DJI has been a leader in the drone industry for years. They have released two new drones this year, the DJI Phantom 3 vs Spark. Both of these drones are lightweight and offer excellent video quality, but they differ in their size and other features. If you’re looking to buy one for yourself or someone else, then read on!
In today’s post, Lucidcam will compare both models to help you find which one is right for you. We’ll look at flight time, camera modes, speed, and more before giving our verdict on which model is better overall – remember that it won’t be an easy decision! Read on below to learn more about each drone.
DJI Phantom 3 vs Spark – General
DJI Phantom 3
DJI is well-known for its drones like the Phantom 3 Professional (at DJI, $79.00) and Phantom 3 Advanced (at DJI, $5599.00). Both of these machines are severe flying machines with high price tags. Although the DJI Phantom 3 Standard is a lower-end model, it is still as impressive as our Editors’ Choice Phantom 4 ($1,199.00 DJI).
Although it doesn’t offer the same impressive operating range or collision avoidance system as the Phantom 4, the Standard Phantom 3 has DJI’s array of safety features and automated flight modes. It also captures crisp video at 2.7K resolution. This drone is the best you can buy for $500 or less and our Editors’ Choice for pilots on a budget.
- It is very stable in the air.
- It’s easy to fly.
- Smooth 2.7K video capture.
- 20mm wide-angle lens.
- Raw and JPG captures are still possible.
- Built-in GPS.
- Function for returning to home.
- Automated takeoffs and landings.
- Propellers invade footage.
- To recharge a battery takes more than an hour.
- Requires an Android or iOS device.
DJI wants everyone to be able to fly a drone. The company’s smallest yet, Spark ($499), seems to be conveying that message. You can interact with it by simply waving your hands.
You can also control it with your smartphone using a short-range quadcopter. It has forward obstacle avoidance and subject tracking capabilities. You can add an accessory remote to make this a competent bird with a top speed of 31 mph and a wide operating range.
It can’t be everything for everyone. It’s not. This mini drone is great for quick photos and selfies, but the battery life is not long, video editing isn’t as simple as promised, and flying with your phone is difficult. The Spark is an excellent choice if you are looking for a drone but don’t want the hassle of learning how to fly one.
The DJI Mavic Pro, which is stronger but more expensive, offers a more versatile quadcopter with a smaller form factor and can learn how to fly it manually.
- Supports gesture controls.
- Smartphone-controlled flight.
- Automated shots
- Active track.
- Avoidance of forwarding obstacles
- GPS stabilization.
- Safety features include return-to-home.
- New flight modes longer range.
- The battery lasts approximately 12 minutes.
- Phone control is limited in range and speed.
- Video limit to 1080p
- There is no support for high frame rates capture or 24fps.
- It could be simpler to use the app and video editing tools.
- A dedicated remote control can be a costly add-on.
DJI Phantom 3 vs Spark – Comparison
This is the most obvious difference between these models. DJI Spark is significantly lighter and smaller than it weighs 300g feathers while measuring only 170mm diagonal distance (no propellers). This was the most popular model in this segment, tiny but mighty. DJI introduced Mavic Mini and DJI Mavic Air, which take it to the next level.
Spark’s small size makes it easier to transport, which is a natural consequence. This one is perfect for frequent travelers.
It is nearly twice as big and four times heavier than Spark. It weighs 1300g and measures 350mmWithout the propellers, diagonally. It’s like LeBron James against Leo Messi.
It is tie-in storage since the Spark and Phantom 3, 4K have both been released. There is still room for a micro SD card to be added. This means that you can have both models have up to 64GB of onboard storage.
If you plan to record a 4K video with a microSD card, make sure you purchase at least one class 10 micro SD card.
The two drones have the same model megapixels frame rate, 12 MP.
Because Phantom 3 4K and Phantom 3 Pro can film in 4K resolution, the difference in quality and frame rate is significant. This is an essential distinction for professionals in this field and videographers.
It can also shoot video in 1080p at 60 fps allowing you to create slow-motion footage in post production.
Phantom 3 Standard and Phantom 3 Advanced models can film in 2.7K. The Spark is last with 1080p maximum resolution (still HD quality).
Besides, the Phantom 3 comes with a newer camera having some advantages such as better video options, faster and more stable range (vs. base model spark), and longer flight time.
Professional videography is made easy with the DJI Phantom 3 4K’s 3-axis gimbal and 4K camera. You can create slow-motion videos in post-production by shooting 1080p at 60 frames per second.
Spark comes with a 2-axis gimbal and a 1080p camera, which can only be used at 30 fps. The Spark can also take photos at 12.25 Megapixels. This is sufficient for most users who are not professionals. However, Phantom 3 produces slightly smoother videos.
Maximum flight distance
It is important to consider the maximum distance a drone can travel before deciding on DJI Spark or Phantom 3. You have more freedom in the air the more extended the flight range.
DJI Spark allows you to stay in touch with your DJI Spark within 24 hours100-meter range when controlled by a smartphone. However, that can be extended to approximately using a transmitter to travel 2kmThis is amazing considering Spark*s small size.
A transmitter is essential if you plan to fly serious Spark flights. The Spark can surpass the Phantom 3 by using a transmitter.
The Phantom 3 4k can cover 1200 metersThe box is 10x larger than the Spark when it is piloted with no transmitter.
Your drone will fly for longer periods, increasing the amount of footage and fun it can have. Flight time is critical. Take a look at these figures.
|Model||Flight Time (minutes)|
|Phantom 3 Standard||25|
|Phantom 3 4K||25|
|Phantom 3 Advanced||23|
|Phantom 3 Pro||23|
As you can see, the Phantom range is roughly equal. With a flight time of just 16 minutes, the Spark is a little behind. This is not enough time to get the most out of your work, but it’s certainly sufficient.
The Phantom 3 drones can reach speeds of 35.8mph. They can reach speeds of up to 6.7mph and climb at an impressive 11.2mph. The Spark’s maximum speed is 31 mph. It can rise and descend at speeds of up to 6.7 mph. It doesn’t make a huge difference.
Every drone uses GPS and GLONASS for its location, so there is no room for error. Each drone can connect to both American and Russian satellites. This ensures high coverage and accuracy.
Vision position is essential. What does this mean? All drones except the Phantom 3 Standard have an array of sensors that help them determine their status close to the ground and in areas without GPS. They can hover accurately and without excessive displacement.
Vertical Hover Displacement: +-0.1m (with Vision Placing) +-0.5m (without Vision Positioning). Horizontal Hover Displacement: +-0.3m (with vision positioning +-1.5m (without vision positioning).
The controllers for the Phantom 3 range have a variety of flight and camera buttons and two large steering wheels. At the top, there is a mount for attaching a Smartphone or Tablet so that users can view their flight footage through the DJI app while also staying in control.
The controller is very functional and straightforward to use. The only problem is that the Phantom 3 Standard includes an older version of the controller. It has fewer buttons and amounts that can only be used with a smartphone.
The Spark can be flown using hand gestures or with the DJI app. While these methods work well, the manual flight is more fun and functional. You will need a controller to do this. Standalone models don’t include one.
Spark controllers offer a significant advantage in terms of range. You can only go as far as 100m without a controller. One controller will allow you to reach 1.2 miles.
You can also enable sports mode on the controller so that your drone can reach a maximum speed of 31 mph. The controller also has two control sticks and dedicated flight buttons. If you decide to purchase a Spark, then consider bundle deals that include the controller. It is worth it.
Obstacle avoidance sensors
This category is where Spark wins. The Spark’s advanced sensors can detect objects up to 16 feet away. These obstructions include the mesh, power lines, and chain link fencings. This makes it as tough as nails.
This useful obstacle avoidance system is not available in the Phantom 3 range. The Spark is a better choice if you are flying in open areas.
Intelligent flight modes
These flight modes were created with photographers in mind. Pilots can use them to control the flight and instead focus on creating stunning images or recordings.
You have many intelligent flight options to choose from, regardless of whether you choose the Phantom 3 or DJI Spark.
DJI’s classic intelligent flight modes are included on all drones, including:
- Waypoints – This allows users to create an automated flight path for their drone.
- Course Lock – This makes the drone’s controls work in relation to its flight direction.
- Home Lock – This allows the drone to function in relation to its home point.
- Beginner- This allows new flyers to practice safely at slower speeds.
There are a few more features included in The Spark:
- Rocket- This causes the drone to rise with its camera pointed. This provides a unique perspective.
- Dronie- The drone will fly backward and forwards with its camera fixed to a subject. This allows for a variety of exciting shots.
- Circle- Causes the drone to circle a subject.
- Helix- The drone will circle a subject, but the radius of the circle increases over time.
- Gestures- You can control the drone with hand signals or gestures.
The DJI Spark also has a cool gesture control mode available on older models such as Phantom 3.
Gesture control mode allows you to move the drone using hand signals. The drone’s sensors recognize these movements, and it reacts accordingly.
Although the battery life of the Phantom 3 is slightly longer, it’s still a good option. However, the batteries were 100 USD the last time I checked, and the Spark was 50 USD. You could have multiple of these batteries as the Phantom battery is larger than the Spark.
The second point is that when I put P3 into my bag, whether it be a hard or soft case, I had to remove the propellers so that when I pulled it out, you could also run the propellers in to get a shot of something.
The DJI Spark features a 3D sensing system at the front. This sensor detects objects and tells you how far they are in the Live Feed. It can even stop the Spark from colliding with something if it gets too close. This system saved my life multiple times when I was first learning to fly.
The Spark also has a sensor at the belly that helps it detect objects below. If you are flying side-to-side, it is difficult to crash the DJI Spark. The 3D Sensing system acts as a copilot.
Unfortunately, the Phantom 3 is an older model, so it does not have such sensors (at least in consumer drones). It is up to you. The DJI Spark can rescue you from near misses, but it’s not the Phantom 3. Its small size and 3D Sensing System make it easy to fly indoors. However, I wouldn’t fly the Phantom 3 indoors.
DJI’s Go app
Both drones can be connected to DJI’s GO App. These apps accomplish the same thing. The app is launched when you are flying and displays a live feed. You can change settings and activate different features, and you can even see live GPS positioning if your drone is lost while flying.
You can also control your drone’s video recordings and photos. You can also use the Auto Edit feature to create a 30-second video to share on social networks with clips that you choose. DJI’s apps are great.
The Phantom 3 Standard is a fairly complete drone out of the box. For the protection of your investment, we recommend that you have an extra battery and a case with you when you take the Phantom 3 on the road. DJI offers great package deals on Amazon for their DJI Phantom 3.
You can also add a battery, case, or other accessories for $629, sometimes even less. There are also deals offered by second-party sellers. The Phantom 3’s second battery and the case are nice, but if you prefer to transport your device in a box and are happy with 25-minute flights, you can always purchase accessories later.
The Spark is quite limited if you only opt for the $499 base model. You’ll quickly realize that the 16 minute flight time is short and that a smartphone doesn’t provide you with the best control or range.
The Fly More Package is required to fully enjoy Spark. The package includes a second battery, remote, carrying case, and other accessories. The Spark with the Fly More Package costs $699. We recommend that you purchase the Spark with Fly More Package.
Which DJI drone is Best for you?
Both of these drones can be purchased for $500 and perform well in some situations. If you are looking for a small drone that you can carry around with you and fly outdoors and indoors, the DJI Spark is a great choice.
The DJI Spark is the best choice if you’re looking for selfies and videos of your loved ones at the beach or at the cookout to share on social media. Although you lose battery life and range, the Spark is more suitable for personal use.
If you plan to fly your drone far, capture stunning landscapes or create high-quality video content, the DJI Phantom 3 is better.
The Spark offers more features, such as greater range, longer battery life, and a more powerful camera and gimbal, but not the same connivance. Even though Spark is tiny, it’s not impossible to underestimate its capabilities.
The $150 controller will allow you to fly the Spark more aggressively and give you more range. There is no one drone that I think is better than another. It all comes down to your needs.
Read more: DJI Spark Review