Sony Updates Airpeak S1 With RTK, New Gimbal, and High-Capacity Batteries

Sony Updates Airpeak S1 With RTK, New Gimbal, and High-Capacity Batteries
Sony just announced several major updates to the AirPeak S1 drone. These new hardware and software updates include an RTK unit for centimeter level accuracy, an all-new lightweight gimbal, and higher-capacity batteries for increased flight times.

RTK Update Bring Centimeter Accuracy to AirPeak S1

Sony's Airpeak S1 is now compatible with an all-new RTK system, which makes it able to maintain positional accuracy within 1 cm. The RTK-1 will be available on 06/09/2023 and will retail for $3,999. Airpeak S1 pilots who've been looking to expand their commercial operations to inspections and other advanced use-cases like 3D mapping will now have an option to do so with this updated RTK kit.

The kit itself includes a base station that provides a wired connection to an AirPeak controller, and dual redundant antennas that mount to the AirPeak S1 itself. The dual antennas are built to mitigate magnetic interference, providing additional flight safety for flight missions during inspections and critical infrastructure. 

This update is exciting news for Airpeak S1 owners, as it shows that Sony is actively working to improve and diversify the AirPeak platform. Having an RTK solution for AirPeak is going to enable a plethora of enterprise flight operations, including repeatable flight plans for long-term projects, safety and accuracy of commercial inspections, and mapping of construction sites. 

Processing of RTK flight mission data is currently handled by merging imaging and positioning data in post using the AirPeak Flight app. Sony is working to add third-party integrations, with more information to come this summer.

New Lightweight Gimbal

The AirPeak S1 can now be upgraded with a newly developed lightweight gimbal from Gremsy, called the GBL-PX1. This new gimbal is specifically designed for AirPeak S1 and is a new variant of Gremsy's Pixie line of lightweight gimbals. These gimbals are optimized to reduce their overall size and weight, allowing for increased flight times, thanks to their lighter payloads. 

The GBL-PX1 is half of the weight of the current AirPeak Gremsy Gimbal, which is known as the Gremsy T3. It will be available for order on 05/19/2023 and will retail for $3,999. The gimbal has been optimized with brushless motors that are payload optimized for the Sony Alpha a7R V, a7R IVA, and Sony's lightweight trio of full frame G series prime lenses. These include the 24mm f/2.8 G40mm f/2.5 G, and 50mm f/2.5 G lenses. 

Higher-Capacity Batteries Increase Flight Times

Sony released the LBN-H1 AirPeak Battery Station back in January of 2023, when it also announced the development of new higher-capacity batteries. These new high-capacity batteries will be available to order on 06/23/2023, for a retail price of $399 per battery. They weigh slightly more than the original batteries, but maintain the same exact size and shape.

The main benefit of these new batteries is an increase in "with-payload" flight-time from 12 minutes to 20 minutes of flight. That's a 60% improvement over the original batteries, which will be a welcome upgrade for current and future AirPeak pilots.

Combining the new high-capacity batteries with the LBN-H1 AirPeak Battery Station will give drone pilots a solid solution for powering their AirPeak S1 on all-day commercial projects where multiple flights and inspections may be required. It provides convenient storage and transportation of up to 10 Airpeak S1 batteries, while providing intelligent and fast charging for eight batteries (charging four at a time), and discharging of up to eight batteries simultaneously for transporting or extended storage.


The Sony AirPeak S1 is a promising platform that continues to evolve with new and improved hardware and software. These latest updates are a sign that Sony is committed to developing AirPeak further and that it will continue to evolve beyond the world of filmmaking, into exciting new enterprise use-cases.

With these new updates, the Sony AirPeak S1 now offers centimeter-level accuracy, high-capacity batteries with increased flight times, a lightweight gimbal that is optimized for lightweight payloads, and a battery charging station that can keep it running all day on commercial projects.

It's also important to note that the AirPeak platform is NDAA compliant, which is the set of laws and regulations that fall under the National Defense Authorization Act. Current and prospective commercial drone pilots will have peace of mind that their investment will not be subject to additional limits and restrictions due to any NDAA compliance issues. 

The future is bright for AirPeak, as Sony continues to invest in its imaging, hardware, and software solutions, making it one of the most compelling aerial platforms for professional drone pilots. I can't wait to see what the future holds for AirPeak, and look forward to seeing new and innovative drones and solutions from the AirPeak team.

What are your thoughts on these latest updates? Share your feedback in the comments below.

Reza Malayeri's picture

Reza is a professional photographer, cinematographer, and educator based in Seattle WA. He specializes in a variety of creative fields, including wedding photography, portrait photography, cinematography, and FAA Part 107 drone aerials. As an educator, Reza's aim is to produce compelling educational content that inspires and empowers creators.

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I'm really excited for AirPeak's potential as a landscape still photography platform because drones like my Mavic 3 just don't have the image quality for big prints (but the power of aerial photography outweighs that to clients).

Imagine an a7R V sensor in an aerodynamic E-mount body with no buttons or screens or even a battery - because it's only purpose is to be connected to a drone. Now that the gimbal/camera/lens are optimized for flight use, payload is way down, and they could make a much smaller, lighter, and cheaper drone.

DJI is obviously way ahead of them on this with the Inspire 3 and DL lenses, but Sony has all the tech and skills.

That's definitely a major advantage to the AirPeak platform IMHO Tony! It took close to 6 years for DJI to go from the I2 to the I3, but in that same time, Sony has released multiple cameras that keep pushing amazing innovations in imaging.

There's also way more lens options on the AirPeak than the inspire series will have available, and like you said, the image quality of an A7RV is incredible to have in a drone.

I've seen a camera from a third party vendor that is exactly what you described. A completely stripped down A7RIV that is designed to be lightweight and for drone use. I believe Sony will eventually create smaller and more integrated AirPeak drones that will appeal to a wider audience, but for now, the S1 is getting better and better with these new updates!

I would consider a drone that takes Sony E-mount lenses but is an all-in-one otherwise, like a Mavic 3. This full size camera-and-gimbal system is big, heavy, impractical for one person to go hiking with.

it would be great if Sony really wanted to innovate and make something great, but this is essentially a DJI s900 from 10 years ago with a Sony logo. I mean that 100%

$400 per battery, for 20 minutes of flight (I bet it's more like 18), with no intelligent flight functions

$4000 for an RTK system to make it as precise as an Inspire 3 :-/