DJI Spark
DJI Spark Mini Drone

DJI Spark Purchase

I’ve been into photography for years, love to go around and shoot photos of visually interesting subject matter. A few years ago, I started seeing “drones” equipped with cameras. Since then, I’ve been wanting to experiment with the technology, and have spent many hours researching drones (or UAVs, or quadcopters, or whatever you want to call them), waiting for the right time to pull the trigger and get one.

Spark FTW

For a long time, the cost of a decent, camera-equipped drone was prohibitive. Within the last couple of years, the market has expanded with all sorts of affordable, decent-quality products. For example, earlier this year, DJI released the Spark, which looks like a great starter machine with most of the features I’ve been craving. You can learn all the details and specifications at the DJI website, so I won’t repeat it all here.

For a long time, I wanted to get some version of the DJI Phantom, but it always seemed like much more machine than I would ever need. For a first drone, the Spark provides a good balance of user-friendliness, functionality, features, mobility, and price. Yes you get a LOT more with the Phantom, but you also pay quite a bit more for it. I would be too afraid of crashing the Phantom to ever want to fly it.

On the way

So today was the big day. Finally jumped in and bought my first drone. I ordered the following items:

  • DJI Spark Fly More Combo (Alpine White) – $699
  • DJI Care Refresh – $59

The “Fly More Combo” includes the Spark, remote control, extra battery, charging equipment, plus all sorts of accessories, like extra blades, extra propellers, propeller guards, plus a carrying bag and storage box. It also includes an hour of training, which may turn out to be useful. In any case, I decided to get the Fly More Combo primarily because of the remote controller and extra battery.

Without the Fly More Combo, the Spark does not include the remote control, so you have to try controlling the machine in 3D space using a flat, 2D UI (via your phone or tablet). If you do the math, the Fly More deal saves you over $100 on some essential equipment. So I went for it.

I also purchased the “Care Refresh” service, which basically helps if you accidentally damage the Spark. So if I fly the Spark into a lake or tree or whatever, I can get a replacement unit for a reasonable fee, instead of having to pay full price for repairs or purchase a new machine. Although opinions vary, I think the extra coverage is worth the $59 (for one year of coverage).

Looking forward

So now it’s just a matter of waiting for the Spark to arrive on my doorstep. I hope this wasn’t a mistake. For my humble income, $758 is a big purchase. But I think it is a good investment, and look forward to integrating the Spark into my creative/production process.

I’ll be sharing my experience with the Spark and UAVs in general, along with any related news bits that “spark” my interest. Will also be posting photos, videos, and some tutorials as time allows. It’s gonna be good times :)