Sony has finally announced everything about its Airpeak S1 drone. The company teased it back in January at CES 2021. The announcement, besides revealing a $9,000 price tag, contains a fully detailed spec list and the drone’s capabilities.
Sony’s mirrorless camera is dearest to Youtubers, bloggers, and pro photographers. It’s a mature device, with the widest choice of lenses and accessories you could find for any mirrorless line. Nonetheless, the Airspeak S1 is designed to work with Sony’s mirrorless cameras, including the A7S Mark III, FX3, or even the 8K-capable Alpha 1. The camera will be attached to a special version of the Gremsy T3 gimbal that’s been designed specifically for the Airpeak and that you’ll have to buy separately. With the camera attached to the drone, it can have a 12 minute flight time whereas without load, it can fly up to 22 minutes
The Airpeak S1 is as yet a work in progress, however, Sony has allotted some information ahead of a planned autumn launch. It’s a bigger drone, comparable fit to the DJI Rouse 2, yet with more force for heavier payloads, quick acceleration, and full remote camera control.
Sony has already released several videos showcasing the expertise of the drone and the type of shots you can take with it. The drone, undoubtedly, has been designed for professional film-making. The drone is highly stable during its flight and very resistant to wind. Sony claims it can stay stable in winds of up to 44.7 miles per hour (that’s 20m/s, double what DJI quotes for the Inspire 2). Sony enlisted JAXA, the Japanese space agency to work with, on the drone. It has five sets of stereo cameras that let the drone and an infrared rangefinder that should help the drone stop before it hits obstacles and stay steady even without satellite reception.
The Airpeak S1 can be controlled with the included controller, or an app called Airpeak Flight. The app is iOS/iPadOS-only for now, but it will allow for control of the camera and gimbal. The Airpeak can be operated by a single person, but also allows for dual-operator mode, where one person controls flight and the other controls the camera. Sony says the controller’s range is still being tested.
While you will not get a camera or gimbal at the Airpeak S1’s $9,000 cost, it accompanies two sets of propellers, the regulator, two batteries, and a charger. Though this might sound like a downside, but it really isn’t. Considering the drone’s build, speed, agility, and stability, not to forget the comparison with DJI’s Matrice 600 Pro, the Airpeak outperforms everything. But then again, the drone is for professional videographers/photographers.