Sony Announces Airpeak S1 Professional Drone

25Share

Today, after months of speculation, Sony unveiled the highly anticipated Airpeak S1 professional drone. Though it was teased last November, and even made a brief appearance at CES 2021, detailed information about Sony’s first drone has remained a heavily guarded secret—until now.

Sony Airpeak Drone
Sony Airpeak S1 Drone

What Cameras Does the Airpeak S1 Support?

According to Sony, the Airpeak supports an array of camera bodies, including the Alpha 7S, the Alpha 7R, the Alpha 9, the Alpha 1, and the FX3 series. The wide range of full-frame camera systems means users will have more flexibility when it comes to choosing the right camera and more creative options—whether that’s using the Alpha 7R to shoot stunning, ultra-high definition aerial stills or capturing breathtaking 8K footage with the Alpha 1. To mount your choice of full-frame camera to the Airpeak, you will need a Gremsy T3 Gimbal, arguably one of the most advanced 3-axis stabilizers currently available. One of the features that makes the T3 so sophisticated is its 32-bit controller, which collects data from various sensors and makes the necessary motor adjustments up to 2000 times per second, ensuring that all your footage will achieve the highest level of stability.   

Mount a full-frame camera to the Airpeak S1 with a Gremsy T3 3-axis gimbal.

How Big is the Airpeak S1 Drone?

Sony claims the Airpeak S1 is the “world’s smallest drone that can be equipped with a full-size mirrorless interchangeable-lens Alpha camera.” While we don’t have the exact specifications—yet—we can tell you that the Airpeak S1 is indeed more compact than other professional drones. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking the Airpeak S1 is “small.” This is a full-sized, professional drone capable of supporting a heavy payload that includes multiple batteries and a full-frame mirrorless camera. In other words, it’s bigger than your average hobbyist flyer. That being said, the fact that the Airpeak S1 is more compact than other professional drones means it offers more possibilities for how you use it and where it can travel.


Is the Airpeak S1 for Professionals or Hobbyists?

Although you can probably tell just by looking at it, Sony made clear that the Airpeak S1 is intended for professional creators. Along with its pro-grade camera system, the Airpeak S1 also boasts the type of high-performance features you typically only see in professional flyers, including a five-camera image sensing and obstacle avoidance system, dual-mode operation, a highly sophisticated flight control system, and proprietary propulsion technology that allows the Airpeak S1 to fly in winds up to 45mph—a threshold typically reserved for the type of commercial drone you see inspecting an oil rig, not shooting a Hollywood chase scene.

When Will the be Airpeak S1 Available?

According to Sony, the Airpeak S1 will be available for pre-orders soon will start shipping to customers in the fall of 2021.

Despite all the new information we received today, there are still questions about how well the Airpeak S1 will perform in a real-world test. Hopefully, we will get to test the Airpeak S1 out soon and report back. Until then, the one thing we do know for certain: The arrival of the Sony Airpeak S1 means this is a very exciting time for the drone industry.

Are you looking forward to taking the Airpeak for a spin? Let us know in the Comments section, below.

25 Comments

I am a Sony Alpha A7R1V user from down under in Australia and it is my goal to photograph Australia coastlines for a e-book I wish to publish and I am very interested in the Sony Airpeak drone to help fullfil this life long dream. Australia is indeed a vast beautiful island with many parts of its stunning sometimes breathtaking landscape never been seen before from the perspective of a professional drone and the use of a Sony camera with a full frame senor. I am known to capture stunning storm shots in Australia over last 25 years but wouldn't be amazing to capture storms in Video 4k production quality. Maybe have a TV Show sponsored by Sony Australia on Channel 7 ?  Please assist me with my dream to capture the amazing weather down under and I would be very interested in becoming a pioneer in this field with your assistance in the forthcoming months. May need to look at the Sony Alpha series dedicated video cameras in the A7 series more better camera in capturing video footage than my current A7r1v which I feel excels in the stills department primarily.

This is like a late Christmas present for me!  I’m a Sony Alpha user and a professional drone pilot. Combining the two is exactly what I’ve been hoping to see for I don’t know how long.

With regards to the use of the Gremsy gimbal, I think it is smart.  Why waste time reinventing the wheel?  Gremsy makes amazing products and they work with a multitude of different aircraft manufacturers/builders. I see that as a win for Sony as it leaves them time to focus on what they need to succeed, a reliable flight control system mated with an app allowing us to use the Alpha cameras to their full potential. Sign me up as an early adopter!

Hmm, I love my alpha cameras but it seems like rolling shutter will be a pretty big issue on this rig with any A7 series camera.

First thing we know is that it will be 3 times the price it should be. Instead of wasting time on this, why don't they build a new sensor to replace the 112-year-old one that is in FS5's and FS7's?

So if you look closely in the video you will see a “G” on the side of the gimbal. Sony is using a Gremsy T3 gimbal, which has been on the market for some time now. So, the AirPeak is not all Sony made. Maybe they will make their own gimbal eventually? The Gremsy works very well and seems to incorporate into the AirPeak so maybe it will be a keeper. Maybe they will buy Gremsy, a Korean company? As a DJI M600 Pro and Inspire 2 pilot/owner I’m guessing a complete 2 operator AirPeak will price out sub 10k with gimbal. I do like my DJI products and have had mostly positive experiences but definitely interested in what Sony can bring. 

Launching a rebranded/rebadged product and claiming its new a in-house product, is business as usual.
IE: Leica bedazzled a Sony camera, and put it on the market (rebadged?) for thousands of dollars more.

If you folks have to guess what will this cost? $5,000-$15,000 ?? Also can we put a different camera? Im ready for it since Sony makes great equipment.

5k+ I hope not.. For the prices you mentioned it better have FLIR and LIDAR on it.

This will be game-changing.  Sure there will be bugs to be worked out, but that's why they call it the "bleeding" edge of technology.  It'll be worth the cost because of what it will do for architectural photography and videography when paired with the a7Riv and a7Siii.  Count me in and ready to place an order. 

I made the decision to trust Sony years ago when I made the switch from Canon and I have never regretted it once. As a long time DJI customer ( Inspire 1, 2) I have run the range of emotions from amazed, frustrated, to furious with the company. Sony is stepping into a new world and I hope that they are ready as there is nothing more frustrating than having a $20,000 investment drop out of the sky. I will watch this very close because I will invest in this tool for my clients asap if Sony has built a solid product with better software than DJI and a much better support system.

I’ll buy one. Anything to get away from those fluorescent DJI colors. 

The best thing about this, is that Dji will have to do better.
Maybe they now realize we want better cameras, and not thousands of anti collision sensors, or 1min longer flight time, or 500 miles range video transmission, or size so small it can fit in your wallet, and all the rest of the nonsense they have started focusing on.

It's worthless if it doesn't have remote ID. I guess it's certainly big enough to "bolt-on" a transmitter, but that restricts some use for it too. 

A firmware update can take care of that.

You have information that it doesnt, since it worries you?

Jay H. wrote:

It's worthless if it doesn't have remote ID. I guess it's certainly big enough to "bolt-on" a transmitter, but that restricts some use for it too. 

The FAA remote Transmitter has yet to be approved or produced. I imagine whomever produces these Transmitters will be quite aware that size will matter as many will be seeking to be placing them on many of their present UAV's.

Any idea how much it will cost?  Will the controller be able to control the camera?  Even a Zoom lens?

A lot.

Hi Ron - 

Sony confirmed the Airpeak launch date that it mentioned in its first official announcement back in November 2020.

In a short statement, it said "Sony will launch a new business targeted for professional photography and video production in the spring of 2021". For worldwide readers, that means we should get more information in March or April 2021. SONY has not announced any pricing at all.

How much longer do we have to wait???

Hi John- 

Sony confirmed the Airpeak launch date that it mentioned in its first official announcement back in November 2020.

In a short statement, it said "Sony will launch a new business targeted for professional photography and video production in the spring of 2021". For worldwide readers, that means we should get more information in March or April 2021. SONY has not announced any pricing at all.

At CES 2021, Sony confirmed the Airpeak launch date that it mentioned in its first official announcement back in November 2020.

In a short statement, it said "Sony will launch a new business targeted for professional photography and video production in the spring of 2021". For worldwide readers, that means we should get more information in March or April 2021.

Fascinating and promising.  However, before I strap our A7 and lens onto a new drone from a non-aeronautical company I’m gong to let someone else take the test rides.  I’m very comfortable not being an early adopter with this one.  Hope it works out.  

Man up! and fly your A7!

Eager to take a look and see what Sony has brought to the game.

I would feel so much more comfortable using a non-Chinese product in place of my DJI unit, that price might be a non issue.

Close

Close

Close