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DJI's Phantom 3 Drone Puts a stabilized 4k camera in a $1259 package

Parts of content have been curated by the article author.


DJI further refines their line of popular drones with the Phantom 3 Pro and Advanced models. The DJI Phantom 2  is probably the best selling/most popular drone to date, let's see what they've cooked up to succed it:

Both models feature a built in gimbal stabilized camera. The pro version does 4k, the advanced does 1080, and are $1259 and $1000 respectively.

If you're unfamiliar with what a gimbal is, it's a series of motors and sensors which counteract unwanted movement. The result is super-steady video. Gimbals typically cost several hundred dollars on their own. The gopro model which records 4k is also $400 on its own, making this overall package a rather nice deal.

They've also done work on the sensors, there are now 3 of them at the bottom of the copter to help keep track of how high off the ground it is. DJI makes the bold claim that it can fly indoors with ease:

"Fly indoors, low to the ground, and in GPS-free areas with Vision Positioning technology. Visual and ultrasonic sensors scan
the ground beneath your Phantom 3 for patterns, enabling it to identify its position and move accurately.

The remote furthers their aim for simplicity and ease of use, You now can connect a tablet or smart phone to see a live feed from the camera as well as control the camera's positioning. 

Preventing flyaways and lost drones

DJI probably also heard from more than a few folks who have lost their drones, whether it be pilot error or hardware error, DJI has taken steps to prevent flyaways with their auto return to home feature. If you lose signal, the drone will head back to its takeoff point. On this note, it's always a very good idea to try out a much smaller and cheaper toy drone such as the Syma X5c  so you can get comfortable with flying before taking out the much pricer DJI Phantom 3


My finger is on the buy button, but being that today is just days away from NAB 2015, i'll wait and see if anything else gets announced that entices me away from this quadcopter. As it is, i'm pretty darn satisfied with what it's offering and the sample video they're showing is fantastic quality. I doubt there will be anything announced that will be a close competitor, but then again, you never know!

Raw Specs:

-Weight: 1280g 
-Diagonal Size: 689 mm
-Max Ascent Speed: 5 m/s
-Max Descent Speed: 3 m/s
-Hover Accuracy: Vertical: +/- 10cm, Horizontal: +/- 1m
-Max Speed: 16 m/s (ATTI mode, no wind)
-Max Altitude Above Sea Level: 6000m
-Battery:6000 mAh LiPo 2S
-Max Flight Time: Approximately 23 minutes

-Sony EXMOR 1/2.3” Effective pixels: 12.4 M (total pixels: 12.76 M)
-FOV: 94° 20 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.8, focus at ∞
-ISO Range: 100-3200 (video) 100-1600 (photo)
-Shutter Speed: 8s -1/8000s

Still Photography Modes:
-Single Shot
-Burst Shooting: 3/5/7 shots
-Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5
-Bracketed Frames at 0.7EV Bias

Video Recording Modes:
Phantom 3 Professional
-UHD: 4096x2160p 24/25, 3840x2160p 24/25/30
-FHD: 1920x1080p 24/25/30/48/50/60
-HD: 1280x720p 24/25/30/48/50/60
Phantom 3 Advanced
-FHD: 1920x1080p 24/25/30/48/50/60
-HD: 1280x720p 24/25/30/48/50/60

Supported SD Card Types:
-Micro SD
-Max capacity: 64 GB. Class 10 or UHS-1 rating required
-Max Bitrate 60 Mbps

Supported File Formats:
-Photo: JPEG, DNG
-Video: MP4, MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)

-Pitch Control: -90° to +30°
-3-axis Stabilization (pitch, roll, yaw)

Remote Controller:
Operating Frequency: 2.400 GHz-2.483 GHz
Max Distance: 2000m (outdoors and unobstructed)

Added on 2015-04-08 by
Darren Levine

Darren Levine

Stimulus Video

DP/Videographer, Video/Film Editor
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