Object of Desire: DJI Spreading Wings S900

November 4, 2014

By Greg Scoblete

If you were intrigued by DJI’s Phantom 2 Vision drone but felt the integrated camera couldn’t deliver the quality you desire, the Spreading Wings S900 hexacopter could be the drone you’ve been looking for. DJI claims the S900 kept 15 pounds of gear hovering at two meters on a breezeless day for 18 minutes. But its total carrying capacity—including camera, lens and gimbal—is slightly more than 18 pounds, so if you’re willing to trade flight time for payload you can get more gear aloft. The seven-pound S900 features collapsible carbon fiber arms for greater portability and DJI says it can be ready to fly in just five minutes. Cameras are mounted to the drone using the company’s line of Zenmuse gimbals, compatible with cameras such as the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera and Panasonic’s Lumix GH4. Once airborne, the landing gear retracts, giving the camera plenty of angles to choose from. The camera gimbal is separated from the hexacopter’s body frame by dampers, to reduce vibrations. You’ll need to equip the Spreading Wings with one of two DJI flight controllers, the A2 or WKM, before throwing your camera to the wind.
PRICE: $3,850 (with A2 controller and GH4 gimbal)