Sony finally lets fly its Airpeak S1. The $ 9,000 drone is now available for pre-order, with units scheduled to ship on December 24.

Sony first teased the Airpeak S1 drone in November 2020, offered a few more details at CES 2021, and said in June that the drone would arrive in the fall. It looks like Sony is going only miss that launch window by introducing it a few days in winter, but it lands at least in 2021.

Sony’s drone is for serious videographers who want to send their Sony a1, a9 II, a7S III, a7R IV and FX3 cameras into the sky. The expensive package includes the drone, a pair of flight batteries, a remote control, and charging accessories. But that $ 9,000 doesn’t include the price of a spare camera, lens, gimbal, or even propellers.

The drone offers powerful features with intelligent obstacle avoidance systems, retractable landing gear and motors that allow the drone to go from zero to 50 mph in 3.5 seconds. But buyers who want the drone for its mirrorless camera mounting capabilities will consider an additional purchase of a special Gremsy Gimbal T3 which adds an additional $ 2,200 to the price.

The gimbal holds the camera and supports its remote control. With the dual operation mode, one user can fly the drone, and another can manage the gimbal and camera. While the Airpeak S1 offers a 22-minute flight time on its battery, the additional payload of the gimbal, camera, and lens can cut it down to 12 minutes. Those who want more flight time will be looking for $ 230 per additional battery.

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Pilots looking to meet the FAA’s upcoming remote identification requirement for their drones may also be disappointed to learn that the Airpeak S1 lacks this feature, according to a consumer question to which staff at B&H Photo and Video responded. We contacted Sony about this.

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