DJI unveiled the Pro version of its DJI Phantom 4 Drone. Image Source: Amazon

DJI debuts the new top end Phantom Pro 4 camera drone.  DJI’s Phantom Line of consumer drones is the heavyweight the industry, and The Phantom 4 Pro looks like it is going to be the new king of the skies.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro packs a 20MP camera, 4K video resolution, mechanical focus, dual coding, five directions of obstacle sensing, 4.31 miles long-range control and 30 minutes of flight time. The controller has a 5-hour battery life.

It is an upgrade from 2015’s Phantom 4, although the boy is still titanium and magnesium alloy construction, so the weight is almost the same.

The camera and the controller

The onboard camera uses a 1-inch 20-megapixel CMOS sensor, and it has a custom engineered lens with a mechanical aperture that improves shots at high speeds.

It records 4K videos at 60fps at H.264 format, or 4K at 30fps at H.265 format, both with a 100Mbps bitrate.

A more expensive controller option packs a 5.5-inch 1080p screen with built-in DJI Go app, so users do not need a mobile device to move the drone. The display is also more than twice as bright as conventional smart devices.

The controller has an HDMI port, Micro-SD card slot, embedded loudspeaker, and microphone, a Wi-Fi connection, and an upgraded Lightbridge HD video transmission system to communicate with the drone.

The FlightAutonomy system for five-direction obstacle sensing

DJI Phantom Pro 4 is a 4K crash proof camera drone. It is an upgrade from 2015’s Phantom 4, with a major revamp of its obstacle avoidance system: it has a set of high-resolution stereo vision sensors on the front and rear and infrared sensors on the left and right sides.

The drone detects obstacles at four directions as 98 feet away (30 meters) at full 31 miles per hour. If users wanted to go fast on earlier models they had to put the drone into Sports Mode and disengage crash avoidance.

The Phantom Pro 4 packs five intelligent flight modes

First off is the Draw mode, a brand new technology for waypoint control. It allows the drone to move across the path the users draw onscreen.

With the ActiveTrack, the Phantom 4 Pro automatically recognizes subjects and follows them as they move. The feature can take profile pictures of the item or record it from various angles.

TapFly enables the pilots to adjust the direction of the camera drone with a simple tap on-screen. Users can tap to fly forward, backward and “free,” an option that makes the Phantom turn the camera back while flying.

DJI’s Mavic Pro focuses on portability, its arms and propellers fold alongside its body for easy transportation just like stepbrother Karma. Image Source: Les Numeriques
DJI’s Mavic Pro focuses on portability, its arms and propellers fold alongside its body for easy transportation just like stepbrother Karma. Image Source: Les Numeriques

The Return Home mode makes the Phantom 4 Pro choose the best route to return to base depending on environmental conditions. The feature records the way as it flies, so the drone can trace it back even when the user loses connection with the remote control.

Finally, pilots can capture a selfie using a few gestures without the controller.

Price, release date and availability

Customers can preorder the  Phantom Pro 4 at DJI’s website. The standard price for the camera drone is $1,499.

The company also offers the Phantom 4 Pro with the 1080p display on the controller for $1,799.

The drone comes with no accessories. Some of them are the Phantom Backpack with a price tag of $329, various $29 filters, a $14 DJI USB Charger, or an Intelligent Flight Battery with a price tag of $169.

 Source: DJI