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Phantom 4 announced today and the specs look good

Discussion in 'DJI Discussion' started by nathan, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. nathan

    nathan Administrator Staff Member

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    Posted by nathan, Mar 1, 2016 #1
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  2. Talon Six

    Talon Six Member

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    Posted by Talon Six, Mar 2, 2016 #2
    Pass...but I own an Inspire :D

    Love the obstacle avoidance. The Verge had a pretty impressive demonstration video posted:

    I'll also be interested to see some details of the camera improvements beyond the new gimbal design.
     
  3. nathan

    nathan Administrator Staff Member

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    Posted by nathan, Mar 2, 2016 #3
    I'll have to give you that one-- if you fly an Inspire, this probably isn't one you're trying to own. I have to say, the feature list for active photog's make this 'flying camera' stand out above the rest in its class right now I would say.
     
  4. John Locke

    John Locke Member

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    Posted by John Locke, Mar 4, 2016 #4
    Camera improvements are minimal. It has a better lens and it supports 120fps @1080p, that's about it. Same sensor.
     
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  5. John Locke

    John Locke Member

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    Posted by John Locke, Mar 4, 2016 #5
    I'm in! I ordered one Tuesday. Should ship in 2wks. 44mph, 25+min! (we'll see). Video capture at 40+mph may be difficult given the angle of attack at 40+mph. The blades will likely be in the frame unless you point with no horizon in the frame. But that's not why I want 44mph. A fast drone lets me get the job done quicker when the suns going down. The golden hour goes fast, sometimes I have only one chance to get the shot, so speed can be important to get to the location, shoot and go to the next, not to mention the fun of flying faster.
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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
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  6. nathan

    nathan Administrator Staff Member

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    Posted by nathan, Mar 4, 2016 #6
    That's awesome... looking forward to reading about your experiences with it.
     
  7. Petr Hejl

    Petr Hejl Staff Member Moderator

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    Posted by Petr Hejl, Mar 11, 2016 #7
  8. John Locke

    John Locke Member

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    Posted by John Locke, Mar 24, 2016 #8
    Yes, I bought my P3P last July, it's been great. Every mission I set out to do, each more challenging, seems to go smooth as butter, no hiccups at all. It's taken a while to gain confidence, but now I'll go distances of 10,000' from home point without even thinking about it, an everyday thing. I love that bird, mighty and reliable. I could go on for hours about the places we have flown and images we've captured. I'm not selling her either, just because I have a new P4. I'm keeping her! She's given me $10.000 in performance over the last 9mos, a real workhorse.

    So, I've made about 8 flights now with my P4. I got it Thursday, just 6 days ago. I didn't fly over the weekend because I went to Catalina Island with the misses, and wanted a RELIABLE drone to capture our trip, so I took my P3P! The P4 isn't working as good, getting only a mile distance under ideal conditions (away from any wifi) with a windsurfer. My P3P will easily do 2.5mi with a slip on Windsurfer parabolic dish. Everything about the P4 is awesome, except the distance. I buy DJI with Lightbridge FOR THE DISTANCE!! However, my P4 has the distance of a P3S that uses cheap Wifi. To say I'm a little bit peeved is putting it mildly. I didn't want to buy a P4 Standard! So to answer Nathan's question, I suggest you PASS until DJI get's Lightbridge fixed in the P4.

    By the way Peter, you may have missed this since it's not in the P4 user manual. I noticed you didn't mention it in episode #72, and it's a big deal since nobody else has this feature in this price range. The P4 has 2X digital zoom when capturing in 1080P! Check it out. Touch and spread on the touch screen to zoom, pinch to zoom out. You don't lose much resolution since it's using the 4K sensor, cropping the 4K for a zoom effect. Very clever of DJI. Although doing a slow zoom looks poor and jerky with each .1X zoom increment, doing a quick zoom from 1X to the max 2X is acceptable, with decent clarity. You really don't notice much quality loss in the image. It's just the beginning, I'm sure, but another first for DJI.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  9. Petr Hejl

    Petr Hejl Staff Member Moderator

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    Posted by Petr Hejl, Mar 28, 2016 #9
    @John Locke@John Locke great points, I now had a week to play with the P4, so I'll do a little "review update" to include the zoom and few other things I learned with it. I have not tested the range yet, the furthest I've been with it was about 3500 ft. with no problems. I do not fly out of LOS, so as long as I get a solid downlink within a mile, I'm good. I would think that DJI may limit the distance on their consumer drone so people will not fly them beyond the LOS.
     
  10. John Locke

    John Locke Member

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    Posted by John Locke, Mar 29, 2016 #10
    As up update, I realized I had the video transmission quality set wrong. Even though I set it to 4bmps when I first downloaded the new app, somehow it reverted by to 10mbps, which is limiting. At 4mbps I've done a 15,000' distance test using windsurfer installed without no problem, never a hiccup with the video feed, so I'm a happy camper. I'm starting to like the P4 a lot, but I'm still keeping my P3P as backup.

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  11. John Locke

    John Locke Member

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    Posted by John Locke, Mar 29, 2016 #11
    The biggest disappointment for most P4 owners is the battery life claims by DJI, at 28min. Most are getting 20 to 21min with typical flying, not using sport mode. Using P mode with CA disabled in the GO app produces about the same speeds at P3P, around 33mph. That's what most are doing to have better battery life. Going to S mode bumps it up over 40mph but you'll be in the 16-17min battery life range. I got 5omph yesterday with a tail wind in S mode. Woohoo. I typically get 20-21 min from my P4, where with P3P I'd get 16-17min.

    If you compare voltage levels toward the end of the battery drain, P4 will be around 3.6V/cell at 17% on the power gauge. However P3P at 3.6V/cell is about 35% most the time. So it appears DJI is being more conservative with the battery gauge algorithm, hindering the full potential of the new larger P4 battery. I personally believe DJI was getting close to 28min until they changed the battery gauge reporting algorithm. The reason for the conservative change in P4 battery guage is to prevent battery shutdown events that occurred with P3P and P3A using firmware 1.5, I call that firmware version the "kiss of death". P3's were literally falling from the sky! However, in defense of DJI, pilots that experienced battery shut-down were sending up craft with less than a full charge, in cold climates. This apparently confuses the system and reports a bogus battery gauge percent level, and battery protection steps in (power shutdown) at around 3.0V or less, which is possible in cold climate with partially charged batteries. It turns out the chemistry of LiPo batteries is poor in cold climates and can drop voltage levels easier with heavy loads, like full throttle vertical ascents.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
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  12. John Locke

    John Locke Member

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    Posted by John Locke, Mar 30, 2016 #12
    Peter, that was an EXCELLENT comparison review you reported, P3P vs. P4 in episode 74 Dronevibes podcast, the best I've heard/read yet. Very thorough! However, can you disclose how you got 24 to 26min of flight time? Everyone else is saying 20-21, which is what I'm getting when I don't use S mode or fly too fast. This sounds nit picky, but an extra 3-5min is a lot, just curious if you really got that kind of flight time, consistently.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
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  13. Petr Hejl

    Petr Hejl Staff Member Moderator

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    Posted by Petr Hejl, Apr 2, 2016 #13
    Hey John, thank you, appreciate your kind words. 25 minutes is the most I got, and this particular flight was mostly spent hovering when we were doing P3P vs P4 photo comparison. Any other flights are still well over 20 minutes, which is a welcome improvement over the P3. Sport mode cuts down on it a lot. My shortest flight was 13 minutes, flying a 1.5 mile distance in sport mode and returning back into 12mph winds.
     
  14. Petr Hejl

    Petr Hejl Staff Member Moderator

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    Posted by Petr Hejl, Apr 2, 2016 #14
  15. John Locke

    John Locke Member

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    Posted by John Locke, Apr 5, 2016 #15
    After getting more hours on my P4, even though I've gone 15,000' in ideal circumstances, I'm of the opinion the P4 isn't as solid of a connection as my P3P even at moderate distances of 3000'. I'm experiencing drop out of video quite often, but what's more disturbing is I'm getting DISCONNECTED totally from the craft with the Signal Disconnected RED WARNING at these moderate distances, which means it goes into RTH after 3 seconds of disconnect. At first I thought it was just a fluke, but the more I fly the more I'm experiencing this problem. Sometimes it goes into RTH, other times the connection comes back fairly quick. I try to blame myself for not pointing the windsurfers the right direction, but when I double check that's not the case. Flying my P3P I have over 150 hours on the craft over a million ft recorded, and I've used windsurfer all the time. I have never experienced a disconnect of RC control with my P3P, ever! I always lose video first, but I still have control of the craft to ascend, which generally results in getting my video signal back. With my P4 it seems the control signal may be weaker or the same power as the video signal, resulting in RC control DISCONNECTs at moderate distances. I'm disappointed DJI has taken a step backwards on their Lightbridge technology for some reason. It's clearly been detuned for a reason. Newbies flying P4 probably won't notice this as much as seasoned P3P owners that push the limits.

    Petr, I know you're not a distance explorer like me, but I assume you will go 3000-4000' occasionally. I'm curious about your comparisons of P3P and P4 in that realm, comparing apples and apples scenarios for signal strength. Have you experienced any disconnects yet with P4?
     
  16. Petr Hejl

    Petr Hejl Staff Member Moderator

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    Posted by Petr Hejl, Apr 9, 2016 #16
    @John Locke@John Locke interesting, so far I have only experienced a couple of short disconnects when flying with my friends with other Phantoms (3&4),and under these specific conditions: the two pilots get too close to each other, the other pilot gets near the imaginary line between me and my Phantom, or the other Phantom gets too close to me. Other than that, I find it actually happening less with the P4 than the P3. You are correct, I am not much of a long distance explorer, the furthest I have been so far was a bit over 7000 ft, and had no problems both times I did that. I learned with my P3 that I get less interference with putting my iPad in the airplane mode and not having my phone on me.
     
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