Drones

DJI Phantom 4 Review

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Visionary Intelligence, Elevated Imagination

DJI Phantom 4 is the latest in their camera drone series, equipped with computer vision and completely autonomous capabilities.

Summary

With its autonomous features, the Phantom 4 is a fine choice for those who are looking forward to buy their very first drone. As to professionals, the drone provides a more robust set of technologies than crafts such as the high end Inspire 1.

Our Score:
Amazon1
Pros
• Excellent autonomous features
• Powerful and reliable flight
• Remarkable camera/connectivity
Cons
• Very expensive
• Comes with a single battery
• Limited avoiding of obstacles

DJI Phantom 4 Design and Features

The new DJI Phantom 4 sports a sleek aerodynamic body built into a glossy frame, made of durable plastic. The exposed motors are cast in shiny metal. The whole thing has an attractive and aggressive design. The controller too has a glossy look to match the shiny drone. The assembly remains basically the same as the previous versions, with the difference that the rotors boast of a new locking mechanism. The connection is stronger so that the drone won’t fly off when in the ‘sports mode.’ Besides it is stronger and faster now with a bigger battery to provide extra power.

The intelligent flight modes present in the  earlier version are all there, such as orbit, waypoint navigation, track and follow, all relying on GPS. Since the Phantom has new autonomous features available, you don’t need to rely much on these, except for waypoint navigation.

DJI Phantom 4 (1)

The TapFly

The finest new feature is the ‘TapFly’ mode. With this, the pilot has a live feed direct from the main camera of the drone to your mobile device’s screen. By tapping any point on that image, the DJI Phantom 4 will turn to fly in the necessary direction. While making turns, the drone eases automatically into them, without any jerky motion that is often the case when flying manually.

DJI Phantom 4 (2)

AutoTrack

AutoTrack is the other important autonomous feature. You can select any subject whether it is a car, bike or person and the Phantom will lock itself on to it and maintain them in the frame center. To do so, it makes use of the computer vision technology used in obstacle avoidance, except that in this mode it creates a 3D model of not only the immediate environment, but the target you want tracked as well.

DJI Phantom 4 (3)

Performance

DJI Phantom 4 operates in three speeds. There is an ‘avoid object’ setting and if it is turned on, it reaches a speed of around 22 mph. In the normal ‘flight mode’ it glides away at 35 mph, but in the latest ‘sport mode,’ this drone flies at an astounding 45 mph. If you are an experienced pilot, the sport mode can be a great treat for you, as it adds considerable agility and horsepower to this craft. And as to professional camera enthusiasts, the sport mode will offer them enhanced dynamic chase shots, when they are filming races or high speed stunts.

The Phantom 4 has its limitations too. The ‘obstacle avoid’ mode works only in one direction. Actually the sensors’ have only a field of view amounting to 60 degrees and this means that it can turn only at an approximately 30 degree angle, while keeping on moving forward. To make a tight turn or a U-turn, it is necessary for you to make use of the “return to home” mode.

DJI Phantom 4 (5)

Verdict

With its autonomous features, the Phantom 4 is a fine choice for those who are looking forward to buy their very first drone. As to professionals, the drone provides a more robust set of technologies than crafts such as the high end Inspire 1.

Official: DJI

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