The drone market for amateur flying has been growing over the past years. We’ve seen lot’s of drones hitting the market, most of them are good, and others are not so good. DJI Phantom is just about the best camera drone at the moment in terms of specs and features.

 

Most people refer to DJI Phantom 4 as “a drone everybody can fly” this drone is a slick, feature-packed drone. One great thing about DJI’s Phantom series is that each new model is easier to fly and better for aerial photography than the last. This is mostly the reason why so many people prefer DJI’s Phantom series to the rest. They adopted the Apple-inspired incremental updates that make company sell new products like hell. I can still remember my first drone experience, it was phantom 2; it was relatively easy for me to fly for a person who have no prior drone experience before. However, it broke and crashed.

 

With introduction of Phantom 4 into the market, DJI have done well to include features that suppose to make the new Phantom 4 very easy to fly and even harder to crash. The previous Phantom series has always lacked the autonomous flight features that most drone pilot may like to have which include obstacle avoidance and more advanced computer vision which would help the drone to follow any object.

 

DJI have now incorporated these lacking features in Phantom 4; the new drone comes with front-facing cameras to prevent it from hitting walls and trees. It also comes with a feature they refer to as “ActiveTrack” which will allow any user to keep the camera focused on specific object.

 

Design

If you are one of die-hard fan of Phantom 3, then there is not much difference between the Phantom 4 and 3. However the props have now changed. I think DJI wants the Phantom 4 to look a bit sleeker and less bulky by making each of the four motors to sit outside the fairings over the propeller arms. Note that there are no prop guards so you should be careful not to mess up the new object avoidance system by snapping the guards on.

Another major upgrade is the integrated gimbal and camera. You will be immediately drowned to this part of design if you have flown or owned a Phantom 3 before. They placed gimbal motors on both sides of the camera instead of just one centrally located part.

The camera is placed inside the drone and not just stuck on the outside like the Phantom 3. The Micro USB and SD slots are integrated and centered beautifully on the left hand side of Phantom 4’s chassis.

The flight controller is pretty much identical to the Phantom 3 in terms of its form. The differences are in the switches and buttons of the Phantom 4 controller. This new drone has the switches for “P-S-A” next to the video record button instead of “P-F-A” on previous versions.

 

The company also changed up the “Play/Pause” button on the top right hand corner of the controller. It has now been replaced with just a “Pause” button. You can use this button to make the drone hover in place. The button also allow for manual control like normal in “P” mode.

 

Phantom 4 has two major enhancements which include: the automated flight control and the collision avoidance system. The automated flight control makes it extremely easy to fly although it is not yet a fully autonomous drone that you can command to do your wish with just a snap of your finger but things are sure heading that way.

 

Collision Avoidance System in Phantom 4

We want to take a look at this feature because it was one of complaint customers make in the Phantom 3 that leads to introduction of this feature with Phantom 4.

Collision avoidance system in the new Phantom 4 is a cool feature; it will help you avoid colliding with any object when you are flying no matter your skill level. However, note that his work only when you are flying forward since the cameras are mounted forward. The cameras cannot warn you when you are flying in other directions like backing up, going left, right, or slightly off center.

This does not mean that collision avoidance system isn’t useful; it is still great considering the price of this drone. It works best on large dark objects and will also save you from hitting power lines.

 

Battery Life

When we tested the new Phantom 4, the battery life averaged above 25 minutes which is better than comparably sized camera drones. You can fully charge it within an hour. You can as well charge the remote control at the same time as the battery and can last three full flights without any problem.

 

Automatic for the People

One of the most talked features in the Phantom 4 is the Active Track. This feature works with “Vision” sensors to make you feel more comfortable letting the drone take control when you have lock onto something. When you combine this feature with Collision Avoidance System, you can easily lock on object, follow the object and the drone will be able to evade obstacles such as trees and power lines.

 

Sport Mode is Fun

Phantom 4 comes with a feature known as sport mode that allows you to fly at speed up to 45mph (72kph). You can also ascend at 6 meters (20 feet) per second and descent at 4 meters (13 feet) per second. This new feature lets you get to your target location faster to get the shot you want.

 

Pros

  • Very easy to fly even for amateurs and first-timers
  • Moving and action shots is now much more feasible thanks to Active Track mode
  • Comes with an integrated gimbal and camera for smooth, consistent footage
  • Raw video/pictures for good post production color correction
  • Great price for all the features it comes with
  • Sport mode makes it possible to get to location faster
  • It comes with a carrying case

 

Cons

  • Visual navigation can only see obstacles directly ahead
  • Form factor is almost the same with earlier modes
  • YouTube and Facebook live streaming output quality is limited to 720p

 

You can buy this drone for just $1298,  See Price.

Verdict

DJI Phantom 4 is a great camera drone. The sports mode, the Active Track and Collision Avoidance System makes this drone a must buy for every entry drone lover.