DJI Upgrades Drone Fleet 

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Today at the IFA consumer electronics show, DJI showed off some improvements they have made to their drone fleet by adding two new advanced models, as well as announcing a new “sphere mode” to the adorable Spark Selfie drone. But are these new improvements worth trading in your existing drones for?

The first new member of the DJI drone family is an upgraded Mavic Pro. Dubbed the Mavic Pro Platinum, this new drone has improved drone rotors that are 4db quieter. DJI has made it 60% less noisy than the original Mavic Pro thanks to FOC sinusoidal electronic speed controller drivers (say that three times fast) and better designed 8331 propellers. This combination improves the propeller’s aerodynamic wind flow, reducing noise and providing added stability in flight. The new rotor design also enables the Mavic Pro Platinum to stay aloft
for up to 30 minutes at a time.

Other specs include:


  • FoldedH83mm x W83mm x L198mm
  • Diagonal Size (Propellers Excluded)335 mm
  • Weight (Battery & Propellers Included)1.62 lbs (734 g) (exclude gimbal cover)
  • 1.64 lbs (743 g) (include gimbal cover)
  • Max Ascent Speed16.4 ft/s (5 m/s) in Sport mode
  • Max Descent Speed9.8 ft/s (3 m/s)
  • Max Speed40 mph (65 kph) in Sport mode without wind
  • Max Service Ceiling Above Sea Level16404 feet (5000 m)
  • Max Flight Time30 minutes (no wind at a consistent 15.5 mph (25 kph))
  • Max Hovering Time27 minutes (no wind)
  • ESC(Electronic Speed Controller)FOC
  • Max Flight Distance9.3 mi (15 km, no wind)
  • Operating Temperature Range32° to 104° F (0° to 40° C)
  • Satellite Positioning SystemsGPS / GLONASS


  • Sensor1/2.3” (CMOS), Effective pixels:12.35 M (Total pixels:12.71M)
  • LensFOV 78.8° 28 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.2
  • Distortion < 1.5% Focus from 0.5 m to ∞
  • ISO Rangevideo: 100-3200
  • photo: 100-1600
  • Electronic Shutter Speed8s -1/8000 s
  • Image Size4000×3000
  • Still Photography ModesSingle shot
  • Burst shooting: 3/5/7 frames
  • Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7 EV Bias
  • Interval
  • Video Recording ModesC4K: 4096×2160 24p
  • 4K: 3840×2160 24/25/30p
  • 2.7K: 2720×1530 24/25/30p
  • FHD: 1920×1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/96p
  • HD: 1280×720 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p

Next up is the Phantom 4 Obsidian, which doesn’t really enjoy any performance improvements, so much as a new cosmetic look. You may recall when DJI created special edition Phantom 4 to celebrate Chinese New Year, and looks to be more of the same with an ultra dark Obsidian colored shell that’s also been electroplated in magnesium that is both fingerprint proof, and has a sleek, matte gray finish. The rest of the inner workings of the Phantom 4 Obsidian are what you would expect with a 1″ CMOS camera for 4K video at 60 fps and 20 MP still images via DNG Raw.

Other specs include:

    • Weight (Battery & Propellers Included)1388 g
    • Diagonal Size (Propellers Excluded)350 mm
    • Max Ascent SpeedS-mode: 6 m/s
    • P-mode: 5 m/s
    • Max Descent SpeedS-mode: 4 m/s
    • P-mode: 3 m/s
    • Max SpeedS-mode: 45 mph (72 kph)
      • CAMERA
    • Sensor1’’ CMOS
    • Effective pixels: 20M
    • LensFOV 84° 8.8 mm/24 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.8 – f/11 auto focus at 1 m – ∞
    • ISO RangeVideo:
      • 100 – 3200 (Auto)
      • 100 – 6400 (Manual)

The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum’s little brother, the DJI Spark continues to get firmware improvements for improved reliability, and with it comes a new operational mode call “Sphere mode,” which can be used to take spherical “little planet” like panoramic photos. Sphere mode joins new improvements including a new gesture to start and stop video recording, enhanced quick shot features, better stability on take off from Palm launch mode, and improved control under Quickshot dronie mode.

Prices are as follows: The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum will set you back $1,099, while the Phantom 4 Obsidian with it’s fresh coat of paint will run you $1499. And the DJI Spark is still a very affordable $499.

Worth it? Well, I think that if you’re a wedding videographer and you want to make your drones a bit less noisy for the ceremony, than the Mavic Pro Platinum is definitely worth considering. You need to add a second one to your drone fleet anyway, am I right? The Phantom 4 Obsidian? Well, let’s face it, DJI just put fins on it. It’s the same UAV. But if you dig that flat black veneer, then go for it. Just remember that’ll make it harder to see in the sky as it gets later in the day!

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Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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