DJI Phantom 4 Review
Once again DJI have cheered up drone flyers introducing a new drone in the market, this time Phantom 4. This exciting drone is a game changer and it has totally different story to tell comparing to its predecessor, phantom 3. A closer look at Phantom4’s features, one could easily tell that DJI is now focusing more on beginners and adventurists, just like what GoPro have been doing. Phantom 4 has enhanced the vision positioning system, you will be less engaged with controlling the unit and be more focused on your shots or your sport activity, however some professional photographers and experienced pilots doubted that if buying phantom4 is a good investment as apposed to previous models, they believe there has been not much considerable enhancement in the camera aspects that motivates them to opt for the new model. Lets review phantom 4 in more details and see if its good choice over phantom 3.
Weight (including battery and propellers): 1280 g
Diagonal size (including propellers): 590 mm
Max ascent speed: 5 m/s
Max descent speed: 3 m/s
Max speed: up to 45 mph (sport mode)
Flight time: up to 28 minutes
Camera range: up to 3.1 miles
Battery capacity: 5350 mAh
GPS mode: GPS/GLONASS
Considering the main changes, there are 4 sensors, two infront and two underneath the aircraft that do sonar detection. These are the eyes of the aircraft, they help the drone see (detect) if there is any obstacle about 50ft infront and 30ft underneath. The interesting part of this system is that, if the aircraft detects any object on its way, not only it avoids the crash, but also find its way around the object to continue the flight mission. However if there is no workaround, the drone will eventually stop and hover in place waiting for new inputs from the pilot. This feature can make a difference if you are flying around the trees, where a small branch could bring your drone into pieces back on the ground.
As I mentioned earlier, Phantom 4 is perfect for beginners and adventurists. The powerful object recognition software used in Phantom 4 helps the drone for visual tracking, all you need to do is to tell the drone who to follow by selecting a person or the moving object on the touchscreen and let the drone do what it is good at. This will save you a big time while doing your sport activity without being worried about controlling the drone. It is not the first time we hear about a drone featuring visual tracking, but what makes DJI outstanding is the software, which helps the drone for more accurate and prices detecting and tracking of the person/object without losing or confusing the target during the flight. The new capability that you can find in Phantom 4 but not in previous models is that the drone can literally turn into a racing drone, It can speed up as fast as 45 mph flying in a sport mode shooting videos of you on the go.
The Phantom 4 can also fly in TapFly mode. If you are familiar with the terms, this is the same as mission planning, the difference is that the function is more simplified and you only need to tap on the screen the location on the map that you need your drone to autonomously fly to. All the features have just made the flight super easy and controlling the phantom 4 is absolutely a no-brainer. Tap on the screen and you are all set.
Needless to say the 4K camera is all you need to shoot breathtaking videos at 30 frame per second or 120fps at 1080, you also can shoot images in 12 megapixel Adobe DNG RAW. Although DJI claimed that Phantom 4 can transmit live video as far as 3.1 miles(5 km) away from the pilot, but this flight range is way beyond the FAA Limits on maximum altitude. Anyways, lets get back to camera aspects, If you are wondering the changes made in phantom 4’s camera, it is mostly about the lens that gives 94° field of view reducing distortion by 36% and chromatic aberration by 56% comparing to the one for Phantom 3. If you are a professional photographer and you can not afford to buy Inspire 1 Pro with Zemuse, your next best option, with no doubt, would be phantom 4.
As a beginner, for sure, this drone is a very good choice for you, the adjustable maximum height and distance can also be set, so that you could practice flying with peace of mind. The phantom 4 is ready for pre-order as of todate (March 3, 2016) and it costs you 1400USD, a bit more expensive than phantom 3, considering the features it is definitely worth the price, but the question is, if you are a professional photographer who already have phantom 3 4k and you live in the area where there is no considerable obstacles that endangers your drone, should you be upgrading to phantom 4?
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