DJI spearheading the Phantom 3 drones with 4K quality

By | August 3, 2015

Quadcopter and Multirotor drones are swiftly escalating in admiration and it is obvious because of its various features added in one.

DJI launches Phantom 3 Professional and Advanced.

Firstly they are uncomplicated to drive and it is fortified with small HD (high-definition) cameras. Years back capturing an aerial shot without hiring a plane or helicopter was near to impossible but thanks to the updating technology which made an aerial shot or photography attainable and economical.

DJI Phantom has rounded up the consumer’s drone with its reasonable pricing, tiny appearance, user-friendly and stylish design, it is made on deck in many of the Hi-tech stores. If you compare the earlier launched Phantom with this latest avatar of phantom there is a vast transformations from then and now. Though their looks are alike, their advancements over technology are totally distinct.

New add-on

Phantom 3 is accessible in two versions, one is professional and the other is advanced. There’s a small manifestation between the two i.e. the resolution of the professional Phantom can shoot footage in 4K, whereas the advanced Phantom is restricted up to full HD (1080p).


Professional Phantom                                                     Advanced Phantom

Though the style of Phantom 3 is similar to the previous Phantoms, there are some modifications made to defer the new technology and performance enhancements to present the all new Phantom.

The new Phantom 3 includes a new battery, titled motors, wider landing gear & a small remote control handset.

Initially from Phantom 1 upgrading to Phantom 2 enforced the new battery packs. However the Phantom 3 backs up with an all-new battery, though the battery looks identical to the Phantom 2’s battery but it is entirely different. If you try phantom 2 batteries in Phantom 3 cameras it will not be compatible.

The price of the new Phantom 3 is quite expensive ranging from $193.89 contrasting to around $140.70. The new pack is ranked at 4480mAh at 15.2v and it powers between 15 to 20 minutes of flight depending on how it flies.

The four strokes of motors have been amended with a minor tilt to assist stability and smart braking supervised by the new intelligent flight supervisor. The importance of introducing a wider landing gear is to prevent the reflections of the glass falling in to the footage.

The Supervisor

The renovation of the remote control handset overlapped the drone itself. The size of the remote control in Phantom 3 is slightly minimized compared to the earlier Phantom. And it also adds up built-in rechargeable battery feature rather using AA’s.

There is a line of LED’s on the front of the handset which signifies the unit’s power level, one charge must last for a good ten or more flights. To the contrary it is rational to charge the unit after each session.

USB connection is found on the back of the headset which allows the phone to stream live view from the camera to the DJI Pilot app, which is an extensive enhancements on the Wi-Fi connection used with Phantom 2 Vision+ and it also uses DJI’ self-Lightbridge technology.

The Lightbridge technology allows iOS/Android devices to connect directly through USB to the Phantom 2.4 GHz handset and sends out the footage from the camera to the mobile mechanisms. It is said that the live streaming rolls up through HD (720p) and has a feasible range up to 1.2 miles.

The remote control handset also accessorized with the direct control toggle switches to start and stop recording/ photos/ fine-tune of camera settings/ tilting the camera. These switches can be personalized by using the app. Even without using the app, you’ll still have plenty of control over the camera.

Enhanced App

The DJI Pilot app is coequal to the one used by DJI’s prosumer Quadcopter, the Inspire 1. This app is attuned with iOS and Android devices that give a way in to all of the Phantom 3’s settings and features. This app conferred with four options- Camera/Director/Store and/ User Centre.

The Camera option of the app allows controlling the camera for shooting videos / taking photos and fine-tuning the gimbal and camera settings like exposure compensation, shutter speed and sensitivity.

Firstly, enlighten yourself about its features and settings before you endeavour out for a flight. This app’s alliance is little unnerving at the introductory with the live view feed bounded by icons and settings that can be fine-tuned. The app offers the basic features also which takes few minutes to understand. The app is the window into the Phantom’s settings and features, and is approximately divided into GPS, Phantom diagnostic, direct control and camera.

Once serialized, GPS settings permits the Phantom to trigger its location, it also has a comfortable feature that lets you set location as the home point, in case if you lose view of the Phantom or most frequently lose all depth perception, just press the home button on the app’s interface or the handset, the craft will be back.

Another convenient feature, the take-off button on the interface which assists you to launch if you are new to flying; The app’s interface features a map that can be expanded and points out the location of the Quadcopter.
The general settings of the app allow you to design the customisable buttons, checks battery charge and significantly the flight time, fine-tuning the gimbal and setting-up advanced features like YouTube Live Streaming.

The Phantom Camera

The 4K camera is a great deal business strategy for selling the Phantom. DJI has well versed integrated two amazing aspects videography and photography in to one by giving room to the settings and adjustments.

The main body part of this camera is the Sony 1/2.3- inch Exmor Sensor, a sensor family which proved itself with many action cameras. The phantom camera features aperture settings to f/2.8 lens with a 94 degree field of view, which is equivalent to a 35mm, equate of 20mm.

The Phantom camera controls distortion well and dodges the routine fish-eye look that is linked with the likes of the GoPro, Hero 4; these are the cameras which are often used for action/ chasing sequence. This tiny camera is framed under the body of the craft and it is excluded from a motorised gimbal.

DJI is also in the Camera Market which produces motorised Gimbals for the film industry and broadcast. The responsibility of the gimbal is to keep all the recordings and footages to be in level and steady as possible and it’s pretty amazing that gimbal does its job perfectly. For levelling it’s the panning footage and for steadiness of the camera lies it’s the Tree line shows.

Flight Experience

Earlier flying Quadcopter was not simple as it looked but after the launch of Phantom 3 even an amateur can fly a Quadcopter.

The take-off is the same as the previous versions, for taking off it needs to wait for four beeps and the array of coded light sequences will jog through the setup, later it pull back on the two sticks to start the props and to take off.

Earlier, an immediate blast of power to launch was needed to ensure that the Quadcopter befitted as airborne. The Phantom 3 pushes and holds the launch button and auto launch button is activated.

Push up on the stick and the Phantom 3 drives up; it releases the stick and stays wherever it is; accelerate the stick hard to the left and it shoots off as predicted; now release the stick and brakes spontaneously, and the original would just keep moving.

The advancements of Phantom 3, the features / flight procedures/ flight controller everything is designed exceptionally astounding. Even an amateur can now fly the Quadcopter Phantom 3 with such ease.

The Phantom uses a sequence of sensors to counterpoise the craft in flight, besides the GPS also has two sensors on the underside. These sensors would perform, when GPS is lost or when you’re flying indoors, and allows the Phantom to read and keep its location ready.

Flying outdoors is much easier compared to indoors as the Phantom made it very simple for the pilot to control GPS navigation and as well as the Flight controller; by any chance if you let go of the sticks at any point Holt the flight, and the Phantom will hang in the air until you’re ready to take control again.

Though the Phantom Cameras are tiny in structure, it is unfeasible to see through the directions to a greater distance. The live view stream removes that hindrance completely, as it allows you to check which direction the Phantom is travelling in.

The new flight controller/motor position and smart speed controller are the assets of Phantom 3 which makes it more approachable and steady than previous versions.

Camera Control

It’s the perfect blend to operate and control the Phantom 3 Camera using the smartphone app as well as the remote control handset. As soon as you connect the mobile device to the USB port of the flight and the DJI Pilot app is loaded, the flight is ready to take off. The recording can be started by pressing the red button on the app’s interface.
The phantom camera allows both videography and photography; the option can be directly selected through the app.

The Phantom app gives us two modes to select for shooting- auto or manual mode. The preferred option is the Auto mode for starters because it handles the ISO setting and shutter speed with sensitivity. The exposure can be fine-tuned manually.

If it is in manual mode you can then either touch to adjust the settings on the mobile device’s screen, or use the right hand scroll wheel on the handset; and clicking on the wheel would allow you to jog between sensitivity (ISO) and shutter speed.

ISO can be fine-tuned from ISO 100 for bright conditions down to ISO 3200 in Video mode or ISO 1600 in Photo mode for lower light. Shutter speed can vary from 1/30 to 1/8000 sec, allowing plenty of adjustability over exposure.

Before venturing out the flight it’s always beneficial to check the camera settings with your mobile device, because settings like exposure are retained, the underexposed or over exposed can be easily traced out in a shooting footage.

The wide spectrum of shooting options and besides the 4K video, with other resolution and frame rate combinations including 4K at 25fps(NTSC) or 24fps (PAL), 1080p Full HD at 50fps (NTSC) or 48fps (PAL) and 720p HD at 50fps (NTSC) or 48fps (PAL).

However the Phantom camera is restricted to some of the advance options due to its own creation, the GoPro Hero4 which allows 1080p at 120fps cannot be compared with Phantom 3.

Another good feature on the handset is the tilt option, where you can tilt the camera up and down with the help of the controller.

The speed of the live view streaming is amazing firstly, during the testing period, the speed and consistency of the connection was accurate and though there is a little time delay, the connection never lost.

Secondly, YouTube live streaming offers a good live video streaming up to 720p HD over a 4G network.

The colour spectrum of the video quality, the tone, contrast are pretty good and the stratum of brightness and contrast gives the footage a perfect blend of smooth and crisp. Despite the frame rate of Phantom Camera are pretty lower, it playbacks the 4K videos perfectly effortless on screen and the overall quality is ranked to be pretty good.

The Phantom 3 is a big move and effortless it passed in all the advancements which they made. Initially flying Quadcopter was not that easier but by launching a user friendly flight that even an amateur can fly the flight through the smart phone app or with the handset. It gives the pleasure of shooting both videos and still photography at an affordable price.

The auto take-off and land and also the home recall nailed it down but the updates like 360 selfies might be updated in the upcoming technology “Hexoplus”.

Final call

The 4K video feature/ the Phantom app/ the remote control handset/ GPS / start and stop recording toggle buttons/ tilt feature/ live view streaming/ USB connectivity/ iOS and Android devices; all of these features makes the Phantom 3 an exceptional Quadcopter. It is simple, user-friendly and a good catch to recommend the videographers and photographers.

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