A little while back, I got my hands on the new DJI Phantom 4 aerial camera (also known as a drone) and been taking it on some day trips to capture photos and videos from unique perspectives.
My first flight with the Phantom 4 was a flight by the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. Even though it was a fairly windy day, you would never know that from the steadiness of P4 gimbal. The 4K video looks stunning directly from the camera.
Here is that video:
|Click on the image to watch the video|
Here is the video of a big wave crash, as I followed the wave in towards the beach:
Check out this video flying over the Ferry Building:
I mentioned the auto tracking feature. but I had never actually tried it. I took a break from writing this blog and went outside to give it a try. My wife was going to walk the dog, so I launched the P4 about 15 feet over them, trained the camera on them, tapped the iPad screen to identify them as my subjects, and hit "Go" on the screen. Here is what the Phantom captured. A nice smooth following of them. Pretty cool!
You may remember that in March of 2015 I flew my Phantom 3 over the construction site of the massive new Apple Campus that they are building in Cupertino, CA.
Here is that video:
Along with capturing video, I also made sure to grab some still photos as well. I love that the Phantom 4 lets me shoot both RAW and JPEG images.
There are a couple of other upgrades to the Phantom 4 that I am very happy about:
* The camera gimbal are built MUCH better than on previous models. This makes them much less vulnerable to damage in event of a crash.
* I love that the battery has a new charing port which can attach to the charging cable much easier than in the past. And the cable can be inserted in either direction, and still charge the battery.
* The new more powerful motors allow for the Phantom 4 to move at speeds up to 40mph (in Sport mode).
* The Phantom 4 does have a front facing obstacle avoidance system, which is really comforting to know. I actually tried this out, flying the Phantom directly towards my house. As it got within 4 or 5 feet, I heard an audible alert on my iPad and the drone halted it's forward progress.
* I like the smooth plastic finish which seems easier to keep clean.
At $1399 the Phantom 4 is not an inexpensive piece of equipment, but for what it does, I think that this is a bargain. I pay this type of money for a good lens, and the Phantom 4 includes the drone itself, camera, lens, gimbal and remote. The only thing that is not included is a tablet or phone, which is necessary to fly. But most of us have one of these anyways. I love how these devices make it possible for me to easily capture awesome quality video and still images to share with you all.
I should also mention that, even though the content captured is super cool, they are just plain fun to fly. I know, I know...I am just a big kid. :)
If you are interested in purchasing any camera equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
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