The drone will take off, hovering a few feet off the bottom. I information it…
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DJI is well known for drones, just like the Phantom 3 Professional and the Phantom 3 Advanced, both which are serious flying machines, but also carry serious prices. The Phantom 3 Standard ($499) can be an entry-level model that’s not as polished as our all-time faovrite drone, the Editors’ Choice Phantom 4. It generally does not have the impressive operating range, collision avoidance system, or 4K recording made available from the Phantom 4, nonetheless it does include DJI’s slate of safety features, automated flight modes, and is no slouch in terms of video capture, nabbing crisp footage at 2.7K resolution. It is the best drone you can aquire for $500 or less, and is our Editors’ Choice for aspiring pilots who have to stick to a good budget.
The Phantom 3 Standard uses the same flight body and battery as other models in the Phantom 3 family, with a few key differences. The quadcopter omits the Vision Positioning system within the more costly models, so you need to be careful when flying near the bottom. Its camera can be somewhat different-the lens may be the same 20mm (full-frame equivalent) wide-angle prime, however the microSD memory card slot has been moved to the camera unit itself, instead of at the bottom of the gimbal mount since it has been with previous Phantom models.
THE TYPICAL keeps the same trademark four-pylon white design which has made the Phantom series a recognizable little bit of technology in popular culture. Metallic red decals adorn the drone-the DJI logo reaches the most notable center of the chassis, and two red strips sit at each one of the fore pylons. The propellers are color-coded; there’s a black dot on the motors that utilize the props with the black center.
The Phantom weighs about 2.7 pounds and measures 23 inches from wingtip to wingtip. Landing struts sit underneath its body, with the gimbal and camera mounted on the undercarriage. The lightweight and compact design is a boon for aerial videographers transporting the Phantom to different locations. When packed in a backpack just like the Think Tank Photo Airport Helipak, you can comfortably take the drone with you on a hike, or stow it in the trunk or backseat of a concise sedan with a good amount of room to spare.
Like other Phantom models, the camera records stable video from the air. It always faces forward, with a small amount of left and right rotation. If you are considering something with a camera that may freely rotate 360 degrees, you will have to progress to the Inspire 1, that is a pro-grade model. The Inspire uses carbon fiber construction because of its body, as the Phantom series is mainly plastic.
The handy remote control reminds me of a scaled-down version of the the one that shipped with the Phantom 2 Vision+. It’s streamlined, so there is no need for another Wi-Fi extension module, and the AA batteries are replaced by an interior rechargeable battery. A micro USB port sits in the bottom to recharge. Four LED lights indicate the charge level, and an individual on / off switch turns it on. A clamp sits on a metal rail to carry your smartphone-it’s big enough to carry an iPhone 6 Plus, nonetheless it can’t handle a tablet just like the remote for other Phantom 3 models can. The clamp can be not that stable; my phone noticeably wobbled, whereas it had been held set up with complete steadiness with the better-engineered clamp on the handy remote control for the Professional and Advanced models.
In the event that you haven’t flown before, you should take some precautions before your first go-round. The DJI Go app-formerly named DJI Pilot-includes a flight simulator mode. It’s designed for Android and iOS devices. You will have to power on the Phantom to be able to utilize it, but it’s worthwhile to invest some time flying almost before attempting to take action in real life.
Once that’s taken care of, you’ll want to provide the Phantom an excellent look to be sure everything’s in working order. Charge the battery fully-it takes about one hour . 5 to go from empty to full-and make certain the rotors are securely attached and show no signs of damage. It is also smart to power on the drone and hook up it to the iphone app before going to a spot to see if a firmware update is available. You’ll be able to download a firmware update over cellular data and apply the update in the field, but it isn’t ideal. I experienced that process before my first flight; the update process took about 20 minutes and drained about ten percent of the battery.
The handy remote control broadcasts its Wi-Fi network. Its SSID and password are printed on a sticker on its back, and you will need to hook up your phone compared to that network so as to talk to the app. It’s a supplementary step that isn’t required with the Phantom 3 Advanced and Professional, both which use a USB link with use your phone. You will have to calibrate the Phantom’s compass before your first fight-you have to rotate the aircraft along two separate axes to take action, but it’s an instant process-and you’ll want to make certain a GPS lock has been acquired before removing. If there’s any issue with the compass or GPS, the copter’s stability is compromised and it could move erratically. The remote sometimes needs calibration aswell, which requires you to tilt it along its axis, moving a virtual ball around a circle on your own phone’s screen.
THE TYPICAL supports automated takeoff-pressing the up arrow icon at the left of the DJI Go iphone app display powers up its engines and raises it a few feet in to the air. From there you utilize the dual sticks on the remote to regulate its movement. Pushing the left stick forward raises the altitude and pulling it toward you lowers it. Moving the adhere to the left or right rotates the Phantom along its central axis. The proper stick moves the drone forward, backward, left, and through the air.
It’s an intuitive control system, and one that’s fairly simple to master. It’s easy enough to fly forward while ascending or descending, or rotate the drone slowly along its axis to fully capture a panoramic view of its surrounding landscape.
A control wheel sits at the very top left of the remote and controls the tilt of the camera. Additionally, there are two toggle switches-S1 and S2-located at both top corners. Pushing the S2 switch along many times will initiate return-to-home, and doing the same with S1 will cancel the request. You may also utilize the DJI Go application to accomplish this-just tap the H icon. The Phantom will fly home automatically if communication is lost.
We in the beginning tested a pre-production unit, which had problems with operating range. DJI sent a production model over and it fared better. In my own standard suburban range test I managed a 1,250-foot distance between your remote and aircraft prior to the signal was lost and the Phantom began to return home automatically. In a rural environment, I could eke out somewhat more distance-about 1,800 feet. That’s in the same ballpark as the Phantom 3 4K (850 feet suburban, 2,000 feet rural), however, not almost as effective as the Phantom 4. The most notable model in the Phantom family maintained communication with the remote far away of just one 1,800 feet inside our suburban ensure that you 4,500 feet in a rural environment.