The Phantom 4 looks very similar to the previous generations of the Phantom series. It is slightly thinner and lighter thanks to its magnesium skeleton that provides extra agility and improves performance. It isn’t a beautiful looking drone, but it covers up in terms of the technology it packs!
DJI says the Phantom 4 is one of the most advanced drones they’ve made, and that is absolutely true. The Phantom 4 relies on GPS and GLONASS to locate itself on earth, but it also uses the Visual Positioning System to determine its physical location with respect to its surroundings using four optical and two ultrasonic sensors. In addition, it features an obstacle avoidance system that is a first in the Phantom series. This uses two front facing optical sensors paired with the drone’s computer to stop the drone from crashing when an object appears in its path.
The Phantom 4 is a true filmmaker’s tool. The 12.4 MP camera can shoot 4K video @ 30 fps. It is stabilised by its own 3-axis gimbal. The camera module is essentially borrowed for the DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone. In terms of picture quality, this drone does an excellent job, as visible in the videos linked below. The drone also features a ‘Sport Mode’ (in addition to other pre-programmed flying modes) that allows the drone to capture high quality footage at speeds of upto 72 km/h.
As you can tell, there isn’t a lot going wrong with this drone. Initial reviews of this drone conclude the same. Casey Neistat, popular YouTube vlogger and filmmaker from New York considers this to be one of the best drones out there - visibly evident in his vlogs. I’ve linked two of his videos for you to experience the video quality from the Phantom 4.
Coming to the price: $1399. This is just for the drone and the controller, with no spare batteries or a carrying case. Pretty steep? Yes, but when compared to other drones in the market, the Phantom 4 is an excellent choice even at this price point.
I’m looking forward to get my hands on this for a review, so hit me up of you plan to purchase one (or own one already)! Meanwhile, take a look at the outstanding landscape of South Africa filmed using this drone by Casey Neistat.
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