Hands on with the DJI Phantom 3
Aldryn Estacio of FLYT PATH wrote this excellent first look at the DJI Phantom 3. We are republishing this with his permission. We recommend checking out Aldryn’s work at his site.
The Phantom 3 was recently announced and I’m excited to share with you my experience with this amazing craft. DJI released two versions of the Phantom 3, the Professional Version (4k video) and the Advanced Version(1080p 60fps video). I’ve been test flying the Phantom 3 Advanced now for the past couple weeks and was able to capture some great photos utilizing the new technology integrated into this machine. I currently own a DJI Phantom 2 with H3-3D gimbal (GoPro) and a DJI Inspire 1, so I was so pleased to see that DJI merged all the good features of each into this simple, out of the box solution at a very reasonable price. This first look review is not to go through all the specs of the P3 (DJI.com click here) but instead I want to show you some features I really liked and how I use the craft.
All photos on this Phantom 3 first look review were shot by Aldryn Estacio, please do not edit, copy, or reuse any photos without written permission.
What’s in the box? Don’t forget that I received a beta test version so packaging may be different from final product.
The Phantom 3 Advanced came in an egg crate style package. The box included the Phantom 3, new controller (similar to Inspire 1), 8 self-tightening props that came in a DJI bag, extra dampers, tools, stickers and a charger. You will need to provide your own mobile device in order to connect the P3 to the DJI Pilot app. To view which device DJI recommends, click here. Final Phantom 3 Advanced package could change by the time of release. There is also a possible DJI backpack that may come out with the Phantom 3 Professional version. We will also see if that’s included when released.
“DJI has come up with an out of the box solution that is not only affordable, but now comes with technology such as light bridge and an indoor vision positioning system that used to only live on their higher end model the Inspire 1. ”
− Aldryn Estacio
First impressions after unboxing the DJI Phantom 3
The body of the Phantom 3 looks and feels just like the Phantom 2 series. The obvious difference from the P2 series is the wider landing gear, a beefed up camera compared to the Vision+, antennas on all four corners of the landing gear covered by a new plastic cover, and the bottom now has the Vision Positioning System similar to what’s on the Inspire 1 for indoor flying. The controller is completely new compared to the P2 series. The new controller is very similar to the Inspire remote but without the HMDI output ports on the back and it does not have the landing gear switch because the landing skids do not retract like the Inspire. A new 4S battery is also upgraded from the 3S version used on the Phantom 2 series. Unfortunately you will not be able to use your older P2 batteries with the new P3. Once you connect your mobile device to the USB port on the remote, you will need to download the DJI Pilot app and walk through the setup screens to register your craft.
Registering your Phantom
When hooking up your Phantom to your mobile device, the first thing you will do is register your Phantom into the DJI system. The great thing about registering is that all your flights will be tracked and documented through the app. You can then sync your flights so that if you log in through another device, your history can be downloaded. These registering screens were for the beta Phantoms so your register screen may be slightly different when it’s released. There’s about 2-3 more screens in the registration process not shown.
Indoor Vision Positioning
DJI Vision Positioning uses ultrasonic and image data to help maintain position when flying indoors. The two sonar sensors and one monocular camera assist the flyer when hovering between 0-3 meters. Things you will need to be careful of when hovering indoors that could effect the sensors are reflective surfaces, water, moving surfaces, textures, extreme dark or bright surfaces, and dirt or debris on the sensors.
If you’ve never tried it before, I challenge you to look at panos differently and try it for yourself. If you do try it, please tag or message me so I can check it out.