Sony Airpeak S1 Drone – Available for Preorder from $9,000

December 2nd, 2021 Jump to Comment Section 4
Sony Airpeak S1 Drone - Available for Preorder from $9,000

The Sony Airpeak S1 drone is finally available for preorder and Sony claims the shipping should follow on December 24, 2021. The price is around $9,000 for the drone including propellers, a remote controller, two batteries, and a battery charger. The Sony Gremsy Gimbal T3 is being sold separately for $2,200. The drone can carry any Sony Alpha or FX3 mirrorless camera and select E-mount prime lenses.

Nowadays, there is a suitable drone for everyone. Most (if not all) of the consumer (and prosumer) drone market segment is already covered by DJI. As the price goes up, other manufacturers, such as Freefly, join the party with their offerings in the professional drones segment. The newest competitor in the premium/professional segment is the Japanese tech giant Sony with its Airpeak S1.

Sony Airpeak S1 – now available for preorder

How did the journey start? More than a year ago, Sony first teased the Airpeak – the company’s first-ever drone. In January 2021, Sony published the first details about Airpeak. Finally, in June 2021, the drone was officially introduced with full details and information about the pricing. Now, it can be pre-ordered.

To get more information about Sony Airpeak S1 you can, of course, check any of our previous articles on the topic. To quickly summarize it here as well, the Airpeak S1 is a drone platform with a 3-axis gimbal that can carry Sony Alpha mirrorless cameras. It offers a maximum flight time of 22 minutes (without payload) or up to 12 minutes (with payload). That is not much, so for a meaningful workflow, you will need many spare battery packs. Furthermore, the drone offers 0-50 mph acceleration in 3.5 seconds and it can carry payloads of up to 5.5 lb / 2.5 kg.

Sony Airpeak S1 Drone. Source: Sony

Sony actually keeps referring to the Airpeak S1 as “the introductory model in the new Airpeak line” and I am definitely curious which other future Airpeak models are in development. I would personally love to see Sony’s answer to the DJI Mavic line in the near future.

As Sony claims, the S1 is the world’s smallest drone that can be equipped with a full-size mirrorless interchangeable-lens Alpha camera. It is compatible with a wide range of Sony’s camera bodies including the Alpha 1, Alpha 7S series, the Alpha 7R series, the Alpha 9 series, FX3 and others.

Sony Gremsy Gimbal T3 for the Airpeak S1. Source: Sony

When it comes to supported lenses, Sony only says that the Airpeak S1 supports “select E-mount prime lenses”. I was not able to find a list of the supported lenses. This will, of course, depend on the weight of the lens. I suppose that lightweight zoom lenses will also be supported, but they don’t make much sense as you will not be able to control the zoom ring from the ground.

While I am pretty sure it will be possible to mount and balance certain lightweight mirrorless cameras from other manufacturers on the drone, the camera controls via the Sony remote would be either limited or non-existing. Sony did not officially say anything about the compatibility with other cameras yet as the company naturally wants people to use it with Sony Alpha cameras.

Sony Airpeak S1 Drone. Source: Sony

Intelligent apps and Airpeak Plus

Sony further claims that the drone includes an “Airpeak Flight” iOS-based application that integrates and monitors all hardware related to the drone, giving the operator real-time status display and updates on screen. “Airpeak Base” web application is also available, allowing the operator to manage the equipment, create advanced flight plans, run the same pattern repeatedly, and fully manage and troubleshoot flight logs. For multiple operators, Airpeak S1 also includes a dual operation mode so one user can operate the drone as another operates the gimbal and camera, while each can monitor the content being recorded. An optional cloud service, “Airpeak Plus” is available by paid subscription and provides additional data storage, advanced geofencing options, and import/export of flight logs.

Sony Airpeak S1 remote controller. Source: Sony

Price and availability

As I mentioned above, the Sony Airpeak S1 drone can be preordered now. The shipping date is planned to follow on December 24, 2021, according to Sony.

Airpeak S1 suggested retail price is around $9,000 and it will ship with two pairs of propellers, a remote controller, two batteries, and a battery charger. This package, however, does not include the Sony Gremsy Gimbal T3. This is being sold separately, but at the same time, it is vital for the drone’s operation. The price for the camera gimbal has been set to $2,200.

The final price for a ready-to-shoot Airpeak S1 package will, of course, depend on the equipped camera and lens. As an example, a Sony FX3 with the Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM lens retails for around $5,300 – so that makes it around $16,800 altogether with the Airpeak S1 drone.

The “Airpeak Plus” subscription service will retail for around $300 for a 12-month period, with the optional “Protect Plan” coverage also available. 


Price-wise, the Airpeak S1 falls right inbetween the DJI Inspire 2 with the Zenmuse X7 and the high-end hexa- and octocopters for heavier cinema cameras from Freefly, DJI, or xFold. The Inspire 2 ready-to-shoot package with the Zenmuse X7 Super 35 camera currently sells between $7,600 and $9,400 including batteries and lens. I think the real competition for the Sony Airpeak S1 comes when DJI announces a new Inspire drone (it is about time – the Inspire 2 is already five years old) coupled with the new full-frame Zenmuse X9.

What do you think about the Sony Airpeak S1 drone and its price? Are you going to invest in the system? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


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