DJI’S Phantom line of consumer drones is the 800-pound giant of the industry. Now the company’s latest flying machine, the Phantom 4 Pro, looks like it’s assured to be the new king of the drone market. The drone has some fantastic automated camera functions and robust controls.
The Phantom 4 Pro‘s body is identical to the standard Phantom 4. It’s a white quadcopter with sleek lines and a glossy finish. The Pro’s packaging doubles as a carrying case. It’s compact and certainly a practical packing solution if you usually work out of a vehicle. But it only comes with a small handle for carrying.
The onboard camera features a 1-inch 20-megapixel CMOS sensor. A custom made lens of eight elements is organised in seven groups. The camera has a mechanical passage that discards rolling shutter distortion that can occur while capturing images of fast moving objects or while flying at a high speed. The 20MP sensor in the Phantom 4 Pro is almost four times the size of the Phantom 4’s sensor.
High Resolution Lens.
The Phantom 4 Pro camera comes with an aerial-optimized f/2.8 wide-angle lens with a 24 mm equivalent focal length. It consists of eight elements arranged in seven groups that fit into more compact frame. Its images are consistently detailed with low distortion and dispersion. It makes sure that the photos and videos are sharp and vivid.
Lightbridge HD Video Link.
The Lightbridge HD video transmission system uses TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) to transmit signals. This allows it to send controller signals and receive video transmission signals at the same frequency. When switched on, the Phantom 4 assess local signal levels, automatically chooses the transmission frequency with the lowest level of interference. This will allow a maximum range of 4.3 miles for video transmission.
Intelligent Flight Modes.
Using the Draw mode, you can draw a route on screen and the Pro will move in that direction while keeping its altitude locked. This will allow you to focus on camera control and allows you to take more complex shots. There are two different Draw modes that can be used, namely: Standard and Free mode.
In Standard mode, the aircraft simply tracks the route at a persistant speed with the camera facing in the direction of flight and the Free mode in which the aircraft only moves along the route when instructed. In this mode, the camera can face in any direction during a flight.
Using TapFly, you can fly in any direction which is visible on the screen with just a tap. Tap anywhere on-screen to smoothly adjust the direction of flight. You will automatically be able to avoid hurdles and tap the screen again. Or you can use control sticks to change direction. There is an AR route function which shows you the aircraft’s real-time flight direction. TapFly Free mode will allow you to decide the direction of flight. This will allow them to turn the Pro or tilt the gimbal as required without changing the direction of flight. It can be difficult to control altitude, speed and camera simultaneously using joysticks.
There are three TapFly modes: Forward, Backward and Free.
- Forward is used to fly in the selected direction
- Backward is to fly in the opposite direction of the tap.
- Free mode fixes the forward direction of the Phantom without locking the camera direction. This will allow it to turn as it flies.
Return to Home.
Using this mode, Pro can automatically choose the route most suitable to return home depending on environmental conditions. It records its route as it flies, allowing it to return along the same route avoiding obstacles if the control signal is disconnected. The Phantom 4 Pro is also able to adjust its flight path to avoid obstacles it has seen during its flight based on its altitude at the time of disconnection. At takeoff, the Phantom 4 Pro will simply record the path and compare its recording with what it sees, for a more precise landing.
Using Gesture Mode, you can capture selfies using a few gestures without the remote controller. The subject simply lifts their arms when facing the camera and the aircraft will recognize this movement and place the subject in the center of the frame. When ready to get clicked, the subject holds their arms out giving a signal to the aircraft. A three second countdown will then begin which will give you time to strike a pose and allow moments to be captured without the remote control.
Flight Control System.
Features like TapFly, ActiveTrack, obstacle sensing and positioning are available in Position Mode. The Sport Mode adds extra agility and higher speed, reaching 45 mph. You can switch off satellite stabilization and holds the Pro’s altitude using Altitude Mode. This mode is suitable for experienced pilots looking to capture smoother footage. Tripod Mode limits speed to 4 mph and provides precision control for fine framing and indoor flying. The infrared sensing system and vision sensors are permitted in these modes for a safer flight experience.
Intelligent Battery System.
The Phantom 4 Pro features a maximum flight time of 30 minutes. The DJI GO app shows the battery life. It calculates remaining flight times according to distance traveled. It will give alerts when it reaches a minimum safe amount of charge. An advanced battery management system is also there to prevent overcharging and over draining.
Great camera features, easy-to-master flight controls and upgrades on the previous generation prove that DJI knows where it’s going with this drone. The Phantom 4 Pro is a no-brainer if you’re crazy about drone photography. The Phantom 4 Pro is available for $3,000.