It’s been a busy start to the summer in the photography world as all major companies (and a rebranded newbie) have all made new product announcements and it would be remised to say that Sony wasn’t getting in on the action as well. Last night, Sony announced the launch of their first-ever professional drone – the Sony Airpeak S1. Aimed for professional operators, this new drone could be a signal of things to come as Sony takes to the skies.
Sony Airpeak S1 – The Rundown
The Sony Airpeak S1 is billed as the world’s smallest drone that can be equipped with a full-size Sony interchangeable lens camera in its payload. The Airpeak S1 uses a proprietary propulsion system and flight control system featuring four 17-inch propellers and brushless motor and a dual-camera sensor system on the front, back, sides, and bottom of the drone all powered by Sony’s Vision Sensing Processor.
In terms of speed and maneuverability, the Airpeak S1 is no slouch. Boasting a top speed of 55 mph, a maximum angle of velocity of 180-degrees and max tilt angle of 55-degrees, the Airpeak S1 can handle winds of up to 44 mph. The addition of various workflow enhancements – including obstacle detection, auto flight controls, two-person operation, an FPV camera on the nose of the aircraft, and cloud management of aircraft flight plan and flight info data give flight operators a slew of options and workflows that meet a myriad of use cases.
What about the consumer pilot?
The Airpeak S1 is clearly aimed at professional operators and professional applications but it does offer a glimpse into what’s possible from Sony. I’d love to see how the R&D that went into the S1 translates into a consumer/hobbyist drone and if we could finally see some real competition for DJI’s offerings (which are pretty much synonymous with hobbyist drones). The Airpeak S1 is expected to have an MSRP of $9,000.00 and will ship with two pairs of propellers, a remote controller, two batteries and a battery charger. A third-party gimbal made specifically for the Airpeak S1 will be sold separately. The Airpeak S1 will be available for pre-order and ship to customers in the fall of 2021. You can learn more about the Airpeak S1 on Sony’s page.