DJI has released new features for its Spark camera drone to make it easier to capture and share photos and videos on the go.
As DJI's smallest and smartest drone, Spark can be controlled via hand gestures alone, if desired. And now, through a recent firmware update, Spark users worldwide can use a new gesture to start and stop video recording. To do so, stand within two metres of the drone, and raise one arm out to your side until it is about 45-degrees above parallel with the ground, as depicted in the above photo. The front LEDs will slowly blink red when the drone recognizes the gesture video mode, then will blink quickly, indicating that the camera is ready to record. Perform the same hand gesture once again to stop recording.
There's also enhanced QuickShot video features for more cinematic control, and a 180-degree photo shooting mode, and improved photo image resolution.
"We are excited to make Spark even better with these new features and improvements, many of which are the result of the overwhelmingly positive feedback and requests we received from customers around the world," says Paul Pan, Senior Product Manager at DJI. "These updates deliver on our vision to make Spark an easy and fun camera drone that anyone can use, even if you've never flown a drone before."
Through its 3D Sensing System, Spark has features like Gesture Mode and PalmControl. Users can control Spark with hand movements, giving it commands to follow them, take aerial selfies, send the drone away, and beckon it to come back. With the addition of the new Record gesture, users can now start and stop video recording with a simple arm movement.
Using QuickShot, Spark automatically flies along a preset flight path while recording a short video and tracking a subject along the way. Users can now control which circular direction the drone flies during Circle and Helix modes to give them more cinematic control when filming. Other QuickShot modes have also been improved by increasing the height gained during Dronie mode and smoothing out the camera's pitch in Rocket mode.
Spark also adds new photo shooting features that maximize the camera's capabilities. In addition to the existing Vertical and Horizontal Pano modes, a new 180 mode stitches 21 individual photos together to capture 180-degree panoramic images. The photo resolution when shooting in ActiveTrack and Gesture Modes has also been improved to capture images at 12MP resolution.
The firmware update has also made improvements on the overall performance of Spark including better responsiveness to input from the remote controller, enhanced connectivity between the aircraft and remote controller, and flight logging for the Intelligent Battery system.
To take advantage of these new features, users must download and install the latest firmware on their drone and remote controller, which also updates the firmware on the Intelligent Battery system. Users must also download and use the latest DJI GO 4 mobile app, available for Android and iOS devices.