The Quadcopter DJI Phantom 3 Review

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1500m Control Range

1 hour Recharge

25 min Flight Time

12 MP Camera

Introduction

This article presents the DJI Phantom 3 review. There are other variants to the DJI Phantom, which are presented in the table below that describes the differences between the different drone variants. There are slight differences in range, and imaging quality so be sure to understand the differences.

This drone is an amazing piece of technology that is changing the face of aerial photography. You can be taking almost professional grade videos and photos with this drone right out of the box. It doesn’t hurt that this drone is simple to fly. It does take a bit of practice, but once you learn the basics, you are good to go.

One minor thing to note is that the landing feet do not retract on this drone, so you can only shoot images in the forward-looking direction of flight. The gimbal does look like it can hand full rotations, however, this limitation does not take away from the utility of this drone.

Battery

This drone does come with a 100W charger, so the battery charging time is slightly under 40 minutes. At full charge, you can expect about 20 to 24 minutes of flight time with moderate camera use. If you have the camera on constantly, the flight time will be reduced.

 

DJI Phantom 3 Review

Pros and Cons

Good camera options

Gives you the power to create professional shots.

Easy to fly

The smart features makes the drone easy to fly.

Fast GPS processing

The smart navigation allows for accurate positioning.


(4.2/5)


$539.00
(as of 2018-09-25 at 11:25 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-09-25 at 11:25 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

No obstacle avoidance

Collision avoidance features are not available for this model.

Cannot broadcast live video

Lack of HDMI output on the controller.

Can only record forward view

The camera cannot be rotated to view in all directions.

Controller and Software

The hand controller is not a cheap plastic module you typically get with a starter drone kit. This controller has rubber surfaces and is very comfortable to hold. It doesn’t feel like it’s about to slip out of your hands.

On the controller, you have a button for taking videos and for taking still images. You can also change your imaging exposure and a dial what controls the pitch movements on the camera gimbal. Also, there are two customizable buttons on the back of the controller that you can configure. If you don’t like the arrangement of the flight controls, you can go into the app and modify the configuration to your liking.

This controller has utilizes the DJI Lightbridge link to connect directly to your smartphone. So for FPV monitoring of the drone flight, you have 720p video at 30 fps that can be used up to about 2 km.

The piloting application is available for both Android and Apple operating systems. The app features a readout to show how fast you are traveling, and a signal strength indicator between your controller and the drone. There is also a mini-map that lets you track the position of your drone. The app allows calibration of the compass and drone gyros and provides a battery level indicator. For videos and stills, you can control all settings from the app. You can shoot still images while you are taking a video.

The app allows for numerous camera settings. You can pick if you want the still images in JPEG or in the raw native format. For the video quality settings, you have options for white balance and set the contrast and saturation levels. There are four different video modes: 2 x 4K options, and 1920 x 1080p and 720 P options.

 

DJI Phantom 3 Review Video

Camera

The 20 mm camera is well suited to capturing quality images, especially in lowlight conditions. The field of view of the camera is 94° giving you less overall barrel distortion. There are a number of options for different resolutions and frame rates. When shooting 4K, you are restricted to 30 fps, but at HD and 720p, you can go up to 60 fps. The bit rate of the camera is slightly on the low side at 60 Mbs.

The camera is mounted on a 3-axis stabilizing gimbal mechanism, which compensates for slight movements of the drone, and smooths out vibrations caused by the rotors.

This camera cannot compete with drones that have the capability to attach a dedicated cinematic camera. However, this is geared towards the casual video shooter enthusiast. You won’t be disappointed with the resultant imaging quality considering you can shoot at 12 megapixels. With a bit of post-processing, your images will look stellar.

Flight Performance

This drone is rather easy to learn how to fly. Taking this for a spin for 15 minutes in an open area will give you the proper feel for the basics of flight. The drone features good accelerations, as well as good deceleration for avoiding any potential obstacles. The drone does correct for wind, so it can handle slight winds.

This drone is a very stable imaging platform and provides for a smooth and stable flight that results in amazing captured imagery. To aid in stability, the drone has an optical flow sensor which essentially another small camera that detects patterns to lock onto in order to stabilize its xy position. This allows for very stable hovering over a fixed position. There are also ultrasonic sensors that measure the distance from the drone to the ground, providing for more accurate elevation estimation.

This drone has an improved GPS internal processor allowing for quick acquisition of a GPS signal lock. This GPS also works with the Russian as a well as the standard GPS satellites, allowing for faster and more reliable satellite signals for position determination.

DJI Phantom 3 Review Summary

This drone features excellent image quality, allowing up to 4K resolution video capture. It is quick to set up and very easy to learn how to fly. The stabilized gimbal platform provides for smooth flowing images with no jitter.

The DJI Phantom 3 Professional has a lot of features for its given price point. This will easily meet your imaging needs for aerial photography.

 

DJI Phantom 3


(4.2/5)


$539.00
(as of 2018-09-25 at 11:25 CET)
Price Disclaimer Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2018-09-25 at 11:25 CET and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
DJI Phantom 3 Review Brief

Summary

DJI is one of the leaders in the development of consumer drones for aerial photos and videos. [easyazon_link identifier=”B013U0F6EQ” locale=”US” tag=”droneomega-20″]The DJI Phantom 3[/easyazon_link] is an amazing combination of price, power, and ease of use for anyone who is interested in a very good quadcopter. It is simple enough for a beginner, but as many advanced features for experienced fliers. While other so called advanced drones have position hold problems when they lose GPS signal, the Phantom has a stereo vision position system that provides for precise hovering without GPS. This makes this drone easier, and safer to fly. The multiple flight modes provide flexibility to meet different flying demands, and allowing easier aerial video capture. Read the full DJI Phantom 3 review for further information.

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