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New user advice please

Louisg

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Hi, I'm new to the drone scene so please go easy.

I've been saving up for a drone to use when I go on holiday to make short holiday videos. My girlfriend already has a go pro so we are sorted for ground shots.

I really liked the look of the magic and have been saving since the beginning of the year for one. I was wondering if the Spark would be a better option?

I have no flying experience, so need something easy to learn with. I also have no editing experience so again will need to learn this as I go. I just want to use a drone for trips away and make videos to share on YouTube.

Should I get a spark or carrying on saving for a mavic?

Thanks for any advice.
 

Thunderdrones

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Here's some good reading material for you:

Things you wish you knew when you started

and my contribution to it:

What to think about before you even commit to buying a drone

1. What do you intend to do with your drone? Do you really need that Inspire 2 or can you get by with a Standard?

2. Will you be responsible enough to abide by the rules and regulations for recreational and/or commercial drone operation? Drones are not a buy and fly toy. Even at the base level, for upwards of $400 for the Phantom series and $999+ for the Mavic, you have a serious investment in the air as well as a potentially lethal weapon at your command.

3. Do you have the ability to fly and enjoy a drone? If you are handicapped in terms of mobility, you might need the help of someone else to fly it, since you will have to bend over to put it on the ground or on a table. Do you have good enough eyesight to see the drone line-of-sight at 25, 50, 100 feet away? Can you hear the drone? Fair eyesight and the ability to hear are important to be able to keep track of the drone at all times. If you are lacking in either, maybe best to have a spotter with you and to keep the drone closer to you than what its' maximum range are.

4. Can I afford this hobby? As I mentioned above, any DJI drone is not a disposable toy, it is a serious investment. The ante to get in is set at minimum the price of the drone, but to do it right, you will need to be able to cover it in case of mishap, and to repair it if need be. DJI does offer Refresh, so they have you covered in case of operator error, but for total loss, consider a drone insurance policy, available in many states for very reasonable prices. Should you get both Refresh and drone policy? I have both. Refresh for damage of less than $400, and if the drone is recoverable, as in not at the bottom of the ocean. State Farm covers total loss from a flyaway, total loss or damage not covered by Refresh for whatever reason.

Which drone should you buy?

1. A good place to start would be figuring out what your budget is including insurance and upgrades. Dont forget that almost every part on the drone has a life expectancy, and will need to be replaced at some time. Also, DJI Refresh is only valid for one year, so what will happen if you crash it after Refresh expires? You can use drone insurance as a fallback, but if you have too many claims you could get cancelled, and making a claim for a minor part might not be worth the risk of a higher premium or cancellation.

2. What features do I need at a minimum? Do you really need that 4k camera, or can you get by with a lower res cam and thus lower price tag for the drone? Portability? Accessories? Parts availability?
 
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Anthony Viscomi

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Depending on your budget and how concerned you are with video quality are 2 questions that need to be asked. I own a wide range of DJI products including the Mavic and have ordered the Spark just to have it.
 

SeaComms

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The Mavic is a good step above the Spark in camera area stability in the wind given its slightly larger size. If you have never flown one before maybe even spring for a real cheapie to start with to learn the basics.

The Spark also doesn't do 4k video and has 2 axis stabilization compared to the Mavic's 3. All in all though I don't think you would be disappointed with it. This is a good review I watched yesterday.

Hands On With the New DJI Spark
 

Mako79

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If you ain't serious then get the Spark. The spark has some limitations and unlocking those limitations means more moolerS$$ and may cost just a tad less than a Mavic.
If you think you may become serious, then get the Mavic as it will generally cover all the requirements.

Best thing about these 2 drones is that they don't look so threatening, especially the Spark.
I will get a spark with 1 battery and no controller just for quick snaps and leave the Mavic in the car for serious yards or windy days.

I also found out that i never filmed myself with the mavic. I guess with all the regulations, the mavic was simply for landscape and hard to reach places and i just kept away from people.
 

Louisg

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Thank you for everyone's input. I would love to have 4K but sadly don't have a good enough computer to edit that on yet. Saving for new iMac at end of this year, hoping they upgrade the spec. I also don't own a 4K tv yet so think that might be wasted on me at the moment. Is the 4K good on the mavic or is it better to shoot at lower quality?

What is locked on the spark? What do you mean by serious?
 

jimbug

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If you want all the new advanced features DJI has to offer and can live with a small difference in video quality for internet use then get the Spark with its 3D sensors, gesture control, wireless charging, USB charging, one touch pro-style flying modes, pano & shallow focus images, and less intimidating smaller size and price. Buy two for the price of the Mavic Pro.

Just one opinion of a former Mavic Pro owner.
 
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Mako79

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Thank you for everyone's input. I would love to have 4K but sadly don't have a good enough computer to edit that on yet. Saving for new iMac at end of this year, hoping they upgrade the spec. I also don't own a 4K tv yet so think that might be wasted on me at the moment. Is the 4K good on the mavic or is it better to shoot at lower quality?

What is locked on the spark? What do you mean by serious?
The sparks range and speed is limited (locked) by the controller. The basic package does NOT come with remote.
And when i say serious, i mean you cannot rock up to a wedding using a spark as Pro gear if you want to get paid. Even the Mavic looks toyish for Pro Gear.
 
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Chun

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As stated , depends on what you plan on doing with your new drone.
Spark seems to be a very advanced selfy drone,Mavic is a drone to fly miles away to look at a volcano , mountain rockface, some island offshore and so on.
Good luck deciding , let us know.
 
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yendor

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Hi, I'm new to the drone scene so please go easy.

I've been saving up for a drone to use when I go on holiday to make short holiday videos. My girlfriend already has a go pro so we are sorted for ground shots.

I really liked the look of the magic and have been saving since the beginning of the year for one. I was wondering if the Spark would be a better option?

I have no flying experience, so need something easy to learn with. I also have no editing experience so again will need to learn this as I go. I just want to use a drone for trips away and make videos to share on YouTube.

Should I get a spark or carrying on saving for a mavic?

Thanks for any advice.
I bought the Mavic when it first came out. The mavic is the best flying craft I have ever flown. I have owned large RC helicopters, planes and now drones. What makes the Mavic such a great craft is often over looked. Sure, it is compact and small and has a great camera. However, what really makes the difference to me is the extremely reliable connection to the awesome transmitter. I have owned at least fifty transmitters in my forty-five years of life and DJI hit a home run with the small size and digital screen that they offer with the Mavic. I have flown the Mavic three miles away and not so much as a glitch. I have had the Spark a few days and have now had six instances of my iphone going black and the craft wanting to return home. I really enjoy flying the Spark but I think you should save for the Mavic now because you will wish you did as you get more into the sport. Youtube is full of excellent videos that people have put together very easily that look fantastic. It first starts with buying the best craft you can for your budget and that platform is not the Spark. The Spark is a 'toy' and it is designed for fun. The Mavic is a real tool that happens to be fun. Hope this helps.
 

Louisg

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Thanks all for the information. I'm currently in New York and been to DJI store. The size of the 2 spark to the mavic is quite different. I would only use a drone for holiday videos and the smaller size is very appealing. I pack very light when travelling. I just don't think I would get the full use out of the mavic even though it's far superior.

Would it be worth buying a spark fly more package in New York instead of UK. (I can get 10%) in uk. Can I claim tax back or will I have to pay VAT after I enter uk?
 

Glen e

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I own a mavic and spark, and there is a big diff in one respect: the mavic is a true drone with better camera and ability to fly out a couple miles, WITH ROCK SOLD OPERATIONAL STABILITY...ESP WHEN USING IOS APPLE.

On the other hand, the spark is a cute selfie toy, with its crippled wifi interface good for 150 feet up and not much more out, it's a toy. Fly both and if you truly want "drone" flights, its not a spark you want. If you need selfies, it's the spark.

Simply because the WIF is a terrible way to control a aircraft, I'll be selling my spark soon, before I have a fatal fly-away.....
 

Thunderdrones

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I own a mavic and spark, and there is a big diff in one respect: the mavic is a true drone with better camera and ability to fly out a couple miles, WITH ROCK SOLD OPERATIONAL STABILITY...ESP WHEN USING IOS APPLE.

On the other hand, the spark is a cute selfie toy, with its crippled wifi interface good for 150 feet up and not much more out, it's a toy. Fly both and if you truly want "drone" flights, its not a spark you want. If you need selfies, it's the spark.

Simply because the WIF is a terrible way to control a aircraft, I'll be selling my spark soon, before I have a fatal fly-away.....
Just wondering if you knew about the Spark combo? It comes with a controller, so it's range is dramatically extended to 1.2 miles. That's way beyond what any selfie drone can muster.
 

Glen e

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The controller is still goofy wifi.....not interested in mediocre control systems......the occusync in the Mavic is dead on reliable.....
 
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Thanks all for the information. I'm currently in New York and been to DJI store. The size of the 2 spark to the mavic is quite different. I would only use a drone for holiday videos and the smaller size is very appealing. I pack very light when travelling. I just don't think I would get the full use out of the mavic even though it's far superior.

Would it be worth buying a spark fly more package in New York instead of UK. (I can get 10%) in uk. Can I claim tax back or will I have to pay VAT after I enter uk?
I think it is better to buy from a dealer near you that you know and count on. I had my Mavic DOA and the dealer exchanged it under a 14 day warranty for new one (or full refund). I believe that without the dealer's help I would have needed a registered DJI representative and waiting for repair quite a long time.
 

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