question of whether Raw or Log is available,. The DJI drones start with 1080p for the Spark, and goes up to 4K at higher frame rates.
Portability is important if you spend a lot of time out in the field. The Spark may be small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but the Mavic Pro is collapsible, making it easier to breakdown and carry in a backpack. The Phantom 4 models can also be carried in a backpack, but they aren’t collapsible, so they’re a bit more cumbersome. And the Inspire? Forget bringing that into the bush. It’s huge.
Flight Performance is the next feature, and it shows how fast each drone can go, how it can handle wind speed, and what it’s flight time envelope is based on battery life. The Spark has a limited 12-14 minute flight time and can go up to 31 mph, while the Inspire is limited to about 20 minutes with an X5S camera, but can flight in winds approaching 60mph. The Phantom 4 Pro and the Mavic Pro can stay aloft the longest, at nearly 25 minutes flight time.
Finally, there’s additional features. From downward facing sensors to collision avoidance to dual controller input, to simple hand gesture control.
So if you’re starting out fresh, then the Spark may be the best option, especially if you’re part of the YouTube crowd. It enables you to start filming with no flight experience, and with simple hand gestures. But it’s largely a selfie drone, so it’s going to have a limited use. You’ll also likely quickly outgrow it, making the Mavic Pro a more logical choice for the long run.
Once you do make a choice, remember the rules of flight. Don’t try and get aroun them. DJI has managed to update it’s software to prevent flight in restricted areas, including fires and natural disasters. That’s a good thing. But there are some, like the Russian software company Coptersafe, that have figured out how to “jail break” your drone to get around DJI’s safety restrictions.
The mods do it by tricking your GPS, altimeter and accelerometer to think your drone isn’t violating speed limits, geo fencing, and even height limits. So it thinks it’s nowhere near a restricted area. Those mods promise to improve performance, but chances are, they’re also going to void your warranty and get you in trouble with the Feds. Frankly, I’d rather they hack battery performance. The last thing the industry doesn’t need, is someone who thinks the rules don’t apply to them. That can cause a serious safety issue and put lives at stake, which is how we got the rules in the first place.
Hat Tip – FStoppers and The Verge