DJI Phantom Quadcopter Drones

DJI Phantom Drone Quadcopter Sale

Best Drone For Aerial Photography And Video DJI PHANTOM

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A universal drone for all occasions

Experienced drone customers gives their opinions

"To sum it up I would have to say that this is an amazing piece of hardware that you could spend hours learning to fully use, or not based on how you plan to use it. For a professional photographer, there are simply some amazing things you can do with this that are very difficult to pull off with a quad that is less automated."

"This machine will do the things I have learned to do over time manually, and pull it off with ease and polish given you understand the setup and limits of the hardware. The quality, the features, an easy sell for this price range."

"If I had anything negative to say about it- it would be that it seems like there are just a ton of updates every time I go to power this thing on, and it appears that it will not fly until everything is updated and checks out - though I get that it's for safety sake."


Best price phanton 4 drone

DJI PHANTOM 4

OK, so drones aren't exactly anything new, and DJI - drone extraordinaire - has been busily churning them out with little obvious to distinguish between each iteration (other than pro-targeted hardware upgrades).

However, its latest, the Phantom 4, looks set to help the company up its game in this burgeoning tech market. DJI is calling the new drone its "sexiest ever", and though it can't match the 3D Robotics Smart Drone (winner of T3's group test in issue 250) for sheer presence, it certainly looks like the company's smoothest effort yet.

But don't let those mild-mannered looks deceive you - this is a seriously intelligent drone. An Obstacle Sensing System stops it from bumping into anything it might happen upon in the skies, whether that's under your control or in its automated return-to-home mode.

Nifty for sure, but the killer feature is Active Track, which enables you to film a moving object without lifting a finger. Well, almost. Just tap on the subject in frame with the smartphone app. and as soon as it moves. Phantom 4 will automatically track it hovering nearby at an angle of your choice. That's Hexo+/Lily-busting tech, if you can afford it!

Simply the BEST drone....ever!

DJI does it again bringing a smarter, better drone

DJI 4 Phantom unboxing

The perfect drone quadcopter for work and play just got better!

RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICE (RRP): $2,399.00

PHOTO/VIDEO CAMERA: 12MP, 4K, 3-axis gimbal; 4K/30fps HD, 1080p/120fps slow motion

WEIGHT (WITH BATTERY): 1380g

BATTERY TYPE: 5350mAh LiPo

FLIGHT TIME: Up to 28 minutes

DIMENSIONS: 196 x 289.5 x 289.5mm



DJI drone review

"Simon Dale on the best drone for aerial photography: The Phantom 4 is a fantastic piece of engineering.

It may lack the slightly more colorful flair of it's predecessors, but the Phantom 4 is still one cool piece of kit!"

Simon Dale, First Person Review


Read Simon Dale's full review on the NEW Phantom 4 drone "here"


DJI Phantom 4 features

If you're looking for the best drone for aerial photography, DJI delivers in all areas. Check out this drones feature list!

The future is in your hands with these advanced features...

Phantom DJI drone belly
  • Collision avoidance: The DJI avoids obstacles automatically.

  • Track moving subjects automatically using ActiveTrack.

  • TapFly lets you fly the DJI drone with a tap of the finger.

  • Smart Return Home allows the Phantom to avoid obstacles as it returns home.

  • 28 minute maximum flight time, maximum control range of 3.1mi (5km).

  • Maximum speed of 44mph (72kmh) in still conditions.

  • Integrated gimbal for greater camera stability and smoother footage.

  • Optimized Vision Positioning System raises positioning altitude up to 10 meters.

  • Improved body covering and polished finish increase aerodynamic flight performance.


A universal drone for all occasions

Experienced drone customers gives their opinions

DJI Phantom-4 camera

"To sum it up I would have to say that this is an amazing piece of hardware that you could spend hours learning to fully use, or not based on how you plan to use it. For a professional photographer, there are simply some amazing things you can do with this that are very difficult to pull off with a quad that is less automated."

"This machine will do the things I have learned to do over time manually, and pull it off with ease and polish given you understand the setup and limits of the hardware. The quality, the features, an easy sell for this price range."

"If I had anything negative to say about it- it would be that it seems like there are just a ton of updates every time I go to power this thing on, and it appears that it will not fly until everything is updated and checks out - though I get that it's for safety sake."


Your own personal film crew!

Read on your smartphone, tablet, or computer

DJI Phantom-4 follow mode

How many times have you been in a situation where you say - "I wish someone could have seen that...." or... "I wish there was someone to film me..." Well now you can do it all by yourself. You can also set the drone to slowly circle around a subject for low speed sports. Compatible with your smartphone or tablet, there is a minor learning curve because of the many features included.

Track and film subject "fully automatically"

DJI have included AutoTrack capability into the Phantom 4 drone - simple set and forget for 28mins of full throttle - extreme activity fun.


IMPROVEMENTS: Phantom DJI 3 Versus Phantom DJI 4


OTHER FLIGHT MODES

Phantom 4 retains flight modes from previous versions that are now standard, including:

DJI Phantom-4 bundle
  • Waypoints (plot a course and fly it automatically)

  • Point Of Interest (Orbit)

  • Follow Me

  • Home Lock

  • Course Lock


Phantom 4 Drone Review

We take to the skies with DJI's most advanced drone yet...

One of the first things we noticed when the Phantom 4 arrived on our doorstep was that the packaging certainly wouldn't be out of place in an Apple store - perhaps no coincidence given DJI's recent collaboration with the tech giant. It's plain white with a high resolution gloss print over half of the product with the words 'Phantom 4' and 'DJI'. Tt's premium and minimalistic, and something straight out of the Cupertino handbook.

Inside the cardboard sleeve there's a grey foam chest, with a locking mechanism and a handle on the top. Whilst it's a serious step up from the egg box style of packaging seen in previous models, it's unclear what the purpose of this is. The foam doesn't seem like it will last long out in the field, but it seems too good to just throw away. It's possible that DJI will release an outer shell or backpack and that this foam chest will slot into it at some point in the future. If not, some enterprising eBay seller will be peddling such a thing before long.

Open the foam chest and you'll find the Phantom 4 itself and the transmitter, charger, two USB cables, the quick start manual pack and a black fabric sleeve with eight shiny propellers inside - and we mean literally shiny, just like the Phantom's body.

The new Phantom charger could also have been designed by Apple's own Jony Ive. It's all white with a small DJI logo indented on one face. As before, the charger has outputs for both the transmitter and Phantom battery. It's out with the two-pin connector of previous models and in wit h a new SCART-like ten-pin connector for the battery.

FIRMWARE UPDATES

After you've charged the batteries and powered up, the first thing the DJI Go app will ask you to do is update the firmware. Thankfully the update process has changed on the Phantom 4. On previous models an upgrade involved downloading the latest file from DJI's website to your PC, putting it on to a Micro SD card and then turning it on. If you had done everything correctly (including deleting any evidence of previous attempts from the card) then the Phantom would start beeping loudly. This would continue for up to an hour and, once complete, the beeping would change slightly.

Understandably some users bailed out early and removed the batLery causing all sorts of problems. As often as not the result was even louder beeping from upset ESCs and not much else. With the Phantom 4 a USB-A to Micro USB adaptor is supplied and the DJI Go app guides you to plug your phone directly into the Phantom 4 to do an upgrade.

There's no loud beeping and the screen keeps you up to date with what's going on and how long it's likely to be. There's no need to have a Micro SD card reader or a computer at all for that matter. It's certainly an improvement and seems less prone to problems - and even the beeping that the Phantom 4 does emit is much more pleasant, with a nice echo effect to it.

THE WAITING GAME

As with the Phantom 3 and the Inspire 1, the Phantom 4 won't let you start the motors until you've activated it through the app which involves registering your email address and a password with DJI. It's painless enough and once it's complete you're ready to fly. Or perhaps not.

For our first test we walked to our favourite flying spot, powered on the Phantom 4 and itsaid "Firmware update required". Having been happy indoors only a few minutes before it now insisted on updating the firmware of the RC controller. The device we were using had no SIM card so we activated the Wi-Fi hotspot on our phone and began the download - while doing jumping jacks and running on the spot to keep warm! The download finished after five minutes or so, but then it had to install it. Another fifty jumping jacks! Now we must be ready... But no. DJI Go flashed a red warning: 'TMU Calibration Required", and the app was honest enough to tell us that it woul d take five more minutes. Time to retreat back indoors, much to the disgust of our 'hare' (otherwise known as the colleague we intended to have the Phantom chase around the park!).


The Best Phantom DJI 4 Review On YouTube

A few minutes later we were back, and thankfully the battery still had some charge left in it, so we pulled the sticks to the bottom-middle CSC position and launched. The Phantom 4 took off easily enough and held its altitude perfectly, as we've come to expect from all things DJI. It drifted offslightly to the left at first (the wind was from the right) but that was short-lived and the Phantom was as solid as a rock throughout the rest of the test. Now it was time to truly test its mettle!

TESTING TIMES

We started off with a few exciting manoeuvres to see how it behaves. However, leaning hard forward on the right stick did virtually nothing; full forward and the drone gingerly moved off at walking pace - literally (we walked under it to demonstrate!). It made a Phantom 3 look like FPV champ Luke Bannister's mean machine!

We decided to change tack and tried some of the Phantom's new tricks, starting with the front obstacle avoidance sensors. Our aforementioned colleague stood in front of the Phantom and we pushed forward on the sticks. As we closed in on our target, red indicators popped up on screen, there was a little beep but nothing else... No movement. Huzzah! That was impressive. The Phantom didn't attempt to go around the obstacle but we later discovered that that behaviour, along with 'backwards flying', must be activated discretely. RTFM you might say.

ActiveTrack was next on the list of new features worth checking out. Simply put, if you draw a square around a person on the screen, the Phantom 4 will follow them. It wasn't as straight forward as we'd expectcd but once activated in the menu system a wizard guides you through the process and, sure enough, Mr Hare was selected. Off he ran and the Phantom began to slowly follow, albeit at a tortoise's pace.

It's certainly possible to throw the Phantom off the scent by bolting out of frame, but actually it's really impressive. It tracked our subject when he faccd forward, sideways, backwards and even made a good attempt when he was mostly hidden behind us. All that was lacking really was an on-board BB gun and a red button!

That said, it will take a brave person to set off along a tree-lined bicycle track with the Phantom 4 following them. It's a lot of money to have up in the air, making its own decisions. Who's to say it won't follow someone else home? Or attempt to marry a tree. Or form an alliance with other Phantoms and begin plotting against us.

SLOW AND STEADY

TapFly was up next. The premise for this is simple: Forget the sticks and just point to the desired location on the screen and the Phantom will fly there. This shouldn't be confused with setting a waypoint on a map and getting the Phantom to head out to it, which even the Phantom 2 Vision Plus could do. With TapFly the Phantom works out the coordinates you desire just from where you click on the live video image from the 4K camera, and off it goes.

Our test unit was still impersonating a flying tortoise so it would have been quicker to carry it there, but it definitely worked. Quite whether it had understood that we wanted it to stop this side ofsome trees, rather than unintentionally testing the Obstacle Sensing System again, was unclear because we bottled out and pressed the new "Pause" button on the Phantom's controller when it started to look risky - which should prove a very handy function whenever other potential dangers arise.

Phanton 4 App Display

To give the Phantom 4 a chance to redeem itself in the speed department we removed the warning sticker and flickcd the flight mode switch to "Sport". A message popped up on screen asking us to activate "Multiple Flight Modes" which we did and then, lo and behold... nothing. Exactly the same sedate behaviour as before. This might be great for beginners but it was a poor second to watching paint dry in the excitement department.

Return To Home worked roughly as expected, although the default setting seemed to take it extremely high (but that is customisable in the Go app). The Phantom 4 came down with its characteristic thump on RTH and we used the new left-stick-to bottom-left-corner command to stop the motors and called it a day. We're happy to report that no trees, animals or review units were harmed in the making of this article.

EYES ON THE PRIZE

The Civil Aviation Authority has told us that, as the Phantom 4's collision avoidance technology has not been tested and approved by them, or any other regulator, operators will still have to stick to the visual line of sight rule mentioned in the previous article - especially with regard to avoiding collisions with other aircraft. Until a sense and avoid capability is fully certified by safety regulators the only way to ensure separation between a drone and another aircraft for the foreseeable future is for users to stick to line of sight.

FINAL VERDICT

The Phantom 4 is a fantastic piece of engineering. The build quality is second to none; the packaging, the accessories, the app: the whole experience is premium.

DJI has developed featuresthat push the envelope and in many ways beggar belief. Whether those new clever features can be used practically, safely or legally is another matter. We suspect that for most people they'll become like the eye tracking features on a Samsung phone; Smart Pause, Smart Stay and Smart Scroll. They sound great and may entice buyers in, but after a few days ofsLrange behaviour they're turned off never to be used again.

Although we had our some early problems getting our test unit to be more hare than tortoise, with the speed turned up from lm/s to its maximum 9m/s, the Phantom will happily zip around, and in Sport mode the 4 promises to be the fastest Phantom yet.

As a flying camera platform, or a B camera to an Inspire 1 or S900, the Phantom will be hard to beat. Put the gimmicks aside and the market leading build quality, battery life and Lightbridge wireless link are still enough to seal the deal. The question is: how can DJI possibly improve on this in 11 months' time?!


DJI Phantom 4 features


What does it take to be the best drone for aerial photography?

DJI PHANTOM 4 LEADER OF THE PACK

The Phantom 4 was reviewed over a year ago as a generational leap in consumer drone offerings. DJI has leapfrogged the competition again and blown their own predecessor out of the skies with the Phantom 4.

WHETHER you're looking for your first drone or want to get into semi pro aerial photography, the Phantom 4 claims to be the answer to all. Andy Willmott got his hands on one of the first units to find out what the buzz is about. Is it truely the best drone for aerial photography?

One Size Fits All Drone

DJI has made the choice simple this time around. With the Phantom 3 there were three choices between standard, advanced or pro. This time there is only one choice - the Phantom 4, which does it all - "the all-in-one drone". And I mean literally does it all. There is no other consumer drone on the market that has such a comprehensive feature list.

In The Phantom 4 Box

As with previous versions, DJI provides you with everything you need bar a smart device. Either a phone or tablet running IOS or Android will do. The P4 (Phantom 4 drone) comes delivered in a pretty cool travel box, too. It's made from foam rather than plastic, so it's not ultra durable but it's compact and neat, good for storage and throwing in the back of the car.

What's New In This Drone?

The amount of new features in the P4 is an indication of how fast-moving the drone industry really is. Remember consumer drones have only been available in Ready To Fly models for a few years now.

THE QUADCOPTER AIRFRAME

The body itself is more refined and streamlined for better aerodynamics with a shiny gloss white finish. In fact, all the accessoris are shiny white too, so much white as you would be forgiven to think it was an Apple product. Components that hung below the frame in previous models have been brought into the main housing. It's a very neatly packaged drone. The props have a new, more secure quick release mechanism, rather than the old screw on props.

THE PHANTOM 4 CAMERA

The gimbal now holds the camera more firmly from both sides for better video and photography performance. The camera itself has lots of subtle improvements such as improved optics and even less lens distortion. The capture specs are as good as you can get in a small drone camera these days - 4K video shooting at 25fps and 60Mbps, plus various other resolutions including 120fps in standard HD (1080p). Stills are captured in JPG and RAW up to 12MP. The lens gives you 94 degrees Field Of View and is equivalent to a 35mm format at F/2.8. Focus is fixed to infinity. Everything is captured to a removable MicroSD card max 64GB capacity. There is nothing you can fault with the setup here. For a consumer grade product, what you get out of this camera is exceptional - and that's why we think it is the best drone for aerial photography.

FLIGHT CONTROLS & PERFORMANCE

The Phantom 4 feels much easier and smoother to fly. As DJI has built in more intelligence into the drone software and improved algorithms, it responds better and feels more fluid.

In your basic default GPS flight mode [P]osition, the speed and amount of tilt is controlled to keep everything smooth, including the intelligent flight modes which is the best for filming video and photos, but switch over to [S]port mode and this opens you up to a top speed of 72km/h. You will notice the attitude of the drone tilts to 45 degrees when you punch it in any direction, so it not only accelerates real quick, but it becomes super responsive if you choose to fly aggressively. It basically turns it from a refined luxury car into a Ferarri.

It's important to note that in [S]port (Ferarri) mode you don't have obstacle avoidance sensors. Also it's going to take the drone longer to slow to a stop when you let go of the sticks or try to change direction, and as the drone flies on such a steep angle, you will see props in your camera view, so it's not the best for filming. It's basically for hooning around and having fun, but you can also get yourself into trouble quicker if you're not careful.

DJI Phantom 4 Teardown Battery & Upper Body


DJI PHANTOM 4 SENSORS

The Phantom's VPS (Vision Positioning System) has had some upgrades, and now with dual ground imaging sensors and dual ultrasonic sensors it has far greater accuracy in stability at greater heights. Meaning in GPS-deprived environments or just when you are closer to land (up to around 10m) it is far more stable.

One thing to remember: if the drone is not moving forwards, like if it is tracking from the side, or leading the subject, then you need to remember that your obstacle avoidance sensors, which are pointing in the direction of the camera, won't save the drone if it tracks into a tree.

DJI says it's up to 5x more accurate in stability, and it surely feels it. Even in a decent wind the Phantom 4 is in control like no other drone in its class. Add to this, a redundant IMU and compass to avoid sensor errors, and this becomes one aerial photography stable platform.

SENSE AND AVOID

Here's where the real game changing features lie in the Phantom 4. DJI became the world's first manufacturer to release a production drone with Sense and Avoid technology, again trumping the competition - a leader in its class. Intel's 3D imaging RealSense technology has been adapted to drones, and fitted to Yuneec's Typhoon H, (Intel has a stake in Yuneec) which was demonstrated earlier this year, but the Phantom 4 is the first to go on sale to the public. This adds to safety and security of the drone itself. Now you can operate closer to the subject with little worry about collision causing loss or damage to the drone.

Two forward-facing visual sensors create volumetric maps of the area 15 metres in front of the drone. This information is displayed at the top of your screen with bars radiating out. If an obstacle is in the path of the drone it will sense it and automatically slow down to a complete stop. You also hear an audible beeping much like the reversing sensor in a car, which beeps faster and faster as you get closer to the object.

What's more, the sensor works in the intelligent flight modes, as well as in Return-To-Home, and can not only sense the object in its path but also move to avoid it. It's a little unnerving when you go to test it, and fly gingerly close to trees or objects, but I was relieved to find it works really well. The only thing you need to remember is that the sensors are only forward facing, so you can still back into an object or strafe sideways into something. Either way this is a welcome feature and I look forward to when drones have these sensors on all sides. At the rate things are progressing I'm sure that won't be long.

INTELLIGENT FLIGHT MODES & AUTONOMOUS FLIGHT

The AI and Autonomous flight features in the Phantom 4 quadcopter have also gone next level. I've seen similar features on other drones in the last year, but none that work as smoothly and intuitively.

PHANTOM 4 TAPFLY

Simply tap on the screen in the direction you want to fly and you are off. The Phantom will head in that direction and with obstacle avoidance always on it will avoid obstacles too, or pull up to a stop if it can't. If you have no idea how to fly a drone you can use TapFly to move around and know you won't fly into anything.

DJI ACTIVETRACK

This is my favourite new feature because it works so intuitively. Once you enter ActiveTrack mode, using advanced object recognition, you are able to simply draw a box around the subject you want to track on your smart device with your finger. The object highlights with a big green box around it, you then hit the Go button that appears after the subject is identified and it will start tracking the subject.

The distance, height and direction it tracks from are all controllable from the controller sticks, while you are tracking it! This allows you to use a stick movement to start the drone rotating around the subject. It works a treat. Try doing this manually with a two-person pro rig. It's almost impossible to do a perfect orbit around a moving subject. With the Phantom 4 drone you can now do this in ActiveTrack by simply pushing one stick. And the camera keeps pointing directly at your subject. Camera tracking is smooth, too - again proving it's a real contender as the best drone for aerial photography.

It's not 100% flawless, though. If the subject moves erratically or too quickly you can lose the lock, and the Phantom will just stop where it is till you identify it again and hit Go. I expect as time goes, updates to the algorithms and software will increase accuracy and reliability, but in my park tests it worked well.

DJI Phantom 4 Internal View


VIDEO: Best Drone Quadcopter For Aerial Photography