Total score: 8.6/10
Verdict: The price point is steep; an excellent choice if you’re a professional
Words cannot describe how disappointed I was when the haze started rolling back into town. I had the DJI Phantom 4 for a week and there wasn’t much of a view to look at.
So I thought: fine, I’ll just buzz around town and practice for the Drone Racing League.Well, not really, but I did manage to use it to secure some footage for an upcoming local Sci-Fi feature film that I’m working on just to test out its cinema-worthiness. Shall we see if stacks up to being suitable for both hobbyists and professionals.
Easy as 1,2,3
Assembly and setup of the drone was painless and very quick. From box to lift off took me less than 2 minutes – it was basically taking it out and snapping on the propellers, and then hooking up my smartphone to the controller.
You’d need to have downloaded the DJI Go app, which is required to pair the remote with the drone. The app is full of fun telemetry from the drone. Combined with the Tap to Fly mode, it makes flying so much easier now. The ActiveTrack mode is a great new feature; while not completely perfect, it’s one new way to take a next level selfie.
I never got a chance to fly a Phantom 3 so this was the first time I experienced DJI’s Vision Positioning System. It was nice not having to worry too much when flying around tight spaces and it also makes the Smart Return Home mode work a lot better too.
DJI’s own camera records video up to 4K (4096×2160) at 25 fps and has the capacity to record up to 120fps at Full HD (1920×1080). There’s a total of 10 color profiles available, so for all you budding aerial videographers – the Phantom 4 will give you the best results.
The camera also does stills at 12 megapixels in both JPG and DNG RAW formats, allowing the editing process to be sped up with existing lens profiles on Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
Up, Up and Away
Experience wise, I really like how easy it was to fly the Phantom 4. As I got more and more confident with my flying, I was able to switch to the Sport mode, which really made it more fun to fly the Phantom 4 than to use it to take pretty pictures.
I didn’t have the guts to try Attitude Mode, but on paper, the Phantom 4 will hit speeds up to 72km/h. Without and with positioning systems switched off, the Phantom 4 will move sideways beautifully. Alas, I’m not that good yet.
Charge time is also really good. The Phantom 4 battery takes only 1 hour and 20 minutes to fully charge, and that’ll give you about 28 minutes of flight time.