Sony debuted its Airpeak drone at CES 2021.
Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET
Sony took the wraps off its first drone — the Airpeak S1 — back in January and it’s finally going on sale. The company says you can preorder the drone directly from its website, although at time of writing it’s only possible to put in your email address for more information. The drone will start at $9,000 and comes with two batteries for a total flight time of up to 12 minutes with a mirrorless camera attached (like Sony’s A7S III and lens).
It comes with one controller, which you’ll need to connect to an iPad for viewing footage or adjusting settings using Sony’s Airpeak Flight app. A second controller can be paired to allow one person to fly the drone and a second to operate the gimbal and camera.
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Speaking of the gimbal, that’s not included for your $9,000. Instead, you’ll need to buy this optional accessory separately — assuming you want to be able to sling your camera underneath instead of just fly the drone part around like an extravagantly expensive toy plane. The official price for the compatible Gremsy T3 for Airpeak gimbal hasn’t been announced, but other variants of the T3 gimbal retail for $1,749, so budget at least that much. Then you’ll need to add one of Sony’s Alpha mirrorless cameras and lenses, so make sure there’s cash left in your bank for that.
So it’s not a cheap option, particularly when you consider DJI’s pro-level Inspire 2 drone starts at $5,299, has a longer flight time and includes both camera and gimbal. But your options are limited if you’re particularly keen on putting your Sony Alpha cameras in the air, and Sony’s solution may be worth the money for creative pros looking to up their aerial quality.