Sony announced the launch of the Airpeak S1 drone, the smallest drone to carry a full-size mirrorless camera, available Fall 2021
While drone pilots avidly await many American drones to reach the market, Sony launches the Airpeak S1 available for purchase in the Fall of 2021. It looks like drone pilots may have many new drones to choose from in the Fall of 2021. As we expect Sony’s new Airpeak S1 and the Mavic 3 to launch around the same time. Purchasing decisions might change for pilots, as drones are supposed to be released with Remote Id compliance. Yet, how will manufacturers know what remote id protocol to use, since the FAA has still not released this information?
Sony has made it very clear, they will be offering an aerial platform to service cinematographers, photographers and photogrammetrists. As the S1 drone can carry insane camera payloads, with integrated camera controls to suit the needs of creatives and drone mappers.
Sony had previous teased the Airpeak drone or series of drones they plan on launching. New details have emerged to give us a great sense of what to expect from the Japanese drone manufacturer. Sony even made a point in the release to clarify this is a Japanese made drone. This could be a means of differentiating Sony from Chinese manufacturers. This is probably due to the NDAA and limitation on purchasing Chinese made drones by specific outfits.
The Sony Airpeak S1 looks like it will compete with the Inspire 2 line of drones. As the Inspire 2 seems to be relatively the small size as the Airpeak S1. The S1 struts a 17″ prop on a quad platform, whereas the Inspire 2 rocks a 15.85″ propeller. The Inspire 2 and Airpeak S1 seem to compete on price as well, as far as we understand right now… Price out an Inspire 2 with an X7 camera and 16mm lens, you’re looking at $9399.00 from B&H. The Sony Airpeak S1 is currently priced at $9,000.00 which would price this drone in line with the DJI offering. Yet the question remains if this is actually the case. Sony announced that “A third party gimbal’ made specifically for the Airpeak S1 will be sold separately.
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The new Sony Airpeak S1 seems to offer stiff competition to DJI’s ecosystem of drone control. After all, there is not a single manufacturer who has yet to compete with DJI’s ecosystem of 3rd party applications and accessories. While DJI offers their own control application and SDK for autonomous flights, Sony seems to have finally pierced this veil. DJI even offers customers with the ability to replace their drone after a crash with Care refresh. Sony has an answer to this with the Airpeak protection plan.
While we were witness to Sony’s new Airpeak concept this spring, few details emerged on what to expect. Sony has clarified the price and specifications of the first introductory Airpeak drone, the S1. Here are the key features.
There are many key takeaways from this detailed announcement of Sony S1 drone. Sony is striving to create not only a mass produced line of consumer drones, but they are also creating the necessary environment for this drone to thrive. Sony is clearly making a drone platform for their line of Alpha camera. This drone will be great on set but also be great for drone mappers and modelers. It will be interesting to see what feature sets Sony includes in these new applications.
On top of the S1 Drone, Sony is launching the application to seamlessly control all aspects of the Drone, just like DJI GO 4. Sony is also launching a base station application to allow users to create autonomous missions and more easily manage the aircraft. Pair those announcements with the protection plan, and now you have a manufacturer competing with DJI’s ecosystem. Well done Sony, now pilots wait to see if it is available on time.
Few questions remain with this particular drone. One of those questions might include, does this drone actually come with a gimbal? Or will pilots be waiting for the gimbal after the drone’s launch this fall. We hope not, as it is in Sony’s best interest not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
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