dji mavic pro vs spark which is better thedronegirl drone girl sally french

DJI Mavic Pro vs. Spark: which is better?

The new DJI Spark is the drone maker’s first step into lower cost, strictly consumer-targeted drones.

See also: my complete review of the DJI Spark

With the new DJI Spark, DJI fans will be able to purchase their first drone priced at an initially cost of less than $500. There’s only one other sub-$500 DJI drone out there on the market right now; currently users can also buy the DJI Phantom 3 Standard for about $500, though it was initially priced closer to $1,000.

But it seems the debate is: which is better? The DJI Mavic Pro? Or the DJI Spark? Here are the specs:

 DJI MavicDJI Spark
Takeoff Weight1.62 pounds0.66 pounds
Max Speed40 mph31 mph in Sport Mode
Max Flight Time27 minutes16 minutes
Diagonal Distance13.26.7 inches
Cost of extra battery$89$49
ControllerRC controller or smartphoneRC controller, smartphone or gesture control
Sensor1/2.3” (CMOS), Effective pixels:12.35 M (Total pixels:12.71M)1/2.3" CMOS
Effective pixels: 12 MP
ISO RangeVideo: 100-3200
Photo: 100-1600
Video: 100-3200
Photo: 100-1600
Image Size4000×30003968×2976
Video ResolutionC4K: 4096×2160 24p FHD: 1920×1080 30p

There are some obvious differences between the two, like size. The Mavic was revolutionary for its ability to fold up to the size of a soda can — making it much more convenient than something like the Phantom to tote around. But the Spark is even smaller.

And with the smaller size, it also means the Spark is a lot quieter, and a lot less annoying.

Here are some other differences:

DJI Mavic vs. DJI Spark: camera

As far as cameras go, the Mavic is better for videos. A big deal-breaker for some with the Spark: no 4K recording.

The Spark can record in full HD 1080p video, but the Mavic can capture videos in 4K resolution at 30 fps.

For still photographers, it might make less of a difference; both cameras take still images with a 12-megapixel camera. However, the Mavic can shoot images in RAW and JPEG, while the Spark can only take images in JPEG.

Most of the cameras have the same shooting features like ActiveTrack or FollowMe, but the Spark also offers a new mode called ShallowFocus which takes pictures with a shallow depth of field.

DJI Mavic vs. DJI Spark: battery and flight

The Mavic clocks in at much more flight time than the Spark at 27 vs. 16 minutes, presumably because the Mavic is able to pack in a bigger battery. Want a second (or third battery?) The Mavic will cost slightly more.

The Mavic can fly at 40 mph vs. the Spark’s 31 mph.

One thing I love about the Spark is that it has a microUSB charger, so it can be charged through your laptop or car cigarette lighter, which is super handy for people on the go who don’t have a wall outlet to recharge their batteries.

For many, range is a big deal. The Mavic can offer up to 4.3 miles of range, while the Spark is just 1.2 miles.

Gesture control

The gesture control is really what sets the Spark apart. It’s completely unlike anything else on the market.

The Mavic did have some level of gesture control. There was the ability to take a picture by simply making a hand gesture on the Mavic, and of course the Mavic offered a sensor to detect objects in front of it.

But the Spark is at a completely next level, allowing users to take-off and land without a controller, and simply wave their arms to indicate which way the drone should fly. It can also land on your hand by placing your hand underneath it. It’s the stuff of Jedi mind tricks.

That being said, it’s not perfect. The sensor does struggle to lock on your hands, especially if you move quickly. It is certainly awesome, but for someone needing to move the drone to get an extremely precise shot, the gesture control cannot be relied upon.

dji mavic pro review controller

The controllers are essentially the same.

DJI Mavic Pro vs. Spark: The controller

While the Spark can be controlled entirely by gesture control and/or a smartphone, for precise flight, you’re really going to want a remote controller. The controller is the same one that the Mavic uses, also folding up to an extremely compact size — smaller than a soda can. The remote controller is available in the “Fly More Combo” which comes with the remote controller as well as extra batteries. That costs $699, which is something you’ll more than likely want to buy — something considered when comparing price on the two.

What’s up new DJI Spark!!!! #djispark #dji #dronestagram #dronegirl #droneoftheday

A post shared by Sally French (@officialdronegirl) on

At $499 for the Spark (or $699 for the combo), vs. $999 for the Mavic Pro, which do YOU think is better? Leave a comment below! Happy flying!

Read all about the DJI Spark here.

Read my review of the DJI Mavic Pro here.


  • liam logan says:

    Drone the future of everyone and every one should own it because in near future may be the Drone prices become high. Lovely lady spreading positive drone concepts make people to buy drone for vivid purposes to make lifestyle easy. With Drone staying at home enjoy shopping from grocery.. is it possible!

  • Katharina says:

    Great article – exactly what I was looking for because I’m considering to either buy a mavic or spark! Helps a lot for the decision, thanks~
    Just wondering about one point, DJI writes on the specs for the Spark that it can be shot in JPEG only, however you’re writing that it can be shot in RAW only. Wondering what’s right now 🙂

  • DroneZon says:

    Nice article. If you love DJI drones, then you would probably already have a Mavic Pro. The Mavic is more of a serious filming drone. So for the fun picnic days with family and friends, the the Spark is the drone. Love both of them.

    Another drone just released is the Walkera Vitus which is very similar to the Spark. The Vitus has 4k camera along front, left and right obstacle detection.

    Overall, some terrific drones coming to the market this year.

  • E says:

    Drones are awesome but your teeth are amazing.

  • Bill Shut says:

    i got both and the Spark is perfect except for the battery.
    If i need to fly a bit far or a bit complicated flight, the mavic let you doing it without the stress of keeping an eye on the battery gauge.
    If you just need to take some shot around you, the spark is great.
    The problem with the spark is you hardly can go without the remote.
    This put the price very close to the mavic.
    You can’t be wrong with Mavic, but if you just want the toy, go with the spark in the Fly more version.

  • Gwerdi says:

    Great comparisation of the two drones
    I wish there were a DJI Drone with the advantage of both. I’m planning to get the Mavic Pro but the extra recording modes of the Spark and gesture control look interesting too. Also the gimbal of Spark looks more stable compared to the one of the Mavic Pro.

  • Martin Treacy says:

    Gwerd – the Mavic has three axis gimbal, compared to two axis for the Spark, so the Mavic is definitely more stable. In still wind conditions, there might not be much difference in the footage, but definitely would be in gusty wind.

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