In the consumer market, the DJI Phantom is one of DJI’s most popular models. In 2016 they introduced the DJI Mavic Pro that offers some unique features and similar performance specs. to the Phantom 4.
DJI (Dà-Jing Innovations Science and Technology Co. in case you were wondering) is a name that’s synonymous with drones, having produced a number of popular models targeting different markets. In the consumer market the DJI Phantom is one of the most popular models. In 2016 they introduced the DJI Mavic Pro that offers some unique features and similar performance specs. to the Phantom.
The big thing about this drone is its size – it folds down into a compact size of about that of a 1 litre water bottle, making it easy to fit into a backpack. As well, it has a fairly unique dome that’s designed to project the camera and gimbal and making it that much easier to pack into a knapsack and go. Once removed (it’s recommended, else the dome produces a glare when filmed-though), it can product video almost equal in quality to the Phantom 4.
One item missing is ND filters, these are filters that reduce the amount of light the camera gets with the result that videos look much smoother when filmed in the daytime. However, ND filters are expected to be available from other suppliers, and maybe DJI themselves in the future.
Performance-wise, the flight time is about 22 minutes (rated 27 minutes maximum) and has a top speed of about 65km/h (slightly slower than a Phantom 4). The controller has a range of about 7km so you can fly far.
The non-removable camera can record 4K video at 30fps or 1080p footage at 96fps. For video quality, the Phantom 4 has a slight edge over the Mavic, but it’s close.
The Phantom has long been the brand for pro-sumer drone operators, producing drones good enough for commercial use, but still within the reach of many consumers. Cost-wise, the Phantom 4 is about $200 (USD) more than the Mavic Pro.
The Phantom 4 controller has a mount for a tablet, like an iPad, while the deigned-for-compact Mavic Pro doesn’t, it only has a holder designed for mobile phones. That said, with a USB cable you can hook it up and, software-wise all it needs is a device (IOS or Android) that is fast enough to run the DJI Go app
Another feature both Phantom and Mavic share is the front facing obstacle avoidance system that’s really pretty impressive to see in action, especially when combined with the follow-me mode and there are some pretty impressive videos online. The obstacle avoidance system does have problems “seeing” wires and small sticks, but besides that it’s pretty good – apparently it’s good enough to dodge another drone too – potentially saving you a big repair bill.
For more information on drones like these you can find them on GetADrone.com as well, many of the general tech. blogs cover them regularly. GetADrone.com has reviews of many of the popular drones on the market today and a blog with some great videos and news about drones. If you’re ready to buy, they also have a store that sells drones, cameras designed to be mounted on drones, gimbals, accessories and clothing – including some funny T-shirts – perfect if you’re out flying and don’t want to explain what you’re doing.
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