Table of Contents
DJI Phantom 3 professional quadcopter drone
To the delight of quadcopter enthusiasts, DJI never gives up innovating and revolutionizing drone flying. The American-based, Chinese company has added the DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter Drone to its outstanding list of innovations.
The new quadcopter is a great improvement over the Phantom 2 drone series. Drone pilots will want to know what new features DJI’s engineers have integrated into this new quadcopter and what puts it above its predecessors.
1. DJI Phantom 3 specifications
a. Weight: 1200 g (2.6 pounds)
b. Size: 590 mm (23.2 feet)
c. Maximum Ascent Speed: 5 m/s (16.4 ft/s)
d. Maximum Descent Speed: 3m/s (9.8 ft/s)
e. Maximum Altitude: 6000 m (19685 feet)
f. Hover accuracy: Vertical – 10 cm (3.9 inches), Horizontal – 1 cm ( 0.39 inches)
g. Stabilization: 3 Axis Gimbal
h. Maximum Control Range: 2 km (6.5 ft)
i. Battery: 6000 mAh
j. Transmitter: FCC 20.8 dBm
2. Best features: DJI Phantom 3 professional quadcopter
Engineers have created two dynamic Phantom 3 prototypes. Pilots can fly the Professional or Advanced version of this drone. Both come with outstanding features that will satisfy any drone pilot. The company has integrated highly functioning, state-of-the-art systems into a tiny computer that allows the device to perform steady, yet mind-blowing aerial acrobatics. DJI’s aim in creating this device was to enhance its flying capabilities so that users need only concentrate on capturing stunning visuals.
a. Ergonomic flight controls
The intuitively designed flight controls have great accessibility. Using the ergonomic, comfortable grips, pilots can record images, toggle controls and handle camera functions deftly.
b. Return to Home system
The GPS return to Home system enables the Phantom 3 to always know where it is, even if pilots lose it. With the help of the Return to Home system, the Phantom 3 navigates physical obstacles and always returns safely to its pilot. Intelligence Orientation Control guides it where it should go.
c. Powerful 6000 mAh battery
The Phantom 3 comes with a powerful, 6000 mAh battery that gives the quadcopter 23 minutes of flight time. The device flies longer than most quadcopters, some of which take to the air for only 6 minutes.
d. Four propeller-controlling engines
This quadcopter has 4 separate engines that control each of its four propellers. Every turn and pivot requires the propellers to change their speeds as the drone flies. The drone’s system makes these changes automatically.
e. 4K, 12 Megapixel camera
The Phantom 3 can capture epic, high-definition videos of Hollywood worthy quality. With the ergonomic flight controls, dynamic mobile application, 6000 mAh battery, powerful engines and vision positioning helping pilots surmount flight obstacles, all they have to do is worry about is capturing eye-catching visuals.
Those too are taken care of by the device’s 4K, 12 megapixel camera, which captures epic Ultra High Definition photos and videos. Made from non-corrosive, lightweight aluminum pulled from the Earth’s crust, it offers live, first-person HD views of the images pilots capture. This allows them to edit photos and videos as the device records them. Lightbridge digital streaming makes this all possible.
The three-axis gimbal locks the camera securely in place and allows the drone to capture images without a rippled effect. It enables the quadcopter to take these pictures regardless of flight conditions.
3. Comparison with the DJI Phantom 2 series
All considered, this drone is a definite cut above its Phantom 2 series (the Phantom 2 and the Phantom 2 Vision Plus) predecessors.
a. Dynamic mobile application
DJI’s engineers have updated its Pilot mobile application with a user-friendly interface that allows a pilot to manipulate the camera and change the flight settings for the Phantom 3. It comes with an automatic video editor that allows a user to piece footage together almost instantly. With the help of the application, pilots can stream Youtube footage via social media. A live map allows it to constantly track the drone.
It is compatible with IOS and Android phones.
b. Vision positioning
DJI’s engineers have introduced the vision positioning system, which takes aerial photography to new heights. Three vision sensors allow the quadcopter to track the ground underneath it accurately. With this system, the Phantom can hover, fly close to the ground and cruise indoors. This expands its capabilities and gives photographers more creative freedom.
The Vision Positioning feature makes the Phantom 3 a more stable craft than the Phantom 2. It allows the craft to fly indoors safely. The radar emitted from the Phantom 3’s camera hits the ground, analyzes it and collects data about its position, adding to the accelerometer already in the unit. Accelerometers are easily confused by electric currents and obstacles, which the Vision Positioning system allows the Phantom 3 to avoid.
c. 64 GB Micro SD Card
With the 64 GB Micro SD card, the Phantom 3 can store more photos and videos. This is an improvement over the Phantom 2 Vision Plus, which could only store up to 4GB of aerial footage.
d. Increased control range
While the Phantom 2 Vision Plus only had a control range of 800 meters (2624.67 feet) the Phantom 3 has a greater control range of 2 km (5561 feet).
The Phantom 3’s transmitter has 2 antennas while Phantom 2’s transmitter only has 1. The extra antenna accommodates the Lightbridge system, which gives the Phantom 3 added control range. Pilots can fly their devices over greater distances.
The Phantom 3 has a more dynamic battery than the Phantom 2. While the battery for the Phantom 2 is only 11.2 v, the Phantom 3’s battery is an electrifying 15.2 volts.
There are capacity differences as well. The capacity for the Phantom 2’s battery is 5200 mAh, while the Phantom 3’s battery has a strength of 6000 mAh.
f. Extra Motors
Phantom 3 has a slightly longer flight time than the Phantom 2. The Phantom 3’s higher efficiency motors, together with a more powerful battery, give it an extra minute of flight time.
Quadcopter enthusiasts would want newer, less bulky drone models. The Phantom 3 comes in a less bulky package than the Phantom 2. While the Phantom 2 weighed 1300 g (2.87 pounds), the Phantom 3 is a lighter 1280g (2.82g). The difference is slight, but clear to the pilot when he holds both drones in his hands.
The lens of the Phantom 3’s camera is much wider than the Phantom 2. This gives the Phantom 3 a greater Field of View (FOV) than the Phantom 2.
While the Phantom 2’s camera has a 140 degree FOV, the FOV for the Phantom 3’s camera is 94 degrees. This smaller pitch of the Phantom 3’s camera sharpens its perspective and removes the unclear, Fish Eye effect.
i. 4K video
While the Phantom 2 series only shoots 1080p video, the Phantom 3 can shoot Ultra High Definition 4K video. This is a boon for those who want to capture dazzling, real estate aerial presentations.
4. Comparison with the Inspire 1
The Phantom 3 has stark similarities with another predecessor, the Inspire 1. The new Phantom 3 is an outstanding innovation, but the Inspire 1 is worthy competition.
a. VPS system
DJI originally created the Vision Positioning feature for the Inspire 1. Like the Phantom 3, the Inspire 1 has a radar that hits the ground and tracks its position indoors. Though it can fly inside a home, pilots may find it too bulky to do so. The Phantom 3 is lighter and less obstructive.
b. Remote control transmitters
Both craft have similar, touch sensitive controls. However, the similarity between the transmitters ends there.
Though both transmitters look alike, the Phantom 3 has no HTMI port. It is operable only via the DJI app. The transmitter for the Inspire 1, conversely, has a HTMI port, which makes it possible to track the craft using a computer.
The Inspire 1’s controller is also different because of its Dual Remote feature. While the photographer controls the camera, the pilot can use another transmitter to control the craft. This separation of flight and photography functions enables users to focus better on one or the other.
Potential pilots should note that DJI has updated the Pilot application for the Phantom 3, previously used for its Inspire 1 drone, with live streaming and editing features. Pilots can stream their videos via social media in real-time. They can also edit them as they capture them. To add, this is the only drone thus far with a HD video downlink that allows a pilot to stream live videos to the application’s hosting site.
5. Differences between the Professional and Advanced versions
Both the Professional and Advanced versions of the Phantom 3 have attached 12 megapixel cameras. The camera in the Professional version can shoot up to 4K of video at 30 frames per second, while the Advanced version uses a camera that can shoot 1080p video at 60 frames per second. The Professional edition clearly shoots higher quality videos.
With these improvements, the Phantom 3 definitely has an exceptional set of draws.
1. Suitable for keen amateur pilots and photographers
The return home GPS system, vision positioning, propeller technology and ergonomic flight controls give this drone stable flight. It is safe even in the hands of first time pilots.
Keen photographers will benefit from this drone’s 12 megapixel camera, which shoots photos and videos of outstanding, high-definition quality. It takes nature photography, indoor photography and even self-portrait photography (selfies) to new heights.
2. Dynamic live streaming
The Phantom 3’s ability to stream live videos is unmatched. The 12 MP camera delivers ultra high-definition videos over 2 km, with the help of Lightbridge Digital Technology. Amateur photographers can snap pictures that the National Geographic magazine will clamor after.
3. Position holding
With Vision Positioning, the Phantom 3 not only tracks its own movements, but also hovers in place when obstacles get in the way. This makes it an ideal craft to fly indoors.
4. Software updates available for Mac and Windows
DJI has updated its desktop application to include user-friendly settings for pilots to fly the Phantom 3. As with the Phantom 2 Vision Plus, these are available for Mac and Windows desktops.
5. Durable camera
Some users of the Phantom 2 Vision Plus reported that their cameras were fragile and broke easily. DJI has responded to this feedback and manufactured the camera for the Phantom 3 out of non-corrosive, high quality aluminum.
With the three-axis gimbal, the Phantom 3 can capture high quality video even as it flies in strong winds. It navigates obstacles with the help of a reliable GPS system and hovers in place when necessary.
As with all other drones, the Phantom 3 leaves pilots with a few points to ponder over.
This is not a drone for the occasional hobbyist. More expensive, it is a quadcopter for serious amateur and professional pilots.
That said, DJI has created a quadcopter that is well worth the money. Lightbridge streaming technology is expensive, yet the company has managed to integrate it, along with other features, in the Phantom 3 at a relatively low price.
2. Wind issues
Though the Phantom 3 is a more stable quadcopter with engines that manipulate each propeller separately, it is still vulnerable to strong winds. At only 1280 g (2.82 pounds), turbulence may sweep it away.