Sony's $9,000 drone for its Alpha cameras is available for pre-order

The Airpeak S1 will ship on December 24th.


A few months later than originally planned, Sony has opened pre-orders for its first drone for professionals. The company says the Airpeak S1 is the smallest drone that supports a full-size, mirrorless Alpha camera.

The debut model in the Airpeak line works with several Sony cameras, including the Alpha 1, Alpha 7S series, Alpha 7R series and Alpha 9 series. The company says the S1 has proprietary technology that supports smooth movement at high speed and provides stable wind resistance in service of helping cinematographers and photographers to capture high-quality footage and photos from the sky.

Sony claims the S1 can fly for up to 22 minutes au naturale, and up to 12 minutes with a heavy payload, such as the Alpha 7S III with a FE 24mm F1.4 GM lens. The drone has a top speed of just under 56mph.

The Airpeak Flight app for iOS provides real-time status info and updates on the hardware. With the Airpeak Base web app, users can create advanced, repeatable flight plans, manage the drone and camera and troubleshoot issues. There's also a dual operation mode, which allows one person to control the drone and another to operate the camera and gimbal. Both users can see what the camera is capturing.

The Airpeak S1 comes with two sets of propellers, two rechargeable batteries and a controller. Sony has shaved $1,000 off the previously announced price — the drone now costs a still-eye-watering $9,000. The S1 should ship on December 24th, so it might arrive a little too late to be an extremely generous holiday gift.

There's an optional cloud service called Airpeak Plus that offers extra storage, enhanced geofencing tools and flight log importing and exporting. It costs around $300 for 12 months.