There are consumer drones and then there are professional drones and that latter is what Sony’s new Airpeak S1 is. It was teased earlier this year and the company now thinks it’s ready for buyers. This is a large $9000 drone to which a gimbal can be attached to house Sony cameras. Bodies of the A7S Mark III, the FX3, or even the Alpha 1 can be carried by this drone.
The gimbal at its bottom needs to be purchased separately though. A modified version of the Gremsy T3 fits this assembly. With a camera in tow, the drone gives 12 minutes of flight time, while it’s rated to fly for 22 minutes without one. That said, the camera needs to have its own battery.
Sony says that the Airpeak S1 can withstand winds of up to 44.7 miles per hour. Its maneuvering is taken care of by five sets of stereo cameras and an infrared rangefinder that together stop the drone in case it’s heading into obstacles, even without satellite reception. These parts also allow the drone to be steady in windy conditions.
3.5 seconds is how much it takes for the Sony Airpeak S1 to go from 0 to 50mph. Although, that speed is bound to go down when a camera is attached to it. A controller is included in the $9000 price of this drone, and so are two pairs of propellers, two batteries, and a charger. Using an iOS/iPadOS app, a dual-operator mode can be accessed, allowing one person to fly the drone while the other pulls focus, or operates the camera.
Sony’s Airpeak S1 drone is expected to ship this fall, along with a service plan covering the damage that could occur from crashes.