The Amazing New DJI Phantom 4 Pro REVIEW

Soooo I got a drone.  Now, I know what you’re thinking, that I got a DJI Mavic Pro because it’s so compact and great for traveling.  Newp.  I got a DJI Phantom 4 Pro!

dji phantom 4 pro review

Real quickly, if you’d rather hear the dulcet baritone sound of my voice describing things instead, I put together this super amazing crazy awesome video review:

Ok, let’s take a look at the Phantom 4 Pro:

  • 20 megapixel camera with full manual control and DNG RAW shooting capability
  • Can shoot 4K video at up to 60 frames per second
  • Obstacle-avoidance sensors on all sides
  • Remote controller makes you look like a huge dork
  • Has something called ActiveTrack which can track your motion and automatically follow!
  • Ummmm…it flies

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So that’s not the most thorough explanation of the capabilities of the drone but there are plenty of other articles about that, especially on DJI’s website.

Why I’m excited about the drone

I’ve been looking at drones for a long time, especially since this Casey Neistat vlog, which features some incredible drone shots over Lion’s Head in Cape Town, South Africa.  Drone technology has improved by leaps and bounds in the past few years, culminating in the release of two DJI drones that I think will be bellwethers for a long time: the DJI Phantom 4 Pro and the DJI Mavic.

The Mavic is the most portable drone out there but I was never that impressed with the footage I saw from it.  The Phantom 4 Pro, however, is amazing, for one huuuuuge reason…

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Yep, the camera (and yes, the UV filter casing has a chip in it because your favorite travel blogger managed to crash this uncrashable drone into a friend’s wall on day two of owning it).  20 megapixels, RAW capability, mechanical shutter, you name it.  Granted the Mavic and the original Phantom 4 have similar specs but the 20 megapixels, the shutter, and putting those on a 1″ sensor really changed the game for me.  I like having quite a bit of control when I take pictures and I just felt like the Phantom 4 Pro gives me control where the Mavic or the original Phantom 4 wouldn’t.

Is it easy to fly?

Wow yes.  Santa brought me a small drone a few Christmases ago so I was familiar with the mechanics of drone flying already, but even still this thing pretty much flies itself.  It actually will fly itself, depending on the mode you choose.  The Phantom 4 Pro has obstacle-detection sensors on all four sides as well as below the drone, which keeps you from running into things.  That said you can still crash it (as you can see in the picture of the gimbal above), but don’t be a moron and you’ll be fine.

What kinda sucks about it?

Battery life.

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The batteries are not cheap at about $150 apiece and under the best conditions you can expect about 28-30 minutes of flying (real world experience so far is about 22-23 minutes).  With how much money I already spend on camera stuff I realize $150 seems like a pittance but I can totally see myself ending up with 3-4 batteries in the near future.

How are the pictures?

I love the camera!  The 4K video is wonderful, as expected, but I’ve been impressed with the crispness and sharpness of the still images as well.

Here are a few images I’ve shot around Dallas since picking up the drone last weekend:

dji phantom 4 pro review

dji phantom 4 pro review

Aaaand a self portrait.

dji phantom 4 pro review

I can’t wait to take the drone on the road with me to places like Lugard Road in Hong Kong and Lake Bled in Slovenia!

What are some disclaimers you can give us about flying drones?

Look up local regulations, secure whatever permissions are necessary, don’t be a stupid when flying drones, etc.

Basically be responsible and follow the rules.  Drones got popular much faster than governments realized and regulations are coming fast to catch up with them, so make sure you keep up to date on what you can and can’t do with yours.

Hey what about that $20 you owe me?

Ok that’s all we have time for today everyone, hope you enjoyed the review!  Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!

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