Source: Flight Evolved
By: Jordan Rising
DJI’s most recent release, the Phantom 3 4K
The DJI Phantom 4 is perhaps the most anticipated DJI product of 2016 alongside the DJI Inspire 2. Both should have common upgrades, with the Inspire 2 having some additional features geared more towards the professional market.
DJI Phantom 4 Rumors
UPDATE February 9, 2016 6:42 PM.
Sources indicate that the release date for the Phantom 4 will be March 4th. This is a highly regarded source and can be quite certain that it is correct. The anticipated ship date will be March 27th.
Some features that it is now confirmed to have:
- – Lightbridge 2
- – Internal Gimbal. Essentially a normal gimbal but less should be exposed, most of it being in the shell.
The DJI Phantom 4 rumor mill is starting to churn. The last major platform release from DJI was the Agras MG-1 a few months back, and the Matrice in June of 2015. A smaller release of the Phantom 3 4K also happened last month. So it comes as no surprise that DJI is cooking up something special. We are quite sure the Inspire 2 is coming this year, hopefully with a true dual operator experience. But that begs the question – what will the DJI Phantom 4 have in store for us?
One feature we are really starting to think of as being a “for-sure” addition is an obstacle sensing system. In the Matrice, this is known as Guidance. Safety is a big push for DJI, and this technology could really make the Phantom a no-brainer operation.
The one thing DJI really has going for them is their relationship with the FAA. For commercial operators applying for a Section 333 exemption, having a DJI product listed on their application is worth its weight in gold versing a home build or any other drone. The FAA has been working closely with DJI, and we definitely know DJI wants to appease them. A lot of DJI’s success rides on what the FAA chooses to do. That being said, we can be pretty sure that the new DJI Phantom 4 will include a host of new safety features, geofencing, and protocols to limit the DJI Phantom 4 from flying in certain airspaces and sensitive areas (airports, stadiums, etc). They are already implementing that in the DJI GO App, but will probably be a little more native to this new platform.
There WILL be a new camera. The rumor is either a 6K resolution model or something similar to the P3 Pro with a larger sensor. A larger sensor would be my hope. I still don’t have the need for highly compressed 6K footage. A larger sensor for low light settings would be great. The 4K footage from the P3 Pro looks incredible in perfect light, but anything low light adds quite a bit of noise. Optical zoom is still a maybe. It does add a minor amount of weight and is something we would probably see in the Inspire series over the Phantoms.
DJI Phantom 4 Release Date
Our initial predictions were pointing at CES 2016 as a very likely event that they would showcase the new DJI Phantom 4. CES 2016 has come and gone, and all we have to show for it is a new Phantom 3 4K version.
The next major event that DJI is part of is the Camera & Photo Imaging Show (CP+) that is scheduled for February 25 – 28th in Yokohama. Let’s cross our fingers and see what happens…
DJI Phantom 4 Wishlist
Asking what we wish for is a lot different than what the DJI Phantom 4 will probably be. Here is a list of what we hope makes the cut for the DJI Phantom 4:
- Object Detection System – This is one I’m quite sure will make the cut. This is already a feature on the Matrice called Guidance, and I’m sure a smaller version will be made for the DJI Phantom 4.
- Larger Camera Sensor – I definitely don’t need any resolution higher than 4K, but a larger image sensor would be a very nice perk for low light.
- Strong Materials – The Phantoms have always been made out of the same plastic we have all grown to hate. It cracks for no real good reason and definitely doesn’t hold up to minor crashes very well. Carbon fiber or some radical change probably isn’t realistic, but a stronger plastic would be greatly appreciated.
- Lightbridge 2 – The DJI Phantom 4 will probably have an upgraded video transmission system, but whether or not it is Lightbridge 2 is yet to be seen. The major proponent of Lightbridge 2 is it’s ability to transmit two separate video feeds. This could make for a true dual operator system (fpv camera and video camera). Although I’m sure this will be reserved for the new Inspire instead of the Phantom.
- Parachute – This could be a feature that appeals more to the FAA than myself, but definitely has its place and time. In a stressful situation, it would be nice for this hunk of plastic to come down under a parachute than in absolute free fall.
- Longer Battery Life – This is one of those wishes that will never be truly satisfied. Like a girl too pretty, or a car too fast, we will never have too much battery life. We are “grass is greener” thinkers. As soon as we get 30min flight time, we want 45. Regardless, having more battery life would be very much appreciated
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