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Avoiding Attention, Spark?

flp

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Dec 22, 2018
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I have flown a phantom 3 for several years on and off. The only reason I don't fly it more is that it is of course bulky and I am very self conscious about flying it and attracting attention. I almost exclusively use litchi and fly waypoint missions.
Can someone speak to how the experience of using the spark is with regards to avoiding attention, and the ability to get the drone up get your shots and back down quickly.

The phantom 3 standard actually takes quite nice video, but of course if you never fly it, it doesn't really matter.

I am not in a rush to buy, I wonder if we are nearing a new upgrade cycle for the spark.
 

mano

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Jul 20, 2018
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The Spark really doesn't seem to attract the "unwanted" attention that some of the bigger drones do, mostly I think because it looks like a little toy, and it's a lot quieter than a Phantom.

I've only flown mine in public once, in a park, and people seemed to enjoy watching it...I had no negative feedback at all.
 

Eljay

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Nov 29, 2017
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Nobody cares about the Spark. I've been in crowded pullouts in scenic areas, launch it from my hand, take some shots, swing it back, land in my hand and most people don't notice or don't care. I do occasionally get somebody who's interested in drones who will ask a question or two. They're very non-threatening, and the palm move in particular seems to be reassuring, like you're not clearing the area, it's just this very precise operation. (I have a button on the remote set to take off/land so I just hover it, put my hand under and hit the button and it settles into my hand).
 

Andre Levite

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Spark definitely good at "flying under the radar" due to small size. But it has a pretty harsh sound during takeoff and landing when people will be closest.

A Mavic Pro upgraded to the quieter props is very stealthy too. It's nearly silent once airborn. You can get away from take off area quickly and then comfortably fly at a remote distance from controller. Folds up in a blink and then it's even easier than Spark to fit in backpack.
 

Discmanxxx

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Dec 15, 2018
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I've never been bothered and go into strait up crowds with remote inhand saying hi and hello to people who pass by,only been asked 1 time if I was a good pilot so is she can safely walk by confidently...I think it looks like a cotton ball with razor blades attached to it so it's like if it hits me it really won't do to much damage but yeah,ouch.might even be the perfect altitude hold which makes me feel visually safe all over it.
 

flp

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Dec 22, 2018
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Can anyone speak to the overall experience of spark compared to phantom 3.
 
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Chrislaf

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Oct 12, 2017
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Can anyone speak to the overall experience of spark compared to phantom 3.
I have both a Spark and P3S. For me, one does not replace the other, they both complement each other. The Spark is easy up and easy down and is the only dockable DJI drone with the addition of the charging station.

The Spark is great for hiking or biking or for launching on the go almost anywhere. I find the Spark easier to determine orientation in the air due to its shape but is harder to see at a distance due to its size.

The Spark starts up faster than my P3S and has more range and a stronger signal due to the larger number of satelites it can access.

I love my Spark. It’s a great take everywhere drone.

Chris
 

Richard Ruckert

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Sep 4, 2017
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Can anyone speak to the overall experience of spark compared to phantom 3.
Where to begin?
It takes good pictures, and reasonably good video, though the image options are limited. i.e. 1080p 30 fps; only. Generally, that's enough. It has most of the intelligent flight modes. The batteries charge simultaneously, so that process is quick.
It's fairly stealth, and people are not afraid of it.
Built like a tank. The gimbal is not fragile. Batteries are comparatively inexpensive.

There are a few down sides. It doesn't yaw well, the battery life is short, and the camera shakes; occasionally.

I like the Spark. I would like to see DJI upgrade the gimbal to be three axis.

I can live with all the other short comings as is.
.
 

flp

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Dec 22, 2018
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Is it true that there is no “home lock” available for the spark. I find home lock indispensable when flying my phantom. Maybe the most useful thing actually.
 

Erbster

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Dec 18, 2018
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Is it true that there is no “home lock” available for the spark. I find home lock indispensable when flying my phantom. Maybe the most useful thing actually.
Is “home lock” where the home point updates if the controller location changes? If so, then the Spark doesn’t have home lock, but it’s possible to manually update it. However, it is limited to the accuracy of the controller device (phone/tab).
 

flp

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Dec 22, 2018
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No when you push home lock the drone will fly in the direction of home no matter what orientation it is facing just by pulling back on the right stick.very very useful when you lose track of drone but don’t want to necessarily have it fly all the home.
 

Haggi

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Jan 26, 2018
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Norway
Is it true that there is no “home lock” available for the spark. I find home lock indispensable when flying my phantom. Maybe the most useful thing actually.
On Android device:
Home Lock and Course Lock is not available in the official GO 4 app.
Lichti got these modes available and there is also a modded old GO 4 app with these.
I prefer Litchi as these modes can easily be accessed on the main screen.
 

flp

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Dec 22, 2018
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yes i have always used litchi mainly for waypoints, however it looks like the DJI GO 4 App has a bunch of new flight modes that I was not familiar with from when I used it two years ago with my old phantom 3 standard.
 

Chrislaf

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There are two versions of the GO app. One for older drones like the P3 - called DJI GO, and one for newer drones - called DJI GO 4. You can not use DJI GO 4 on a P3. As you have discovered there are more features in GO4. Litchi adds many of those features missing in the earlier GO app and makes them available on older drones.

Chris
 

flp

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Dec 22, 2018
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I’m very much looking forward to trying the preprogrammed flight programs like dronie, helix. That seems like a very useful thing since those are the kinds of shots that are common but not necessarily easy to fly manually.
 

Northwood Mediaworks

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Jan 15, 2018
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Only had mine out in public twice, first time, one fella came over and said "cool" and watched, then walked away. Second time, nobody seemed to notice, it was pretty desolate in the park along the waterfront, there were some walkers as we have a very long waterfront trail in Southern Ontario.
 

JoostGT3

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Nov 9, 2017
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As an owner of a Mavic Pro and a Spark, I must say that the Spark is easiest/most unobtrusive to use around people. It is into the air really quickly, just switch everything on, connect and go. Once in the air, it seems a fun toy. For some reason, whipping out the Mavic gives a much more involved impression. More steps to be taken, gimball protection to be removed, etc. That whole process attracts more and different reactions. (Most heard reaction: “must be expensive, no?”) Once in the air, the Mavic Pro with silent props really is a breeze and quite quiet. It looks much meaner and aggressive though.
 

Andre Levite

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I've got both Spark and Mavic Pro too - they each have their advantages.

With a little practice I've got my Mavic from backpack to airborn in under a minute. Not enough ground time to garner any attention.

I agree that in your hands the Spark looks like a harmless water pistol while the MP looks like a Glock 9mm. But once you are 100 feet up they aren't much different in appearance (except Spark still sounds annoying).

And the MP isn't coming down for 26 minutes. With puny Spark battery seems like always taking off, landing or returning to home because battery low - so much time on the ground.
 

The Helmet

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Jul 22, 2018
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I have the Spark and after 88 flights during May to October in Northern England 10 miles from my local airport by the coast I avoid members of the public by getting up early 6 in the morning and catching the sunrise and various tide changes,only people I see are runners dog walkers and pensioners who can't sleep 2 people have shown an interest during my flights only to ask if I fly over prisons due to scaremongeringby tabloids who thing all drone ownwers are criminals I however reassure the public by showing panaramic views in flight so after Gatwick and the debarkle there I will keep on flying early doors to avoid any confrutation
 

Koala Tails

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May 14, 2018
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Only own a spark, liked it because of it’s friendly appearance. Lost orientation once, pushed the RTH then waited until I could see it properly, hit the pause & went back to manual flight. Is that a “home lock” replacement?
Whenever my spark feels like it is attracting attention I bring it down & as always palm land. When people see me palm land they normally smile. “It can’t be dangerous, it floated gently into his hand”. You can’t do the with a big drone. : )
 

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