Sony is now absolutely revealing its Airpeak S1 drone, which it teased at CES 2021 in January. The announcement accommodates much more element on the drone’s capabilities, options, and divulges a $9,000 pricetag for the drone sans gimbal or digicam, all of which cements the concept that this drone will likely be aimed squarely on the skilled video market.
The Airpeak S1 is constructed to work with Sony’s mirrorless cameras, together with the A7S Mark III, FX3, and even the 8K-capable Alpha 1. They’ll be connected to a particular model of the Gremsy T3 gimbal that’s been designed particularly for the Airpeak and that you simply’ll have to purchase individually. With a digicam, the drone may have round 12 minutes of flight time (although it may obtain 22 minutes with none load). It’s additionally value noting that the digicam wants its personal batteries — it isn’t being offered energy by the drone.
Sony’s already launched a preview of the sorts of pictures you may pull off with the drone, which you’ll be able to see beneath. It’s also possible to get a shot of the retracting touchdown gear in movement.
One of many drone’s greatest promoting factors is its stability and wind-resistance. Based on Sony, it may keep secure in winds of as much as 44.7 miles per hour (that’s 20m/s, double what DJI quotes for the Encourage 2), and it has 5 units of stereo cameras that allow the drone and an infrared rangefinder that ought to assist the drone cease earlier than it hits obstacles and keep regular even with out satellite tv for pc reception. Sony even enlisted JAXA, the Japanese house company, to assist it do a few of the exams for the drone:
The Airpeak can be fast — it may do 0-50 (which is near its prime velocity of 55.9 miles per hour) in 3.5 seconds. It’s value noting, although, that’s with none kind of attachments — Sony hasn’t stated what sort of velocity or acceleration might be achieved when the drone is flying a digicam. That stated, Sony confirmed me and different journalists a video of the drone doing figure-eights within the air, which it pulled off with spectacular velocity and agility.
For comparability, DJI’s Matrice 600 Professional, which prices round $7,000 with no gimbal or digicam, has a prime velocity of 40 miles per hour and a quoted battery lifetime of 32 minutes alone or 16 minutes with a 13-pound payload, utilizing its inventory batteries.
The Airpeak S1 might be operated with simply the included controller, however Sony has an app known as Airpeak Flight to assist make issues simpler. The app is iOS/iPadOS-only for now, however it is going to enable for management of the digicam and gimbal. The Airpeak might be operated by a single individual, but additionally permits for dual-operator mode, the place one individual controls flight and the opposite controls the digicam. Sony says the controller’s vary continues to be being examined.
Whilst you gained’t get a digicam or gimbal for the Airpeak S1’s $9,000 value, it does include two pairs of propellers, the controller, two batteries, and a charger. Sony expects to ship it within the fall, and will likely be providing a service plan to cowl harm that might happen from crashes.
In gentle of all of the laws and controversy round drones from China, Sony is making it clear that the Airpeak S1 is designed and made in Japan; it got here up repeatedly in a press briefing and once more within the press launch.