DJI Phantom 4 Pro Quadcopter for Professional Aerial Footage
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro boasts a 3-axis-stabilized gimbal camera with a 20MP, 1″ CMOS sensor capable of shooting up to 4K/60fps video and also photo bursts at up to 14 fps. The hull has been updated from the previous Phantom 4, now featuring magnesium alloy construction for increased rigidity and reduced weight. The FlightAutonomy system adds dual rear-vision sensors plus infrared sensing for a total of five directions of obstacle sensing and four directions of obstacle avoidance. The adoption of titanium alloy and magnesium alloy construction increases the rigidity of the airframe and reduces weight, making the Phantom 4 Pro similar in weight to the Phantom 4. The FlightAutonomy system adds dual rear vision sensors and infrared sensing systems for a total of 5-direction of obstacle sensing and 4-direction of obstacle avoidance. The new level of professional flying and video shooting without any effort. The Phantom 4 Pro has everything you can expect from the best drone available today.
Phantom 4 Pro Gimbal Camera and CMOS Sensor
The onboard camera features a first for the Phantom line: a 1-inch 20-megapixel CMOS sensor. A custom-engineered lens made up of eight elements is arranged in seven groups. The camera boasts a mechanical aperture that eliminates rolling shutter distortion that can occur when taking images of fast moving subjects or when flying at high speed and a mechanical focus.
- 1″ CMOS Sensor: Sensor size is often more important to image quality than the number of pixels, because a larger sensor has dynamic range, better signal-to-noise ratio, and boosted low light performance. The 1″ 20MP CMOS sensor in the Phantom 4 Pro is almost four times the size of the Phantom 4’s 1/2.3″ sensor. It uses larger pixels and has a maximum ISO of up to 12,800 as well as increased contrast.
- H.264 and H.265 4K Video Recording: Powerful video processing supports H.264 4K videos at 60 fps or H.265 4K at 30 fps, both recorded in a 100 Mbps bitrate. Advanced sensors and processors ensure everything is captured with more image detail and the image data needed for manipulation in post-production.
- Production-Optimized 4K: An enhanced video processing system allows video to be captured in cinema- and production- optimized DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 60 fps and a bitrate of 100 Mbps. The Phantom 4 Pro also supports the H.265 video codec at 30 fps in 4K resolution. For a given bitrate, H.265 doubles the amount of image processing as H.264, resulting in significantly enhanced image quality from a more efficient compression. Record in the high dynamic range D-log mode to make the most of this image data for color grading.
- High Resolution Lens: The Phantom 4 Pro camera has an aerial-optimized f/2.8 wide-angle lens with a 24 mm equivalent focal length. It features eight elements — two aspherical — arranged in seven groups that fit into a smaller, more compact frame. Its images are consistently detailed with low distortion and low dispersion, ensuring that photos and videos are sharp and vivid.
- Mechanical Shutter: Capturing objects moving at high speed has always been a challenge for flying cameras using an electronic shutter. This is why the Phantom 4 Pro is the first DJI Phantom to use a mechanical shutter and a large-aperture prime lens. A maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/2000-second eliminates motion blur and “jello effect” caused by shooting a fast moving object with a rolling electronic shutter. The electronic shutter has also been improved with a max shutter speed of 1/8000-second, and a there is Burst Mode shoot capable of shooting 14 fps at 20 megapixels to catch the perfect moment.
Intelligent Flight Modes
With Draw, simply draw a route on screen and the Phantom 4 Pro will move in that direction while keeping its altitude locked. This allows the pilot to focus on camera control and enables more complex shots.
- There are two Draw modes that can be used in different scenarios:
- Standard: The aircraft follows the route at a constant speed with the camera facing in the direction of flight.
- Free: The aircraft only moves along the route when instructed. In this mode, the camera can face in any direction during a flight.
Following fast-moving objects can be very challenging, but advanced, image-recognition algorithms used by the Phantom 4 Pro allow it to recognize and track an object while keeping it in frame. This algorithm also recognizes a range of subjects, from people to vehicles to animals, and will adjust its flight dynamics to match, ensuring smoother shots. Pilots can now choose between:
- Trace: Follow behind or in front of a subject, avoiding obstacles automatically.
- Profile: Fly alongside a subject at a variety of angles to get profile shots of the subject.
- Spotlight: Keep the camera trained on a subject while the aircraft flies almost anywhere.
Fly in any direction visible on-screen with a simple tap. Tap anywhere on-screen to smoothly adjust the direction of flight while automatically avoiding obstacles and tap the screen again or use control sticks to change direction. An AR route function shows the aircraft’s real-time flight direction for reference as its route is adjusted. As it can be difficult to control altitude, course, speed and camera pitch simultaneously using joysticks, TapFly Free allows a pilot to set the direction of flight, allowing them to turn the Phantom 4 Pro or tilt the gimbal as required without changing the direction of flight. In total, there are now three TapFly modes:
- TapFly Forward: Tap to fly in the selected direction
- TapFly Backward: Tap to fly in the opposite direction of the tap, i.e. tap in the bottom right corner of the screen to fly backward towards the top left.
- TapFly Free: Lock the forward direction of the Phantom without locking the camera direction allowing it to turn as it flies.
Note: Obstacle Avoidance is not available with TapFly Free.
Return to Home
In its Return to Home mode, the Phantom 4 Pro can automatically choose the best route to return home depending on environmental conditions. It records its route as it flies, allowing it to return along the same route avoiding obstacles if the control signal is disconnected. Based on its altitude at the time of disconnection, the Phantom 4 Pro is also able to adjust its flight path to avoid obstacles it has seen during its flight. At takeoff, the Phantom 4 Pro will record the scene below and compare its recording with what it sees as it returns, for more precise landing. It can also detect the ground to see whether there is suitable spot for landing. If any obstacles are found, or there is water on the ground, it will alert the pilot and hover at an appropriate height, helping the aircraft to land more safely.
With Gesture Mode, selfies can be captured using a few gestures without the remote controller. Computer vision technology allows the Phantom 4 Pro to take instructions through gestures. The subject simply lifts their arms when facing the camera and the aircraft will recognize this movement by locking on and placing the subject in the center of the frame. When ready for a photo, the subject holds their arms out to signal the aircraft. A three second countdown will begin, making time to strike a pose, allowing moments to be captured without the remote control.
Flight Control System
Different productions require different flight characteristics, and the Phantom 4 Pro offers three modes for flight: P, A and S. Switching between them allows pilots to get the control they need, whether they seek smoothness, simplicity, intelligent navigation, or speed. In Position Mode (P), TapFly, ActiveTrack, obstacle sensing and positioning features are available. Sport Mode (S) adds extra agility and higher speed, reaching 45 mph . Attitude Mode (A) switches off satellite stabilization and holds the Phantom 4 Pro’s altitude. It is ideal for experienced pilots looking to capture smoother footage. Tripod Mode, which limits speed to 4 mph provides precision control for fine framing and indoor flying. Both the infrared sensing system and vision sensors are enabled in these modes for a safer flight experience.
The Phantom 4 Pro features dual compass modules and dual IMU units, making it more reliable when compared to many hexacopters and octocopers. Compasses and IMUs are important sensors to ensure a stable flight and the Phantom 4 Pro constantly compares the data it receives through both pairs. This data is run through various algorithms to check accuracy, and any inaccurate data is simply discarded without affecting flight, keeping flight steady and reliable.
Intelligent Battery System
Professional aerial imaging benefits from longer flight times. The Phantom 4 Pro features a maximum flight time of 30 minutes, providing more time in the air to capture the perfect shot. The DJI GO app shows battery lifetime and calculates remaining flight times according to distance traveled and more. It will give alerts when it reaches a minimum safe amount required for a safe journey back to the takeoff point. An advanced battery management system is also in place to prevent overcharging and over draining. When placed in longer term storage, batteries will discharge power to maintain good health.
Remote Controller with Lightbridge HD Video Link
The Phantom 4 Remote Controller Included controller integrates an upgraded Lightbridge HD video transmission system that adds 5.8 GHz transmission support. The ability to choose between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz allows pilots to cut through interference and eliminates image lag caused when flying in an area with extensive 2.4 GHz frequency use. Normally, Wi-Fi video transmission systems use a 2.4 GHz frequency to work with a controller using a 5.8 GHz frequency, as this prevents interference that can occur when both use the same frequency.
Lightbridge HD Video Link
The Lightbridge HD video transmission system used in the Phantom 4 Pro uses TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) to transmit signals, allowing it to send controller signals and receive video transmission signals at the same frequency. As the 2.4 GHz frequency band is often affected by Wi-Fi, 4G cell towers, and other types of interference in urban areas, a 5.8 GHz band will increase transmission reliability. When switched on, the Phantom 4 evaluates local signal levels, automatically choosing the transmission frequency with the lowest level of interference. This enables a maximum video transmission range of 4.3 miles.
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