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DJI Phantom 4 Pro Review, photo, video and flight test

DJI Phantom 4 Pro review. I have a Phantom 4 Pro prototype and have tested the camera and flight and here is a full review. I compared the photos and video to a phantom 4 v phantom 4 pro. See them side by side as well as learn about all the new features.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro Review, photo, video and flight test

Check out this DJI Phantom 4 professional review video and then read the details below.  (more videos coming)

Buy the Phantom 4 Pro here

Buy Inspire 2 here 

DOWNLOAD A RAW DNG PHOTO from Phantom 4 PRO at bottom of page. 

 

Introducing the DJI Phantom 4 Pro.

 

I have been fortunate to be testing a DJI Phantom 4 Pro, prototype and got to put it through its paces. I’ll just cut to the chase and tell you the big news. The Phantom 4 Professional has a completely new camera with a new sensor. It can now shoot 20mp photos and shoot 4k video (60fps) at 100 mb/s. It also has 360 degrees of obstacle avoidance and comes with a built in screen on the controller.

FAQ

Update: I have already seen a few questions (feel free to ask below in the comments). A big one.. Does it take the same batteries as the Phantom 4. A: Yes, it uses the same batteries and Propellers. There  is a higher capacity battery available, but the original P4 batteries work just fine too.

360 Degrees Obstacle Avoidance

At first sight, it looks just like the Phantom 4. But on closer examination, you can see read and sider sensors as well as the downward and front sensors. These all work in tandem to produce forward, backward and downward stereo vision.  Get this, the new front and rear sensors can see up to 30m (about 100 feet).  This enables the P4P to see and recognize objects in it’s flight path and to track or avoid objects and obstacles. It also has side IR sensors that can detect obstacles from 7m (23 feet). Because of this improved obstacle avoidance, it can now fly up to 31Mph with obstacle avoidance on (P-mode). This is up from 22mph on the Phantom 4. Top speed is still 45mph in sport mode.

phantom-4-pro-controller

The controller on the Phantom 4 Pro

The controller looks the same from the outside (except for the attached screen). it comes in 2 configs. One has the screen attached, 5.5 inch 1920×1080 1,000 cd/m2 display. This is about the size of an iPhone 7 plus and has a bright display. Its powered by android and has expandable storage by micro SD. It also has built in compass, GPS, speaker and microphone. The model I have been testing has the build in screen and I love it! No more attaching a mobile device (making sure it’s charged) and looking for cables. The fold down screen is attached firmly and can’t fall off like a phone or iPad. When you charge the controller, the screen is charged at the same time. It’s 2 items, the controller and the drone. Turn on the controller and the screen comes on and the app launches. Its quick and easy! For those of you who love your mobile devices and iPads etc, there is still a controller with BYOD (Bring your own display) option.

Another big thing with the controller is the ability to switch between 2.4 and 5.8 Ghz. This gives better signal in built up areas and also extends the range. (I’m guessing it’s using Occusync, Ill have to confirm). The max range is now rated at 4.3 miles (7km).

 

dji-phantom-4-pro

The Camera On the Phantom 4 Pro

Phantom4p-HDR

The big news for Photographers/Videographers is the camera, and it is big. The camera now sports a 1″ 20mp sensor (vs 1/2.3 12.4mp on the Phantom 4). The larger sensor (I’m told Sony sensor by a DJI rep) enables much sharper photos and video than before. You also have an adjustable Aperture as well as shutter speed and ISO. This enables you to get the best exposure, while maintaining the desired shutter speed. This is useful for things like maintaining the best shutter speed for video without the need from ND filters. You can blur, or freeze time.

phantom-4-pro-front-flying-camera

There are Auto, Manual Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes.

Two more really big things, the low light performance is amazing and mechanical shutter.

The ISO is now adjustable to 6400 for video and 12,800 for photographs. Don’t forget to see the video above to see this in action. I test the low light on video and photographs as well as do a side by side comparison with the Phantom 4 v Phantom 4 Pro.

Here is a panorama shot as ISO 12,800. Yes there is some noise, but it was practically dark when I shot this. I’m not sure if you have tried low light on a drone before? But it has always been almost impossible to get a usable shot.No more!

lab-5

Here are a couple more in low light with a less extreme ISO setting.

low light test DJI Phantom 4 pro low light test DJI Phantom 4 pro low light test DJI Phantom 4 pro

Rolling Shutter vs Mechanical Shutter

The mechanical shutter is also a big deal. You will notice less distortion in shooting photographs and especially in video. When your Phantom 4 is moving horizontally and rotating (yawing) the video is much smoother and there is significantly less distortion. See the video above to get a feel for the better movement.

The usual shooting modes are supported and the burst has been increased to 14 frames at full resolution.

The lens is a 84 degrees 24mm (35mm equ) with f2.8-f11 aperture.

Video modes

Here are the supported video modes (yes, you are reading correctly, it can shoot in H.264 and H.265 at 100Mbps at 4K in both!

H.265
・C4K: 4096×2160 24/25/30p @100Mbps
・4K: 3840×2160 24/25/30p @100Mbps
・2.7K: 2720×1530 24/25/30p @65Mbps
2720×1530 48/50/60p @80Mbps
・FHD: 1920×1080 24/25/30p @50Mbps
1920×1080 48/50/60p @65Mbps
・HD: 1280×720 24/25/30p @25Mbps
1280×720 48/50/60p @35Mbps
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
2720×1530 48/50/60p @100Mbps
・FHD: 1920×1080 24/25/30p @60Mbps
1920×1080 48/50/60/120p @80Mbps
・HD: 1280×720 24/25/30p @30Mbps
1280×720 48/50/60/120p @45Mbps

 

Here are some photos I shot with the Phantom 4 Pro

Some of these are retouched and some aren’t. I may as well show you the kinds of photos that I would share.

DJI_0020 DJI_0198 DJI_0241-Edit DJI_0289-HDR-Pano-Edit DJI_0565 DJI_0717-Edit DJI_0730-Edit DJI_0839

I hope you enjoyed my review. Please bookmark this page, I am going to add 2 or 3 more videos and other resources!

Buy the Phantom 4 Pro here

Buy Inspire 2 here 

See my DJI Mavic Review

All our Premium Drone training is here:

I have been making best of class drone training videos since the very beginning and have amassed over 24 hours of training on Flying different drones, understanding the flight apps, strategies for getting great video and photos. These videos have all been shot on location in Southern California and the Hawaii Islands. I also have indepth tutorials on how to get the most form your images in Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere Pro. Enjoy!

Why PhotoshopCAFE training? 
Because this is something I do every day and Im passionate about it, I have written the book “The Photographer’s Guide to Drones” available in bookstores or Amazon. I am currently #1 on DJI’s SkyPixel community, an Adobe ACP and I preset this at the largest conferences and conventions around the USA. I have a lot of good stuff I want to share with you!

Original Phantom / Phantom 2 Training

Phantom 3 / Inspire 1 Training 

Phantom 4 training

Processing images and video (all drones, latests Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro)

Mavic training (coming soon)

Check out my series of videos that cover everything DJI and drones! The best way to learn to fly safely and shoot amazing photos and video. I also show my entire workflow for processing aware-winning photos and videos! 

phantom-4-training-video phantom-3-inspire-1-photography-training-1 drone-images dji-drone_tn

 

Check out my new book:

The Photographer’s Guide to Drones

Smith_Drones_C1_jpg_print-1-460x368

 checkout at Rocky Nook’s website or Amazon 

 

DJI_0933

DOWNLOAD THE ABOVE RAW DNG FILE HERE

Colin Smith

Colin Smith

Colin Smith is founder of the #1 PhotoshopCAFE online community which has received over 30 million visitors. Colin has Authored/Coauthored 18 books. He has won numerous awards including 3 Guru awards. He’s been nominated for the Photoshop Hall of Fame twice. Colin is a regular columnist for Photoshop User Magazine. He’s been featured in almost every major imaging magazine, and is in high demand as a speaker at major industry events including Flash Forward and WPPI . He consults such companies as ABC Disney, Apple and Adobe

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Colin Smith

About Colin Smith

Colin Smith is founder of the #1 PhotoshopCAFE online community which has received over 30 million visitors. Colin has Authored/Coauthored 18 books. He has won numerous awards including 3 Guru awards. He’s been nominated for the Photoshop Hall of Fame twice. Colin is a regular columnist for Photoshop User Magazine. He’s been featured in almost every major imaging magazine, and is in high demand as a speaker at major industry events including Flash Forward and WPPI . He consults such companies as ABC Disney, Apple and Adobe

5 thoughts on “DJI Phantom 4 Pro Review, photo, video and flight test

  1. Hi Colin, fantastic review! Waiting for your next part on You Tube.

    Would you recommend your DJI Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 Drones Handbook for a photographer getting into aerial drone photography, or will you be coming out with an update in the near future? I’m about to purchase the Phantom 4 Pro.

    Cheers,

    Jim

  2. Hi Colin,

    Thanks for all the info you share! I’m a landscape photographer and have been thinking for a little while now that it could be cool to get a drone and start trying to sell aerial prints in addition to my existing work. I knew it wouldn’t be at the resolution of my DSLR but figured I could easily make prints up to 11×17 or 16×24 without too much trouble. So, the Mavic looked like the perfect drone. Small enough to almost throw into my landscape bag by the looks of it and enough features that someone like me who hasn’t ever owned a drone before could figure it out pretty quickly.

    Anyways, I just heard about the Phantom 4 Pro. And, now I am wondering if I should spend the extra 400-500 and get that instead. Obviously it has the better camera of the two. But, it also means a much greater commitment as parts like extra batteries are almost twice as expensive. And, from what I’ve read, it’s a beast to travel with since it doesn’t fold down.

    I guess my question is this: How good would you say the RAW files are out of the mavic? Can it make an 11×17 or 16×24 print pretty easily without looking awful? Is the Phantom 4 Pro ridiculously better? Any thoughts would be awesome. By the way, I really don’t have any plans to do anything with video on the drone at this point. Don’t know if that would sway which one you’d recommend or not. Just still photography. I’m new to this whole drone thing. Quality is important, but I also want to not be buying into something that’s way more than what I need.

    Thanks! (Sorry for the long comment)

  3. Hi Colin, yours is by far the best review I’ve found since the Pro was released.

    Do you have any side by side photos from the phantom 4 vs the 4 Pro? I think you had both up flying, but that would be really useful to see

    Many thanks

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