Mid-summer surprise by DJI, that just announced the release of the new Phantom 3 Standard model!
Let’s check what’s all about, our thoughts and of course the pricing of this new model.
A Glorified Phantom 2?
The Phantom 3 Standard is basically an enhanced version of the Phantom 2 model, rather than a Phantom 3 little brother.
From the Phantom 3 it gets the 3-Axis gimbal and the video camera, but with limited features.
The photo resolution is the same as the other P3 models: 12 Megapixels. For videos, the maximum resolution of 4K has been limited to 2.7K (2704 x 1520p). In Full-HD it can record 1920x1080p @24/25/30 FPS (contrary to Advanced and Professional, that can record up to 60FPS!). The HD videos are the same for all the Phantom 3 family: 1280x720p 24/25/30/48/50/60.
The table below summarizes the video performances of the different models:
|UHD||2.7K: 2704×1520 @30 FPS||–|| 4K: 4096x2160p @24/25 FPS
3840x2160p @24/25/30 FPS
|FHD||1920x1080p @24/25/30 FPS||1920x1080p @24/25/30/48/50/60 FPS||1920x1080p @24/25/30/48/50/60 FPS|
|HD||1280x720p @24/25/30/48/50/60 FPS||1280x720p @24/25/30/48/50/60 FPS||1280x720p @24/25/30/48/50/60 FPS|
The battery is the same for the whole happy family, with a capacity of 4480 mAh, but in the Standard version it provides a longer flying time of 25 minutes vs the 23 minutes of the other models. This is due to a lighter body of 1216g vs 1280g.
Why is the Standard version lighter?
This is because this model doesn’t have a few components:
- the GLONASS Dual Positioning Module – the vertical camera and sonar that is used in indoor flight when GPS is not available. This means no indoor flying.
- the Lightbridge system for the analog real-time image transmission. Instead, the Standard send 720p images via wi-fi to the app of your smartphone/tablet. This means inferior FPV performances.
The remote controller is taken from the Phantom 2 and operates at 5.8 Ghz.
The video is streamed at 720p via Wi-Fi at 2.4 Ghz on the new app DJI GO, the same app used for the rest of the P3 family.
This limit the maximum range of the Phantom 3 Standard to 1km, even less for the European version.
The DJI GO app presents great features compared with the previous app, such as the Director. The Director is an integrated video editor that allows to simply and semi-automatically combine multiple videos to create a movie that can be immediately uploaded and shared online.
Check the video introduction of the new DJI Phantom 3 Standard.
The promised features
Follow Me, Waypoints, Point of Interest, IOC: those are all long-awaited features for Phantom 3 owners, but DJI is not promising that they will be available very soon for Standard, Advanced and Professional models alike.
But what are those features? Let’s see briefly.
A drone following you? This is probably the most awaited feature… let your Phantom 3 follow you automatically, tracking the position of the remote controller.
POINT OF INTEREST
This feature allows to select a location (the coordinate of an interesting place) and let the Phantom 3 continuously face it while flying, or circle around it automatically.
With waypoints you can plan your flight ahead, selecting the paths and the route that the drone will follow diligently, letting you focus on the camera control to catch better videos.
IOC stands for Intelligent Orientation Control, a scary acronym that indicates a feature that allows you to customize how you control the Phantom.
Normally when moving forward, the direction of the Phantom is the same as the ‘nose’ direction (the front of the quadcopter). With IOC you can make the forward direction independent from where the ‘nose’ of the Phantom is pointing, allowing you to shot amazing videos!
Comparing the presentation video of the Standard with the one from the Advanced&Professional models, it struck to see how DJI is positioning this quadcopter.
The message I got is: this is the simplest Phantom to fly, everyone can use it and record on video their best moments.
But is it really simpler to fly? The Phantom 3 ain’t a small quadcopter, with a wingspan of 350 mm, and definitely not a toy such as the Bebop Parrot ($339).
I understand the need to reach more and more people approaching this great hobby, but the Phantom 3 in my view remains a quad for intermediate flyers.
Furthermore, the Standard will definitely push out of the market the Phantom 2 Vision, but with a difference of just $200 USD I would go for a Phantom 3 Advanced.
This is a great preview video with thoughts.
DJI Phantom 3 Standard For Sale Now!
The P3 Standard is already available for an official price of $493.99 USD.