Ask Drone Girl: I have never flown a drone before. Should I buy a Phantom 4?

Do you have a question for Drone Girl? Submit it here.

Dear Drone Girl,

My question is in regards to the Phantom 4. I will be purchasing a drone and have never flown one before. The 4 sounds great but I am concerned about not being able to upgrade cameras, etc because of the design. I would like to use my investment money wisely. Do you have any input into this issue?

From, Karen Rphantom

Hey Karen,

I had a chance to fly the Phantom 4 a couple weeks ago, and let me tell you, it’s great! It’s totally counter-intuitive to fly into an object and have it not crash, but hey, that’s what makes the Phantom 4 so fantastic.

With 28-minutes of flight time and other features like TapFly or Smart Return Home, the Phantom is a vast improvement over its predecessors and an especially great copter for someone like you who has never flown one before.

But at $1,399, you’re completely right. You DO want to use your investment money wisely, so I’m glad you’re carefully considering it. The camera on the Phantom 4 is really great, capturing 4K video at 30 frames per second and slow motion 1080p at 120 frames per second. But the Inspire camera gives you the option to upgrade to a much more powerful camera.

Looking back, just 3 years ago I spent about the same dollar figure on my DJI Phantom 1 plus GoPro. There’s no Lightbridge and no gimbal. I only keep it for posterity, because it’s nowhere near as good as the drones on sale today. I joke now that I paid about $1,000 for a piece of junk! The drones you can buy today are infinitely more powerful than what was on the market 3 years ago.

That only means one thing — the next Phantom will guaranteed be even more powerful than this. I anticipate more sensors so the Phantom can sense objects overhead and behind it, not just in front of it. I also anticipate the sense and avoid technology being implemented into the next version of the Inspire.

So while I can pretty surely guarantee that within the next few years the Phantom will drop in price and/or improve, what would happen if I waited for the Phantom 2 without getting the Phantom 1?

It’s hard to say, but I’m confident you know the answer based on your needs. Either way, the Phantom 4 is both a great beginner copter AND copter for the pros. Happy flying!


P.S.: Even though the Phantom 4 says it is crash-proof, do practice in an open field. I would hate to see your $1,000+ drone end up at the bottom of a pool.

One Comment

  • Jack Tarry says:

    Dear Drone Girl
    Is there a thermal camera available for the Phantom 4 Pro?

    I am looking for the best value for business / commercial use Drone to do building, roof, construction inspections.

    Inspire 2 looks AWSOME but pricey, and it appears to this novice that the inspire 1 may have been caught up to ( or surpassed?) by the P4Pro

    Thanks for your insights as it is a big expense


Leave a Reply