DJI's New 'Phantom 3 Standard' is a Budget Drone That Can Do Most of the Flying For You

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Front
DJI has essentially made flying a UAV as simple as pushing a button

The new Phantom 3 Standard — which joins the Phantom 3 family — introduced today makes it even easier to get incredible shots, since it uses intelligent flight modes that can do a lot of flying for you. Not only can you have the Phantom 3 circle around a stationary object automatically, but you can program it to follow an object, and also follow a set of waypoints with specific altitude and speed settings. While there are plenty of shots you'll get without these modes on, this is certainly going to make it easier to get repeatable moves, and if you're less experienced at flying, you can jump right in a lot faster. Check out the intro video for a full overview of some of these incredible features:

How it's different from the more expensive and advanced Phantoms 3 UAVs:

The Phantom 3 Standard is the most streamlined addition to the Phantom 3 series. It connects to the DJI GO app over WiFi and has a 2.7K video camera. The Phantom 3 Professional and Advanced add DJI’s Vision Positioning system, GLONASS in addition to standard GPS, an extended range via DJI Lightbridge, and a remote controller with extended functionality. The Phantom 3 Professional also has a 4K camera. All models use the DJI GO app and the DJI Intelligent Flight Battery and take 12 megapixel photos.

Here's more on the intelligent flight modes (though it's not totally clear how these are integrated just yet, but it seems these will also find their way into the Advanced and Professional Phantom 3 models in a firmware update):

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Intelligent Flying

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Back

Specs:

  • 1/2.3” Sensor and Gimbal Stabilized Camera
  • Shoots 2.7K up to 30fps
  • Lens: FOV (Field Of View) 94° 20 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.8
  • UHD: 2.7K: 2704 x 1520p 30 (29.97)
  • FHD: 1920 x 1080p 24/25/30
  • HD: 1280 x 720p 24/25/30/48/50/60
  • Max bitrate: 40mbps
  • ISO Range: 100-3200 (video) 100-1600 (photo)
  • Camera Takes 12MP Still Photos in JPEG or RAW (4000 x 3000)
  • 8GB Micro SD Card Included
  • Wi-Fi Downlink for 720p Live View with Smartphone (1/2 Mile Range)
  • Live View works with iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 (Android version coming soon)
  • GPS for Enhanced Stability and Failsafes
  • 25 Minutes Flight Time for Each 4480mAh 15.2V LiPo 4S Battery ($150)
  • Three Intelligent Flight Modes: Follow Me, Point of Interest, Waypoints
  • Weight Including Battery (and camera): 1216 g or 2.68 lbs.
  • Availability: Now
  • Price: $800 (includes everything you see in the video, controller, etc.)

Those intelligent flight modes are really interesting, and considering all of the features that make flying easier and safer, it just might make up for the lack of frame rate options on the Standard. You only get slow motion on the 2.7K camera once you get down to 720p (and it maxes out at 60p). The $1260 Professional model has 4K and better slow motion options, and the $1,000 Advanced model can do 1080p 60fps (though it cannot do 2.7K). It looks like DJI has used the camera as a way to differentiate these models, since there are positives and negatives to the cameras on the Advanced and Standard models, and one isn't necessarily better than the other depending on your needs. To really get all the features, you've got to spend well over $400 to get to the Pro version.

If you're just starting out, this looks like one of the easiest ways to get into flying, as the Phantom 3 Standard significantly decreases the learning curve of what is a pretty hard skill to master. The DJI Go app, which you install on your smartphone and attach to the remote, can control the camera and tell you all sorts of things about the flight path, and it's one of the reasons this whole setup is so powerful and yet still simple.

You can buy the Phantom 3 Standard from DJI's site right now, though it's only available for pre-order from B&H at the moment.     

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Your Comment

18 Comments

This is great news. Such a good oportunity for people to get into aerial cinematography. Bet folks do great things with it.

August 5, 2015 at 10:55AM

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Matt Robinson
Film Educator & Cinematographer
219

DJI is following what camera companies do for their products. That give and take effect. If you want these features you need to give up certain ones. If you want all features you need to pay high price for it.
This does open the opportunity for more people to get into aerial with this lower price point, which I think can be a bad thing...

August 5, 2015 at 10:59AM, Edited August 5, 11:01AM

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Bert Beltran
Filmmaker | Editor | Motion Graphics | Drone Op
211

Right, and they're making the camera now, so they can decide what features go where, instead of with GoPro, who they have no control over. You used to be able to use the highest-end GoPro on the cheapest DJI, but it's harder to differentiate the products that way.

August 5, 2015 at 11:02AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department
5803

I wish they would have done what 3D Robotics did - strike a partnership with GoPro and work together to more seamlessly integrate their cameras into the quad. Let another company use their expertise to keep improving the camera.

On the other hand, DJI has the advantage of stripping everything down with their own camera and combining it with their gimbal. The newer integrated DJI cameras are MUCH lighter than my old HD-3D gimbal and GoPro on my Phantom 2, so it allows for longer flight times.

August 5, 2015 at 8:58PM

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Ty
Cinematographer, Editor, Director
561

I have two Phantoms 3s and I love the DJI cameras. Much better than the GoPro and as soon as DJI produce action cams with their cameras I will be replacing my GoPros. The quality is excellent and a flat image, no fisheye is what really sets it apart.

August 5, 2015 at 9:24PM

0
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will this intelligent flight modes be available in the pro version?

August 5, 2015 at 11:30AM

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Arturo Chu
DP
166

Yes! they are going to release a firmware update for the advance and the pro as well on a later date.

August 5, 2015 at 12:42PM

1
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Bert Beltran
Filmmaker | Editor | Motion Graphics | Drone Op
211

Any idea if the firmware update will be available for the DJI Inspire as well?

August 5, 2015 at 2:58PM, Edited August 5, 2:58PM

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From what I know they said that they will be bring the intelligent flight to the rest of the Phantom series, but I'm not sure if that also will include the Inspire. Im sure it will since the intelligent controls are based through the app and firmware.

August 6, 2015 at 10:36AM

6
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Bert Beltran
Filmmaker | Editor | Motion Graphics | Drone Op
211

I love that drones are becoming easier and easier to work with, especially that software is taking over much of the autonomous tasks. We'll be watching better videos with increased production value and have safer skies, too.

August 5, 2015 at 2:07PM

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Tim Ryan
Filmmaker
232

So so tempting..... BUT, I still can't get over the video quality. GoPro footage as well as these kit cameras just don't cut it. The image has always looked way too brittle, overly distorted, and the compression can't cope with the massively wide ranging detail it needs to process, especially during moving shots. This begs the question I've been asking for awhile now... Why can't DJI release something in the $2,000-ish dollar range that supports a camera like the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera? The image quality and compression are light years better, and I can't imagine it would be that massive of a weight difference to justify the huge leap in cost to the next model up.

August 6, 2015 at 7:00AM

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That is what I though before getting an Inspire 1. Under proper conditions (you need enought light yes) and with the right settings it delivers stunning footage. Film Riot proved it definitely cuts well in this short where the opening shot is the Inspire 1 and the rest is Red Dragon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6znipZ9dK9A

August 6, 2015 at 12:22PM, Edited August 6, 12:22PM

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Haroun Souirji
Director / DP and Producer
352

Guys can we take a moment and acknowledge what an amazing time we're living in? I was just watching that demo video and it struck me how advanced things have come in a matter of years! I remember only 3 years ago- to get decent aerial footage on a budget- we literally had to attach a RED ONE camera to a mini helicopter (which wasn't that mini at all) and it could only be in the air for like 10 mins, took 2 guys to fly the thing (badly) and if there was any wind the footage would look like there was a 8.5 earthquake.

We truly are in the era where only our imaginations limit us.

August 6, 2015 at 9:12AM

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Wayne Yip
Director
232

This is super exciting. Definitely planning to invest in a Advanced model for $999.00.

...too bad by the time it comes in, they probably will release another groundbreaking copter.

August 6, 2015 at 4:03PM

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Christopher Evans
Video Artist
447

What is the codec and container of the video from the Phantom 3 Standard? Do I have to transcode it to cut it on Sony Vegas Pro 13? DJI's website doesn't say, and even their live help had no idea.

August 8, 2015 at 5:37PM

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Angelo Mike
Director
179

you can choose between m4v format or mov. Mov should be no problem for Sony Vegas

August 10, 2015 at 4:23AM

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Sandeep Abraham
Director, DoP, Editor
227

Anyone has experience with 3dr solo? > than phantom 3?

August 10, 2015 at 4:21AM, Edited August 10, 4:21AM

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Sandeep Abraham
Director, DoP, Editor
227

I was looking at the Micro Drone 3.0 online having seen the 2.0 at Comic Con. That's insane technology. The option of a giant wasp body is a licence to cause trouble!

August 10, 2015 at 7:35AM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1634