SO MUCH MORE THAN A DRONE 🙂
When you thought the DJI could not possibly improve the Phantom 4 and expect to see a Phantom 5 next year at the earliest, DJI throw out the Phantom 4 PRO and everything is now better! The Phantom 4 Pro might, on first glance, look like the normal Phantom 4 we have come to love since its announcement earlier this year. But look closer and an entire new drone emerges.
Until yesterday, obstacle avoidance was something that stopped you flying forwards into things, but all that has now changed. The Phantom 4 Pro has both front and rear visual sensors that can detect obstacles up to 98 feet or 30 meters away. Sensors on its belly that we have come to expect from DJI are there too and can help avoid landing on uneven ground or water, added now is also a infrared sensing systems on both sides allows the drone to figure out where it is within a space, recognizing obstacles up to 23 feet or 7 meters away. The only thing you now need to worry about is flying upwards into something as they left that part sensor free ( got to keep something for the P5 right 🙂 ).
MORE FLIGHT TIME
But DJI did not leave it there. The Phantom 4 Pro has a longer flight time thanks to new higher capacity batteries available to buy giving you up to 30 minutes flight time. It is also backwards compatible with the normal Phantom 4 Battery and vice versa ( flight time will be reduced slightly when using the older battery )
Just incase you were not happy with the Phantom 4 Pro’s speed. it is now 10mph faster in P mode than the P4.
MEGA CAMERA UPGRADE
They also updated the camera, and this things is a mega update.
Gone is the puny 1/2.3” (CMOS), hidden by eight element lens system is a huge one inch 20-megapixel sensor which features twelve stops of dynamic range to ensure images retain detail, contrast and colour even under intense lighting conditions. This will mean that low light imagery is even better than was already with the Phantom 4 ( the sensor is 4x bigger on the Phantom 4 Pro ).
Rolling shutter is also sent packing into history because the new camera has a mechanical shutter so you will not have smoother, more fluid footage.
For those that dig camera spec talk, the Phantom 4 Pro camera supports H.264 4K at 60fps and H.265 4K at 30fps, both with 100Mbps bitrate. It can also take stills at a burst of 14 fps.
DJI were so proud of the new lens in the Phantom 4 Pro that they gave us the MTF on launch day. Not many camera companies do this. This is DJI’s way to show the world it stands by t’s camera and lens combo and isn’t afraid to flaunt the spec.
BRAND NEW CONTROLLER
The Phantom 4 Pro has two options for its controller ( and this makes it available as two different versions – Phantom 4 P and Phantom 4 Pro+ ). The Pro+ comes with an RC pre-fitted with a 5.5 inch 1080p touch screen featuring 1000 cd/m2 of brightness. This eliminates the need for a separate smart device like an iPad MIni. The screen runs a flavour of Android and comes with a version of DJI GO but in as well as a couple other apps. You are able to install your favourite 3rd party apps on it too. With an HDMI port, Micro-SD card slot, microphone, embedded loudspeaker, and Wi-Fi as well as a five hour battery life, the Phantom 4 Pro+ is truly a complete RTF aerial platform.
The Phantom 4 Pro version only is a few hundred cheaper but requires you to use your own smart device.. Advantage to this is the fact you can use IOS devices and take advantage of a larger screen as well as 3rd party apps only available on IOS.
Like the Mavic’s remote, the new Phantom 4 Pro controller uses the company’s Lightbridge connection technology to give the remote a range up to 4.3 miles. What’s more, it can stream video up to full HD right to the display.
SMARTER THAN THE AVERAGE PHANTOM 4
DJI didn’t just settle on upgrading hardware to have some new shiny things, they also added a bum load of new features into the software.
Smart RTH – This feature allows the Phantom 4 Pro to make decisions on the best way to get itself back to you in the event of Return to Home being activated. The P4P records it’s route whilst you are flying letting it choose to fly the same route back.
Based on its altitude at the time of disconnection, the Phantom 4 Pro is also able to adjust its flight path to avoid obstacles it has seen during its flight. At takeoff, the Phantom 4 Pro will record the scene below and compare its recording with what it sees as it returns, for more precise landing. It can also detect the ground to see whether there is suitable spot for landing. If any obstacles are found, or there is water on the ground, it will alert the pilot and hover at an appropriate height, helping the aircraft to land more safely.
DRAW: The Draw feature is new to the Phantom 4 and takes waypoints to a new level. Simply “draw” where you would like the Phantom 4 Pro to fly and the P4P will travel the route at a set altitude leaving camera control as your only priority. This new feature comes with two modes, Standard and Free. In standard the P4P simply flies the route at a constant speed with the camera facing in the direction of flight. in FREE mode the aircraft only moves along the route when instructed. In this mode, the camera can face in any direction during a flight.
ActiveTrack: DJI have updated this now too. The P4P features the same ActiveTrack functions they recently introduced in the DJI Mavic. It can now recognise ore subjects and track them even more accurately. You not have the following features available in ActiveTrack:
Trace – Follow behind or in front of a subject, avoiding obstacles automatically.
Profile – Fly alongside a subject at a variety of angles to get profile shots of the subject.
Spotlight – Keep the camera trained on a subject while the aircraft flies almost anywhere.
TapFly: Even this feature has been updated. You now have the same features DJI shoved in the Mavic Pro and them some more 🙂 . Tap anywhere on-screen to smoothly adjust the direction of flight while automatically avoiding obstacles and tap the screen again or use control sticks to change direction. A new AR route function shows the aircraft’s real-time flight direction for reference as its route is adjusted. As it can be difficult to control altitude, course, speed and camera pitch simultaneously using joysticks, TapFly Free allows a pilot to set the direction of flight, allowing them to turn the Phantom 4 Pro or tilt the gimbal as required without changing the direction of flight. In total, there are now three TapFly modes:
TapFly Forward – Tap to fly in the selected direction
TapFly Backward – Tap to fly in the opposite direction of the tap, i.e. tap in the bottom right corner of the screen to fly backward towards the top left.
TapFly Free – Lock the forward direction of the Phantom without locking the camera direction allowing it to turn as it flies.
GESTURE: This is another feature that made the jump from the recently released Mavic Pro. Gesture allows you to signal the Phantom 4 Pro to do a task. You can gain its attention by waving and get it to take a selfie by holding your arms out to signal the aircraft.
The Phantom 4 Pro features dual compass modules and dual IMU units, making it more reliable when compared to many hexacopters and octocopers. Compasses and IMUs are important sensors to ensure a stable flight and the Phantom 4 Pro constantly compares the data it receives through both pairs. This data is run through advanced algorithms to check accuracy and any inaccurate data is simply discarded without affecting flight, keeping flight steady and reliable.
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