DJI Phantom 3: Capture 4K Aerial Footage Easier Than Ever Before

Popular unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturer DJI has announced the release of the new Phantom 3. With new features like a return to home button, the ability to start recording as well as playback, and exposure control all built in to the controller, the Phantom 3 is packed with a laundry list of new features all aimed at making the flying experience as simple and effortless as possible.

With the modern 4K obsession, it's no surprise the features offered in the Phantom 3 are just around the corner. Capturing 4K aerial footage is already possible by using a GoPro Hero 4 Black edition and a Phantom 2, or using a DJI Inspire. Right now the Inspire costs $2,899, and using a GoPro means having to buy a separate gimbal as well as the GoPro itself, and then put it all together. The Phantom 3 takes affordability as well as straight-out-of-the-box use and combines it all into one seemingly glorious package. What I love about DJI is that with each new model they really take into consideration what consumers are asking for. With each new release, flying becomes easier, footage becomes better, and the price pretty much stays the same. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on one of these bad boys and really seeing what they are capable of.

The Phantom 3 will come in two varieties, the Advanced version for $999 and the Professional version for $1,259, both of which are available for pre-order. Both versions will come with a built-in camera with a 3-axis gimbal. Both versions will take 12-megapixel stills in RAW or JPEG formats. The Advanced versions shoots 1080p up to 60fps and the Professional version shoots 4K. The new controllers utilize DJI's Lightbridge technology that allows the controller to display HD live view up to a mile away. There is also a new app that will allow you to stream your footage straight to YouTube. You can see all the specs on the Phantom 3 website.

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10 Comments

Patrick Hall's picture

The biggest question I have for both the inspire and the Phantom 3 is how good does the video look compared to the Gopro? I remember seeing the Inspire video from the press releasing and thinking it didn't look as good as the GoPro 4 footage. Also the Gopro lets you use 3 different zoom modes which is super helpful. Not all of them are 4k but even at 2.7k they have a lot of variety and ability for post crop zoom at 1080.

Paul Ferradas's picture

I would choose the Phantom 3 camera hands down over the GoPro 4. If it's anything like the Inspire camera then it's a good camera. The fact that you don't have to deal with the fisheye effect is the single most issue that I have with the GoPro. Let's face it, the GoPro camera wasn't made for a drone. Now I'm pretty sure that GoPro is jumping on the drone bandwagon and are manufacturing a camera especially for the drone market that will eliminate the fisheye and have shooting modes that will benefit all drone pilots. I think DJI is already there and where the GoPro lacks is all the integration that the DJI camera has while in flight. Oh and one last thing, the HD FPV is amazing to look at while flying. It makes it that much more enjoyable.

Patrick Hall's picture

Oh I don't doubt that the FPV makes the inspire way easier to operate but I find it hard to believe that a young drone company has been able to produce a 4k camera that is better than the 10+ gopro company. The footage from the inspire promo videos did not look great and the gopro allows you to zoom in from the fisheye effect so that isn't really a problem.

Last I recall, the DJI cams shoot 4k at 60mb/s. Borderline acceptable for slow moving low detail shots. But not nearly enough for faster movements and high detail scenes. Even Hero4 4k isn't really up to that task. But 2.7k med view in 48fps on hero4 looks amazing (even after Youtube / Vimeo compression). While the DJI plug and play setup is amazing for having HD downlink w/OSD which is imperative for any professional work, I have to agree with Patrick on this one. IQ is not quite there when compared to GoPro. But will still work in many situations for certain clients. And that price - how the heck are they turning a profit? Hard to not have one of these in the case as a backup unit at that price.

Stephen Strangways's picture

Supposedly the sensor in the DJI camera is the exact same model of Sony Exmor R that the GoPro Hero 4 uses. The image processor could be different, and the lens certainly is, but it would certainly be worth a comparison test.

Lee Ramsden's picture

trying to weigh up the best options,
DJI 3 or a 2 with the hero 4.
Think with the 3 is in full swing there will be some 2's at good prices, and i like the fact that having a serperate camera future proofs it to a small extent. Hero 5 is released and the same size as the 4, which seems to be a gopro trend then will be laughing. Looks awesome either way

Lee Ramsden's picture

also is it just me, but when you view high arial shots taken with a drone, rather than enjoy the awesome photography you play some sort of Where's Wally (Aldo) game, trying to find the operator Ha!

Anonymous's picture

I really hate when the operator is flying above of people.
Comeon ..... And now in the advert ?
For this reason i`m glad the eu commission will create a new Law to disable people using this drones without permission .

Brian Dowling's picture

If you can't see the video download the "Hola Better Internet" Chrome plug-in. It will let you select which country to proxy Youtube, Pandora, Netflix from for freeeeee. :D I'm in Germany and have never had any issues.

The Phantom 3 is amazing multirotor, that's absolute truth. I wrote a in-depth reviews of this quadcopter if anyone interested, here is it: http://djiphantom2vision-plus.com/dji-phantom-3-quadcopter-review/