Spark and Mavic Pro are two drones from the Chinese manufacture DJI. The two drone come with very different characteristics and the manufacture’s newest release, the Spark is a hand gesture controlled mini drone. It is designed for those who want to have fun by taking selfies, making creative videos and sharing everything on social networks.
Mavic Pro is a more robust drone, though still compact and easy to use. Launched in 2016, the quadcopter has a foldable design and can be used for leisure and business purposes, thanks to its camera that records in 4K and autonomy of almost 30 minutes of flight. Check the analysis below the complete datasheet of the two devices and see which is right for you.
The size of the drones is the sharpest difference between them. The small Spark has 14.3 cm of sides and 5.5 cm of height, with a diagonal of 17 cm. Even compact, the Mavic Pro is much larger than this: it is 19.8 cm in length when folded and 33.5 cm diagonal when opened, not counting the propellers.
All this is reflected in weight, of course. While the Mavic Pro has 743g with propellers, drums and gimbal, the Spark comes with only 300g. If the Mavic Pro fits neatly into the backpack, the mini drone can be carried in handbags.
The style also contrasts. In black and gray, the 2016 model brings a sober and professional look. On the other hand, Spark looks like a toy and available in different colors: white, red, yellow, blue, green and black.
The main feature of the DJI Spark is gesture control. The device can fly with the movement of the user's hands, for this you must activate the PalmControl function and show the palm to the camera.
The drone still does gestural recognition for selfies, a function also present in the Mavic Pro. In both models, simply wave or form a rectangle with your hands in front of the drone can capture the photo.
The other methods to fly the quadcopter are the traditional ones: via remote control or smartphone. Both work with the DJI GO 4 app, available for both Android and iOS, which makes the mobile phone experience identical. You can see what the camera records in real time, make manual adjustments like ISO and shutter speed, edit images and share content on social networks.
There are some considerable differences in the remote control. The main thing is the transmission capacity: while the Spark can move away for a maximum of 2 km, the Mavic Pro can fly up to 7 km in relation to the controller.
On the outside, what changes is that the control of the Mavic has an LCD panel, absent in the mini drone, which shows information such as speed and heeling of the aircraft. Both have two joysticks on the right and left, plus space to fit the smartphone.
Another important difference between the controls is that the Mavic is included in the basic package of the drone, but the in the Spak. You need to purchase the accessory separately or choose the "Fly more" combo to secure the driver.
The most important functions are present in both models. Both identify when the battery is running out or there is loss of signal, returning alone to the takeoff point. They also rely on ActiveTrack technology, which recognizes and automatically tracks objects according to shape and size, such as a bicycle.
TapFly is another feature available on Mavic Pro and Spark. Using the cell phone, the user looks at a point and touches the screen; The drone then recognizes the location and goes in the direction of the place or object pointed to take a photo.
Acclaimed in the Mavic Pro, Tripod Mode was also introduced in Spark. Flight mode is especially designed for indoor flights, making the drone slow down to almost 3 km / h, ensuring more stable images.
But there are special functions for each of them. Spark has gained two additional recording modes, the widescreen and the ShallowFocus, where the camera blurs the edges of the image and keeps the center sharp. The little DJI also received a feature called FaceAware, which makes the drone take off from the owner's hand from facial recognition.
On the other hand, only Mavic has Terrain Follow, developed for filming on rough terrain. With the feature activated, the drone uses its ultrasound system to identify variations in terrain height while remaining at the same distance from the ground.
Mavic Pro is the best choice for those who prioritize flight performance. Its 3,830 mAh battery can keep it in the air for up to 27 minutes. Besides being able to stay up to 7 km away from control, the drone reaches 5 km in height and reaches speeds of up to 65 km / h.
Spark's results are more modest. The mini size reflects on a small battery, of 1,480 mAh, that generates a maximum autonomy of flight of 16 minutes. It can climb 4 km in relation to sea level and its speed limit is 50 km / h.
The camera is another issue where Mavic comes out the front. The two drones feature a 1 / 2.3-inch CMOS sensor, with 12-megapixel still image capture. However, in the videos the differences begin to appear: Mavic films in 4K (2160p), while Spark records in Full HD (1080p).
The Spak lens has focal length equivalent to 25 mm and f / 2.6 aperture. The Mavic lenses are 28 mm, with a slightly larger aperture, f / 2.2. The two cameras have ISO range of 100-1600 in the picture and 100-3200 in the video, in addition to shutter speed of 1 / 8000s.
It's not just the video resolution that's superior in Mavic. The drone features a three-axis gimbal, which tends to give the camera more stability than Spark's two-axis gimbal.
Also, streaming real-time videos is best on the foldable drone. The footage can go in 1080p to the smartphone, with a delay time between 160 and 170 milliseconds. In Spark, live videos are broadcast with a maximum resolution of 720p and have a slightly longer delay of 200 ms.
Price and Availability
Spark sells for $ 499 in the United States. The value refers to the basic kit, which includes the drone, six propellers, battery, charger, USB / micro USB cable and, promotional, 16 GB micro SD card and a memory card holder.
The basic Mavic Pro kit is more robust. The box includes the aircraft, remote control, gimbal lock, battery charger, power cable, six propellers, 16 GB micro SD, USB / micro USB cable, adapters to hold the smartphone in remote and three remote control cables With Lightning, Micro USB and USB Type C connectors. The product can be found for about $ 6,500 or in the combo with more accessories for $ 9,000.
As expected, the DJI drones don’t compete in the market. They are designed for different audiences with particular needs and tastes.
Spark is the best option for those who want good images, but prioritizes a very easy to use and extremely portable device. Low flight autonomy virtually prevents professional use, which is offset by the low price.
Mavic is intended for those who want to be able to make professional videos, but without paying as much as in a model like Inspire, which currently costs $ 2,999. It makes videos in 4K, allows relatively long shots and has good image stabilization features.