Over the recent years, drone sales have been increasing at breathtaking speeds. Despite the sudden increase in sales and drone prices, very few companies have been able to offer quality upgrades in their respective drones.
Drone technologies powerhouse, DJI, is one of the few drone manufacturers that have been setting the standard when it comes to drone technology and camera picture quality over the years. Once again, DJI did not disappoint with the recently released Phantom 4 Pro. Engineered with a state-of-the-art, 1”20 MP sensor camera, the DJI 4 Pro has the capability of delivering high-quality 4k pictures. Apart from the 1”20 MP sensor camera, the Phantom 4 Pro comes with several other key upgrades. Other notable upgrades include new autonomous modes, performance upgrades, an aggressive and attractive new design, longer maximum flight range, and much more.
Design and Key Features
Revamped Camera System
One of the most notable system upgrades in the DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone is the camera system. The newly upgraded 20 MP camera, delivers high quality images, has a much wider dynamic range and lower light performance, when compared to all of the previous DJI models, thanks to the mechanical shutter, adjustable aperture and the 1”20 MP sensor.
- Mechanical Shutter and Adjustable Aperture
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro has been engineered with a mechanical shutter and an adjustable aperture. Previous DJI models relied mostly on fixed apertures; thus users were mainly forced to adjust to the changing light conditions using the Shutter, ISO and a physical ND Filter that offered no adjustment while flying.
Making these adjustments manually meant that it was not only difficult but also typically impossible to match the shutter speed of the camera to the video frame rate. However, concocted with a variable aperture, the Phantom 4 Pro allows drone lovers to achieve extremely smooth video recording in all lighting conditions. Furthermore, the mechanical shutter will prove useful to users who love aerial photography.
- Innovative 1”20 MP Sensor
Apart from the mechanical shutter, the DJI Phantom Pro now comes with new sensors, which offer obstacle avoidance in four different directions. Initially, the Phantom Pro offered obstacle avoidance in only two directions. Furthermore, the new sensors have a much faster speed, which means the device does not have to switch to sports mode, which automatically disables obstacle avoidance.
An Aggressive and Attractive Design
The newly designed Phantom Pro 4 now comes with a much thinner, aerodynamic body and a glossy plastic frame. The colored bands, which were present in Phantom 3 have not been included in the arms. Instead, the company opted for shiny metals. Instead of using an all-white design, the Phantom 4 Pro has been engineered with a grey plastic belly. Despite the fact that from a distance it is a little bit difficult to tell apart the Phantom 4 Pro from the previous edition, an up and close look will reveal the more attractive and aggressive design of the Phantom 4 Pro. The drone controller has also been slightly changed.
Freshly Designed Carrying Case
The Phantom 4 Pro comes with a freshly designed carrying case; a grey-Styrofoam suitcase. Apart from being compact, the new carrying case is also much durable than that of the Phantom 3, which came with a cardboard Box. Furthermore, the carrying case is waterproof and dustproof, which means the drone, will at all times, be protected from water and dust particles that may cause damage to the device. The foam used in the carrying case is military grade, closed-cell polyethylene, which is not only long lasting but can also be wiped clean.
The Phantom 4 Pro operates at three speeds. When the object avoidance feature is turned on, the drone can achieve a maximum speed of 22 miles per hour. In flight-mode, the drone can reach speeds of 35 miles per hour, while in the new sports mode; the drone can attain speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. For the experienced pilots, then the sports mode will definitely be a real treat because it adds both agility and horsepower into the craft. For individuals who are professional camera operators, the sports mode will allow more dynamic chase shots, especially when shooting races or high-speed stunts.
When compared with its predecessor, the Phantom 4 Pro is more than five times stable, which in turn means that it, has the ability to deliver an incredibly smooth forage. When hovering, the Phantom 4 Pro does not have trouble, holding the same exact position even when there are moderate winds. According to DJI, the extra stability is possible thanks to the additional IMU as well as the sonar sensors and the downward facing cameras that the drone employs in its visual positioning system.
Intelligent Flight Mode
The intelligent flight modes, which were present in Phantom 3; orbit, waypoint navigation, track and follow are all present in the Phantom Pro 4. All these flight modes rely on GPS. Furthermore, the flight modes are much accurate, especially at close range. Due to the new autonomous feature, users are not going to rely on the flight mode for anything else apart from waypoint navigation.
One of the coolest feature and the biggest change in the DJI Phantom 4 Pro is the autonomous feature.
- Tap-Fly is one of the autonomous feature, which allows the users to tap on anywhere on the live feed image and the Phantom 4 Pro is going to fly in that direction. Furthermore, the Phantom Pro will also easily avoid jerky motions and spontaneously ease into turns.
- Auto-Track is another autonomous feature, which has been included in the DJI Phantom 4. The Auto-Track feature allows users to select a subject, and the Phantom 4 Pro will lock on the subject and ensure that they are at the center of the frame at all times. Using a similar vision technology to the one employed in obstacle avoidance, the Phantom 4 Pro builds a 3D model of the environment the target.
Pros and Cons
- Comes with a state-of-the-art camera-The Phantom 4 Pro is engineered with a huge sensor, which has an active range of 11.6 stops. With the huge sensor, the camera is able to easily differentiate between low light and bright light, thereby resulting in outstanding picture quality irrespective of the lighting conditions
- Improved obstacle avoidance feature-Previous Phantom drones did come with the obstacle avoidance features. However, to attain top speeds, the obstacle avoidance feature had to be disabled. The Phantom 4 Pro has been fitted with more sensors to improve its efficiency when avoiding obstacles; thus users do not have to disable the feature to attain top speeds.
- Improved battery life-The batteries can last up to 25 minutes, which is equal and better than similarly sized drones.
- Comes with a remote and an inbuilt display
- Costly-The Phantom 4 Pro costs $1499, which is much higher than the cost of the previous models. However, with the addition of extra features, such as the autonomous features, the slight increase was somehow expected.
- Does not come bundled with the built-in display remote-The remote with the inbuilt display is not available with the 1499$ version, thus to get the remote users have to purchase the Phantom 4 Pro+.
It is evidently clear that the Phantom 4 Pro is much superior to its predecessor, the Phantom 3. (More information about DJI Phantom 3.) Apart from staying longer in the air, the Phantom 4 Pro can easily avoid obstacles, irrespective of the direction, the drone is flying towards and can even take crystal clear photos irrespective of the lighting. The features included in the DJI Phantom 4 Pro are more than enough to meet the needs of any drone lover. Thus, if you have the cash, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro is a great investment.
More Information About DJI Phantom 3