The DJI Phantom 3 is the latest model in the range by DJI and it does a few things to improve upon the predecessor. While you can pick up the second iteration for just under a grand, the new model is still full priced at $1,095. We’ll be taking a look at this quadcopter to find out whether it’s worth paying extra to pick it up.
Features of the DJI Phantom 3
We’ll first be talking about the 4K UHD video camera that comes pre-installed on a 3-axis gimbal. This camera produces some pretty spectacular results and it easily competes with the best GoPro’s currently on the market. It’s not always about pure picture quality though – being able to produce smooth, stutter-free footage is incredibly important for a camera designed for aerial use – fortunately the camera on the DJI Phantom 3 produces incredibly smooth results.
On top of being able to record footage for later viewing, you can use DJI LightBridge FPV 2.4G HD Digital Video Downlink Aerial to view your footage live at 720P. Whilst you view your 720P live feed, the camera will simultaneously record 4K footage on the internal microSD card.
You may want to consider upgrading the microSD card as the internal storage will be used up quickly whilst recording 4K footage. Fortunately microSD cards can now be picked up quite cheaply.
A new interesting feature on the latest model by DJI is the Vision Positioning system. With Vision Positioning you’re able to achieve stable flight indoors without GPS. It uses an array of optical and ultrasonic sensors to scope out an indoor environment. There are also plenty of tools and technology used to improve your outdoor flying as well, including GPS positioning.
The controller is rechargeable so this means you’ll have to recharge the controller often and packing an extra set of AA batteries isn’t a possibility.
- 4k UHD video recording with fully stabilized 3-axis gimbal
- Lightbridge digital streaming allows live viewing of 720p video (full resolution video is simultaneously recorded on the internal microSD card)
- Included flight battery and rechargeable remote controller means this system is ready to fly out of the box
- DJI Pilot app for iOS and Android allows live viewing and complete camera control (phone/tablet sold separately; see DJI’s website for compatible models)
- Integrated array of optical and ultrasonic sensors called Vision Positioning that allow you to fly precisely indoors without a GPS signal.
Pros and Cons
The amount of control you’ll get from the DJI Phantom 3 really is quite impressive. DJI hasn’t done that much to improve the physical controls on their latest quadcopter but that isn’t a bad thing. It still handles incredibly well and the extra software feature bundled in, including an app for ultra customization and control give you even more ability to tweak and finesse your flying.
Unfortunately this quad isn’t very portable, so it’s a little difficult to take with you – it is light, but it is also large. As a trade off for that you’ll be given a very good quality UHD camera that can take footage in 4K resolution.
What is the DJI Phantom 3 Good for?
This quad is perfect for recording footage that needs to be of the best possible quality. It’s not designed for the enthusiast or beginner quad flyer, but if you’re looking for a professional level quadcopter then this will meet your needs perfectly.