The DJI Phantom 4 is a Camera Drone That Can Fly Itself


DJI today unleashed the Phantom 4, a powerful successor to the widely popular Phantom 3. The Phantom 4 is an intelligent camera drone that can fly itself, using computer vision to dodge obstacles and track subjects.


Unlike existing automated flight systems, the Phantom 4 doesn’t just follow predetermined flight paths. Instead, it actually makes decisions based on what it sees around it.

There are 5 cameras pointed outward from the Phantom 4, the 4K on-board camera, 2 cameras on the front, and 2 cameras on the bottom. Using these cameras, the Phantom 4 is able to create a 3D model of the world and use that data to navigate by itself, sensing obstacles up to 49 feet away.

Flying the Phantom 4 is as easy as double tapping your screen. The Obstacle Sensing System keeps the drone safe, and a Smart Return home system allows you to call your drone back to you when you’re done shooting.


An ActiveTrack feature allows the drone to track a subject… without any special accessory or beacon on the subject. The drone will intelligently keep the subject in its camera’s frame. You can also quickly select a different subject for the drone to start a new shot.


Flight time has been extended, allowing for 28 minutes of straight shooting from the skies — a 25% increase from earlier models. The range is 3.1 miles (5km) and you’ll have a 720p HD view through the drone’s camera. In Sport mode, the drone can fly at a top speed of about 44.7 miles per hour.


The drone features a magnesium core that allows it to be durable without being too heavy or rigid. The new battery placement means there’s a higher center of gravity, allowing the drone to be more agile and responsive to commands.


DJI also says this latest Phantom is 5 times better at staying motionless in the air compared to prior models.

Onboard, you’ll find a 4K camera on an integrated 3-axis gimbal. There’s a 1/2.3-inch sensor, which has a max ISO of 1600 for photos and 3200 for videos. The camera can do 4K at 30fps and Full HD 1080p at 120fps for slow motion. 12-megapixel photos can be saved as Adobe DNG RAW, and footage can be saved with professional flat profiles such as D-Log and Cine-D.


Here’s a short official video that introduces the Phantom 4 and its features:

Here’s a taste of how some people have been using the Phantom 4:

The DJI Phantom 4 is available starting today with a price tag of $1,399 from the DJI store. It’ll start hitting store shelves at major retailers in the coming days as well.