I got my Dji Phantom 4 pro for 5 months ago so i got some fight hours under my wings by now. So in this review i will go into some of the specs and my main buying points over other drones on the market.
My drone journey started pretty simple. Parts delivered in a cardboard box from china, a few hours with an online manual and a soldering iron, i had a working drone. For me this was the perfect way to learn flying. I ended up running it into a few trees during it's lifetime but this was no worry when you know how it's built and can easily replace parts. So if you're interested in drones and want to play around and figure out if its something you would spend more time and money on, then building your own drone is a great learning experience.
|Camera sensor||1" CMOS, 20 Megapixels|
|Flight time||Around 20-30 min, depending on wind and temperature|
|Flight speed||72 kph (45 mph)|
|Range||4.3 mi or 7 km (FCC) 1.2 mi or 3.5 km (CE)|
|Dimensions||350 mm without propellers|
Okei so first i want just to start of with the biggest downside of the phantom 4 drone from my point of view and that must be size. Compared with the mavic pro or the newest mavic air, the phantom is a bulky beast. Sure you get some kind of styrofoam case with a handel so you can safely transport it around but it's not "stylish" or handy at all. So the first thig i got was a manfrotto backpack for the drone. The sweet thing about this backpack is that it got lots of small compartments and on the top it got a seperat space for my camera. So I can literally have my whole adventure kit in one backpack ready to go.
So why did i end up with a phantom and not a smaller and more travel friendly mavic pro or air? For me it was all about sensor size and wanting the best image quality. So the sensor of a mavic air for example is a 1/2.3” CMOS and the phantom 4 pro edition is a 1" CMOS . This resulting in more megapixels (12 MP mavic air and 20 MP phantom 4) work with and also better lowlight capabilities.
Comparing my partly cable tied and electical tape held together flying device to the ease of flying a drone made by professionals was day and night. On a dji drone you got sensors for everything, they can actually be hard to crash. You got obstacle avoidance sensors, high precision gps for posission hold or to actually plan out and make a autonomous flight route.
When you get your phantom in the air you got the options of a few intelligent flight modes or flying manual. I always fly manual and on some occasions use the ActiveTrack flight mode so i can get a walking shot of myself.
While the phantom 4 is not a travel friendly drone, if you get a good backpack it should not be a problem getting around with it. I'm also a bit jealous of the flip out props on the smaller drones for even more ease when getting ready for take off. When you get it in the air the control feels pretty comfortable in the hands, and movement of the sticks are quite smooth and responsive. Getting used to the controller and button placement can be achieved with only a few flights and dji offers quite some modifications in the app if there is something that doesn't feel right.
Quick tip: Use the built-in flight simulator before you take off in your own garden and going straight through your living room window.