The Phantom 4 is the sleeker and more stylish version of its predecessor, with a number of features that make it the first of its class. Some of the most noteworthy are an upgraded sensor yielding more optimal video quality, a larger battery allowing for nearly 30 minutes of flight time, and forward facing collision avoidance. This is a drone that anyone can fly, but it also dramatically raised the bar on what is possible with a consumer caliber camera drone, both for complete amateurs who want to start flying and for professionals who are crafting complex and aggressive shots.
Prior to the Phantom 4, the best a camera drone could offer was the ability to follow your GPS signal, which works well, but has serious limitations. The drone would have a general sense of where you are, but can’t actually see you or the world around it. With just GPS to rely on, drones struggled to adjust to sudden changes in direction or speed, to keep subjects in frame when in close range — and of course, to avoid obstacles like trees, power lines, or ski lifts.
Though the obstacle collision feature isn’t perfect, and cannot be 100% relied upon, it does change the game concerning the amount of skill necessary to pilot a drone, with the additional factor that it can use its computer vision to identify a specific person and follow them, keeping your subject perfectly in frame.
The basics of the Phantom hardware maintain the high quality of previous editions with some small tweaks and improvements, making this without a doubt the best overall drone in terms of reliable flight, beautiful footage, and overall build quality.
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