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DJI Phantom 4 drone, tested. Video review

RAW Photos and unedited video sample files available for download at the bottom of the page

DJI Phantom 4 review

What’s new with the DJI Phantom 4?

Yes! The DJI Phantom 4 is out and I have one!

Check out my hands on review, where I put it through its paces. I test sport mode and see how fast it can fly. I also test the internal sensors and see how object detection and avoidance works, but using me!

Buy the Phantom 4  here.

Summer special, $1,199 –

Watch the review here

Check out my unboxing video here for a chuckle and more info.

Note on updating Firmware on Phantom 4

Attn Phantom 4 owners: You will see that you need to update firmware on your new copter. If you go to the DJI site you wont see any P4 firmware. Thats because you do it though the app now. First of all download and install the controller firmware. Then it will let you download the P4 firmware. Unplug the USB from your controller and attached the adapter (It was in the small clear bag that you probably left in the box, I’ll wait while you go find it ;)) attach the adapter and plug into the copter next to the sd slot. It will now do the upgrade, and you wont have to listen to that little pip, pip, pip, pip noise anymore. It will still take a long time, so make sure that you have full batteries and don’t disturb it while it u/g.

How to Update the Firmware on the DJI Phantom 4 video tutorial

Unknown Follow me on Instagram for a daily drone photo!

Here is a short 1 minute video I made: Boats of Newport Harbor

Here is another short 1 minute video I made: Flying at Laguna Beach

What’s new with the Phantom 4?

Let’s explore the main things in the Phantom 4.

Sensory overload: The big news is 2 forward facing cameras for active object avoidance, so you don’t crash into things. It even has the ability to back up if the object is moving towards the Phantom. There are new flight modes including Tap to Fly, and follow object, where it will recognize shapes such as people, cars, bikes etc and can follow them (including gimbal tilt) without any external trackers such as GPS, bands etc.

DJI Sensors for obstacle avoidance

Optical Flow: This was introduced on the Inspire 1 and added to the Phantom 3. It allows indoor flying and uses the ground to stabilize movement when you don’t have satellites. In the past there was 1 downward camera and 2 sonic sensors. The range was 10 feet. Now there are twin downward cameras and 2 sonic sensors, resulting in detection at 30 feet.

Newly designed shell: Its now shiny and more streamlined for better aerodynamics. The center of gravity is moved higher for better balance. The motors are higher to get the props out of the shot.

Sport Mode: When you are in sport mode it’s possible to reach speeds as high as 45MPH, try it, it’s fast!

28 Minutes of Flight Time: The battery has been redesigned for longer flight times. It also has venting which allows the batter to cool faster. It also has a new release system so you don’t rip off your fingers trying to get the battery out!

Phantom 4 battery

Lightbridge 2:  You now have FPV is clear 720 up to a claimed distance of 3 miles. Because of line of Sight laws in the US, I’m unable to test this distance.

Camera Updates: The camera still has the same resolution, however there is a redesigned lens for less distortion and color fringing (Chromatic Aberration). I will test the camera side by side with the Phantom 3 Pro and the Inspire 1 soon, stay tuned. Another new feature is 1080p at 120 FPS for smooth slow motion.

Phantom 4 camera

Redundancy:  The DJI Phantom 4 now comes equipped with dual compasses and IMUs. If you go under the advanced settings in the GoApp, you can actually see the stats on both of the instruments sets and see how well they are behaving. The goal here, is for more reliability, if 1 set of instructions varies widely between the 2 sets, the one that is wrong is discarded and everything chugs along nicely.  The compass is what determines the p4s location using Satellites in 2 systems,  GPS (Global Positioning System) and GLONASS (Russian version of GPS). The IMU (Inertia Measurement Unit) senses movement and levels out the craft using accelerometers and gyroscopes.

DJI Phantom IMU

I’ll get more updates and tests added to this page soon!

You can see more info and buy the DJI Phantom 4 here.

For more about DJI Phantom 4, please visit:

And the product page at DJI Online Store:

Sample Files

I decided that I would provide a few sample files for you to download and evaluate for yourself. Please feel free to check them out. Remember, these are shared for EDU use only, please don’t post them without a credit (© Colin Smith  | and clear link back to this page. Thanks 🙂


Click here to download a 10 second unedited video at 4k in D-Log (86Mb)



Download 2 of my unedited RAW photos from the Phantom 4 (D-Log) DJI_0005  

A lot more to come on this page, so stay tuned!

You have to register your drone in the USA, here is a direct link to the FAA site to register your uas, Its really easy (don’t pay a 3rd party to do it for you)

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)



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