- Skill Level
Posted on October 16, 2014
By now you have been looking at all these cool videos that drones can produce and are asking yourself - "Ok, this is awesome, which one should I get?" It's a common question we hear and it all seems to stem from the DJI Phantom. The answer is always, "It depends!" We wanted to put together a short list about the different models of phantom on the market so you can make an educated decision when deciding to take the plunge!
This is the top of the line when it comes to the current DJI Phantoms. It will set you back around $1200 but it truely does come with everything that you need. DJI has carefully combined all their expertise and input from customers like you to come up with their best drone yet. It's camera is superb that sits on a fantastic 3-axis gimball to keep the shots perfectly stable while flying with 25 minutes of battery life. It comes with GPS as well as let's you fly FPV. For those of you who don't know what FPV is - this is where you can fly by video and see what the drone is seeing. How does it do this? The DJI Phantom gives off a wifi signal that you can then connect to with your smartphone. Simply fire up the Phantom App and you will be able to see and record right from there. IT'S AWESOME! The controller even allows you to tilt the camera while you are in the air to see things from different angels. Beyond that, the range of the transmitter is phenomenal at about 700m for viewing from your DJI Vision App. While the most advanced DJI Phantom, it truely is the best.
This is the bit older model of the vision. While still an awesome quadcopter, it isn't quite on par with the Vision+. The main differences you will notice is that its range is about 400m less than the newer version and it doesn't come with a gimball to stabilize your videos. In addition, it is significantly lower in price point. Another difference is the angle at which you can move the camera - this model only allows you to go 60 degrees down while the Vision+ allows you to point straight down at 90 degrees. Other than that most of the features are the same including how good the camera is and the fact you can still fly FPV via the DJI Phantom App. We recommend this one for people who still want some great shots, but may not want to spend the money on the Vision+.
This model of the Phantom is for those of you who want to use your GoPro when filming. It's hard to argue that there are many other cameras as good as the GoPro. What this Phantom offers is a great platform for you to mount your GoPro to be able to capture some great shots. This quadcopter is a bit different from the Vision models as it doesn't allow you to FPV without buying some special accessories. Even then, you will need to have the right GoPro that allows for video out in order to do so. The other difference is that the GoPro cannot be moved when at altitude so you will need to fix the right angle before takeoff. With both vision models you can change the camera angle while in the air via your remote. Any sort of additional GPS coordinate setting will cost you extra to boot. This quadcopter is recommended for users who are comfortable flying without assistance and are looking to capture the best possible videos.
Finally the budget model FC40. This is the model for people just starting out in quadcopters and wanting to graduate up to the Phantom. It is recommended you start with something smaller and cheaper before moving up to a larger quadcopter. There are a few differences to this model including battery life which only lasts 15 minutes opposed to 25 in the other models. The camera is lower quality, only allowing you to shoot in 720p opposed to 1080p. It also doesn't come with a gimball so the video can tend to be shaky. What it does do is give you a great price point for learning how to FPV. This model is based off the DJI Phantom 1 platform which can be a bit different than the more advanced DJI Phantom 2.
We hope this gives you a quick overview of the different DJI Phantom models! As we said at the beginning, it really depends what you are looking for with the quadcopter. If you're looking to just have some fun and learn to fly FPV then go with the FC40, if you're looking for the best possible video then the Phantom 2 with the Zenmuse H3-3D gimball is your best bet, but if you're looking to really have be best setup for all around shots and FPV out of the box then go with the Vision+. Below we've taken the different stats sheets so it is easy to break down the different features of each model. Let us know in the comments below what you think!
-The RQ Team