Do DJI’s development team ever sleep?
Hot on the heels of the launch of the amazing Mavic Pro drone, DJI invited press to the Warner Studios lot in Burbank to showcase the new Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire 2 drones.
There are two flavours of Phantom 4 Pro. The base model available from the DJI store for £1,589 is compatible with your iOS or Android phone or tablet to give you a 720p live view and control via the DJI Go app. The £1,819 version includes a 5.5”, 1,000 nit screen for better daylight viewing plus a 1080p feed. It also runs the DJI Go app. The controller uses 2.4 and 5.8 GHz Lightbridge technology to connect the Phantom 4 Pro up to 7Km away.
The DJI Phantom 4 drone has been a popular prosumer platform for 4K aerial video for some time, and the 4 Pro adds several new features. Key is the upgrade of the camera from a 1 2/3” 12 MP CMOS sensor to 1” 20 MP with lots of H.264 and H.265 video formats maxing out at 4K 60p at 100GB recording. The camera has a mechanical shutter to reduce rolling shutter distortion and a maximum ISO of 12800.
The recently released Mavic has been praised for its excellent obstacle avoidance capabilities, and the Phantom 4 Pro improves on these further with rear and side sensors. Safety continues to be key, and the software has been improved to add an option to have the drone return to home along the same flightpath it took on its outward leg.
The app has been updated to bring more intelligent flight modes like Profile (horizontal tracking), Spotlight (targets a subject while you fly) and Circle (swings 360 degrees round the subject) with a new Draw feature allowing the operator to draw the desired flight path on the touch screen.
TapFly also has a reverse version to focus on a subject while the drone flies away (like the ‘Dronie’ auto shot path on the GoPro Karma).
So despite the awesomeness of the Mavic Pro, the Phantom 4 Pro is going to keep the Phantom series very much alive for the more serious aerial videographer. Here is the official launch video.
InspirationalMore serious still is the £3,059 Inspire 2 drone, which does not include a camera so you will need to partner it with either the £629 Zenmuse X4S or the £1,969 Zenmuse X5S gimbal cameras. This follows the Inspire 1 which is very much aimed at professional filmmakers.
A dual battery system gives the Inspire 2 a 27 minute flight time (with an X4S) and acceleration from 0 to 50mph in 4 seconds, hitting a top speed of 67mph. Obstacle avoidance sensors front, top and bottom assist with keeping this serious piece of kit safe, which can be a two man job. Inspires can be operated by two people, one flying and one controlling the camera. Apart from the Zenmuse camera mounted under it, there is also a dedicated camera for feeding a video signal to the operator’s controller.
The intelligent flight modes available on the Mavic and Phantom drones are, of course, available here to keep the eye on the action and a 1080i50 stream can be transmitted live direct to TV by an outside broadcast unit.
The update to the DJI Go app probably means Mavic and older Phantom owners also get access to the new intelligent flight modes. We’ll update this news when we hear positively either way.
One thing to note is that the DJI Go app now requires an iPhone 5S and up meaning it won’t install on any older phones.
What are DJI’s drone department going to come up with next, do you think?
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