Sony’s Releases Its First Drone, the Airpeak S1

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Take your films to the sky with Sony’s official entry into the drone market.

Sony Airpeak S1 in the forest

Back in January at CES 2021, Sony revealed its plans to get into the drone business. The company has periodically released teaser videos ever since, but now we finally know all the juicy details.

Sony Fully Reveals the Airpeak S1

Sony has officially announced the Airpeak S1, a new professional-level drone that can carry a full-size camera and dedicated Gremsy gimbal (sold separately, costs $1,750) at a max speed of 55.9 miles per hour.

Typically, that load can only be handled by large heavy-lift devices, which is why Sony is advertising it as the “world‘s smallest drone” capable of such a feat. However, the S1’s acceleration speed is also notably faster than the competing DJI Inspire 2 drone.

“Sony is excited to launch our new drone business with the Airpeak S1,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President of Imaging Solutions. He continued:

Combining an extremely compact size with some of Sony’s most advanced imaging, sensing, AI and robotics technologies, the S1 will allow content creators, storytellers and commercial professionals to capture that which they’ve never been able to capture before.

The S1 has around 12 minutes of flight time with equipment attached, which can be stretched to 22 minutes if you don’t have it carry anything. It also sports incredible wind resistance, able to fly stable in winds up to 44.7 miles per hour.

Related: Important Checks to Make Before Flying a Drone

You can also control the aircraft with the “Airpeak Flight” mobile app, which features info like battery life and current speed. At the time of writing, it appears the app will only launch on iOS, with no word on an Android release.

Other product features include:

  • New propulsion system (brushless motors)
  • Five stereo and two infrared cameras, with Sony’s Vision Sensing Processor
  • Maximum pitch angle of 55 degrees
  • Retractable landing gear
  • “Airpeak Base” web app for equipment management and flight plans/logs

Airpeak S1 Compatibility, Price, and Availability

Sony Airpeak S1 flight

The S1 works with many cameras from Sony’s mirrorless Alpha series, including the 1, 9 Mark II, 7S Mark III, 7R Mark IV, and FX3. Sony says that third-party devices may work with the drone, but naturally didn’t delve into that topic any further.

Whatever camera you choose to use with the S1, both the USB port and HDMI are plugged into it. Make sure that it has battery life—the drone does not give it any power.

We’ll be seeing the S1 retail in the fall of 2021. For $9,000, you’ll get the drone, two sets of detachable propellers, a remote controller, two batteries, and a battery charger. An optional “Airpeak Protect” service plan will be available, too, to cover accidental damage.

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