DJI Spark Quickshot and Gesture Control Flight Test Review

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DJI Spark Quickshot and Gesture Control Flight Test Review

Is your brand new DJI Spark drone not taking photos in gesture control? See video to fix. The Spark is one of the best vacation and selfie drone currently available. This is due to its small unobtrusive size and ability to get in the air rapidly to take photos/videos. But it does have some issues, and yes uncorrected bugs, that you’ll need to be aware of to use properly. In this video, I review the features that are specific to the Spark, and how to use them. Buy the Spark here, and use coupon code RC18off for 18% savings

I really like the Spark. It’s a fantastic vacation drone, and I’ve been using it a lot while I’m currently on vacation. But there are some idiosyncrasies that you’ll need to be aware of, or you might get discouraged with it. Although easy to use, it does take significant prior practice to properly utilize the features of this quadcopter. Don’t expect to take it out of the box in the morning and depart on your vacation with it that afternoon. You’ll need to fly it and practice with at your local park to “learn” its features.

– This is the ultimate selfie and vacation drone. With practice, you can easily get this in the air in seconds to take photos in gesture control, and about a minute for videos/photos with the DJI Go 4 app.
– 1080p/5MP camera with two axis gimbal. Not really for professional photography, but more than good enough for vacation selfies and videos. Very sufficient for my purposes.
– Optical flow sensors holds the quadcopter’s position very well at low altitude. Sensors primarily come into play for gesture control rapid hand launches, where the quadcopter hasn’t had enough time yet to gain sufficient GPS satellites to maintain position.
– Obstacle avoidance sensors (on the front only). Mainly come into play to prevent the quadcopter from hitting you while taking selfies 😉
– Has Intelligent Flight Control “Quickshot” modes that are specific only to the Spark. These include Dronie, Circle, Helix, and Rocket.
– Gesture Control (also specific only to Spark) enables rapid selfie aerial photos.
– Also includes other Intelligent flight modes not demonstrated in this video, including ActiveTrack, TapFly, Tripod, and ground launch Gesture Control (used such as on a windy day).

– Some features of this quadcopter have to be manually turned on in the app’s menu settings to work. You may think that the quadcopter is defective, but that’s not the case. One example is Enable Advanced Gesture (hand launched gesture control), which has to be manually turned on in the DJI Go 4 app’s “visual navigation settings” (it should be on by default IMO). Another is “enable backward flying in active track” (if not on, follow me will not work properly).
– The reason why active track backward flying doesn’t work by default is that there are no backward facing obstacle avoidance sensors. It is very easy to accidentally run into a tree if you’re not aware of this limitation. Also be extra careful using “Dronie” Quickshot mode, as I’ve already hit a tree with this backward flying feature.
– The Gesture Control feature currently can only take photos. Hopefully a future firmware/app update will provide a much needed ability to also take videos by gesture control.
– Gesture control photo shots will not work if you previously turned off the quadcopter and app while the Spark was set to video mode. This is an uncorrected bug of the current version of the quadcopter’s firmware (as of 7/23/2017). Watch video to see how to correct and make sure that your gesture photos will work.
– Don’t recommend hand launching the Spark in wind. Watch video to see why (if you value your fingers). If a windy day, use the app to launch from the ground, and after launch select Gesture Control in the the intelligent flight modes menu.
– DJI Go 4 app is inaccurate regarding airpace warnings. It warned that I was in Class D airspace, although the closest airpot (Erie International) was more than 6 statute miles away (5.2 NM) away (checked via Google maps and ) Inaccuracies such as this may cause some people to ignore the app’s warnings. And for those doubters, here’s the location of this flight

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This video along with every video of the Quadcopter 101 channel was produced and edited with VSDC Free Video Editor. You may download this excellent, and no kidding “free” video editor here

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