DJI Phantom 3 Review

DJI Phantom 3

I know, many of you are going to be excited about this product, and we are too. DJI produces the market leading  DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ quadcopter, and has now come up with its successor, the Phantom 3. There are models that make history in the consumer market, and surely the Phantom 2 was one of them. Not just because it sold more than any other drone, but because it has helped to spread this hobby around the world, and can be considered a real game-changer. Just look at the video section of our website; most of those videos were shot with one of those quads. So it is impossible not to be curious about what the next generation is going to be capable of. Will the Phantom 3 be a worthy successor?

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Boosted video capability

The DJI Phantom 3 comes in 2 different models. The Advanced model, distinguishable by its silver stripes, hosts a 1080p capable camera that can record at 60fps. The Professional model, with golden stripes, as the name suggests, is even better as it boasts a 4K camera that records at 30fps. However, the feature we like most is the new lens. It’s slightly bigger and has a 94 degree view. This replaces the fish eye lens of the previous model which caused the typical image distortion typical of this type of lens. Now images  can even be stitched together to form panoramas. Other nice features include the ability to broadcast live video straight into YouTube, so your friends on the other side of the planet can enjoy the images your quadcopter is producing. FPV live images are also transmitted to the controller to let the user see what the drone is seeing.  The controller has also received many improvements. It has improved reception, better buttons and a useful holder for smartphone or tablet. We do miss the HDMI output that we had on the previous version.

controllerphantom3-camera

All round flier

The DJI Phantom 3 exhibits much better flying capabilities. The duration of the battery is roughly the same as the predecessor (20-23 minutes), but this model can be controlled more precisely and is far more responsive. This is down to the effect of the powerful new motors mounted on the system. The feature that stands out in terms of flying capability is the Vision Positioning System (VPS) ultrasonic sensor. This sensor scans the ground beneath the Phantom and identifies the position when the GPS is not working, making it easier to fly in indoor spaces. The switch between the GPS and the VPS system is totally seamless. Even the GPS is improved and now able to track the Russian satellites. These features greatly increase the versatility of this quadcopter and should solve the “fly-away” problem that affected the Phantom 2.

ultrasonic sensor

Features and specifications

  • 4k UHD video recording (professional version) or 1080p video recording (advanced version) with fully stabilized 3-axis gimbal
  • Lightbridge digital streaming allows live viewing of 720p video Vision Positioning system allows stable flight indoors
  • Included flight battery and rechargeable remote controller means this system is ready to fly out of the box
  • DJI Pilot app for iOS and Android allows live viewing and complete camera control
  • Max altitude: 6000 m (above sea level)
  • Max Distance: 2000m (outdoors and unobstructed)

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Customers reviews and scores

The DJI Phantom 3 is one of the best quadcopters currently available on the market. Its mix of advanced features makes it one of the most desirable machines and a pleasure to fly.  It has top edge video capabilities, it’s well built and really offers the full package at a price that is even cheaper than its predecessor.

We found 14 customer reviews on Amazon at the time of writing and they had awarded the Phantom 3 5 out of 5 stars (Professional model) and 4.7/5  (Advanced model).

All the reviews are extremely positive, even though we’ll probably have to wait a bit longer for more customer reviews to come in for a final judgment.

Let’s see at some of the comments.

“I’ve had multiple drones before the Phantom 3. This one takes the headache out of flying.”

“This is certainly the best drone of its type on the market – and the price is right.”

“If you are a photographer or a videographer, this is the best yet. The video is so smooth you would not think it was a drone. Rock solid!”

“The only thing that would make it perfect would be decreasing the lag on the video, but by no means would I say that lag is justification for not getting it.”

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Conclusion

In summary, it is really hard to find any fault with the Phantom 3. The people at DJI have done a great job in putting together advanced features in an affordable machine. It’s even easier to fly than its predecessor, the video quality is superb and should make every drone enthusiast happy. If you are unsure between the Advanced and the Professional models, you just have to consider how important 4K video is for you. Remember that for editing 4K video you need a fairly decent computer and a display/TV that can handle that resolution. As you’ve read the customer reviews are all very positive; it’s early days but it looks like this will be the best selling drone ever.

 

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