March 2016, I got hold of a DJI Phantom 4, The Pro-sumer of the current market?… 2017 still one of the best selling and most used on the market.
I always wanted to join the DJI/Drone party but just didn’t think they had it right in the tech side of things till they released this model adding simple operating and easy flying to the collection. I love the idea of drone flying and gaining real birds eye view shoots not really achievable by using a DSLR or Standard Camera, without doubt it Improves the viewers connection to a film.
I have travelled around with this drone.. well not the one pictured above; this one broke 3 weeks from release and was replaced by DJI.. very good and fast change around…
But… I did travel with the new drone to a few places in the last 12 months, easy to carry and transport… if you buy the correct bag for travelling with.. I didn’t and had a nightmare first time around.. thats a whole different post.
But we are in the UK and the weather isn’t always sunny and cloud free so I have had issues of flying in wet conditions, rain and heavy mountain wind too but honestly I’ve been impressed with it, the technology the P4 brings with it allows anyone with basic skills, control and fly safety to capture the perfect footage easy in the correct place and time.
Let me elaborate.
Controlling the drone.
as mentioned with different conditions and weathers I can honestly say its ridiculously outstanding in the air, its been tested in 35mph winds in Snowdonia, North Wales and it was still responsive and flying but I’d say that would be its top end before you’re fighting to keep it stationary, the higher you go the faster aggressive speed of wind increases so anything over 10 mph is worth considering the flight still.
Camera & Gimbal
The camera, as expected, is amazing straight out of the
depending on the conditions for basic fast flying action – 1080p/120fps Normal or for computer with enough ram and hard drive the 4k 30fps is excellent.
Thomas Top Tip for shooting... TURN OFF THE AUTO WHITE BALANCE.
Easy video to image change over is quality… a few years ago I made some of my ‘best’ clips on the iPhone and GoPros and we’ve come a long way from the GoPro days now… The gimbal is steady, very steady, even in rough winds.
is it heavy? … The Weight.
…without calling out the Mavic Pro, Drones are heavy right? but not really a problem with this Drone. the DJI P4 come in weighing just 100gs more the DJI Phantom 3 Professional but its a £500 better bit of kit… the P4 with battery connected is just on the 1.3kg mark “perfect for the plane” compared to others in the same market its very light… perfect for adding to the camera bag for a mountain day or climb.
How far can you fly… The Range.
Most reviews comment on the fact the The Phantom 4 can go up to 3.1 miles from the point of control… This is only happened once in my 12 months of flying.
The Battery has a huge factor and that gives you 28 minutes of flight in perfect warm conditions, add some obstructions in the way, some cold air and high flying and taking a few minutes to get sorted you are not left with much before you have to consider getting the drone back in time too. but the pros are that it is 25% better than the previous version.
Note: You probably shouldn’t be flying with obstructions in the way anyhow without a licence or coverage agreement set in place.
Sense and Avoid
Honestly… Ive had the settings for the avoid tech turned off the whole time as they get in the way and cause issues when filming professional level shots. but The Phantom 4 does keep me informed on the distance to the ground right above my video feed which is a great extra.
On that that check out my Showreel of the past 12 months.