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DJI Phantom 4 Pro Hands-On Preview

We go hands-on with the new DJI Phantom 4 Pro with a new 20 megapixel 1inch sensor camera and upgraded features.

|  DJI Phantom 4 Pro in Drones
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DJI Phantom 4 Pro (8)

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Pro+ is a new upgraded version of the Phantom 4 which we reviewed earlier this year, with improvements made in image quality with a whole new 20 megapixel camera (up from 12mp on the standard Phantom 4), as well as improvements made in safety when flying the drone, making it even more difficult to crash.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro (2)

Designed to answer and resolve issues people had about the image quality of the Phantom 4, DJI has listened to feedback, and heard that whilst the quality of the Phantom 4 was very good, for those demanding the best image quality, it could be improved, and that’s where the Phantom 4 Pro comes in. With a larger 1inch CMOS sensor, as well as a newly developed 24mm equivalent prime lens, the image quality for both stills and video has been significantly improved.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro Key Features

  • 20mp 1inch CMOS sensor
  • 24mm (equivalent) f/2.8-f/11 lens
  • Mechanical shutter cancels rolling shutter
  • 4K (CINE/UHD) upto 60fps H.264 100Mbps recording
  • 4K (CINE/UHD) upto 30fps H.265 100Mbps recording
  • FullHD video upto 120fps
  • 11.6 stops of dynamic range
  • 3-axis gimbal
  • Max speed 45mph (Sport mode), 36mph (A mode), 31mph (P mode)
  • Max transmission range 4.3miles (7km)

For the first time, DJI has also released MTF charts for lens to show that they are confident about the quality of the lens and camera. The lens features 8 elements, in seven groups, with 2 aspherical elements. This, combined with the larger 1inch 20 megapixel CMOS sensor should result in more detailed photos that are sharper, and should also mean that low-light performance is better than the Phantom 4. Like the Phantom 4, you get manual control over the camera settings for both stills and video.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro Lens
DJI Phantom 4 Pro - Lens MTF Chart

DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ Remote control - The Phantom 4 Pro+ comes with a remote control with a built-in 5.5inch (16:9) 1920x1080 screen for a quicker refresh rate with less latency, compared to using a smartphone or tablet. The screen is also brighter than most phones and tablets with 1000 nits (cd/m2) brightness, this compared to around 400-700nits on most smartphones and tablets. This is so you can see the screen in bright sunlight. The Pro+ controller also offers an HDMI port for clean video output, and there is a MicroSD card slot for an additional video backup, in addition to the MicroSD card slot in the drone.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro (1)

There are now more sensors, than the Phantom 4, including front and rear cameras. IR detection has been added on the left and right of the drone for side protection. Like the Phantom 4 there are also cameras and sonic sensors facing down for safe landing. However, the Phantom 4 Pro doesn’t feature any sensors to detect objects above the drone, unlike the Inspire 2.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro (6)

There’s an updated propeller fastening system that ensures that you correctly attach the propellers. If you don’t, then they will pop-off so you know it’s not been put on correctly.

The drone will also fly faster (up to 31mph) with obstacle detection switched on, which is an improvement over the standard Phantom 4, which was limited to 22mph with obstacle detection switched on. Flight time has also been improved, with up to 30 minutes, compared to 28 minutes on the Phantom 4.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro (9)

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro camera is said to be a better camera than the Zenmuse X3 camera on the Inspire 1. The Zenmuse X3 uses a 12megapixel 1/2.3inch CMOS sensor. Video has been improved, with a higher codec, so the video is less compressed (100Mbps up from 60Mbps), and the camera will record 4K video at 60fps (up from 30fps). There's also the option to record 4K video at 30fps using H.265 compression. 

The drone is compatible with DJI’s SDK (Software Development Kit) so developers can make additional apps.

The Phantom 4 Pro is available for £1589, without screen. or the Phantom 4 Pro+ with screen built-in to the controller is available for £1819, and the drone will begin shipping from the 24th November. We will be looking at the Phantom 4 Pro in more detail, when the drone is available for review. Additional photos of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro can be found here.

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