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DJI and the future of Spark software

I B Spectre

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Aug 16, 2019
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123
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68
Before I settled on the Spark, I combed YouTube for any camera drone reviews I could find to see what was available. I determined I wanted one with GPS, RTH on low battery or lost comm link, and at least a 2 axis gimbal supporting an HD camera. I hadn't planned on spending the money on a Spark either new or used, but it appeared if I wanted a decent introductory camera drone, the Spark was the way to go.

As capable as it is, I'm amazed DJI hasn't included waypoint functions when many of the lower cost GPS drones have it along with some form of tracking (i.e., follow-me), orbit and so forth. Those other drones fall short when compared with Spark, but having the ability to pre-program a course opens up a lot of possibilities. I've looked at some of the 3rd party android apps such as Litchi and Red Waypoint and they bring that capability to Spark. Having bought a used Spark, I'm sure the warranty period is long past being of concern when considering aftermarket apps. If DJI continues to support the Spark, expanding its feature set by adding waypoints would be a welcome addition, particularly for folks reluctant to use non-DJI software. If DJI is going to phase the Spark out soon, they likely won't put the effort into expanded features.
 

nilanjan118

Well-Known Member
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Oct 31, 2018
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783
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Japan
Not including features like waypoints or point of interest is just a marketing trick by DJI. They are just trying to create an impression that you have to upgrade to a higher model (Mavic Air) to be able to use these features. However like you said, there are alternatives available. I was also reluctant to use Litchi initially fearing the warranty would get void but after reading so many positive reviews about it, I took the leap after just about 6 months. No regrets whatsoever.
 

I B Spectre

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Aug 16, 2019
Messages
123
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68
Not including features like waypoints or point of interest is just a marketing trick by DJI. They are just trying to create an impression that you have to upgrade to a higher model (Mavic Air) to be able to use these features.
Good point and likely spot on. Until recently, DJI rolled out incrementally improved models adding features like more obstacle sensors and marginally improved range. The Spark, along with the Mavic Pro, are the oldest in the stable. Mavic Air's price point/feature set was a surprise and may have cut into the Mavic Pro's market.

With the announced delay earlier this summer of whatever a "Spark 2" is, DJI's online store showing out-of-stock on the Fly More and Remote combos, makes me wonder if they're depleting whatever remains of the Spark inventory. There are a lot of foldable camera drones out there with GPS, track/orbit/RTH/etc features, remote, some gimballed, WITH waypoints for around half Spark's price. In total, most fall short of Spark performance, so there's still a niche for what Spark. DJI's release of SDK allowing third parties access may have signaled DJI's withdrawal from further development beyond what is required to maintain a safe, usable platform with existing features. With less consumer drone competition, they probably aren't feeling the pressure of a few years ago.
 
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Macinfo

Active Member
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Aug 2, 2019
Messages
28
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65
There are boat loads of speculation about what DJI is doing next.

The Mavic Mini news may indeed be a new drone, if that's what its called, but others are calling out the leaks, because there is no clear eviidence that it will see the light of day or when, could be months. In the mean time, we all see these possible new drones from DJI, and evaluate it based on the fact that inventory on many drones appears to be drying up and the Spark really appears to to be EOL at least as far as shipments.

Many of DJI's existing models are really good, they could make minor tweaks, and not really change the name or add 2.0 to it or something and go forward. Much of what pilots want I think are in the software. Could be wrong. Which is why Litchi is up and coming, have not tried it myself, but been pondering looking into it.

The other issues are so many places are making it hard to fly, and the GO App of course will not let you fly without getting approvals to fly there. its a really big world and while I can understand the need for caution, the restrictions in some cases I think are over done, some limits make sense, others do not IMHO. Its all the restrictions that I think are making DJI wonder whether the recreational drone business is worth it..

The other drones that keep popping up, the occasional new review on YouTube for some company you've never heard of coming out with a drone, $2-3-400 and no sensors, sort of cheap looking, maybe no remote, some interesting features, but seemingly over priced.. Which don't even really compete with the Spark.

I really enjoy my Spark, its a great drone, If I upgrade to anything down the road, probably look at the Mavic Air, it seems like a good combination of options with minor limitations at a good price point, assuming it's not about to disappear as well.

my two cents for the day..
 

Northwood Mediaworks

Flying with both feet on the ground!
Premium Pilot
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Jan 15, 2018
Messages
2,118
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61
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Northern Ontario, Canada
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northwoodmediaworks.com
There is some speculation (scuttlebutt if you ask me) that DJI is planning to leave the consumer drone market... Seems unlikely given what a cash cow its been for them, but theorists point to dwindling stock levels, price hikes, and odd changes to their website. Its interesting too that their closest competitors are getting closer, and coming in at lower price points.... DJI has released all these ground based things this year... Hmmmm, I wonder.....
 

Macinfo

Active Member
Join
Aug 2, 2019
Messages
28
Age
65
There is some speculation (scuttlebutt if you ask me) that DJI is planning to leave the consumer drone market... Seems unlikely given what a cash cow its been for them, but theorists point to dwindling stock levels, price hikes, and odd changes to their website. Its interesting too that their closest competitors are getting closer, and coming in at lower price points.... DJI has released all these ground based things this year... Hmmmm, I wonder.....
Yeah, I've heard all those rumors too... It does seem odd that they have not done much this year, not sure what they maybe waiting for if they indeed have new drones or upgrades to existing models in the queue... Perhaps they are waiting for Christmas season, couple weeks before BF or something and a couple things will pop up..

Who do you consider to be their Closest competitors? Parrot? Yuneec? Autel? While the Anafi seems interesting, there just seems to be something missing from others?
 

Northwood Mediaworks

Flying with both feet on the ground!
Premium Pilot
Join
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
2,118
Age
61
Loc
Northern Ontario, Canada
Web
northwoodmediaworks.com
Yeah, I've heard all those rumors too... It does seem odd that they have not done much this year, not sure what they maybe waiting for if they indeed have new drones or upgrades to existing models in the queue... Perhaps they are waiting for Christmas season, couple weeks before BF or something and a couple things will pop up..

Who do you consider to be their Closest competitors? Parrot? Yuneec? Autel? While the Anafi seems interesting, there just seems to be something missing from others?
I think Autel is getting closer... the Evo is pretty good... it too has its weak points (crappy controller), Parot would be my next guess, I have no actual idea of who's got what market share...
 

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