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.
DJI Phantom 3 vs Spark – General
DJI Phantom 3
DJI is well-known for its drones like the Phantom 3 Professional and Phantom 3 Advanced. 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
You can research Dji Spark Tips And Tricks 2023: Top Full Guide to learn more
- 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 Phantom3, 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 megapixel 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 Phantom3 Advanced models can film in 2.7K. The Spark is last with 1080p maximum resolution (still HD quality).
Besides, the Phantom3 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, Phantom3 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 Phantom3. 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 hours 100-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 meters. The 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 Phantom3 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 Phantom3 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 Phantom3 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 Phantom3 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, 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
Spark is the clear victor in this area. It has a high-tech sensor that can detect objects up to 16 feet ahead.
This sensor is not available in the Phantom 3 (at least for consumer drones) and doesn’t provide an obstacle avoidance system.
There are many intelligent flight options available, no matter which DJI Spark or Phantom3 you choose.
DJI Spark Intelligent Flight Modes:
DJI Phantom 3 4K Intelligent Flight Modes:
- Point of interest
- Home lock
- Follow me
- Course Lock
The DJI Spark has a cool gesture control mode that’s not available on older models like the Phantom 3.
The gesture control mode allows the drone to be controlled by hand signals. These movements are recognized by the drone’s sensors and it responds accordingly.
DJI’s classic intelligent flight modes are included on all drones, including:
- Waypoints: Allows users to create an automated flight path for their drone.
- Course Lock: Makes the drone’s controls work in relation to its flight direction.
- Home Lock: Allows the drone to function in relation to its home point.
- Beginner: Allows new flyers to practice safely at slower speeds.
There are a few more features included in The Spark:
- Rocket: 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.
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 price of both drones is the same, but it doesn’t matter which one you prefer. It is more about choosing the drone that suits your needs. Below is the current pricing structure of all Phantom3 models and DJI Spark.
- Phantom 3 Standard 500
- Phantom 3 4K $600
- Phantom 3 Advanced $700
- Phantom 3 Pro $800
- Spark $550
Which DJI drone is Best for you?
The DJI Phantom 3 Advanced drone is heavier and has a longer flight time. Phantom3 is also the faster of both.
Spark’s small size and lightweight make it easy to transport. Spark also has front-facing obstacle avoidance.
Both have many features in common, including different flight modes and follow-me or return to home options. They also share fast charging time.
It will all come down to individual needs and preferences, but Spark generally offers more value if you consider its size and portability.
Check out list of the comparison of other drones: