On the eve of NAB, DJI Global is getting ahead of the news cycle by announcing an updated Phantom 4 Advanced drone, which supports 4K video at 60 frames per second, offers a mechanical shutter, and a controller that has an optional built in screen to replace the need for a mobile device. But is it worth it?
The Phantom 4 Advanced drone is essentially the same as the Phantom 4 Pro, with automatic flight modes that include TapFly, ActiveTrack, Tripod, Draw and Gesture modes. But along with that, the Phantom 4 Advanced also has a new updated Flight Autonomy System which uses telemetry from its ultrasonic range finders, five vision sensors, a forward facing obstacle avoidance system, as well as dual band GPS and GLONASS positioning and navigation.
The benefit of the FAS is that should the Phantom 4 Advanced lose GPS contact, it can still remain hovering where you have it thanks to its on board systems. It also means it can fly in tight areas, including indoors. Flight time has also finally made it thirty full minutes.
Moving onto the controller, the new built in 5.5-inch 1080p touch screen is an optional feature on the Phantom 4 Advanced+ model, and offers an Android-based interface with 4GB of RAM and a super bright screen which DJI says is twice the screen brightness as a standard mobile device.
It looks to me like it basically has a built in Android tablet with an ultra bright screen, which would explain the $300 additional price tag if you choose that option. But seriously, at that cost, you’re better off getting your own tablet, and having the option to remove this remote and use the money for other things, plus you can choose a larger storage capacity.
The camera has been upgraded to a 1-inch CMOS sensor with 20 megapixels, and a 24mm f2.8-11 lens and autofocus. It now supports up to 128GB in storage space, plus shooting in H.265 at either 4K 30p or 1080 at 60 fps. It has a field of view of about 84 degrees or the equivalent of a 35mm lens. ISO ratings range from 100-3200 auto, or up to 6400 manual with a mechanical shutter speed now up to 1/2000 s or up to 1/8000th electronic. If you want 4K 60p, though, you have to select shooting in H.264. Other recording modes include:
Video Recording (h.265):
- C4K:4096×2160 24/25/30p @100Mbps
- 4K:3840×2160 24/25/30p @100Mbps
- 2.7K:2720×1530 24/25/30p @65Mbps
- 2.7K:2720×1530 48/50/60p @80Mbps
- FHD:1920×1080 24/25/30p @50Mbps
- FHD:1920×1080 48/50/60p @65Mbps
- FHD:1920×1080 120p @100Mbps
Video Recording (h.264):
- C4K:4096×2160 24/25/30/48/50/60p @100Mbps
- 4K:3840×2160 24/25/30/48/50/60p @100Mbps
- 2.7K:2720×1530 24/25/30p @80Mbps
- 2.7K:2720×1530 48/50/60p @100Mbps
- FHD:1920×1080 24/25/30p @60Mbps
- FHD:1920×1080 48/50/60 @80Mbps
- FHD:1920×1080 120p @100Mbps
More details and specs can be found at the DJI website here, and as previously reported, the Phantom 4 standard will be discontinued to make room for the Advanced line. DJI will continue to provide support, however. I also think that this puts the kabosh on the rumors that we’ll be getting a Phantom 5 by NAB. That’s not gonna happen. And as for the Mavic Mini? So far, that’s just a rumor as well.
MSRP for the Phantom 4 Advanced will list at $1349 [link to buy], and $1649 for the Advanced+ with the built in Android LCD Screen [link to buy]. Here’s the thing though. According to the video above, the Phantom 4 advanced, though about $150 cheaper, is missing the infrared and rear sensors, nor will the controller support the 5.4GHz WiFi band. It also won’t allow for Tap2Fly.
Available on April 30, 2017, but I bet you’ll also be able to see it showcased at DJI’s booth at NAB.