When we reviewed DJI’s Spark drone, one of our gripes was the limited set of gesture controls. You can’t do everything you want without reaching for your phone. DJI is already taking steps to close those gaps, though. It’s delivering a firmware update that adds a gesture for starting and stopping video recording. All you have to do is stand within 6.5 feet of the drone’s front and raise your arm at a roughly 45-degree angle like you were waving hello. This does require that you be within the frame when recording starts, but that’s fine if you planned to star in your own production — it beats staring down at a screen.
There are also more app-based controls available once shooting is underway, including for stills. The subject-tracking QuickShot mode gives you more direction over where the Spark flies, while you can shoot 180-degree panoramas and higher-quality (12-megapixel) ActiveTrack or Gesture Mode photos. There’s better responsiveness when using the remote controller, as well. While DJI hasn’t tackled every concern we have with the Spark, it’s now a little easier to justify if you like hands-off videography.