Drones

DJI finally made a compact and affordable drone, the Spark

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DJI’s Mavic Pro drone got a lot of attention for being so compact and well priced for the sweet 4K resolution videos it could shoot from the sky. But at $1,000, it still wasn’t the go-to affordable choice. The Spark changes that.


This new product is the company’s smallest and cheapest drone to date. It’s about the size of a smartphone without its propellers, and with a starting price of only $500, casual users won’t have to rob a bank to purchase one.


The compromise compared to the Mavic Pro is that the Spark can only shoot 1080p video at 30 frames per second. That’s great for quick uploads to YouTube and social media, but it doesn’t really future-proof yourself for when 4K becomes mainstream. It still outputs the same 12-megapixel snaps as its larger sibling, though.

The rest of the specifications are comparable to popular selfie drones: 2-axis mechanical gimbal stabilization, 16 minutes of continuous flight at a time, maximum speed of 50km/h, and transmission distance of 2km.

But beyond the specs and features, what DJI promotes the most is the Spark’s ability to read gestures. You can frame your fingers to make the drone take a photo of you, and waving your hands in certain ways maneuvers it.

DJI uploaded a few videos to showcase the Spark’s abilities, but I like this one the most:

Adding $200 to the basic bundle nets you a remote controller, extra propellers, propeller guards, another battery, charging hub, and shoulder bag. Shipment begins on June 15 and colors include the following: alpine white, sky blue, meadow green, lava red, and sunrise yellow.

SEE ALSO: Drone assists in 2017 NBA All-Star Dunk Contest

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Drones

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro officially launch in the Philippines

The best compact drones in the market right now

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Less than a month from its official announcement, DJI’s Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro have officially arrived in the Philippines through ICT company MSI-ECS. These drones offer the latest technologies seen in a quadcopter and aim to bring aerial videography to new heights.

Mavic 2 Zoom

As a quick recap, both new drones shoot 4K video at up to 100 megabits per second — meaning it can capture high-quality footage. DJI also equipped the Mavic 2 with its own 8GB internal storage in case you forget your memory cards at home. They have more sensors for obstacle avoidance and boast improved battery life (31 minutes versus the older 27 minutes). They’re also a lot quieter than previous models.

The Mavic 2 Zoom is the world’s first foldable consumer drone with optical zoom capabilities. This way, you can get up close to your subject (like wildlife, for example) while maintaining your distance, so you won’t disturb them in their habitat.

It can also perform a dolly zoom by flying backward while zooming in. This produces a vertigo effect that renowned filmmakers use in movies.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

On the other hand, the Mavic 2 Pro is the first drone with a camera co-engineered with Hasselblad — a leading brand in medium format photography. It carries a 1-inch CMOS sensor with a 10-bit Dlog-M color profile which translates to a professional-grade image with a lot of tweaking possibilities during post-production.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

The Mavic 2 Pro shoots 20-megapixel photos and 4K UHD videos, has support for 4K 10-bit HDR, and can switch between f/2.8 to f/11 apertures depending on the lighting condition. Think of it as your professional aerial equipment that folds up and can fit inside a small bag.

Pricing in the Philippines will start at PhP 76,300 for the Mavic 2 Zoom and PhP 98,800 for the Mavic 2 Pro. Going for the Fly More bundle which includes extra batteries, propellers, and other accessories will come at an extra cost just like the previous iteration.

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Drones

DJI’s Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom reinvent aerial storytelling

Awesome shots made super easy

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The release of DJI’s Mavic Pro back in 2016 opened fresh opportunities for videographers as it was able to combine professional-grade output with portability — two elements that usually don’t go together in the filming world.

There have been other iterations that followed suit; mostly improving image quality and making the blades quieter. Although after two years, a fitting follow-up has been released. They come in two forms: the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom.

Apart from shooting 4K video at up to 100 megabits per second, these two models now have a built-in storage of 8GB and are, of course, expandable via a microSD slot. They are equipped with more sensors than the first generation for more accurate obstacle avoidance and have improved battery life (31 minutes versus the older 27 minutes).

The drones also have new tricks up their sleeves in the form of intelligent features. One feature to look forward to is Hyperlapse. You can choose from among its different modes like Free, Circle, or Course Lock and you’ll be able to capture a cool time-lapse (as seen above) ready for sharing on different platforms.

Mavic 2 Pro

The Mavic 2 Pro is proud to hold the title as the world’s first drone with a camera co-engineered with Hasselblad, which is the leading brand in medium format photography.

For a more detailed look, it carries a 1-inch CMOS sensor with a 10-bit Dlog-M color profile and with that tandem, DJI claims it can capture four times as many levels of color per channel compared to its predecessor. The new drone can shoot photos and videos with a promise of churning out utmost color accuracy thanks to Hasselblad’s Natural Color Solution technology.

It shoots 20-megapixel photos and 4K UHD videos, has support for 4K 10-bit HDR, and can switch between f/2.8 to f/11 apertures depending on the lighting condition. Think of it as your professional aerial equipment that folds up and can fit inside a small bag.

Mavic 2 Zoom

On the other hand, the Mavic 2 Zoom sports a smaller 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor but is the world’s first foldable consumer drone with optical zoom capabilities. This was made possible by combining two times optical zoom (24-48mm) with two times digital zoom to simulate a 96mm telephoto lens.

It only shoots 12-megapixel photos like the first Mavic Pro, but it has a fresh new feature called Super Resolution that we’ve seen in smartphones. It captures and stitches nine photos to produce a detailed 48-megapixel image.

If that still doesn’t impress you, one feature exclusive to the Mavic 2 Zoom is the Dolly Zoom mode. It basically creates a vertigo effect that filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock popularized.

The Mavic 2 Pro starts at US$ 1,449 for the basic package while the Mavic 2 Zoom comes as a more affordable option at US$ 1,249.

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Drones

Moments: Baler

Paradise captured by the DJI Mavic Air

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Many consider Baler to be paradise. A haven for those jaded by city life, the place offers a quiet escape for people who want to dip their toes in sand and sea or a chance to conquer the waters by learning to ride the wave. What better way to capture it than through the bird’s eye view of the DJI Mavic Air.

The DJI Mavic Air was officially launched a few months back but has only made its way to the Philippines recently. Compact but not lacking in features, it’s the perfect companion for travelers who want to capture the beauty of the archipelago. In a DJI Mavic Air bootcamp, members of the media learned that flying this drone is relatively easy but it does require some practice — just like learning how to ride waves in the beaches of Baler. You’ll need patience and perseverance but there’s nothing stopping you once you figure it out.

SEE MORE: Moments: 2018 World Cup in Russia

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