[This article is coming from the first batch customer of DJI Phantom 4] As the welfare of Shenzhen, smoothly get DJI Phantom 4 at the first day of the official delivery . No need to say the feelings part, I only simple to send intuitive feeling type evaluation. First to say a summary, Phantom 4 is actually a new benchmark level products, not only update from Phantom 3 Pro, but an new era of innovation. She is no longer simply aerial devices, but the crystallization of robotics and industrial aesthetics.
Smooth Housing Design
This DJI Phantom 4 changed the previous design, overall curve tends to be more rounded (as you laugh fat ELF), not like the rough material as before, but instead of bright surface smooth coating similar piano paint.
Pan-Tilt to double arms design, feel more smooth of all the axles.
There are binocular camera at front tripod ( two black dots). Propeller material is more hard than Phantom 3, smooth bright surface material.
New motor seat, similar to the M100 self-locking seat design, but upgrade. This will ensure that the basic self-locking reed paddle case (not tightened after unlocking, the paddle will be left out…) . Compared to Inspire Pro, the motor seat will not easy to bounce while a half paddle in the sky.
More Advance Performance Camera and Pan-Tilt
Temporarily put aside the highlights of Phantom 4, return camera performance. According to the official website data and measured results, Phantom 4 compared to Phantom 3 Pro, the highlight is slow motion lens in FHD1080 120P and lens group optimization. But on weak light and cloudy conditions, shooting is still not satisfactory. Personal point of view, probably because the main promotion efforts in terms of intelligence, and the current level of the camera, has basically met the demand at this price level (non professional demand for aerial). But Pan-Tilt performance has made me amazing.
The Phantom 4 brings us a new Sport mode. On DJI GO screen, switching to Sport mode , the attitude ball which at lower left corner will be changed to RPM table. It’s an interesting little detail. And the maximum speed can reach 20m/s (72km/h). In the afternoon flight, try to play a full bar in all directions, and video playback, found the whole image almost no jitter. It can be said roughly the same stability as any gentle rod of the P mode. Thus the new Pan-Tilt has the great training on.
More Smart, Obstacle Avoidance, TapFly Flight, ActiveTrack
The Phantom 4 biggest change should be in the application of visual navigation technology. According to the teardown photos, FPGA scheme using binocular obstacle avoidance for Lattice LCMXO3L-2100C-6BG256I, the Lattice MachXO3 series. Figure transfer program uses Artosyn’s RF solution.
Officially shipped the first day, some worried about becoming the first Phantom 4 bombing consumers worldwide documentary. Fortunately, the new binocular barrier effect did not let me down. We randomly selected three basic obstacles, pillars, trees and signs. (no mention of walls… Basically no pressure…)
Pillar: for pillars, basically Phantom 4 can avoid the barrier in the field of vision. Such obstacles just like the wall, the larger target.
Trees: for trees, Phantom 4 does not perfectly avoid all branches, but outstanding performance with more dense of foliage, or trunk (basic regardless of thickness)!
Signs: signs is a random obstacle, we let the aircraft close to a big tree in the pointing flight mode, but a street sign between the interval. When I have been ready to manually help for Phantom 4, it pulled high with no disappointed , across the street sign, succeed to evade the obstacles.
Overall, for obstacle avoidance effect, P4 (Phantom 4) has significantly improved compared to Guidance. Removed the ultrasound module, using only binocular vision. Obstacles on the DJI GO instructions, from 5 meters away pillars, to nearly 1 meters of people, can be displayed on the screen in real time. (here is one point, the barrier distance is not less than 0.5m, otherwise can not identify obstacles) and P4 only forward obstacle avoidance, probably because of the cost problem. Note: the obstacle avoidance function is not an excuse for P4 death!
Just back and forth through in the school grove (are thin saplings), obstacle avoidance function is still excellent. But because only forward obstacle avoidance, is likely to avoid obstacles in front, maybe lateral impact! Especially for the P4 who will only look at the first perspective!
Pointing Flight ( TapFly )
Pointing flight mode which called TapFly is very simple as its name. Just click on the right position of iPad / iPhone screen, and then select GO, P4 will flight to this position automatically. Speed optional, 1m-8m/s. A lot of people should be suspected obstacle avoidance problem in flight, the so-called bypass around the elevated obstacle avoidance or right left mode. In fact, this is option in DJI GO, you can set to open the mode how to bypass around the obstacle avoidance. (no need to worry about hitting ceiling problem) the overall feeling is smooth… For aerial enthusiasts, in a single aerial, should be relax, put more attention on the composition and grasp the lens.
Visual Following (Active Track)
Visual follow which called Active Track function, the operation is very simple, just gently box election, a key GO. In case of steady speed, and leaves the shelter, P4 maintain stable tracking, and increased itself to around the leaves. After choosing a 90 degree turn right route, P4 can basically achieve automatic control of the YAW axis, to keep the target tracking. The only problem that occurs when a person is crossing the P4 is that the angle is too biased to cause the target to lose, but when I manually corrected the camera back to the vision, it successfully re identified the target and tracking again. After the target is lost, a certain period of time can still re open tracking. But too long time can be completely lost. Has visual tracking, for people who have more of a choice, whether it is the movement of people or animals. Target around specific points of interest, or coordination of movement, visual technology began to really make aerial is a big rocker without limit.
- Visual Navigation Technology, including Obstacle Avoidance, Pointing Flight and Visual Following
- New Pan-Tilt, Stability at any direction and mode
- Easy Control, Click to GO
- More Powerful Battery, 25% improved compare with Phantom 3 Pro
- Support 4K Video
- Weak light condition, Camera is not satisfactory
- Battery is also not strong enough, only 28 flight minutes. Improved by Phantom 4 Pro to 30 minutes
- Only binocular camera at front, improved by Phantom 4 Pro which support 5-Direction of Obstacle Sensing
Overall, the vision has enough amazing. It’s hard to believe that amazing things which we have only seen in paper a few days ago, like local SLAM, like learning in tracking, and make the real deal into industrial products. And maybe first time make the complex visual tracking technology into consumer products, maintain sufficient performance and depression cost. This ability in the Drone era, DJI is unique. Don’t talk the experience precipitation, the industry channels, just come back the product itself. A new drone era is coming.
Improved Points at Phantom 4 Pro compare to Phantom 4
The Phantom 4 Pro redefines the iconic Phantom series, bringing imaging and intelligence to new heights. Its uprated camera shoots 4K/60fps at a bitrate of 100Mbps and stills up to 20-megapixels, creating dramatically better images. The FlightAutonomy system adds dual rear vision sensors and two Time of Flight range imaging cameras for a total of 5 directions of obstacle sensing with a range of up to 30m in all directions. The upgraded Lightbridge HD video transmission system offers an extended maximum transmission range of 4.3mi (7km) and also enables you to switch between 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz. It can also be used with an optional integrated monitor for even more reliable transmission. Operators are also further empowered with a new suite of ActiveTrack and TapFly functions. The aircraft’s Intelligent Flight Battery also have increased capacity by 520mAh to enable an extended flight time of 30 minutes.