Gear Reviews

It’s official; the Sony Airpeak S1 drone has landed

With a max top speed of 90km/h, Sony’s pro-level S1 is ready to shake up the drone industry…

We’ve known it’s been coming for a while, but Sony has finally officially launched its first Airpeak drone. Called the S1, the model is packed with professional-level features and technology that will surely kick-start a battle between Sony and DJI, the current market leader in the world of drones.

Built to carry cameras from Sony’s Alpha mirrorless range, such as the A7S II, Sony says the new drone; ‘utilises a proprietary motor, propeller, control system and sensing technology, allowing it to fly at extremely high speeds with very stable wind resistance.  Additionally, the Airpeak S1 features an advanced remote controller that can support the production of high-quality aerial images and freely control the aircraft.  It also includes obstacle detection, automatic flight control via sensing and increased safety via cloud management of the aircraft and flight information.’

So, what exactly can the S1 achieve? Well, as Sony said, it boasts a lightning quick top speed and can zoom along up to 90km/h (55mph). The S1 will also perform well in windy conditions with Sony’s Propulsion providing wind resistance in strong wind speeds up to 44.7mph (20m/s).

The Sony Airpeak S1 features stereo cameras equipped with image sensors, which are installed in 5 locations (front, back, left, right, bottom) of the aircraft. Sony’s Vision Sensing Processor accurately estimates the aircraft’s spatial position and orientation in real time, enabling stable flight even in environments where GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) reception may be hindered, such as indoors or under bridges. 

The drone, remote controller, camera and gimbal can all be controlled via Airpeak Flight app,, which will prove useful for drone operators working single-handed. Alternatively, one operator can work the drone, while another controls the gimbal. What’s more, the Airpeak S1 does include a number of automated flight modes, including ‘Mission Flight’, which will follow a preset route, or Repeat Flight, which will retrace a previous flight.. 

With any drone, there’s also a small element of risk, but Sony seems to have users covered via “Airpeak Protect Plan,” a service plan to cover accidental damage to the product. As you may expect, the high-end S1 carries a premium price-tag, and will cost around $9000 (shipping with two pairs of propellers, a remote controller, two batteries and a battery charger) when the S1 starts shipping later this year.