While most of DJI’s drone lineup is aimed at more experienced pilots, the DJI Spark is aimed squarely at amateurs and first-time fliers. But what happens after you’ve gotten the hang of your Spark and want more? Don’t go shopping for a bigger and badder drone just yet.
A fairly vibrant third-party accessory and modification community has sprung up around the Spark, giving owners the capability to improve what’s already an outstanding drone. While there’s a ton of options, there are a few in particular that are especially useful. We think these ten accessories are a great starting point to get the most out of your DJI Spark.
Improve Your Photos and Videos
Let’s be honest: the Spark’s biggest limitation is its camera. While the 1080p camera is by no means a slouch and is of pretty high quality, you can only film at 30 frames per second, which results in video that might look choppy to the eye because of the lack of what’s called “motion blur.” To get that cinematic look, the Spark needs a little bit of help.
We recommend picking up PolarPro’s 6-Pack of Standard Series Filters. While a bit pricey at $100, if your main use for drones is photography, these certainly are a must. Think of them as sunglasses for your Spark: each level of filter will reduce your shutter speed more and more. You get two types of filters in this package, either polarized or non-polarized, and they easily fit on your camera’s gimbal and have no negative effect on its operation.
For truly serious drone photographers, you might also want to consider picking up PolarPro’s UV Filter too ($25). While it won’t reduce shutter speed, a UV filter will help eliminate haze from your photos and also protect your lens.
Improve Your Landing and Take Off
Not all of us will have perfect conditions in which to fly, so picking up accessories that make it easier to fly in less than optimal conditions is a good idea. One of our favorites is the PGYTech Landing Pad ($17). This pad can be placed on top of the ground and secured by three plastic pegs to land your drone safely when a flat, smooth surface isn’t available. Measuring in at four feet across, it’s also an accessory that can be used with much larger drones too.
Even if you plan to always land your drone on a flat surface, you might also want to consider PolarTech’s DJI Spark Landing Gear ($25). By lifting the drone about 3/4″ off the ground, this accessory keeps your camera and gimbal out of dust, dirt, and sand. Plus, if the unfortunate hard landing occurs, these things will absorb the shock and lessen the possibility of damage to your drone.
Improve Your Flying
Are you still flying your Spark using only your phone? That’s unfortunate! What you really need to invest your money in is DJI’s Spark Controller ($119). While pricey, you’ll increase your flight range up to 1.2 miles thanks to its much better Wi-Fi. You’ll also gain the capability to use faster speeds in Sport mode — up to 31 miles per hour!
Once you have the controller though, to really do it right we recommend grabbing an old tablet and picking up PGYTech’s Tablet Holder ($25). The base fits into the phone holder of the Spark Controller (it’s also compatible with the Mavic Controller, too), and the adjustable clamp can hold tablets as big as the standard iPad. We typically fly with a tablet rather than a phone, and believe us: the experience is so much better.
Improve Your Safety
Drone flying is generally pretty safe as long as you’re careful about it. But accidents do happen, and many of these accidents occur as a result of the drone’s fast-moving blades. We suggest protecting yourself by purchasing DJI’s Propeller Guards ($19). Easy to attach, these protect both the drone and its surroundings — if for some reason it comes in contact with a person or object.
For even more protection, check out PGYTech’s Spark Hand Guards ($8). If you like to use the Spark’s palm landing feature, we think this is an inexpensive way to protect your fingers and palm during landing and takeoff, and is a definite must have.
Improve Your Experience
This last set of accessories is aimed at enhancing your overall flight experience. While they’re by no means cheap, for the truly drone-addicted, they’re pretty awesome. The first is DJI’s Goggles ($349), which truly change the way you’ll fly your Spark. You’ll be able to control the position of your Spark’s camera by merely turning your head. They’ve also got great battery life of six hours on a single charge, and intelligent flight modes and a touchpad to access key features make this well worth the high ticket price.
Finally, how are you going to carry all these brand new accessories in? We really like OnePlus’ Travel Backpack ($69). This bag has a hefty 20-liter capacity, with a special padded compartment big enough to hold and protect a 15″ laptop. By the way, there’s 11 other pockets on this sucker as well, so for the OCD types among us, you’ll be able to keep everything nice, orderly, and separate — and even have a room for a change of clothes.