• Max Flight Time: 28 minutes
  • Obstacle Sensory Range: 0.7-15m
  • Photography Modes: Single shot, Burst shot, Auto Exposure Bracketing, Time-lapse, HDR
  • Video Recording Modes: UHD, 4K, 2.7K, FHD, HD
  • File Formats: JPEG, DNG, MP4, MOV
  • Storage: MicroSD (Max 64GB capacity, Class 10 or UHS-1 rating required)
  • Weight: 1.38kg
  • Pros:
  • Steadiness
  • Video & picture quality
  • Easy to control
  • Cons:
  • Price

Having An Eye In The Sky

Drones have been controversial in many ways, with there being no proper laws set for drones at the moment, with regards to privacy and trespassing. Despite all that legal mumbo jumbo, a drone is definitely something you should get if you like adventuring and taking epic videos.

The DJI Phantom 4 is DJI’s latest offering and we have to say one of the most interesting products we had the chance to review. The Phantom 4 is perfect for the times you want to capture something in motion yet unable when on foot. You can also use the Phantom 4 to shoot those hard to reach spots like for example while rock climbing and you want to follow a climber around the edge.

The drone comes with 4 detachable propellers which have to be fixed on accordingly. The propellers are colour coded and must be followed to ensure the drone works as intended. Inside the box there are extra propellers just in case you need replacements. There is also a microUSB cable to connect your remote to a smartphone or tablet.

The remote is quite large but fits nicely in our hands. Getting right into it, the Phantom 4 requires you to download their DJI GO app which is used to control all features of the drone. It was a bit confusing when we tried switching on both the remote and the drone as we thought we had to just press and hold the power button as written in the instruction manuals. But actually what we had to do was tap the button once and then press it down again but this time holding it down for a few seconds.

Once we got that out of the way it was time to start flying. We lifted off the drone manually to really get into the feel of flying a drone, and it made us feel like kids again. The Phantom 4 hovers excellently with barely any shaking, keeping the camera nice and steady. The drone will also brake and hover the instant you release the controls. The Phantom 4’s ActiveTrack is our favourite feature as it allowed us to follow a moving subject regardless of moving horizontally or vertically.

If you are worried about hitting obstacles fret not as the Phantom 4 features Obstacle Avoidance that allows it to react to and avoid obstacles. We somewhat forced it to pass obstacles when returning to us and was able to not hit any of the obstacles on the way back, but we still don’t recommend deliberately hiding behind obstacles. The videos took by the camera even while in motion was considerably steady and looks amazing. Additionally, the quality of still pictures taken was great and the views and composition only attainable with a drone is something to die for.

CHIP CONCLUDE: If you don’t have a drone already we recommend you get one, and if you have the budget for it, we highly recommend the DJI Phantom 4 for its all-round great performance whether it’s taking pictures, recording videos and following moving objects.

(previously published in issue June 2016)

DJI Phantom 4