Recently, DJI introduced its first compact, folding drone in the form of the Mavic Pro, and it sold out quicker than expected. Now, the company is hoping to continue its winning streak with the Phantom 4 Pro, the follow-up to its already-successful prosumer UAV.
We’ll start with the camera upgrades, which include a bump up to a 1-inch, 20-megapixel CMOS sensor that’s significantly bigger than the 1/2.3-inch sensor in the previous model. The lens is custom engineered and now uses a mechanical aperture, which helps to eliminate the in-footage wobbles that come from rolling shutter. The mechanical shutter has a maximum speed of 1/2000 sec, while the electronic shutter max has been bumped up to 1/8000 sec.
For video, the Phantom 4 Pro can capture 4K video at up to 60p while maintaining a 100 Mbps bitrate, so it’s moving and capturing lots of data while flying.
In terms of navigation, the Phantom 4 Pro sports an extra set of high-resolution vision sensors at the rear in addition to those in the front. The left and right sides have infrared sensing systems, all of which combines for increased obstacle avoidance.
The body is now made from titanium alloy, making the whole drone lighter and stiffer, so it improves performance all around.
The controller uses an upgraded video transmission system over 5.8GHz network, which prevents any interference with the 2.4GHz frequency used for controlling the craft, which should result in better control.
So, despite the relatively similar names, there are some definite improvements to be had when upgrading to the Phantom 4 Pro from the Phantom 4. The Phantom 4 Pro costs $1,499, a premium over the standard model, which you can currently buy from DJI for $1,399 with two additional batteries and a charging hub.
When it comes to drones of this level, DJI has been the leader for a while, and it doesn’t seem like the company is eager to give up that status. We will be interested to try out the new Phantom 4 Pro when retail units are available.