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DJI's Phantom series have been considered to be some of the best consumer drones in the market and have set a standard for what a quadcopter or drone should be like. With their new Phantom 3 drones, the company has taken the next step.
The DJI Phantom 3 is the newest in the range of drones and can be bought in 2 versions – the Phantom 3 Professional that has capabilities of shooting in 4K resolutions, and the Phantom 3 Advanced that shoots in 1080p.
Price and availability
The Phantom 3 Advanced model is priced at £899 or $999, where as the Phantom 3 Professional will cost you £1,159 or $1,259 for the Pro. These do carry a hefty price tag, but with the plethora of features and amazing shooting capabilities, they beat most of the competition. Both the version of the DJI Phantom 3 can be preordered right now and the shipping will start by April end.
Body and structure
The Phantom 3 is similar looking to DJI's earlier models and has a white plastic body, 4 rotors and fixed landing legs underneath. It's light to carry around and can even fit into a bag pack when you remove the rotor blades.
The built is sturdy and the drone can easily survive small bumps and crashes without any problems. You can also replace its rotor blades incase you break them.
Camera and recording capabilities
Just like prior models, the camera is placed under the drone’s body but it features some great upgrades. Both the models are equipped with new 1/2.3-inch sensors that help in improving dynamic range and provide better balanced bright skies.
Both the models have a 12 MP camera to take great stills. The Professional model can shoot videos in Ultra HD with 4K resolutions at 23, 24 or 30 fps and provide better and crisper footage than the Advanced model that shoots in 2.7K.
The camera lens features a 90-degree field of view, which helps in keeping distortion low and also needs lesser post processing. The camera can be attached on to the three-axis stabilizing gimbal that helps in recording smoother footage.
Located behind the camera are new sensors that face downwards and help in identifying patterns on the floor that the drone locks on to. This is great for maintaining stability when you want to fly the drone indoors and GPS signal isn’t available.
While technically you can fly all the earlier quadcopters indoors as well, these new sensors will help it have better stability and give it the ability to hover in a fixed position.
According to DJI, the Phantom 3 should be able to fly continuously for about 20 to 23 minutes from one full charge. The battery has been made slightly bigger than previous models. You will also have the previous return to home function when your battery is about to die.
Controller, app and live streaming
The controller is pretty much the same with 2 main control sticks and a clamp to attach your smartphone or tablet on. It also features buttons to adjust the camera’s settings and for beginning and ending recording.
The DJI app that is available for both iOS and Android, can give you a live video feed from the drone and also let you know vital information like battery, speed flight time and height at which the drone is flying. You can also change certain camera settings like exposure and white balance.
Some new features have been added to the app to make it even more useful. It now also has a training mode that will help you practice flying on the screen with the controller, so you can get a hang of things.
You can even stream live video taken from the Phantom 3 directly on to YouTube and be more spontaneous while saving time in transferring your videos first.
Over all the DJI Phantom 3 is a great new drone that has amazing recording capabilities and great new features, definitely a one up from DJI's previous models. It also fares well when pitied against its competitors like the Hubsan X4 Pro, Walkera Scout X4 and QR X350, and 3D Robotics Solo Quadcopter.