DJI Refreshes Phantom 4 Pro With Improved Video and Obstacle Avoidance
DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro v2.0 is more of a mid-cycle refresh than a brand new product.
DJI has named its latest release the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 and that seems fitting considering the improvements are incremental and not groundbreaking new features. While we don't think the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 will leave current Phantom 4 Pro owners with FOMO, it is an incredibly well-made drone capable of safe, intelligent flights and of producing beautiful imagery.
Like the previous version, the V2 boasts a 1" CMOS sensor capable of capturing 20MP Adobe DNG RAW still photos and DCI 4k footage. Also, like its predecessor, the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has a maximum video recording resolution of 4K 60p, can be flown autonomously with DJI's Intelligent Flight Modes and it works with the DJI Goggles. New with version 2.0 is h.265 video encoding at 100Mbps. It also features an improved lens, improved obstacle sensing and some other improvements listed below. So what does the Phantom 4 Pro 2.0 have that the Phantom 4 Pro doesn't?
These improvements don't leave the previous model looking long in the tooth.
DJI has equipped the Phantom 4 Pro v2 with a mechanical shutter in order to make the drone better at filming fast motion scenes since the mechanical shutter will work to reduce rolling shutter distortion. The electronic shutter has also been overhauled allowing users to shoot 14 fps bursts of 20MP still images.
Featuring eight lens elements in seven groups, a maximum aperture of 2.8 and a 24mm focal length equivalent, DJI claims that images will be "detailed with low distortion and low dispersion, ensuring that photos and videos are sharp and vivid."
OcuSync Video Transmission
DJI has implemented its new OcuSync video transmission system with version 2.0 which, in addition to clearer video transmission, will allow DJI Goggles owners to connect their headsets to the remote wirelessly for unfettered FPV experiences. Of course, this means that the version 2.0 remote controls are not backwards-compatible and will not work with first-generation Phantom 4 Pro models.
Improved Obstacle Sensing
The new infrared sensors can provide obstacle avoidance more reliably than previous models. For the first time in a DJI aircraft, infrared sensors placed on the sides of the aircraft will help the Phantom 4 Pro v2.0 sense large obstacles from up to 23ft (7m) away. By comparison, ultrasonic sensors have a detection range of up to about 15ft and can be affected by vibrations from the propellers.
Three sets of cameras comprise a new 6-camera navigation system that faces forward, backward, and downward and allows the Phantom 4 Pro v2.0 to maintain its relative position indoors and in other situations where GPS lock is unattainable. DJI claims this new sensor system will work at speeds up to 31mph. Additionally, "Narrow Sensing Mode" will allow the drone to more safely fly through small spaces.
To be fair, we're not quite sure what DJI means by "production optimized". If that's a way of saying "the footage you record will look more detailed" then, yes that's true because h.265 renders video files with great detail and tiny file sizes. However, h.265 (like h.264) is a delivery codec and it is not the optimal codec for use in post production especially since h.265 requires exponentially more compute power to unpack than does h.264. Increasing the data rate from 60Mbps to 100Mbps will also be sure to render files with much more information and detail and so I would expect that the footage out of the "version 2" Phantom 4 Pro will have an edge over the older model.
New Remote With Integrated Screen
As an upgrade option, you can get a remote with a high-resolution, very bright screen built into the remote. The screen comes pre-loaded with the DJI Go app which means you won't have to bring your own device. DJI claims that the screen is twice as bright as typical smart-device screens making it well suited for daylight use. With a claimed run-time of 5 hours between charges, it seems like it could be nice to have but if you're someone who likes to use a variety of apps with your DJI drone or who has already purchased a smart device specifically for drone flying, this may not be a selling point.
Should you buy one?
There's no question that the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has some improvements over the previous Phantom 4 Pro but they're not improvements that leave the previous model looking long in the tooth. If you're someone who has been looking to upgrade from a Mavic or an older Phantom model, this is a wonderful drone that you'll be very happy with. Also, if you're coming from a consumer drone or an older Phantom, you'll be just as impressed with the Phantom 4 Pro version 1 (which will now almost certainly drop in price). In addition, the rumor mill has been hard at work teasing the release of a Phantom 5 that could be in stores by the end of the year.
So, should you buy one? If you were upgrading to a Phantom 4 anyway and don't mind the couple to several hundred dollar price difference between version 2 and version 1, go for it. You'll love it. If you've been on the fence and are waiting to see what comes out next, maybe wait it out till the end of the year and see if a Phantom 5 comes out before deciding.
- Weight : 1375g (props & battery included)
- Max Flight Time: Approx 30 minutes
- Vision System
- Forward Vision System
- Backward Vision System
- Downward Vision System
- Obstacle Sensing: Front & Rear Obstacle Avoidance
- Camera Sensor: 1" CMOS
- Effective pixels: 20M
- Max Video Recording Resolution: 4K 60P
- Video Transmission System: OcuSync
For full technical specs visit DJI.