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How Does DJI Phantom 2 Vision's Onboard Camera Stack Up Against GoPro's Hero3?

10.29.13 @ 7:36PM Tags : , , , , , ,

Phantom 2 VisionWhen talking about drones, it’s impossible not to talk about DJI’s Phantom quadcopter. And the combination of the Phantom and GoPro’s action cameras seemed like a match made in heaven — and maybe it was, but DJI has announced the release of the Phantom 2 Vision, which comes with its own onboard HD camera, as well as some other upgrades. Continue on to see just how well the Phantom 2 Vision performs in flight, as well as a side by side comparison between its onboard camera versus a GoPro Hero3.

The Phantom 2 Vision brings back some of what was good about the Phantom, like the “Return-to-Home” feature, but there are plenty of new tricks up DJI’s sleeve. According to Cinescopophilia, the Phantom 2 Vision offers the first integrated mobile phone FPV system with the use of the DJI Vision Mobile App, which monitors your flight status, keeps real-time flight perimeters, and also lets you share your photos and videos on social/hosting networks. It can sustain Wi-Fi wireless connection up to a distance of 300m, and the battery offers up to 25 minutes of flight time.

Here are some general Phantom 2 Vision specs:

  • 14 megapixel still images and 1080p HD video
  • 5.8G Remote Controller (with mobile phone holder)
  • Wi-Fi Range Extender
  • Intelligent Flight Battery and Charger
  • Highly Efficient Self-Tightening Propellers
  • Enhanced Flight Times (up to 25 mins)
  • Low Latency Live Preview (0.1s)
  • Remote Controlled Capture via iOS app
  • Phone Tilt Controlled Camera Angle
  • Album Synchronization to Phones & Social Network Sharing
  • Ready-to-fly right out of the box — no programming needed
  • Weight: 9lbs

Now, if you’re looking for 4K video from the Phantom 2 Vision, you’re not going to find it. Though it does shoot full HD video, it looks as though there are only two shooting options: 1080p30 and 1080i60. So, if 4K is the most important factor for your aerial filmmaking, then maybe sticking with the Phantom/GoPro Hero3 (or Hero3+) combo is the best route to take.

Here are the Phantom 2 Vision’s onboard camera specs:

  • Resolution: 14MP
  • FOV: 140°/120°/90 °
  • Sensor size: 1/2.3’
  • Functions: Support of multi-capture, continuous capture and timed capture
  • Support of HD Recording (1080p30/1080i60)
  • Supports of both RAW and JPEG picture format

Here’s a side by side comparison of the Phantom 3 Vision’s onboard camera and GoPro Hero3:

The Phantom 2 Vision is available now for preorder, but it’s going to cost you a pretty penny: $1,199.00. The expected arrival date is sometime between now and early November.

What do you think? Have you preordered the Phantom 2 Vision? How do you think the Phantom’s onboard camera fares against the Hero3? Let us know in the comments.



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  • Nice job on the comparison. Outdoors the Gopro without any mods always looked to me like someone turned the contrast up. Looks like the new camera on the Phantom solves that issue. I´d call it quite an improvement.

    • It’s funny that you say that because the Phantom’s camera looks like the one with the contrast turned up when compared to the GoPro. There is less contrast meaning more manipulation in post, plus much more detail in the image (look at the rocks on the ground).

      Not to mention the Hero 3 is able to shoot 720p at 120 fps as well as 2.7K at 30 and 24 fps.

      It’s nice to see options but the GoPro wins hands down IMO.

  • The biggest problem with this and frankly a deal breaker is the ios, unless they release an ANDROID version, not spending a penny.

    • Thats odd, the article says ios, yet the video shows a Samsung phone being used….

    • it is an android app as well. check out BH photo for more info.

    • I am very pleased with the Vision 2. It does run on the Andriod OS. I personally have used the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0, Galaxy S3 and S4. Works fine with all of them. I agree iOS only would have been a deal breaker.

  • Honestly this little plastic quad is not worth $1200. Get a QAV500 much better at keeping the jello out and much better build quality. Or you could even get a QAV400 if you wanted something smaller and you will be happier with your purchase than with this overpriced DJI quad. I’m sure you all already have a GoPro so no reason to really buy a Vision and get less video quality.

    • And in what way will these two be comparable in anyway, apart from having 4 propellers and are able to fly?

    • Yes! QAV500 with a good gimbal and in this case gopro hearo 3 black and boom.. no processing or stabilization.. just some lame editing and music

      I wonder how the DJI vision camera does in low light?

  • Where’s Norm Rasner? He’d tell us all to use a gh2.

  • The MAJOR thing missing from the Vision is a stabilizing camera gimbal… without this, the comparisons between the Vision’s camera and the Hero3 on a Zenmuse are like comparing apples and oranges once the wind kicks up. Without adequate stabilization in windy conditions… makes no difference how good the camera might be. I’m waiting for the Phantom 2 / gimbal setup.

  • One thing that almost no one has mentioned is that the new version lacks any stabilization – no gimbal, no option for a gimbal, etc. I’d say that’s a major blunder by DJI. What is the point of getting a camera up into the air if the footage is unusable? I shot from a Phantom with a GoPro with and without a gimbal – almost everything I shot without it had to be re-shot once I installed the Zenmuse. Don’t bother with this ‘upgrade’ – stick with the v1 and gimbal.

  • I’ve built and learned to fly a dji f550 hexacopter. I’m happy I went this route, because you’re going to crash, and your going to break things. I’ve learned to build my hexa from the ground up. It wasn’t as simple as buying an RC quad and there you go. Now I’m building a bigger one to fly my blackmagic pocket camera.

    • I just have to say, I don’t really see your point. There is more than one way to skin a cat. As someone who has built a quad with a WooKong-M on an HT-FPV frame, I can say that even if I hadn’t, once this crashes, you’re going to learn quick.

      I think many of us are slightly sharper tools than your statement accounts for. RTF or Build your Self, many of us are more than smart enough with years of history behind us to repair the quad and do some simple soldering.

      You’re also missing the main point behind an RTF. make it as accessible as possible so you can draw people into the hobby. It’s all good.

      Also, to others concerned about a gimbal mount for the vision camera (so that all functionality can be maintained) please note there is already a very high quality (if not a little pricey) fully stabilized brushless gimbal made by Drone Expert.NL

      An american outfit is almost ready to ship one that allows the vision camera to snap into it.

      Also, after seeing the internals, I don’t really see why a camera internals upgrade couldn’t be done. Seems to be it’s a no brainer…

      • I would love to know more about the vision gimble you mention. Do you have additional info on the company that will offer it, or the availability date?

  • Norman Hirsch on 11.3.13 @ 6:05PM

    I want to know more about the RC Submarine, how you modified it and what components you used.

  • great comparison video, and all interesting comments.

    i think for the price the Phantom Vision it’s a game changer in the aerial photography industry. I’m in the process of starting out in the UK and for me it’s been amazing to see in just the space of 6 months the kits I was looking at buying change dramatically in price and quality. Kit that was £10,000 6 months ago is now half that price. Cameras such as the Nex 7 and the Blackmagic pocket also raise the bar in compact camera footage/stills.

    Of course, in another 6 months time there will be other kits available that will do twice the job at a lower cost – this competition is great for all of us but it makes it hard for the first time buyer choose the kit that will provide best long term value.

    I’m looking at providing professional quality aerial stills and video in the UK so the Phantom and those quadcopter kits whilst great to learn with will not provide the quality I need. I’ve found from lots of contacting and research that a spend of around £5k is needed using brushless gimbal and hexacopter/octocopter rigs.

    I agree with Brandon – there are lots of other kits out there like the QAV500 that will do the job better than the DJI Phantom but for those that just want a piece of aerial kit ready to fly, the vision or the original phantom seem to be great choices, particularly for beginners and hobbyists.

    Jeff – yes I also want a kit that can fly the BlackMagic Pocket Camera so it would be really interested in finding out how you get on with your build. do you have a twitter account so I can follow your progress? My twitter account is @vulcamdrone

    • How things change. Its been 6 months to this article and we have
      - Vision2+
      - H3-3D gimbal
      both with 3 axis stabilization.

      And for a first time buyer like me, its confusing as hell. Is one should go for a $1300 Vision+ or a $1600 H3-3D kit

  • The GoPro wins hands down. The big thing to me is no gimbal support on the vision so if you are serious about getting smooth video, you could pay just a bit more and have a zenmuse gopro system on the original phantom. I dont know about you, but I want stable footage.

  • this video is bollocks, everybody knows that the hero3 on a H32D gimbal unbeatable.
    DJI really cocked upped with this vision drone, yes its nice and cleaver but it’s pointless and it’s not selling anything like the original phantom.
    If I had shares in DJI I would be looking to selling if they don’t pull something out the bag soon.

  • The Phantom 2 Vision Camera leaves hot spots in the pictures. I am unsatified with this and it ruins the picture for clients. the website you can read and SEE it here.

  • The Phantom 2 Vision is really designed for aerial still photography. There are already rumors that DJI will be releasing the DJI Phantom 2 Pro that is better equipped for filming aerial videos next year. For more info see below:

  • you must have had a special and DJI checked camera my friends. Like many others, we feel very let down by the poor quality of images that this is producing.

    A++ for the camera, PFV and concept

    D- for the image quality. The lens is simply not fit for purpose and a CCTV camera about 15 yr old would produce better images. Dont get me started on the sensor, way too much processing is going on.

    Simply not worth the value

  • From the videos I have seen the DJI 2 produces slightly better stills. I don’t know if thats the case or not but I would like to see more stills example as that is the sole reason I need this setup.

    The price is down to $480 on amazon, even with a GoPro that’s not bad, what’s a half decent FPV setup run? Can anyone give some example prices?–z-20

  • Hi Guys,

    I’m Albert and i Have Aero film company her in Spain. We’ve use some DJI phantoms 2 using Gopro and Vison Camera and are just amazing! In my opinion I prefer using go pro just because you can use gimbal and it’s better for a profession stabilization video.

    Check our website or our last video.

    thanks and regards from spain.

  • My sense is the GoPro wins on greater detail and resolution and a flatter color profile – closer to RAW, with more gamma (mid-tone values). The quality of the Phantom right out of the box may look more pleasing due to greater builtin contrast (crush the blacks; enhance the whites) but I prefer (insist!) to make my own color corrections for my film projects and would go with the GoPro for that reason. For the hobbyist and amateur, I think the Phantom’s new Vision camera is a winner because the footage is, essentially, auto-corrected — looks prettier –for you out of the box.

  • Wow!
    I guess most of you guys have G3′s or terrible eyes ……. or both.
    I don’t have either one of these but will have the P2V based on the ‘paused’ splits in the video here.
    It isn’t even close …….. the camera on the P2V is significantly sharper and more detailed.
    The H3 is mush.

    • Also …… the P2V will now shoot RAW using Adobe CinemaDNG codec.
      Will the H3 even do RAW?

      • WOW finally, I thought I was having a stroke or something. the phantoms stock camera is better in this video. maybe not by a lot but it is better. its sharper, more clear and yes the contrast does seem somewhat wrong on the go pro at least in this video it is. I don’t care If I can later on a computer edit the video to be better, if im buying a RTF model im not gonna waste my time editing im looking to fly it. maybe other comparison videos make the gopro look better than the vision camera but in this video that is not the case.

  • Hello….saw several peeps mention there was no two way gim for the Phantom 2 vision camera….. did anyone ever see this???

  • Interesting, you can easily tell the difference in clarity and contrast between the vision and the go pro image quality. And regards to the film footage, the vision is much steadier than the mounted go pro. You can see the vibrations (jello effect) in the go pro footage. Great comparison.

  • hello all,

    I am attempting to capture videos and landscapes of lakes in deserts (yes, they do exist hehe) using a phantom drone (version 1) with a gimball on it and I am wondering what is the best resolution or mode to use the Hero 3 (Silver Edition) … I saw that protune is the best to make a movie and also the manual says that 960 is enough but should I am to 1080? What is the main diff between 1080p 30 NTSC fps 25 PAL and the other 1080 with 24 NTC and 24 FPS… in my environment there is plenty of light and a bit windy

    • Hello JRamos,

      Can you see what you are recording when you stand on the ground and de Phantom is in the air?

  • Hello, I want to buy the Phantom 2 with the GoPro hero3+ black edition ( and the zenmuse H2 3D ).
    The only thing that stops me is that I can’t see what I am recording when I am on the ground.
    I read that wifi from the Phantom and the GoPro don’t go together.
    How do you solve this problem?
    Is there a good way to see what the GoPro is recording when the Phantom 2 is in the air?
    Thank you for your reaction!

  • How things change. Its been 6 months to this article and we have
    - Vision2+
    - H3-3D gimbal
    both with 3 axis stabilization.

    And for a first time buyer like me, its confusing as hell. Is one should go for a $1300 Vision+ or a $1600 H3-3D kit

    Vision+ camera has better sharpness for Aerial videos
    but Hero does 4k@15, 2.7K@30 and 1080p@60
    What to chose ?

  • Paguma Larvata on 04.27.14 @ 6:20PM

    Can you replace the camera on the vision + with a GoPro camera if later you decide to change the setup?

  • Bob Snodgrass on 05.5.14 @ 1:11PM

    I am going to buy a drone camera soon, but I am a very picky customer and must be sure i’m getting the most for my money. I will require commercial grade photo and video. I was about to get the Phantom vision, but now wondering if the lack of gimbal is something to consider. also no one mentioned the remote camera tilting feature of vision which I don’t believe GoPro can do? My final dilemma which no one mentions anywhere I see here is Waterproofing. I see for about 300$ extra you can get phantom vision waterproof. I will be over water a lot. Is it necessary to get water proof as apposed to pontoons? if power fails does the phantom drop evenly to be saved by the pontoons, or can it come down upside down sideways?

  • Hi,dear,

    I’m bethel from Specialized RC lipo battery factory— ONBO(

    Our customzied smart phantom 2 battery was launched.
    it can be used in DJI phantom 2 / 2 vision / 2 vision + mulicopter.

    may i know your are interesting?

  • Great comparison. We’d love to hear you opinion on the DJI Phantom v Walkera QR X350 Pro from a photographers point of view. Maybe that could be your next review? The Walkera is a cheaper option but doesn’t have an onboard camera so you need to have a GoPro. It would also be interesting to hear what your opinion is on a reasonable price. You can contact me via email at or via our website:

  • DJI’s latest Vision+ is a much better all-in-one quadcopter. It comes with the 3-Axis gimbal which is a significant improvement compared to the Vision.

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