As you may have noticed here and there, we’ve been figuring that if we’re going to make a go of this travel blogging thing, we need to up our photography game to be somewhere in the neighborhood of the other twenty million travel bloggers/photographers out there…
… but y’know, it’s kinda hard to be a good photographer, and it takes packing around a lot of equipment, waiting for the right light, yadayadayada. And the prospect of that really wasn’t exciting us that much, seems far too much like work to fit in with the traipsing rover spirit we’re going for here.
However, we’d been vaguely aware that these “drone” whatsits are becoming a thing these days, and a flying camera? Now that sounds like FUN!
And as it happens, DJI the generally acknowledged leader in the drone space has just introduced the DJI Spark, which is aimed exactly at the novice drone user who is perfectly happy with 1080p video. Which we are; not like it’s going anywhere other than YouTube, so who needs 4K and whatever else the cool kids think is important these days?
For more technical detail, here is the review that decided “yep, Spark sounds right for us”:
TL;DR it’s pretty unarguably the best you’re going to find in a size small enough that you carry it everywhere without thinking twice. Which was the main consideration here.
A strong second is the automatic obstacle avoidance. Which we gave a strong workout on our very first flight. Which we have uploaded here, unedited, to give you an undistorted view of just how good the Spark is at dealing with a user who is not only a complete novice at drones, has never used the control app before, but repeatedly tries to drive it straight into a tree:
Obstacle Avoidance FTW! It does only work going forward, not backwards or upwards, but so far that hasn’t led to catastrophe, being smart enough to not let itself be driven straight into something has been enough for Sparky to handle its clumsy human.
There’s lots of accessories to go with the Spark too, controllers and goggles and whatnot; but so far we’re still just learning our way around the basic app. Definitely enjoying ourselves immensely playing with it though — this is a toy that makes traveling more fun, in a way we just don’t see lugging around a professional-grade camera setup would.
So yep — if you’ve been wondering about when would be a good time to get into this drone stuff, we’re quite certain that now with the DJI Spark is that time. And if you haven’t been, consider giving it a shot, these things are great fun!