Anyone who has flown a drone a couple of times knows the skill required to get it off the ground. Though experts may make it look easy,most people take weeks to understand how to fly one safely. DJI, however, want to change all that with their new Phantom 3 Standard drone. The camera drone, as it is often called, is a quadcopter that has a built-in camera capable of capturing HD video, and it can sustain up to 25 minutes of continuous flight on a single charge. DJI has also added a new “Follow Me” feature to the cam, which we will discuss below.
The new Phantom 3 comes with an improved 12-megapixel camera, capable of capturing 2.7K HD video at a standard 30 frames per second via 94-degree lenses. It also takes still images in DNG Raw or JPG formats. Because the camera is kept steady by means of a gimbal, the person controlling the drone does not need to be an expert to capture great footage. The video can also be streamed directly to a smartphone where it is recorded. The Phantom 3 also has a GPS,and Wi-Fi capability.
Easier Flying –Dream or Reality?
The biggest selling point is that the person flying it does not need to be experienced. The company claims that even first-timers can master the drone in mere minutes, without crashing into trees. Better stabilization, with built-in gyroscopes, is credited for making the drone easy to handle and maneuver. But should new pilots shell out $800 in the hope that they won’t crash multiple times while they conquer the learning curve?
Newbies who tested the Phantom 3 reported that it was very easy to operate. In fact, most people found it hard to crash even when they tried to! The video recorded by many inexperienced pilots was not steady; the still images looked blurry and obviously there was a bit of stutter, but, with practice, it was possible to get 100% steady still shots and capture great video. Compared to the previous generation, most people reported that it was a lot easier to get the drone off the ground and maneuver.
The updated remote control now also has a built-in Wi-Fi range extender ,as well as a wheel that helps to angle the camera. It takes a little getting used to, but these are definitely welcome additions.
The ‘Follow Me’ feature
There are times when a person may have to be filmed from the airwhile walking. Though an experienced drone operator can easily pull it off, it is neither safe nor easy for a newbie. This is where the new ‘Follow Me’ feature comes in; the Phantom 3 can intelligently follow a person wherever they go. There is also Waypoint navigation,that allows operators to set a number of points that chart out the route for the drone. So, all users need to do is to control the camera’s pan and tilt while the computer takes care of the flightplan.
‘Point of Interest’ Feature
This feature is hugely useful, as it simplifies one of the most difficult maneuvers in aerial filming;all users need to do is define an object and the drone will fly around that object in a complete and perfect circle with the selected object framed tightly in the center. People who have the Phantom 3 series right now will receive the feature via firmware upgrades in coming weeks, but they can also be obtained via third party SDK apps.
We love the DJI Phantom 3 and would recommend it to anyone who is new to filming and flying a drone. However, it does not offer anything new to a professional who has already been flying a drone with a mounted camera for years. So, if you have the first DJI Phantom or the Phantom 3, upgrading is not really recommended because you’ll get many of these features via an update and third-party apps. This is why we only recommend it to people who are flying a drone for the first time or those who, despite countless hours, still haven’t been able to master the art.