The DJI Spark is the smallest member of DJI's drone family, and it takes the littlest sibling role to heart. This little firefly buzzes around with enough maneuverability to keep kids and adults entertained, provides Instagram-worthy photos, and can take some decent video. Its light weight and portable form factor make it the easiest drone to travel with, and thus the one you're most likely to have with you when the opportunity for a perfect aerial selfie arises. It doesn't have the chops or camera quality to get the epic, cinema-quality aerial shots that larger drones are capable of, but it's great for fun, photos, and adding a bit of flare to home movies. The Spark earned our Best Buy award because of its strong performance and a relatively low list price of $500.
We know that many of our readers will be choosing between the two most portable options currently offered by DJI, the Spark ($500, $650 with a controller) and the Mavic Air ($800). So which is best for you? It ultimately depends on what you want to do with the drone. The Spark is fun and simple to fly, takes good photos, and produces decent footage that will look great when viewed on a phone or social media. However, due to its small size, it's not very stable in wind and the camera isn't great for big, panning landscape shots. Beyond viewing on a small screen the Spark doesn't produce footage that is very impressive when compared to drones with more powerful cameras.
The Mavic Air, on the other hand, can produce footage that looks stunning even when viewed on a 50-inch flat screen. It also has a longer battery life and more flying power in general, allowing you to get bigger and more ambitious with your shots. Its sensor is substantially larger than that of the Spark and it can record footage at a much higher resolution, with better colors and a wider field of view. The Air is comparably portable to the Spark and a worthy upgrade if you want a much better camera.Bottom line: Get the Spark if you're new to drones and want something simple and fun that you can take anywhere. Get the Mavic Air if you seek a high-performance camera drone that is impressively portable yet still easy to use.