Just under a year ago, before I got the Phantom 4 Pro, I invested in my first drone, the DJI Phantom 3 4K. I spent plenty of time learning not only how to fly it but also how to get good imagery from it. However, like many of you, I strive to get the best quality from my cameras and the P3 4K was just not doing it for me. The image in decent light was ok but in lower light or, if you pushed images and clips in post production, the quality soon started to dissipate.
The problem is that nearly all consumer/prosumer level drones use a 1 2/3rd inch sensor, pretty tiny by today’s standards. In November 2016 DJI announced a new quadcopter, the Phantom 4 Pro. Its specifications suggested that this was the “photographer’s” drone that we had been waiting for. But it was at a cost. $1500 in the US, about 30% more than the Phantom 3 Pro and newly released Mavic. I waited to see a good selection of reviews before deciding to buy one but last week I finally pulled the trigger.
Build Quality of the Phantom 4 Pro
The first thing that struck me upon opening the box was the nice grey styrofoam carrying case it was supplied with. Whilst this would not stand up to daily professional use, it works well for normal occasional use. It also fits nicely inside cabin sized suitcases with room to spare. This makes it useful for airline travel.
The Phantom 4 Pro itself seems a step or two up in build quality over its predecessors. The form factor is identical to older models but the rotor arms are much sleeker, more aerodynamic. The body shell is made of high quality glossy plastic but it is reinforced with titanium and magnesium alloy. Overall it feels a very sturdy and futuristic machine.