Phantom 4 Professional
- Smallest Portable Aerial Video Platform ever
- Automatic Collision Avoidance / Object Detection
- Easy to use by anyone (not just hobbyists)
- Live video streaming up to 1km distance
- Excellent flight range (2km) & endurance
- Sensitive to foul weather/rain
- Expensive for a consumer drone
- No Ground Station support (yet)
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Phantom 4: The Most Sophisticated Flying Camera Yet
Designed for high-quality aerial photography and cinematography, the DJI Phantom 4 is the most intelligent, easy-to-operate flying camera drone available for less than $2,000.
Like its successful predecessor, the Phantom 3 Professional, the Phantom 4 is designed for professional high-resolution aerial photography and film making.
The Phantom 4 comes complete with a 4K camera, gimbal, controller and integrated software. It’s ready to shoot, right out of the box.
The new Phantom 4 is also equipped with dual-mode GPS+GLONASS receivers for autopilot redundancy and DJI’s unique vision navigation system, which makes navigating close to the ground and inside buildings a breeze – without the need for GPS.
The Phantom 3 Pro has all that, too – at a lower price.
But the Phantom 4 is a big improvement over the Phantom 3 Pro, in several ways.
NEW for the Phantom 4: Obstacle Detection and Collision Avoidance
The biggest breakthrough for the Phantom 4 is its inclusion of a new Optical Sensor unit and real-time 3D vision system that makes it capable of automatically detecting and avoiding obstacles while in flight.
If the drone detects an object in its path, it will either full brake or automatically plot a course around the object, if it can.
Obstacle detection and collision avoidance provide an entirely new level of safety and convenience for the operator, and it makes planning and navigating a shot simpler and darn near foolproof.
To do this, the Phantom 4 uses 2 forward-looking and 2 downward-looking optical sensors to detect objects up to 50 feet in front of and 30 feet beneath the platform. The vision is stereoscopic, which means the Phantom 4 sees in 3D.
We haven’t seen the new feature in the wild, but simply the addition of the hardware means the Phantom 4 leads the pack in this really important feature.
Hopefully, it will also result in fewer crashes and props!
Two More Advanced Flight Modes
The other notable upgrades are the two new advanced camera and flight automation modes, Active Track and TapFly, which makes professional-quality film making even easier.
With the recent introduction of new DJI controller software, all Phantom and Inspire models are now equipped with the following advanced camera modes:
- Follow Me
- Point of Interest
- GPS Waypoints
- Course Lock
- Home Lock (return to home)
With the Phantom 4, however, professional film makers get two more advanced flight/camera modes, ActiveTrack and TapFly, that simplify the planning and execution of high-quality, interesting and dramatic shots. Both rely on the new Optical Sensors to make sense of the surroundings.
Tap on any object in the camera’s Live View, and the camera will follow it.
The vision system automatically detects multiple objects as it flies, so all you need to do is select one.
Tap on any location in the Live View, and the Phantom 4 will fly there.
If there’s an obstacle in the way, it will fly around it – automatically.
Performance has been upgraded, as well.
Compared with the Phantom 3 Pro, the Phantom 4 flies a few minutes longer (28 mins vs 23), is faster (45 mph!) and weighs slightly more, so it’s a bit more stable underway.
The props have a new quick-release feature that simplifies repairs and packing.
The motors have been upgraded, too. According to DJI, they are more efficient and operate more smoothly.
The battery is also smaller, more powerful and easier to swap out.
On its already excellent flight controller, DJI has swapped-out the Playback button for a new Intelligent Flight Pause button. It also offers 2 programmable buttons.
The Return Home function is also improved, because now the Phantom 4 can automatically navigate around obstacles on its way back to you.
The Phantom 4 controller comes with a new Sport mode button which boosts power temporarily to add a kick in speed.
As in prior models, just connect your phone or tablet (iOS or Android) to the USB port on the controller and you’re ready to film.
The Phantom 4 streams live video direct to your device in 720p from a distance of up to 1.2 miles. And your phone will charge while connected to the controller.
DJI Go App
The DJI Go App runs on your phone or tablet, allowing you to see and control everything through one screen. Some of the key features include:
- a live scrolling map that provides real-time awareness of your location and surroundings
- control the camera position
- control your flight settings and direction
- view live flight telemetry including altitude, speed and direction
- view your flight log
- edit, publish and share video – straight from your phone or tablet.
DJI Video Editor
Using the DJI Video Editor app on your smartphone or tablet, you can create professional-looking movies in minutes.
Hands-On Review by Norman Chan of Tested
In this 14-minute walk through video, Norman Chan goes deep into the real-world capabilities of the Phantom 4 and its new collision avoidance and flight modes.
Overall, the Phantom 4 is the most advanced ready-to-fly camera drone available anywhere, for anything close to this price.
It’s the perfect camera drone for professional real estate marketers, film makers, aerial photographers and others who need super-crisp footage but don’t want to waste time planning – and missing – the shot.
- Accepts any size phone or tablet for FPV video display
- Included 4K Video / 24 Megapixel Photo Camera
- Integrated 3-Axis Stabilization Gimbal
- Easy to Fly, Intelligent Flight System
- Live HD View
- Dedicated Remote Controller
- DJIGo Mobile App w/ Auto Video Editor
- GPS-free Positioning for Indoor Flight
- 28 min flight time
- 45 miles per hour top speed
- 2 km range
- 1-year warranty
- 24/7 technical support
Features We Like
- Small size makes it an easy traveler.
- Built-in 4K camera with no Fish-eye effect
- 3-Axis gimbal provides pixel-grade stabilized video
- DJI Pilot App lets you operate the camera, tap to focus the shot and view live streaming
- Built-in Obstacle Detection and Collision Avoidance
- Tap-to-Fly and Tap-to-Follow camera modes
- Fail-Safe mode brings the drone home on low-battery alert
- Can be operated indoors without GPS
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