Sony is now fully unveiling its Airpeak S1 drone, which he teased at CES 2021 in January. The announcement contains much more detail on the capabilities, features of the drone, and reveals a price of $ 9,000 for the drone without gimbal or camera, which reinforces the idea that this drone will be directly aimed at the professional video market.
The Airpeak S1 is designed to work with Sony mirrorless cameras including the A7S Mark III, the FX3 or even the Alpha 1 compatible 8K. They will be attached to a special version of the Gremsy T3 gimbal specially designed for the Airpeak and which you will need to purchase separately. With a camera, the drone will have around 12 minutes of flight time (although it can reach 22 minutes without any load). It should also be noted that the camera needs its own batteries – it is not powered by the drone.
Sony has already posted an overview of the types of shots you can take with the drone, which you can see below. You can also take a photo of the retractable landing gear in motion.
One of the main selling points of the drone is its stability and wind resistance. According to Sony, it can remain stable in winds up to 44.7 miles per hour (that’s 20 m / s, double that DJI Quotes for the Inspire 2), and it has five sets of stereo cameras that enable the drone and an infrared range finder which should help the drone to stop before it hits any obstacles and keep steady even without satellite reception. Sony even called on JAXA, the Japanese space agency, to help it. do some tests for the drone:
The Airpeak is also fast – it can do 0-50 (which is close to its top speed of 55.9 miles per hour) in 3.5 seconds. It should be noted, however, that this is without any sort of attachments – Sony has not said what kind of speed or acceleration can be achieved when the drone is piloting a camera. That said, Sony showed me and other reporters a video of the drone doing eights in the air, which it managed to pull off with impressive speed and agility.
In comparison, DJI Matrix 600 Pro, which costs around $ 7,000 without a gimbal and camera, has a top speed of 40 miles per hour and a listed range of 32 minutes alone or 16 minutes with a 13-pound payload, using its batteries. ‘origin.
The Airpeak S1 can only be used with the included controller, but Sony does offer an app called Airpeak Flight to make things easier. The app is only iOS / iPadOS at the moment, but it will allow control of the camera and gimbal. The Airpeak can be used by one person, but also allows dual operator mode, where one person controls the flight and the other controls the camera. Sony says the controller’s range is still being tested.
While you don’t get a camera or gimbal for the Airpeak S1’s $ 9,000 price tag, it does come with two pairs of propellers, the controller, two batteries, and a charger. Sony plans to ship it in the fall and will offer a service plan to cover any damage that could occur in the event of an accident.
In light of all legislation and controversy around drones from China, Sony makes it clear that the Airpeak S1 is designed and manufactured in Japan; he came back several times in a press briefing and again in the press release.