Recently, we discussed the AR.Drone and it’s uses for aerial footage. At the end of the review we briefly went over what seemed to be an even better option since it supported the option of sporting a GoPro from it’s frame vs a semi-HD built-in camera that the AR.Drone had. That option was the DJI Phantom Quadcopter.
We still have yet to achieve the opportunity to sit down with one so thoroughly test it so we have only been able to go off of the discussions we have had with others who have. All of which proved to be much better than the AR.Drone, despite having less flight time per battery.
This October they have released the next generation of Phantom, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter. This time coming with it’s own integrated 1080p HD camera vs requiring you to supply one. For those who prefer to stick with the GoPro (like us), it is said that it may offer the option to include it as well (although this hasn’t been confirmed just yet).
- Integrated 14MP camera with 1080p HD video recording on a microSD card and live first-person view (FPV) Wi-Fi streaming of video and telemetry to the free Vision app for iOS or Android
- Included Wi-Fi extender allows live remote video streaming from up to 980 feet away
- The integrated camera tilt motor will automatically compensate for the Phantom’s single-axis motion by tilting the camera for smoother video, and it’s manually controllable via the Vision app
- Fly up to 25 minutes on a single charge using the included 5,200-mAh lithium polymer (LiPo) battery that’s easily removable and contains intelligent circuitry and a charge-remaining indicator built-in
- The Phantom 2 Vision also includes all the features you love from the original Phantom
Is it worth the extra price? The biggest benefits are extra flight time and the ability to view the video live without any interruption to the guidance of the drone (which was reported about the previous model when using GoPro’s WiFi stream). As live video is very important to a successful shoot/flight, this is a benefit without a doubt. It’s ability to allow for smoother video without the use of additional hardware is also a major benefit. Battery life however, we were not able to agree on as a major benefit as you could always simply bring multiple batteries to a flight.
Our conclusion was that if you are an avid GoPro supporter, you may be best sticking with the previous model. Some have said they have found ways around the GoPro WiFi conflict, so this allows us to still sway more into it’s direction. If you need something that comes ready out-of-the-box without the need of GoPro or any other equipment, then the new DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter is for you.
Since we haven’t had the chance to physically sit down with the device, we are unfortunately unable to provide you with a product score. We can easily tell you though that we like the idea of a product that is more durable, professional and versatile than an AR.Drone for aerial footage. If we had a choice between the DJI Drone and the AR.Done, we would probably chose to purchase the DJI (not that the AR.Drone isn’t very entertaining at it’s cheaper price).