DJI on Tuesday announced the Phantom 4 Pro and Pro+.
Its an improvement from its predecessor, the Phantom 4, which had a sensor on the front that could detect and navigate around obstacles.
While DJI’s drones can fly on their own based on pre-programmed GPS coordinates, if the person did not account for a building or tree in the way, previous models of the Phantom would crash into the building on its way to that coordinate. Adding a sensor on the drone gave the drones the ability to sense a building in the way, and instead hover in front of it and, if possible, navigate around it. But since the sensor was just on the front of the drone, the obstacle avoidance function would not work if the drone was flying sideways or backwards.
With sensors on all four sides now, drones have taken a huge leap forward in becoming crash-proof.
Adding more sensors is limited by both cost and processing power. More sensors means more heat, which is an engineering challenge.
- Purchase the Phantom 4 Pro Quadcopter from B&H Photo for $1,499.00.
- Purchase the Phantom 4 Pro Quadcopter directly from DJI for $1,499.00.
- Purchase the Phantom 4 Pro + Quuadcopter from B&H Photo for $1,799.00.
“We don’t have (a sensor) looking up yet, but as you can imagine, someday,” said Darren Liccardo, DJI’s Vice President of Engineering.
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro camera
The Phantom 4 Pro camera has a 1-inch, 20-megapixel sensor and almost 12 stops of dynamic range. That makes it more effective in low-light situations. It also has a mechanical shutter to elimiate rolling shutter and other distortion. It can capture slow-motion 4K video at up to 60 fps at a maximum bitrate of 100 mbps.
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro controller
The Phantom 4 Pro also improves on the controller by offering its own optional high luminance display, meaning you can opt to use that rather than your smartphone or tablet to see what the drone is seeing. The new controller has a built-in GPS, compass, Micro-SD card slot and HDMI port.
Phantom 4 Pro will cost$1,499 with a standard controller. The Phantom 4 Pro+, which includes a Phantom 4 Pro aircraft, and a high luminance display remote controller, will cost $1,799. Phantom 4 Pro and Phantom 4 Pro+ are immediately available for pre-order and at DJI flagship stores in Shenzhen, Seoul and Hong Kong. Both will begin shipping one week after launch.