Drone manufacturer Walkera is causing a bit of stir today with the announcement of their Voyager 4: a superzoom drone that boasts a whopping 16x optical zoom camera system.
It’s no mystery that drones (and the potential invasion of privacy they represent) make a lot of people uneasy; sadly, this probably won’t help. The Voyager 4 features a gimbal-stabilized, 360° rotating, 1080p camera capable of 16x optical zoom. According to Gizmag, the maximum focal length of the lens is 1500mm—compared to that, DJI’s new Zenmuse Z3 22-77mm zoom seems a bit… measly.
That zoom can be controlled from about a mile away using the drone’s own WiFi network but if you need more range, the Voyager 4 is actually 4G capable, letting you control it from… well… anywhere you have a 4G connection. Assuming solid signal strength, that means you could potentially control the drone from hundreds of miles off, although that (at least in the US and in many other countries as well) would definitely be illegal.
The 16x superzoom is not a fixed feature of the Voyager 4—if you buy the 4K version you’ll have to be content with a standard fixed wide-angle lens—but it’s definitely one of the features Walkera is pushing the most. Being able to shoot footage rivaling a DJI Phantom 4 from half a mile further away is no small feat, it just might not play well with the drone skeptics out there.
There’s no word yet on when this drone will make landfall or what it will cost when it does, but Gizmag points out that the Voyager 3 currently sells for $2,000 US so you can expect the Voyager 4 to compete in a similar price range.
Well… assuming nobody shoots it out of the sky in anger.