• Wednesday, March 2, 2016

    DJI Phantom 3 Professional Review Easiest and Smartest Drone with Obstacle Avoidance

    DJI Phantom 3 Professional Review Easiest and Smartest Drone with Obstacle Avoidance
    DJI Phantom 3 Professional Review Easiest and Smartest Drone with Obstacle Avoidance

    Pros: Most Ready to fly out of the box, easy to handle, stable and reassuring flight, long range, stabilized camera that takes beautiful 4K video

    Cons: Drone less upscale therefore still quite expensive, difficult to distinguish the videos 4K Full HD video, battery prices, flight time limited to 20 minutes

    Summary With its simple operation and high image quality in 4K, the DJI Phantom 3 Professional is as one of the best drone / flying camera in the market. The drone DJI Phantom series have become benchmarks for consumer drones thanks to their ease of handling and relatively affordable. The Phantom 3 Professional, top model of the brand, put the bar even higher with the addition of video in Ultra HD / 4K on its stabilized camera.

    If the design has not changed much compared to the Phantom 2, it is still incredibly easy to use. The image sensor is more efficient and the unit receives sensors to enable it to fly indoors without GPS. Those who want to make beautiful videos without breaking the bank in a professional drone Phantom is the best choice out there.

    DJI offers three versions of its Phantom drone 3: Standard, Advanced and Professional. The Phantom Pro 3 films in Ultra HD (3820 x 2160 pixels) and costs 1399 euros (at the time of this writing, it was discounted to 1469 euros with an extra battery). The Phantom 3 Advanced offers the same features, but it shoots in 1080p and costs 899 euros. Finally comes the Phantom Standard 3 to 599 euros which is devoid of the main features of the two most expensive models, and uses the same remote control as the Phantom 2 Vision+.

    Ultimately, it is the Advanced offers the best compromise given that its Full HD quality fit ample to most viewers. But for those who absolutely want the Ultra HD / 4K Phantom 3 Pro offers the best video quality for much cheaper than a real professional drone.


    The Phantom 3 is identical to previous models in this range: a white plastic chassis, four rotors and landing feet attached below. It is light enough to be carried with one hand and, once disassembled propellers, can slip into a backpack good size bag.

    The construction is as solid as before and will support some flying accidents during handling. Propellers are easily changed in case they are damaged. The Remote Control is virtually identical to the previous versions with two control knobs and a clamp to hold a tablet (we tried with iPad mini without problems) or smartphone screen used for visual feedback of the UAV camera.

    The mobile app is optimized for iPhone 5s and 6 / 6s and 6 / 6s Plus. On the side of Android, the list of compatible devices is not very long: Samsung Galaxy S5 / S6 and Note 3, Sony Xperia Z3, Google Nexus 7 and 9, Xiaomi Mi 3 and the ZTE Nubia Z7. On each upper corner of the remote control are buttons to start / stop video recording and manage settings such as exposure and angle of view. In the end, it is easier to use the physical controls than the small buttons of the mobile application when the device is in flight.

    The grip

    The handling of this drone is incredibly simple. Once out of the box, the battery is charged, the remote control and is installed on the DJI Application Pilot's Android or iOS device. Then, install the smartphone or tablet on the remote and connect with the cable before turning on the whole. Then there are some adjustments to make in the application and then is ready for takeoff. It did not take us more than 5 minutes to prepare everything.

    To train you, the application offers an emulator to familiarize themselves with the main controls. But despite the ease of handling, we recommend beginners to take their first flights in well cleared areas and free public nearby.


    The Phantom 3 is as easy to drive as its predecessors. Ten minutes to master the basics. This drone is incredibly responsive, it can accelerate and slow down extremely fast. And if by chance you get too close to an obstacle, simply release the levers to stop the drone hovering. The steering is visually manageable up to thirty meters away. Beyond that, we must rely on the image provided by the on-board camera.

    Note that the range of the Phantom Pro 3 is announced at about 5 Km (FCC mode) and 2.5 Km (in CE mode). A very large distance that exceeds the limits set by French regulations.

    Under the battery pack, the Phantom 3 Pro is seen with Visual Positioning System (visual sensors and ultrasonic sweep the floor) that can fly in areas without GPS, especially indoors. This system provides better stability. During our test, we fly the aircraft in a salon before making him leave the room through the window. But the system requires several conditions to work well: do not fly over surfaces that absorb sound, water or reflective surfaces and do not exceed a height of 3 meters.

    In terms of autonomy, DJI ad between 20 and 23 minutes, which is quite in line with reality. It also depends on how you apply the drone. Long fly at full speed and high altitude will obviously reduce the battery life. The latter is removable and an extra battery costs 149 euros. Unfortunately, batteries previous DJI drones are not compatible.
    When the battery level becomes critical, function automatically resets the drone to its starting point. We can also activate the automatic return at any time by pressing the remote control button or that of the mobile application.

    The video

    The camera Phantom Pro 3 features the same sensor 1 / 2.3 inches than the previous model, but the dynamic range is improved and exposure is generally more balanced.
    The main feature of this model is that it shoots in Ultra HD. This offers a tremendous amount of detail when viewed on a compatible display. But that's not the only benefit, as an image of this quality also allows for cropping keeping a full HD or higher resolution.

    If one is filming a particular object, this level of resolution makes it possible to stabilize the image digitally by eliminating unwanted movements of the drone and ensuring that the object remains in focus. The Phantom Pro 3 can film in HD 4096x2160p Ultra at 24/25 frames / sec and 3840x2160p at 24/25/30 frames / sec. It can also work in full HD 1920x1080p at 24/25/30/48/50/60 frames / sec.

    Dials on the remote control used to operate the camera up and down. The main difference between the Pro and the Phantom 3 DJI Inspire 1 which is more expensive is that we can not control the camera with a second remote control. This means that one can not make a movie with someone who pilot the drone and another that manages independently shooting. For this, it will spend more and go for the Inspire 1.

    The objective 20mm f2.8 (35mm equivalent) offers a 94 degree field of view. It is narrower than the 140 degrees that proposed the Vision Camera +, but the advantage is that there is much less distortion. Video enthusiasts and professionals will appreciate not having to be corrected by post production.

    The camera is mounted on a stabilizing platform on three axes avoiding any sudden movement and rubber vibration caused by the rotors. The operating system really well with the key to a more stable picture that produced the Phantom 2. One tip though. To get the best picture possible, opt for maneuvers and flexibility. Below are examples of footage that we filmed.

    The live video broadcast

    One of the novelties offered by the Phantom 3 is the ability to stream live video via YouTube. You must first configure your YouTube account to be broadcast live. But this requires above all a very good wireless connection (ideally 4G) so that the video stream is flowing and even with that, the quality is very compressed. However, this function is no less impressive and can be useful for business use.


    The Phantom 3 Pro is incredibly simple to learn and use which makes it accessible even to people who are not familiar with the drones. The image quality significantly improved, the option Ultra HD and stabilizing nacelle provide much better shots than previous models.

    Unless you have really the usefulness of Ultra HD and possess sufficiently powerful computer to read and work of such a resolution videos, the Phantom Advanced, which is identical in every respect except that it filmed "only" full HD 1080p suit most users.

    But for those who really need the Ultra HD, the Phantom 3 Pro is a very good choice. It offers access to more affordable than professional aerial video drones, which are suitable for enthusiasts video enthusiasts to those who simply want to make beautiful videos.

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