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Hello from Michigan

mangulator

New Member
Join
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
2
Loc
Michigan, USA
I have had my Spark now for 2 weeks and I am very pleased with my investment.

I have many R/C vehicles, planes and helocopters but never had invested in a quadcopter. When DJI came out with their first quadcopter that could carry a GoPro it sparked my interest due to my interest in photography. At that time I was more into still photography and high quality video of my travels and astrophotography and had not really looked into what then was the "Action Cam" type of imaging. I had so much invested in digital still and video gear I could not see investing in a new format as the GoPro at that time. I was able to achieve all I needed with my current gear, but as in all hobbies one is always looking for something different.
I finally broke down and purchased a GoPro Hero 3 Black, as I said it took some time to take the leap and as technology always goes I have been adding each new GoPro release to my now abundance of camera gear. But even having made the leap to GoPro I still couldn't get past the cost of getting a quadcopter for aerial video and photography. Like I mentioned I had a sizable collection of R/C vehicles and had fun using my GoPro attached to R/C trucks but my planes and helecopters were not powerful enough to carry along a GoPro.
I kept up to speed with all the new types of quadcopters being released and the technology and with each passing year. I must have watched thousands of youtube video's on each new model and I researched hundreds of brands trying to see what I had been missing out on. I finally figured out that I should at least get a less expensive quadcopter with a built-in camera just to see what I could acomplish with it and to see if I would enjoy using the platform for video and still photography. I made the plunge and I will say in the end I had a bad experience in every way. I won't mention the brand, it looked a little like the DJI Spark but it as I now know it cannot compare even close to the Spark. However in my frustration I did in a way achieve to get some fair quality video and a sense of what I could achieve with the right machine.
I spent about a month researching everything I could about DJI quadcopters. I had spent so many years just following DJI and their line that I never really spent much time looking at other brands especially after I had read so many positive reviews on the first machine and thought I was getting something of a fair deal. At first I felt I had just another lost investment ( not really a loss, even though after just a few days of trying to fly the thing it went crazy on me and got stuck in a tree and burned a motor up and I had to purchase a new one and wait 3 weeks for it to get to me and another several hours to install it. I figure it won't be a total loss if I give it to my sisters Grandson to play with, if he breaks it so be it.)
I was narrowing down my selection from the DJI line up and found a good limited time offer on Amazon for the Spark "Fly More" package. I went ahead and purchased it and every accessory I would need based on reviews from forums and youtube.
All arrived on my doorstep two days later. When I unpacked the Spark and Remote I could tell right away I was holding a quality product. I found it to be well designed and made of quality materials, this was nothing like my previous purchase. I had read on a forum that you could print out a complete manual instead of trying to read the small booklet type that came with it and my eyes are happy I did! I spent a day reading and getting familiar with everything, I had a old cell phone I wiped clean and installed the DJI GO 4 App and whenever I couldn't quite understand something I looked things up here and on youtube. I had gone ahead and purchased 4 extra batteries and a charger along with some legs to bring it up of its belly, during my research I thought that the camera gimbal was just to close to the ground for my comfort. I also got a mount that brings my cellphone or tablet up off the remote and got a sunshade also knowing that I would burn through the phones battery quick having to turn the brightness all the way up on sunny days. I also got the OTG cable, even though I was surprised to find a OTG cable for both Android and Apple Phones included with the Spark. I even went and got the parabolic antenna booster just in case, I have a lot of "Open" WiFi in my area and didn't want to take the chance of having my new Spark fly off.
After a day of study, battery charging and familiarizing myself with every possible I went outside and went through my pre-flight list turning everything on and took a deep breath. Oh I forgot to mention, I went through and calibrated everything the day before and made sure I was getting good GPS signals and the WiFi was good and I had the cellphone in airplane mode. When I pulled both sticks back to get the motors running I slowly pushed up on the left stick and Wow the Spark just glided up to about 10 ft and I let go of the stick and it just hovered there. I was astonished, I went through the paces of getting a feel of how it responded to the controls, taking video and switching to still photography. I had set the low battery alert to 30% and I kept an eye on the battery levels and was really surprised at how long I had it flying before being warned. I spent the next couple of hours just flying around taking video and stills. I know I had a smile from ear to ear, because after uploading what I recorded on the SD card to my computer every time the Spark was facing me I had the smile of a kid in a candy store!
I haven't gone into using gesture control or trying out sport mode, I'm still working on different flight paths and getting use to all the features in the DJI GO 4 app. I find it fasinating how the app shows your flight path and all its parameters superimposed over a Google map satellite view, how fast and high you were at a certain point how far you had gone etc. It's just amazing to me. I'm also very impressed with the quality of my videos and stills. I had purchased a set of ND filters and a Polarizing filter and have filmed with both and I am getting great footage. I have very little to adjust in post editing.
As soon as I feel I am getting good footage and can put together some nice videos I'm certainly going to be posting them to youtube.
I can say without a doubt I am extremely happy and pleased I made the jump and investment into getting the DJI Spark. I have been doing nothing but thinking of things I can do with it. I have even been looking into the DJI Mavic line as the next step. I don't think I would need a platform for the GoPro with the quality camera available already built in on these newer models. I can still have fun on the ground with my GoPro's but as for the air I'm sticking with my DJI Spark for now.
Sorry for the long rant, but I'm just so impressed with my Spark I wanted to share my thoughts.
Thanks DJI
 

msinger

DJI Drone Expert
Approved Vendor
Premium Pilot
Join
May 27, 2017
Messages
3,040
Loc
Harrisburg, PA (US)
Web
Spark-Help.com
Welcome to the forum! :)
 

Spark 317

Well known member with a Spark and a Mavic Air 2.
Premium Pilot
Join
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
4,942
Loc
Indiana, USA
Hello from the Hoosier Heartland, mangulator.

You have definitely done your research and I'm pleased to hear you are enjoying it.

I've had my Spark for over two years and I have a smile everytime I fly, which is about every day.

Can't wait to see some Michigan footage. It's a beautiful State, especially the U.P.


Welcome to the Forum. 😎
 
Last edited:

RotorWash

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
1,270
Age
54
Loc
P.E.I., Canada
Enjoyed reading about your journey to the Spark. Glad you're here! With your prior experience with both RC and video/photography I expect we'll be seeing good footage in no time. When you said, "every time the Spark was facing me I had the smile of a kid in a candy store!" made me smile too! Happy flying and welcome to the club!
 

Dragonfly Joe

Well-Known Member
Join
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
1,081
Loc
Chicago, IL USA
.Welcome to the forum mangulagor and hello from Chicago. With Autumn rapidly approaching you should be able to capture some of those magnificent colors there in MI. Keep having fun.
 

I B Spectre

Well-Known Member
Join
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
838
Welcome from Florida! I've been a bit of a shutterbug most of my life from film to digital, still and video and I knew a decent camera drone was, excuse the pun, taking it to a whole new level. Doing your homework certainly pays big dividends. Looking forward so seeing your work.
 

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