Is The DJI Spark Good Enough For Photography?

 

I’ve owned the DJI Spark for close to a year and it’s been a great little toy. It’s allowed me to get a view of areas I could have never seen before and it’s all around very fun to fly around.

In this last year, I never really been able to reliably get nice shots out of the Spark unless the conditions, both weather and light, were absolutely perfect. This leads me to the question –

 

Is the DJI Spark Good Enough For Photography?

 

Short answer. No, not really.

 

 

I’ve never really viewed the DJI spark as anything more than a toy that you can equip with a bunch of cool accessories. A little craft to play around with. I bought it because I didn’t know if I wanted to get into drone photography or not and it was a great first drone to test out.

While the Spark can shoot photos and video, the quality isn’t there. Most often when I take the drone out for photography the images just don’t work out because conditions weren’t good enough for the pretty low quality JPEGS the drone creates.

The JPEGs can be usable, but to get the most out of the Spark, you really need to bracket your exposures (it only brackets +-1 stop), or to shoot panoramas. Both will be very difficult if it’s too windy and panoramas will be unusable if the dynamic range of the scene is too high. Again, this is because the camera only shoots JPEGS. Pretty bad JPEGs at that.

The same is true for video. The camera just doesn’t have the dynamic range or the resolution. JPEGs and video just look crunchy and artificially processed.

However, when the conditions are right, you can do some great things with the DJI Spark.

Like this 57MP 21 shot panorama I shot the other day.

 

 

I’ll be taking the Spark out the next few days while I wait for my Pre-Order for the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. 

The Mavic 2 Pro has a new 1″ 20 MP sensor with all the science of Hasselblad worked in. The color science, the dynamic range, and the 10-bit 4k video quality will make for a really nice camera. It will be a lot like the Sony RX100 VI in the sky, except better because of the prime lens, Hasselblad’s superior color science, 10-bit 4k video and improved dynamic range of 14-stops. 

 

 

These horizontal panoramas were built out of 21 shots all stitched together in Photoshop. You can’t do much to the shots in terms of tonal adjustments because they are pretty nasty JPEGs, so you have to make sure you get the exposure right in the camera. DJI Spark colors are also uglier than a Toyota Prius backup cam, so you have to do a bit of adjusting to get them to look right. 

In this case I used Photoshop + Luminar to save these shots and make them presentable by basically turning them into paintings.

 

 

One thing I should mention, you won’t be able to use any of the DJI drone if you’re a “Pro” photographer or videographer because they only have 1 micro SD card slot and will be unsuitable for your “Pro” needs. Your clients would kill you if you failed to deliver the photos and videos because of a corrupted card. 

But there is hope for “Pros,” you can still rent a helicopter and hang out the window with your Sony A7III with its dual card slots and infinite battery life. 🙂 Anyway, I’m joking, but a drone with dual slots would be nice in the future.

 

 

See The New DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Mavic 2 Zoom

Mavic 2 ProAmazon / BHphoto

Mavic 2 ZoomAmazon / BHphoto