As most of us know, DJI came out with the Phantom 4 Pro a few months back and decided to add a few collision/infrared sensors to it along with putting a larger sensor inside of the actual camera itself with a mechanical shutter to allow for more control of the camera. After my buddy, Vin, got his Phantom 4 Pro, I realized this whole sensor size thing was no joke. I expected better quality when compared to the Phantom 3 Pro, but not this much. I decided to run a few tests comparing photos and video with the two drones going head to head.
I have to say I am really impressed with DJI and where they are going with their drone and camera technology. I am excited to see where everything will end up going.
For the photo test, the before is the Phantom 3 Pro (12-megapixel camera) and the after is the Phantom 4 Pro (20-megapixel camera). You will see overall that the the Phantom 4 Pro is a lot sharper and brighter than its younger brother and is also capable of handling higher ISOs a little better. These photos were shot in DNG, and I applied a slight correction to color and distortion, but they are pretty close to the result straight out of camera. I would have to say the biggest reason for doing this test would be to show the difference in camera quality and that we can definitely see. With the Phantom 4 Pro, you get a sharper, brighter, and cleaner overall image, while you are able to control the camera a lot more due to the fact it has a mechanical shutter that allows you to adjust your f-stop as well as everything else. I think soon this quality for small drones will be the standard for a professional-looking image.
ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/400 s
ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/800 s
ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/800 s
ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/1,600 s
ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/3,200 s
Our video test is very short but goes to show how much that sensor actually helps when it comes to shooting video. We tested the 4K at 24 fps with a 100% and 400% crop. We also tested the 1080p at 60 fps and slowed it down to see the difference in frame rate; the video is exported in 1080p at 24 fps, so the 60 fps is slowed down 2.5 times. Again, the Phantom 4 Pro has a bigger sensor that allows more light to come in and the overall image to come out much sharper with a lot more detail and plenty less noise. Another big reason for a bump in quality is the fact that the P4 Pro can record at up to 100 Mbps, while the P3 Pro can only record up to 60 Mbps, allowing the P4 Pro to capture more video information. From here on out, I feel like I will really look down on my Phantom 3 Pro, though it still really is a great drone. DJI really did what they could to improve the Phantom series all around for photo and video by making a few adjustments to the P4 Pro. Feel free to comment with any thoughts!