The DJI Phantom 3 is “squarely outside of the “just a toy” category”.
Targeting the field of unmanned vehicles (UAVs), a Chinese company DJI, properly the Dai-Jiang Innovation Technology Company, was founded in 2006 by Frank Wang.
The Dji Phandom 3 is their latest quadcopter model designed for aerial photography.
It was only in January 2013, at a time when the FPV technology (First Person View) was becoming increasingly widespread, that it unveiled the DJI Phantom series.
This was the first ready-to-fly, pre-assembled quadcopter, able to shoot professional-grade stabilized aerial video and for about a thousand bucks. Thanks to good design, simplicity and ease-of-use it unlocked the market beyond obsessed enthusiasts.
Since then, DJI has become the world’s biggest supplier of civilian drones and a billion dollar business. Based in Shenzen, widely considered China’s Silicon Valley it controls 70 percent of the market. It’s possibly the first Chinese company to achieve that status in any consumer industry.
DJI was the first manufacture that truly integrated multi-rotor copter and camera, making them a ready to fly camera. Phantom series is designed to be simple enough to be flown by new pilots. At the same time it is robust making it the best all-in-one quadcopter for aerial photography and videography.
Now DJI rolls out new models promising lower prices and more features. Improved in every aspect they will be released in three different versions. Currently DJI is offering several models of the Phantom. The Phantom 3 Standard -is a base model for beginners, while the Advanced is for those interested in aerial photography. Last but not least the Professional model will give you that unbeatable sweet 4K footage. If money is not an issue, this is a must have drone.
All models have the same body but different flight controllers and cameras. They can be identified by different color stripes on their arms.
All models can be distinguished by the color of the decals and nameplate. Most buyers will be fine buying the Advanced model which records the same size still photos (12 MP) and 1080P HD Video.
Don’t forget that 4K video requires a very powerful computer to process and edit. This resolution is also not viewable by the vast majority of devices connected to the internet – at least for now.
You might consider this to be the only real drawback since you’ll need a current smartphone or tablet to take full advantage of its FPV and live-streaming features.
The Dji PHANTOM 3 are now more advanced than ever. Although not very different in appearance from their predecessor, they have capabilities and features that we can find in camera drones with double price made for professional use. One of the key improvements identified is in the camera which can now compete with cinematic quality and with virtually zero distortion.
Overall Phandoms have
- Flight time up to 25 minutes on a single charge.
- GPS assisted flight features that let you concentrate on getting great images while the drone helps you fly safely.
- Main differences between the Phantom 3 Standard and Advanced is the new Visual Positioning system (VPS). It allows the quadcopter to fly indoors and low to the ground with ease. If you don’t need these features the Standard would probably be best for you.
The VPS system or Visual Positioning System of DJI, which first appears in the Phantom series, works through a transmitter and an ultrasound receiver. It calculates the distance of the Phantom to the ground while a special camera recognizes characteristics and traits on the soil surface. This allows you to calculate the movement of the aircraft in relation to it. In parallel it enables the Phantom to hold autonomously constant and accurate position when it is close to the ground. It is also invaluable when flying indoors where there is no GPS / GLONASS (Russia’s version of GPS) coverage.
- Support DJI’s Intelligent Flight options including autonomous way-point navigation or Follow Me.
- Return-to-Home button for those times when panic starts to set in and you just want to bring it on back.
- Both versions come fully equipped with standard gimbal (stabilizer) and video capture enabled camera to high (UHD 4K) resolution version Professional.
- As for the camera all three versions of the Phantom 3 use similar cameras, but offer different maximum video resolution, frame rates, and bit rates. Camera settings has a 20mm lens (35mm equivalent), with an extended range of vision 94 degrees. The Standard is actually more capable in terms of video than the Advanced. It records footage at 2.7K (1520p) resolution at 30fps or 24fps with a 40Mbps bit rate.
The Advanced is limited to recording in 1080p, but it can record at 60fps at that setting. The Standard tops out at 48fps when shooting at 1080p, but can shoot at 50fps or 60fps at 720p. It is also important to mention that the DJI has designed a camera Phantom 3 so that the video and photos to largely absent type deformation phenomena “Fish-Eye”, something that tormented camera Phantom 2 Vision + and GoPro type solutions.
Do not forget that the DJI PHANTOM 3 is a highly technical aircraft. Rotating propellers protrude from each side. The drone can collide with anything found in its course either an object, a vehicle or a human. In the event that it gets out of control it is certain that it can cause very serious damage to the point of impact as it has enough mass.
Also, in an uncontrolled descent from high altitude can develop very high speeds. The navigation subsystems and Phantom control need some familiarization to function properly. They also require specific knowledge and actions by the operator. So, before attempting to fly this drone it is absolutely necessary you throw a good reading of the user manual. Unfortunately DJI does not provide this manual in the package and should be downloaded from their website.
They say DJI is the Apple in the drone world, well, it is true. Having the Phantom 3 from over a month now, I can assure you that it is the best drone for aerial photographer or ambitious videographer. Check your needs and check your budget before you make your decision! Find all available models at Dji Phantom 3 series – all models