Why the Spark is the best drone. An essay.

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by suprPHREAK, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. suprPHREAK

    suprPHREAK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2017
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    158
    As I'm browsing the forums today, I took a look all the threads of photos and videos from all over the world, and it really made me appreciate what this hobby is doing. For really the first time, we are sharing every day images taken in the sky.

    Now let me clarify: Every Day Images.

    It wasn't that long ago, less than a decade, to get aerial photos you needed access to an airplane or helicopter. This came generally at huge expense, in the thousands of dollars per hour, and so each photo was carefully planned to get the highest value out of that shoot. This was reserved for a privileged few professionals, or those with significant financial resources.

    Enter drones. Now for a much lower cost, getting a bird's eye view became accessible to many. An Inspire in its entirety costs less than 30 minutes of even the cheapest helicopter shoot. A Phantom costs less than most DSLR cameras and produces amazing photos and video IN THE SKY. You could plan more generally, you could be more bold, try something that might not work because the financial cost is so small. Indie filmmakers could add aerial footage to their student films. Hobbyists can get previously inaccessible perspectives. Re-shoot times because it is just electricity, not thousands of dollars of fuel.

    But even then, they are not cheap enough for every day, as size has a price. The purchase price is now within many budgets, but the physical price is not. Because of their size, they are not an every day item. You still plan your shots with them. Even if you have no specific shot in mind, you had to think "hey this beach might be worth me lugging this giant Phantom backpack around all day". If you are travelling by air, you need to decide if the picture you might get are worth the cost of baggage fees. For those who aren't pros, it usually isn't worth it.

    The photographer Chase Jarvis is famously quoted as saying "the best camera is the one you have with you". Your 1DX at home is not better than the iPhone you have with you. As such, the Inspire, the Phantom, a SW1000 with a Red Epic on board are all terrible cameras if you leave it at home, or are unwilling to lug them with you.

    Enter Spark. All of a sudden you have a pretty good camera on a drone that flies really well, for a price that is below most airline tickets, in a size that you can stuff into a purse. You can not only take it with you, you can keep it with you.

    I have a Phantom 3 Advanced. Is it a better drone and camera than the Spark? Yes. Is it in the seat next to me right now? No.

    Which brings me back to Every Day Photos.

    There is often criticism for people posting images with no apparent subject, or a boring image. Poorly composed, etc. Those people miss the point of what Spark brings us. Truly, for the first time ever, we have the ability to share the shared human experience in a way as never before.

    Just today, a video was posted from Hyderabad, India. Was it amateur in the technical details? Yes (it was after all his first video). Did I think it is awesome? You bet! You see, I have never been to India. And if I went, I don't know that I would visit Hyderabad. And if I did, I highly doubt I would visit that appartment block, opting instead for the tourist attractions in the city. But what I would miss is that while I am a world away in Toronto, it is astonishing to see that without the context of the title, that could be any city, even Toronto. City life is similar the world over, our shared experience.

    Another video recently of an air vent from a rail tunnel, I think in the UK somewhere. I have never been to Europe, and when I go I can guarantee I'd never go seeking such a vent. But would I go seeking such a thing here? Yes! The shared experience.

    These videos were not "cinematic" in nature (what does that really mean, anyway?) but that doesn't matter. Our eyes don't see the world in 24p with a 180° shutter. That is not how we experience things. We don't often hear music when we see something interesting. We don't float along capturing our world in dreamy slow Mo.

    One of the best documentaries I have seen is called "Life in a Day", by Ridley Scott. The entire thing is user-submitted video, all on the same calendar day. Literally every country is represented. Is any of the video professional? No. Is it incredibly insightful? Yes, you see we are all the same. It is beautiful because of it. Check it out. Spark has done for aerial photos what smartphones did to regular stills and video, which is what allowed this film to be made.

    So, for all of you who are newbies, for all of you who just took up photography, or drones, for those who are amateurs. Keep sharing. Don't worry if it isn't as good as others. Be proud of your work, be proud of what you see. Share your experiences. Show us your local park. Show us your ski video. Show us your dog chasing a ball, show us what YOU SEE. That is the whole point.

    And to the pros: lighten up. Appreciate the world around you for what it is. You will see there is a lot more worth shooting. So shoot it. Exoerience it. Share it.

    And that is why the Spark is the best drone.

    TL;DR: Spark is the best because it can be carried everywhere, letting people share everything.

    PS: yes this could apply just as well to Mavic Air, but Spark is much cheaper and arguably more portable.

    PPS: Life in a Day:
     
  2. Spark 317

    Spark 317 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2017
    Messages:
    905
    Likes Received:
    400
    Location:
    Mid-West, USA
    Very well said suprPHREAK.

    I've thanked the members that post footage and it's awsome to view a different part of the world from my phone or PC.

    Keep it UP pilots! :)
     
    suprPHREAK likes this.
  3. MikeSpark

    MikeSpark Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Vienna / Austria
    No comment necessary. All is said, what to said!
     
    suprPHREAK likes this.
  4. Denver

    Denver Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    17
    First time I have wanted to read a large comment all the way through. Well written.
     
    suprPHREAK likes this.
  5. Leskent

    Leskent Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    11
    Excellent post people my wife in particular asks me why I want to post my videos on YouTube or pix on Instagram.
    you have just highlighted all the reasons why I want to show others my view of my little world and I enjoy looking at other people's

    So a big thumbs up from me
     
    suprPHREAK likes this.
  6. Skynet HK Aerial

    Skynet HK Aerial Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    19
    Thanks for the positive vibes. I'm on of those that is very critical of the photos i take (always looks like crap).I'm not into recording clips to be honest I'm a photo guy.

    Once i replace my lost HK i will go shutter crazy lol
     
    suprPHREAK likes this.
  7. graywoulf

    graywoulf Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Millers Creek, NC
    Nice to see someone put some of my thoughts into words. I just bought a Spark. I now more that ever see it's potential thanks to you. For a few years now, I have watched many things on the TV and the internet (AirVuz for instance) that feature drone video footage and it is evident that camera drones have changed the way we see the world around us. In mentioning the bygone era of aerial video taken from conventional aircraft, it is evident that drones are also extremely Eco friendly in the respect of less pollution and fuel consumption. The best part is that drones can now give us a hugely better view of our world in that they can fly in places that even a helicopter could never fly. They can be used for search and rescue in ways unheard of. The possibilities are pretty much endless. I just hope that they are never used as weapons of destruction any more than they already have been used. I agree that there are no really bad drone videos as there are so many of us just learning the possibilities. Thanks for this excellent "essay". Now, I think I will go post my latest video of my neighborhood. ;)
     
    suprPHREAK and Skynet HK Aerial like this.
  8. MannyCAM2001

    MannyCAM2001 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2018
    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    179
    PERFECT! And truly to all the professionals who shoot for a living, Lighten up! Lol...Could have said it better.

    To be perfectly honest, I rarely watch the professional videos posted by Devin, Neistat, etc. They tend to look the same. Talk about gimmicky, every edit, every camera movement shows the same tricks over and over again.
    I prefer the unpolished videographer recording the nooks and crannies of the world. Those are way more interesting. It’s life in all its natural splendor. 24fps That argument always makes me laugh. About the time that movies really came of age, film was expensive to buy and develope. So the notion of shooting using less film became the standard. It all had to do with money, not the best looking picture. So I share your views on the style of shooting preferred by the so-called “professional.”

    And the Spark being the best drone ever??? It’s the only reason I’m flying today. I never flew drones before and never had an interest in buying one. Until I came across a video shot by an everyday YouTuber. Being a video-fanatic all my life, both commercially and as a hobby, this was the perfect time to enter the sport. The story-telling possibilities are endless.
    And one thing known by all who share this camera passion, invisibility is the key to getting great footage. Size does matter with drones.
    I’m praying that the new blades used by the Mavic will be designed for the Spark sometime in the future.
     
  9. suprPHREAK

    suprPHREAK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2017
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    158
    Oh I'm critical as hell about my own photos! How else will you get better?

    You might appreciate this video. It explains why bad photographers think they are good, and good photographers think they aren't so good. The summary: if you think k your photos are bad, it means you are improving, and recognize there is always more to learn.



    But don't be too harsh. Don't judge based on someone else's work. Take your own journey and improve on yourself, your skills.
     
    Skynet HK Aerial likes this.