For anyone who has been considering picking up an aerial drone, DJI just made that choice a little bit easier on the mind and wallet.
The company's incredibly popular line of Phantom drones — one of which I had the pleasure of playing with earlier this year — received a new addition today in the form of the Phantom 3. While its looks won't be turning heads for those familiar with the iconic white drones, there are some updated features that should interest both hobbyists and professional photographers.
The new models come in two flavors, one called the Professional (featuring gold stripes) and the other called the Advanced (clad in silver). Both feature an upgraded 12 megapixel camera, but the Professional shoots in 4K, while the Advanced captures in high-definition 1080p. Both cams also, thankfully, feature a flatter field of view, doing away with the previous model's wide-angle lens that resulted in a nagging "fish eye" effect.
In terms of battery, DJI was able to squeeze out a few more minutes of flight time — with the P3 able to hit the skies for up to 23 minutes. Previous users will also enjoy the newly redesigned controller, with a refined layout that includes some welcome additions (like a dedicated "come home" button).
Check out the gorgeous 4K video of Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano as shot with the Phantom 3 below.
And if you thought there were a dizzying array of drone videos available online, just wait. DJI has made it simpler than ever to upload and share your videos. There's even integrated live streaming through YouTube to enable anyone wanting to share their aerial experience with global audiences immediately.
Perhaps the best update for consumers is the cost of DJI's new drones — with the Professional retailing for $1,250 and the Advanced coming in at $999. These price points, while not cheap by any stretch, offer tremendous value for anyone interested in taking these full-featured drones for a spin.
DJI expects the Phantom 3 to start shipping in a few weeks.
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