Sony announces Airpeak S1 drone

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Following its development announcement late last year, Sony has officially revealed the Airpeak S1 drone – which the company is calling the world's smallest drone capable of carrying a full-size mirrorless camera. 

The $9,000 USD ($11,000 AUD) professional-level drone promises to offer 'exceptional flight performance, obstacle detection systems, and “heavy-lift” capability' in a device that is slightly larger than a DJI Inspire 2.

The Airpeak is compatible with all of Sony's mirrorless offerings, including the A1, A9, A7S and 7R series, and the recently announced FX3

Sony says the Airpeak S1 can fly up to 90 km/h while withstanding winds of up to 72 km/h, and the company has released a video to back these claims, below. Sony says the drone will accelerate faster than DJI’s Inspire 2, and also has a higher top speed than DJI's Matrice.

Sony says it has leveraged its vast in-house manufacturing knowlege in the development of the Airpeak S1, and the drone will utilise a proprietary motor, propeller, control system, and sensing technology. Onboard, stereo cameras containing the company's image sensors are located on the front, rear, left, right, and bottom of the aircraft. Coupled with Sony's 'Vision Sensing Processor', the aircraft's location and orientation can be determined in real-time – even in areas where GPS may be hindered, such as indoor spaces. 

The S1 will be supported by a standalone controller as well as a dedicated Airpeak Flight app, which, for now at least, will remain an iOS and iPadOS-only application.

The S1 will offer a maximum flight time of 22 minutes without a payload, and just 12 minutes when equipped with an A7S Mark III and 24mm f/1.4 lens.

Surprisingly, the $9,000 USD admission price doesn't even include a gimbal. According to Petapixel, the gimbal is the only part that Sony is not specifically manufacturing, and the S1 will work with a custom Gemsy Gimbal T3. It's currently listed for $1,750 USD ($2,250 AUD) on Gemsy’s website, however Sony says this price may drop as a S1 specific variant is produced.

However the Airpeak S1 will come with two sets of propellers, a remote controller, two batteries, and a battery charger. 

We'll update this story once we have some more information on local availability and pricing. 

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