DJI has unveiled its next-generation quadcopter with a built-in camera for consumers. The new drone is called Phantom 4 and it employs cutting-edge systems that allow it to automatically avoid obstacles.
The quadcopter market continues to grow, while people are starting to get into drone racing alongside aerial photography. DJI is among the first companies to launch quadcopters with integrated cameras designed for consumers and a new version is finally here.
It goes by the name of DJI Phantom 4 and it comes packed with several new features, beside the improved technical details. The new drone supports 4K video recording, but the big news is the fact that the drone can fly itself, thanks to the Obstacle Sensing System.
DJI unveils Phantom 4 drone with support for obstacle avoiding technology
A big challenge for drone-making companies is to make their devices easy to fly. Beginners are having a hard time when flying them for the first time and we have seen multiple videos of quadcopters crashing due to poor handling.
The good thing is that the DJI Phantom 4 features multiple tools that will try to make sure users will not crash their drone, as the device will avoid obstacles on its own.
The Obstacle Sensing System is a technology that includes a couple of optical sensors. The sensors will look for obstacles and, when they detect any, they will tell the drone to change its flight path in order to avoid any collisions.
If the OSS decides that an obstacle cannot be avoided, then the Phantom 4 will come to a complete stop and will hover, while waiting for the user to point it to another location.
Return to Home is still supported, so users can hit this function and the drone will return to its take-off location. It is worth noting that the OSS is turned on when the user activates the Return to Home tool, therefore it will diminish collision risks.
DJI Phantom 4 can follow around a user-designated subject
The next impressive technology is called ActiveTrack. DJI says that this tool is available on the DJI Go application for Android and iOS devices. When turned on, it will allow users to tap on a subject and the drone will follow it around, while keeping it in frame.
It is said that the Phantom 4 can maintain an object in frame even if it alters its shape or if it changes its direction. There is a pause button on the remote controller, that will turn off auto-flying, even in ActiveTrack mode, and will put the quadcopter in hover mode.
TapFly is another useful function. Users simply have to double-click on a destination in the DJI Go app and the drone will fly to that place. As expected, it will avoid any collisions while doing so.
New quadcopter is faster and provides an extended flight time compared to previous models
The improvements offered by the DJI Phantom 4 continue with a 28-minute flight time. The better battery will provide more fun time, albeit this depends on the mode chosen by the users.
A new Sport mode is available and it will give users a glimpse of drone racing. This mode allows the quadcopter to reach speeds of up to 20 meters per second / 45 miles per hour, while accelerating a lot faster than in normal modes.
As for the camera, it consists of a 12-megapixel sensor that captures 4K videos at 30fps and which can shoot 12MP RAW stills. Users can see HD footage in real-time on their mobile device from a maximum distance of 5 kilometers / 3.1 miles.
DJI Phantom 4 has a price of $1,399 and it will begin shipping on March 15. The new quadcopter is available for pre-order right now from the manufacturer’s website.