Sony is now fully revealing its Airpeak S1 drone, which it teased at CES 2021 in January. The announcement incorporates much more element on the drone’s capabilities, features, and divulges a $9,000 pricetag for the drone sans gimbal or digital camera, all of which cements the concept this drone can 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 hooked up 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 digital camera, the drone may have round 12 minutes of flight time (although it might probably obtain 22 minutes with none load). It’s additionally price noting that the digital camera wants its personal batteries — it isn’t being offered energy by the drone.
Sony’s already launched a preview of the kinds of photographs you’ll be able to pull off with the drone, which you’ll see beneath. You can too get a shot of the retracting touchdown gear in movement.
One of many drone’s largest promoting factors is its stability and wind-resistance. In accordance with Sony, it might probably keep secure in winds of as much as 44.7 miles per hour (that’s 20m/s, double what DJI quotes for the Inspire 2), and it has 5 units of stereo cameras that permit 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 area company, to assist it do some of the tests for the drone:
The Airpeak can be fast — it might probably do 0-50 (which is near its high pace of 55.9 miles per hour) in 3.5 seconds. It’s price noting, although, that’s with none form of attachments — Sony hasn’t mentioned what sort of pace or acceleration may be achieved when the drone is flying a digital camera. That mentioned, Sony confirmed me and different journalists a video of the drone doing figure-eights within the air, which it pulled off with spectacular pace and agility.
For comparability, DJI’s Matrice 600 Pro, which prices round $7,000 with no gimbal or digital camera, has a high pace 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 may 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 can enable for management of the digital camera and gimbal. The Airpeak may be operated by a single particular person, but in addition permits for dual-operator mode, the place one particular person controls flight and the opposite controls the digital camera. Sony says the controller’s vary continues to be being examined.
Whilst you gained’t get a digital camera or gimbal for the Airpeak S1’s $9,000 worth, it does include two pairs of propellers, the controller, two batteries, and a charger. Sony expects to ship it within the fall, and can be providing a service plan to cowl harm that would happen from crashes.
In mild of all of the legislation and controversy around 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.