Part 4 of Heliguy's DJI Phantom 4
In Depth series focuses on one of the main selling points, its camera. Having focused on everything from the Phantom 4's batteries
that keep it in the air and the intuitive remote controller
to the cases and backpacks
used to transport it from location to location, this time, we'll run through what you can expect from the Phantom 4's visual sensors.
Dubbed by DJI and many reviewers as the definitive smart ‘flying camera’ (at least where consumer quadcopters are concerned), it’s time to take a look at what level of quality and functionality you can expect when capturing aerial imagery with the Phantom 4
DJI’s Phantom 4 has the ability to record in full HD at 124fps (as well as 4K at 30fps). It’s worth noting that 4K shoots will max out the integrated 16GB SD card in around 35 minutes although, with a flight time of 28 minutes, this shouldn’t prove to be too much of an issue.
The P4’s camera features a selection of white balance settings and presets which allows you to find the perfect configuration and achieve much better results. Dynamic range has been improved on the Phantom 4
thanks to an eight element lens and sensor software which is evident in shadow, highlights and mid-tones. The lens also reduces chromatic aberration and distortion.
The 3-axis gimbal is now held as part of its body with the SD card sitting within the craft’s structure rather than the gimbal itself. The gimbal holds the camera on both sides, making it sturdier and offering smooth pictures, even under extreme stress.
Thanks to the camera quality and sturdy gimbal mounting, you’re also able to capture slow-motion shots in awesome detail, making your aerial footage even more dramatic.
It isn’t all about filming and photography, however, as there are two cameras on the underside of the aircraft and another two on its front. These sensors have been added to help the Phantom 4 avoid obstacles, with the ability to detect barriers to its progress from up to 15m away and intuitively adjusting the flight path to avoid these hazards when following a pre-set course.
The sensors on the bottom of the aircraft act as the Visual Positioning system, very similar to that featured on the DJI Inspire 1
but the front mounted cameras are there to offer one of the Phantom 4’s most lauded selling points, the Obstacle Avoidance. While this does work well, stopping the aircraft as soon as it detects walls, trees and other such impediments, it’s worth noting that you have to be facing forwards for the avoidance to kick in. It’s still possible to fly sidelong or backwards into an obstacle if you’re not careful.
Aside from the much lauded Obstacle Avoidance feature, the Phantom 4
’s camera has multiple other uses which include facilitating ActiveTrack, which locks the craft onto a target and allows for dynamic shots which follow the action, ensuring you get the footage you need by keeping the subject locked in the middle of the screen.
The Phantom 4 Camera in Action
Let’s take a look at the image quality possible with the Phantom 4. These shots were taken over our flying field at varied altitudes and subject ranges.
Obstacle Sensory Range: 2 - 49ft
Gimbal Control Range: -90° to +30° Pitch
Camera Sensor: 1/2.3"
Lens FOV: 94°
ISO Range: 100 - 3200
Max Image Size: 4000x3000px
Max Video Size: 4096x2160px
Max Video Bitrate: 60Mbps
Photo Formats: JPEG, DNG
Video Formats: MP4, MOV, MPEG
Find Out More
If you want to learn more about capturing great images and footage with your Phantom 4 or just want to speak to one of our customer support team; don’t hesitate to get in touch.
UK: 0845 838 8652
Int: +44 (0)191 296 1024
Keep checking back to heliguy™ Insider for more of our Phantom 4 In Depth series (don’t forget to read Part 1
, Part 2
& Part 3
) and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.