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Packaging for the DJI Spark, which goes on sale in retail outlets June 14, 2017. Photo by Scott Simmie/TDC
Packaging for the DJI Spark, which goes on sale in retail outlets June 14, 2017. Photo by Scott Simmie/TDC

One day prior to becoming available in retail outlets, the new DJI Spark has launched in Canada at an event hosted jointly by DJI and photo/video retailer Vistek. The Canadian price will be $699 for the basic Spark and $979.99 for the Fly More Combo.

The first of three scheduled demonstrations in Toronto Wednesday was for media only. DJI’s head of North American Communications, Adam Lisberg, highlighted the Spark’s many intelligent features and redundant safety qualities, prior to a live demonstration of the Spark’s ability to obey hand gestures.

DJI North America Communications lead Adam Lisberg at the Toronto launch of Spark. Photo by Scott Simmie
DJI North America Communications lead Adam Lisberg at the Toronto launch of Spark. Photo by Scott Simmie

Lisberg detailed the Spark’s many high-end features – including its ability to track and follow subjects, safely Return To Home, and fly in GPS-denied environments.

He also pointed out that Spark is capable of a wide variety of selfie video modes, where the camera stays locked on the subject and the drone performs sophisticated manoeuvres while recording video in 1080p. Some of the more popular modes include:

Rocket:

Dronie:

Circle:

And Helix:

“These are all professional-looking shots,” said Lisberg, noting they can instantly be shared to social media networks via the DJI GO 4 App. Lisberg said the aerial perspective afforded by the Spark, even if it’s only a few metres up, makes a huge difference.

“When you post an image from this on social media…people are really going to notice,” he said (jokingly adding that pilots should have Spark on the ground before sharing to a network).

Then Lisberg took to a netted-off area to demonstrate the Spark’s ability to liftoff from the pilot’s palm after recognizing a face in front of it. Once he’d shown how simple it is to use the Spark, even for a beginner, those in attendance were encouraged to try it themselves:

A new pilot gets to fly the Spark using hand gestures alone at the Toronto media launch. Photo by Scott Simmie/TDC
A new pilot gets to fly the Spark using hand gestures alone at the Toronto media launch. Photo by Scott Simmie/TDC

At one point, Lisberg offered his thoughts on Canadian regulations, which became tighter under an interim order issued in March. He pointed out that the vast majority of drone users obey the rules, and encouraged Canadian pilots who would like their voices to be heard to check out the Network Of Drone Enthusiasts, or NODE, at www.nodecampaign.org.

(Scroll down, and there’s a Canadian campaign, which makes it easy to add your voice to those urging Canada’s regulators for more measured regulations that will not unduly restrict responsible pilots.)

His comments coincided with an announcement from NODE, which notes that more than 2,000 Canadians have used the campaign to join the lobbying effort. TDC reported on the Canadian campaign here.

As stated, the Spark will be available at retail outlets June 14.

If you don’t have a store near you, or would prefer to purchase online, you can do so and simultaneously support TDC by purchasing here. If you’re after the money-saving Fly More Combo, which includes an extra battery, charger and more – that can be found here.

 

 

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