The DJI Spark was announced in July 2017, and many felt it was a little underwhelming, especially since the DJI Mavic Air was announced just six months later in January 2018. The price point of the Mavic Air made it clear that this was not a Spark replacement, but it did make the shortcomings of the Spark more noticeable.
The DJI Spark 2 was expected to be announced at some point last month, but that announcement was rumoured to be delayed. Now reports suggest that the Spark replacement might actually an entirely new line of drone. The Mavic Mini.
Drone Reviews and News reported over the weekend that the Japan Ministry allegedly leaked photos of a “DJI Mavic Mini” drone. They suggested that it was to replace either the Spark or Mavic Air. The most likely candidate for replacement, though, was the Spark, due to its size and minimal apparent feature set.
It has no rear sensors for when it’s flying backwards. The rear of the drone actually opens up to reveal the battery slot, leaving very little room for sensors there anyway. Also on the rear are slots for a microSD card and, strangely, a micro USB connection. That’s a surprise, I figured they’d go Type C – although, if it’s genuine, I suspect it’s some kind of prototype and DJI still has time to change that.
The next day, DroneDJ learned a few possible specs for the new drone, as well as what it will cost.
- It will weigh around 350 grams (over the FAA’s 250g max weight for license-free flying – as well as new upcoming UK drone laws)
- 270mm diagonal length
- Uses DJI’s enhanced Wi-Fi tech (found in the DJI Spark and Mavic Air)
- Folding design like the Mavic 2
- It will have a 12-megapixel 4K 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor
- 3-axis gimbal similar to the Mavic Air
- Launch price of $399 (same as the current DJI Spark price)
If it is indeed a Spark replacement, which the lack of rear sensors and the low price suggests, it’ll be a nice step up in the filming department. Going from 1080p with just 2-axis stabilisation to 4K with 3-axis stabilisation is a significant bump in capability.
DJI is expected to make an announcement of some kind tomorrow. Perhaps this will be it? As usual, we’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
What features do you want to see in a Spark replacement?