DJI is a Shenzhen-based drone manufacturer founded 2006. Its latest product Phantom 5 is all set for its September release. As per the sources and the forum experts, Phantom 5 is going to be the best-seller drone.
DJI drones are followed, admired, and used by thousands of fans, so it is it not surprising to see the hype about Phantom 5 rumors and leaks.
Without much ado, let’s jump straight to the business and see what exactly DJI Phantom 5 has to offer and what the fans can expect
The internet is filled with rumors about the specifications and release date of the Phantom 5. Although nothing can be confirmed but few trusted sources have informed us about the possible changes that DJI is about to introduce in the latest version of its Phantom devices. Everything you read below is speculations from the drone market along with some of our ideas and thoughts.
DJI released its Spark drone about a few months ago. With that, now the only thing question that every drone enthusiast has its eye on is the DJI Phantom 5. Sources have said that there is some trouble with the production of the drone. The release date is expected to be somewhere around spring 2018.
The DJI Phantom 5 is expected to have a retractable landing gear. It will have the ability to follow any object or individual automatically. It would keep the GPS system as in the previous versions but will not be completely dependent on it. DJI is set to introduce a new battery power system that will heat the batteries automatically if the drone is flying in cold conditions. The camera has also been upgraded from the previous versions to allow even greater image capture quality. The top speed has improved by a few percentages. To automate the flying experience, it comes with an auto take off and auto-returning feature.
The Phantom 4 Advance made flying a drone look like a child’s play and the Phantom 5 would be no different. DJI is set to smoothen the entire process of flying a drone with new features that detect obstacles from up to sixteen feet. Its flawless design makes it perfect for beginners to try their hands. They would be needing deep pockets for this though.
- Flight time: 25 minutes
- Maximum flight speed: 45 mph
- Retractable landing gear
- Battery: 1.4 Lithium Polymer
- Camera: Yes, 22MP
- 4K Video recording
- GPS: Yes
- Obstacle Detection: Yes, 5 direction vision system allows Phantom 5 to perceive obstacles 16 feet ahead.
- Auto-tracking System: Yes
- Transmitting Bands – 2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz
- Gesture mode: Yes
- A brand-new Companion App to instantly display photos by connecting to your smartphone/laptop/tablet.
- Easy to carry
- Improved Stability compared to previous versions
- Awesome footage quality
- Dual Compass Mode, Visual Navigation Mode
- An auto-tracking feature that targets an object to follow.
- Built-in software that helps you to edit music and text into your videos.
- Autonomy mode provides a great amount of safety
- Crashes around trees. It can go out of control if it brushes against a tree branch.
- Sports mode can turn out to be dangerous
DJI Phandom 5 : Packaging
When you open the box for the Phantom 5, this is what you should expect.
- Phantom 5 drone
- Remote Transmitter
- Battery for the drone
- Landing Gear
DJI Phandom 5 : Design
In the 5th quadcopter of the Phantom series, we can’t really expect DJI to come up with something revolutionary. The shape and architecture of the quadcopter would remain the same. There has been a discussion of adding a retractable landing gear for quite some time on various forums but it doesn’t really have much of an advantage. From the production point of view, adding a retractable landing gear would increase the weight of the quadcopter and also add to the complexity of the aircraft. Also, it would mean an increase in the price of the drone and lower its total flight time. This design would have enabled the camera to rotate 360 degrees freely without the need of the skids. DJI has kept this feature reserved for its Inspire series. We expect the 5th version of the Phantom series to have a kind of propellers that provide fast deployment and easy transportation.
DJI Phandom 5: Price and Version
With the introduction of the Inspire-2, the price of the Phantom quadcopters has moved slightly upwards but so have the specifications. The earlier versions of the Phantom drones have been replaced by the Mavic series in the under $1000 category.
The trend that started with Phantom 3 could be replicated here as well. We are bound to see more than one version of the Phantom 5 (Advanced, Pro, SE, Plus, 4k, Standard). Although there is a possibility that DJI may ditch this trend and present a full-fledged flagship quadcopter, as they did with the Phantom 4. If the speculations are to be believed, the Phantom 5 might cost around USD 1,200-1,500 for the flagship version. The other variants of the phone such as the Standard or the Advanced should be available for USD 1100 – 1300.
DJI Phandom 5 : Camera
The knockout punch of the Phantom 4 Pro was the introduction of the large 1-inch sensor in comparison to the previous versions that had tiny sensors. This has lead to a considerable improvement in the image quality and allowed a higher usable ISO and a better dynamic range. The camera captures images at 20MP. It can capture 60 fps (frame per second) in 4K. If you look at GoPro 5, it captures 4K videos at 30 fps.
The specifications look extremely good on paper but the Phantom has to deliver quite a bit more. It is quite unlikely that they would go higher than 60 fps 4K video. It would require a hell lot more of processing power. Speculations have also risen about the Phantom 5 having a 5.2K video recording at 30 fps which would make it quite similar to DJI’s Inspire 2. It is also possible that the video bit rate might be increased to 150 Mbps.
What would make for a great innovation would be a 2-3x built-in optical zoom. DJI is already providing this camera feature in its Inspire series and also the Z3 with 22-77mm focal range. The camera of the Z3 has a small sensor which makes the design of the lens smaller. If DJI wants to provide the ‘zoom’ option, then it would need a larger lens and a bigger gimbal would be required to handle the subsequent load. It would definitely impact the flight time of the drone. DJI can make a compromise by introducing a moderate amount of zoom amounting to about 24-50 mm in range. One possible solution would be to partially use the area of the sensor to provide a zoom option based on the sensor crop. Taking a leaf out of the Panasonic GH5, the DJI would offer a 10-bits mode. But this feature would make it a competitor to DJI’s own Inspire 2.
When it comes to stills, the Phantom 5 would be quite similar to Phantom 4. 20MP camera could be upgraded to 24 MP for a better marketing but the resolution that the Phantom is currently offering is more than sufficient for that particular type of sensor. A high pixel density leads to a decrease in the ISO performance.
DJI Phandom 5 : Speed & Flight Time
The Phantom 4 saw the introduction of the Sports mode. This allowed the drone to tilt at a higher angle and obtain a max speed of 45 mph. It is expected that DJI would improve upon the speed in the upcoming version but it would only be by a few percentages and nothing major is expected here. The design of the drone leads to a compromise between endurance and performance. DJI needs to add different types of motors for a faster speed. Also, different propellers need to be added to the same. Larger propellers are needed for a longer flight time. This would make the drone bigger and the responsiveness and agility would be reduced. The Phantom hovers in the air for almost 20-25 minutes. Nothing major is expected in this segment unless DJI changes the entire design of its product.
DJI Phandom 5 : Battery
This has been one area which concerns the users the most. They keep wondering how many spare batteries they need to carry to enjoy a good time in the park flying their drone and not waste the time in recharging it. The Phantom 2 brought the intelligent battery but DJI priced it higher than normal.DJI has been applying the same business model for other Phantom drones as well. In each generation, a new battery was introduced that was incompatible with the previous versions of the drones. This trend would be followed in the DJI Phantom 5. Unfortunately, the battery sector has not witnessed any major breakthrough in the past few years and we are likely to stick with lithium-powered batteries. If the flight time has to be increased, it will possibly come via a larger battery or a change in the design of the quadcopter.
DJI Phantom 5 : Remote Control with an LCD Screen
You can control the drone via this feature and easily navigate it along various paths. You can see the drone feed no matter where the drone is flying. You can analyze the surroundings to enable you to drive more safely.
There are other uses of the remote control as well. You can switch between different flight modes available and also control the speed of the flight.
DJI Phantom 5 :Transmitter
The present digital link technology has been doing an amazing job and providing a considerable amount of range. In Phantom 4, the video streaming was restricted to 720p. So, we can expect it to be improved to 1080p which is present in the Inspire 2 and Lightbridge 2. It is expected that the Phantom 5 will ameliorate the resistance to interference and also address the latency. Similar to the Phantom 4 Pro, the Phantom 5 is expected to have 2 transmitting bands – 5.8 GHz and 2.4 GHz.
DJI Phantom 5 : Anti-Collision
The anti-collision features are expected to be enhanced in the Phantom 5. 360-degree obstacle avoidance was already a party of the Phantom 4 Pro and should be present in the latest quadcopter as well. DJI might borrow the upward sensor from the Inspire 2 and add it to the Phantom 5.
DJI Phantom 5 : Pilot Camera
To facilitate dual operator’s flight, the Inspire 2 saw the introduction of a secondary camera. The low-resolution camera can be used by the pilot to fly while the high-resolution camera could control the gimbal.
DJI Phantom 5 : Tracking System
This feature shows the seriousness of this quadcopter. It is not just for fun but for any thoughtful activity you might want to perform. Contrary to most devices available on the market, this drone does not rely on the GPS system for tracking and can be used in fields such as surveillance.
You can pick an object you want to follow and the quadcopter will obey your command.
DJI Phantom 5 : Flight Modes
Using the Controller, you can select the different flight modes that are available with the Phantom 5. The three most relevant flight modes are –
- Sports Mode
- Take off
- Tap to Fly
If you love taking your drone for a rough ride, then the sports mode is for you. You feel authentic while gaining full control of the quadcopter. This is a manual mode that allows you to control all the minor details of flying. If you want to explore how everything works, this mode is a good option for you. But again some amount of experience of flying the Phantom 5 before you switch to this mode.
The Tap-to-Fly mode is akin to an autopilot system. You don’t need to do anything except for tapping the controller twice to initiate the set off from the original spot. Everything else is done automatically.
The previous model of the Phantom series, the Phantom 4 Pro is a great buy if you are looking for a quadcopter that has an outstanding range with a great flight time. It provides you a lot of flight modes with a camera that is hard to beat (20MP). It has an excellent obstacle avoidance system that works in 5-directions. It builds upon the original Phantom 4’s electronic components, design attributes, and features.
The most remarkable feature of the Phantom 4 Pro is the battery that provides a flight time of close to half an hour in optimal conditions. It has been tested several times and the results have been impressive. The battery takes about 1.5 hours to be charged up to 100 percent. The top speed you can achieve is 45 mph. It may not be the fastest drone available on the market, but it sure is quick enough to excite you. The Phantom 4 Pro provides you different modes such as the Tripod Mode, Terrain Follow, and other Active Track abilities. In case you can’t wait for the Phantom 5 to release, you can go ahead and purchase this quadcopter from the same manufacturer.
This model is quite similar to the Phantom 4 Pro with one addition. The controller has a touchscreen display that is built-in. The downside is that you will have to shell out an additional 300 dollars if you want to get your hands on this technology. You need not connect your phone to the controller via a cable. You don’t need to worry about your smartphone’s battery or be interrupted by a text or a call when your flight is in motion.
The GoPro Karma captures quite smooth footages while hovering. The quadcopter fights easily into its lightweight case which you can take anywhere you want. All you need to do is attach the propellers before the flight and you are ready to go. It is quite simple for first-time flyers and provides a high-quality display that is touch enabled. The GPS has a follow me option. The GoPro Karma with Harness for HERO5 is a great alternative. The downsides of this drone are its flight time (20 minutes only) and it’s flight range which is only 3km. But the portability and fun experience while flying give it an advantage over other drones.
How it Works
The Phantom 5 is being built keeping in mind that the idea is to increase the comfort of flying. A lot of boxes have been ticked to provide this experience. The start-up noise of the motor that seemed offensive in the previous versions has been discarded and replaced with a more pleasing tone.
If you are using the drone for the very first time, you must calibrate the IMU. You have a readable IMU status that handles the diagnostics of the advanced settings. You can adjust the controls according to your liking to get the maximum out of the drone.
This drone has 2 separate IMUs and also 2 different compasses. The reason behind this addition is to provide more control and extra stability to the drone. This drone provides a ‘Visual Navigation’ feature which is offered in the ‘P’ mode.
Some might complain that this feature has done more harm than good as it reduces the fun experience one has during flying. The feature is quite efficient and makes the drone follow your every move. But the Phantom 5 has countered it with the Sports Mode.
The previous flight mode has been replaced with the ‘Sports Mode’. This gives you full control of the device along with a 10 mph extra speed compared to the other modes. This is due to the fact that new motors have been installed. These motors are more powerful than the previous ones. You can reach a speed up to 55 mph. You might want to try your luck in drone racing with the FPV kit that is installed in it.
The Active Tracking system is a huge addition to this drone. It allows you to follow moving targets automatically. You can have the drone follow you as well. The feature is not flawless as it seems though. For this feature to work, the vision sensors must be turned on. It will try its best to avoid everything that comes along in its way.
Once the target is lost in the Active Tracking mode, the drone stops in its path and starts hovering about its place. The Tap to Fly Mode gives you the liberty to focus on controlling the camera and not the drone. The single tap can be used to avoid the obstacles automatically. This feature lets you take better shots as compared to the manual mode.
DJI Phantom 5 will prove to be one of the most sophisticated and advanced quadcopters of 2018. These rumors may not turn out to be a 100 percent true but we hope some of them really do. DJI has always been innovative with its products and Phantom 5 would be no different. It keeps coming up with new ideas that baffle everyone. The Spark and Mavic models came as a surprise to many users and disrupted the market strategy.
The Phantom 5 might be a joy to play with but it comes with its own set of limitations. The problem remains that the drones are unable to identify twigs and leaves of trees as obstacles and as a result crash into them. This isn’t fatal for your drone but surely is a hole that needs to be filled.
The Phantom 5 will have a longer flight time, better camera, longer range, and gesture control. It would be great if the device could be waterproof but that might be difficult to achieve.
The Phantom series has always been much talked about and only time will tell if Phantom 5 can stand up to its expectations. The release date is yet unknown but it would be worth the wait.