This replacement for the original Phantom
4 offers an improved camera with a
1-inch, 20-megapixel CMOS sensor with
4K recording up to 60p. It offers many
of the same features as the P4 Pro,
including options to record in H.264 and
the newer, more efficient H.265 video
codec. The camera has an f/2. 8-11 lens
with a 24mm (equivalent) focal length and
a mechanical shutter. It also offers many
of the same autonomous flight modes as
the P4 Pro, such as Draw, Active Track,
TapFly, Gesture and Tripod modes. There
are five vision sensors, a forward-facing
obstacle avoidance system and GPS/
GLONASS satellite positioning chips.
However, it lacks the P4 Pro’s infrared
vision system and the backward-facing
obstacle avoidance sensors. You can hit a
top speed of 45 MPH in sport mode. DJI
sells two versions of the P4 Advanced.
The Advanced + model includes a remote
control with a 5.5-inch HD display built in.
The standard P4 Advanced comes with a
controller that requires a smartphone.
PRIce: $1,349; $1,649 (Advanced +)
Yuneec t YPhoon h
autel X-StaR PRemIum
The X-Star Premium quadcopter was outfitted this year with a pair of new camera modules. Of
most interest to aerial filmmakers is an updated camera module sporting a 1-inch, 20-megapixel
sensor for higher-quality 4K video and improved performance in low light. A second module
incorporates a FLIR Duo thermal/visual camera. Both modules are mounted to a 3-axis, stabilized
gimbal to keep your aerial footage smooth. The craft uses the company’s Starpoint Positioning
technology to fly accurately even when GPS is lost. It taps both GPS and Russia’s GLONASS
satellites for accurate outdoor navigation. You can program the drone to follow a subject, orbit
a location or fly to user-selected waypoints for hands-off flight. If you’re just getting started,
the X-Star’s beginner mode creates a geo-fence
beyond which your drone can’t fly. It also limits the
craft’s airspeed, making it easier to control.
PRIce: $799 (with standard 4K camera)
The Typhoon H uses Intel’s RealSense 3D camera to detect and
route around objects in flight. It not only avoids obstacles in its path,
it remembers their location to avoid them in the future. Armed with
a 4K camera and a 3-axis gimbal, the H can snap 12-megapixel still
images and has a wide-angle lens with a 98-degree field of view.
The camera can be rotated a full 360 degrees when in flight and the
landing gear will retract so your view is unobstructed. It includes a
controller with a built-in 7-inch touchscreen display that can receive
a video feed from up to 1 mile away. The drone can stay aloft for up
to 25 minutes on a fully charged battery. It has several intelligent
flight modes including Orbit Me, which traces a circular path around
a subject, keeping the camera fixed on them during flight. You can
take aerial selfies in Journey mode and have the Typhoon H fly up to
150 feet away from you for your flying photo op.