Sony has been teasing its Airpeak S1 drone for long enough, first showing it off briefly in 2020 before giving us a proper look at this year’s CES. We didn’t get much more than a few hints about what the drone can do but that’s changed. Sony’s first foray into flying fthings is officially here.
And it’s officially expensive. If you want to lay your hands on one (you’ll see why you want that in just a minute) you’ll have to shell out at least $9,000 — or about R123,000, which makes the Airpeak S1 more than something you just mess with on the weekends.
All aboard the Airpeak S1
Which is fine because dabblers are likely to get a better experience from the likes of a DJI. Sony’s hardware is for folks who want very specific results. The S1 has been built to support Sony’s range of cameras, up to and including the company’s humongous 8K-shooting Alpha 1. There’s a special version of the Gremsy T3 gimbal (that you’ll need to buy separately) in the drone to handle all of your shooting.
And you best do it quick. The drone has a twelve-minute flight time, with a camera attached, and a 22-minute time if you don’t have a payload. And your camera isn’t being powered by the drone either, so you’ll need to make sure that the battery is topped up before takeoff too.
But there are some good features — Sony claims the Airpeak S1 will stay stable in winds up to 72km/h. It’s got a top speed of 90km/h and it’ll go from more 0-80km/h in just 3.5 seconds (without a camera fitted) — which goes a little way towards explaining the battery drain. There’s on-drone obstacle avoidance, using five pairs of cameras and an infrared rangefinder, too.
At a starting point of more than R120k for the drone, two sets of propellers, two batteries and a flight controller (there’s also an iOS app), and the need to purchase the camera and the gimbal separately, the Airpeak S1 is a tough ask for enthusiasts. But the feature-set suggests Sony’s got a more professional market in mind anyway. It’s not available yet, but it should be soon. When it’ll make it to SA, though… that’s another story.
Source: The Verge