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DJI Phantom 3 Standard review: An entry-level drone that's much better than basic
The Standard is easy to recommend as an entry-level camera drone, and it's also an outstanding deal at its current $499 (£449 and AU$859) price.
- More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
DJI's ready-to-fly Phantom 3 Advanced and Professional camera drones are remarkably simple to operate, which makes them great for people entering the hobby. What's not so great: their prices.
DJI Phantom 3 Standard
The bottom line.
To help out your poor credit card, DJI introduced the Phantom 3 Standard, a quadcopter that looks a lot like its linemates, but at $799 in the US, £649 in the UK and AU$1,299 in Australia, it costs hundreds less. Also, to celebrate the company's 10th anniversary, DJI has cut the price to $499, AU$859 and £449 with no end date set for the promotion.
At its price, the Standard is tough to beat. You might be able to find a quadcopter with similar features from someone else, but it won't be as polished a product -- from unboxing to flight -- as the Phantom 3 Standard.
The Phantom 3 Standard is the entry-level model.
That said, the Standard is the entry-level model and as such it has fewer features. For starters, it lacks the Visual Positioning System that the other Phantom 3s have that would have let you more easily fly it indoors without GPS. Similarly, the Standard uses only GPS for positioning outdoors, while the Professional and Advanced use GPS as well as GLONASS, a secondary satellite system for faster and more accurate positioning provided by GPS alone.
The biggest difference is its controller, though. The one that comes with the Advanced and Professional models features DJI's Lightbridge technology for better video image transmission between the sky and ground as well as having a range of up to 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).
In place of Lightbridge, the Standard's controller uses a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi range extender for transmitting the live view from the Standard to a mobile device, so the potential for a delay or loss of signal in the video downlink is greater. Plus, transmission range is cut down to a maximum 1,000 meters (0.62 mile). The remote controller operates on 5.8GHz frequency.
The Standard's controller.
Also, the higher-end controller has camera controls like buttons for starting and stopping recordings or taking snapshots in addition to two that are programmable. The Standard's controller is limited to an adjustment wheel for tilting the camera up and down with all other camera settings and controls handled via DJI's Go app for iOS and Android. There's also no discrete Return-to-Home button; one of the controller's switches can be used instead. ( Here's where you can see the full feature breakdown by model .)
As for the Standard's camera, it uses a similar distortion-free, 94-degree, wide-angle f2.8 lens to the Pro and Advanced, but it has a maximum recording resolution of 2.7K HD video at 30 frames per second. That's the same maximum resolution as the Advanced, however that model can also do 1080p at 60fps; the Standard taps out at 1080p at 30fps.
The Standard can also snap 12-megapixel photos in both Adobe DNG raw and JPEG formats. The Go app also lets you manually change shutter speed, exposure compensation and ISO and you can set it to do burst shooting, exposure bracketing and time-lapse photography.
The Go app works with the drone.
The Standard uses Phantom 3 Intelligent Flight batteries, which allow you to check the health of its individual cells via the Go app. This also means older batteries won't work. DJI claims flight times top out at 25 minutes. In my tests the quadcopter lasted 22 minutes with a mix of hovering and flying in light wind and factoring in time for takeoff and landing (which can be done automatically through the Go app). That's about average for this class of quadcopter and more aggressive flying or high winds will cut into that flight time.
To help you make the most of that time, the Standard has DJI's Intelligent Flight features including waypoint navigation, point of interest (POI) flight planning and a Follow Me function.
Waypoint navigation lets you set up a multipoint path for the drone to follow while you control the camera, while POI flight planning allows you to autonomously fly a circle around a subject, keeping it centered. Follow Me sets the drone to track your movement based on your orientation when holding the remote controller.
The modes are accessed by flipping down the S1 switch on controller's right side. You have to do it once you're in the air, so you'll have to be somewhat quick about setting up your shot as you'll be cutting into your overall flight time.
Video quality is fine. The gimbal keeps the camera extraordinarily stable even in high winds. Like most small-sensor cameras, the Standard's struggles with extreme highlights so you end up with blown-out details. It does a relatively good job of adjusting for lighting changes -- another area where these cameras can struggle. You may also notice some horizontal banding, which is a rolling shutter artifact that's common to these cameras as well.
Despite all of this, the video is generally very good, especially for the price. My biggest issue is that you're stuck with this camera. There is no option to upgrade it down the road and it can't be removed for handheld use.
Lastly, whenever you record a video, a compressed 720p version is stored to your mobile device. To help make the most of these clips, DJI built a basic video editor in to the Go app. You can use it to cut up your clips, gather them up and then combine them into one movie. DJI also included some style templates with music you can apply before you save. Then you can just share away.
There's a big gap in the camera drone market right above $250 to right around $700. The options in that zone either aren't as polished as DJI's Phantom 3 Standard, require an additional purchase of a camera like a GoPro or they're smartphone- or tablet-controlled and you have to buy a controller separately if you want that experience. That's what makes the Standard a good option even at $799, but it's a true bargain at its sale price of $499/£449/AU$859.
DJI Phantom 3 Standard Review
The dji phantom 3 standard is a great camera drone that is easy to fly and takes high quality video..
Tom's Guide Verdict
Both novice and experienced pilots will love the amount of control the DJI Phantom 3 Standard offers, and the high-quality video it captures.
Excellent video and still image quality
Easy-to-use DJI Go app
App or conventional report options
Occasionally catches sight of itself on video
Some video glitches
Battery charging is slow
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DJI, the 800-pound gorilla of the drone world, offers drones that range from the amateur to the professional. At the low end of this range is the Phantom 3 Standard, a $699 drone that shoots HD video and offers a lot of features for the airborne videographer. It has its quirks, though, such as a tendency to catch sight of itself on the captured video and a controlling app that throws a lot of data at the user. But it captures great-looking video and is easy to use: even novices will be able to get flying and photographing quickly.
The white plastic case of the Phantom 3 Standard gives it an almost Apple-like look, with clean lines and a functional design. The electronics and battery are located inside the central body, with a large motor at the end of each of four protruding struts. The whole case is made of plain white plastic, but you do get a number of colored stickers that can be attached to differentiate your Phantom 3 from others, which is especially useful in the crowded skies. The landing gear attaches to the bottom of the body, and the camera and gimbal sit between the two landing arms, well protected for a hard or bumpy landing. I crashed a couple of times, once into the ground and once into a tree branch, but neither broke any part of the drone or the camera.
The 19 x 19 x 8-inch Phantom 3, which weighs 2 pounds 11 ounces, sits between the small Parrot Bebop and the large Yuneec Q500 in size and weight. It is smaller and lighter than the 20 x 20 x 14-inch Q500, making it more portable, but it is significantly larger and less portable than the 14 x 13.2 x 3.8-inch Bebop: You are not going to fit the Phantom 3 into a backpack and leave much room for anything else.
The gimbal fits under the drone body, connected by a number of rubber joints that stop vibrations spreading from the body. Below this is the gimbal itself, which pans, tilts and rotates the small HD camera. A microSD card fits into the top of the camera body, which stores the video. One nice touch: when the power is off, the camera tilts down, pointing the microSD card slot toward the front of the drone for easy card-swapping.
The Phantom 3 comes with an 8GB microSD card. That should be one of the first things you upgrade, as this is only enough to capture about 45 minutes of video at the highest, 2.7K quality setting. Fortunately, microSD cards of capacities of up to 128GB (between $50 and $80) are supported, as long as they have support for UHS-1 speed.
MORE: In Your Face: Drone Racing Goes First Person
The battery slides into a cavity on the back of the body, locking firmly into place. A series of LEDs provide feedback on the charge level, and a single button illuminates these or turns the drone on when you hold it down for a couple of seconds. The single included battery holds a sizable 4480-mAh of juice, and is recharged with the main power charger. Extra batteries cost about $150, and DJI also offers a $90 charging hub , which can recharge four batteries simultaneously.
Rotors: 4 (2 blades per rotor), replaceable, 9.5 inch diameter Battery Size: 4800 mAh Li-ion polymer (quadcopter), Li-ion polymer (remote control) Battery Life: 21/20 minutes (claimed/tested) Size: 19 x 19 x 8 inches Weight: 2 pounds, 11 ounces
There are two parts to the controller for the Phantom 3 Standard: the remote control and an app that runs on iOS or Android . The remote control gives you the conventional flying experience, while the app allows the Phantom 3 to fly autonomously.
The remote control is a simple white box with a single antenna, two control sticks, a couple of switches and a dial on the side. There is no screen or display, only a set of LEDs on the bottom that show the battery level and a single-status LED next to the power switch. It is possible to fly the Phantom 3 with the remote alone: You get full manual control and can start and stop the motors by pulling the control sticks together. However, that is rather like driving a Ferrari in first gear only: it works, but it isn't using it fully.
You get the full power of the Phantom 3 by running the DJI Go app on a tablet or smartphone alongside the remote control. The remote includes a clamp that will attach to most cellphones, but not larger tablets. This app gives you a live preview of the camera video on your mobile device's screen. The video is surrounded by information and controls. There are no flight controls, though: You still have to use the remote control to manually maneuver.
Along the top and bottom of the app display you'll find the GPS, flight mode, battery level and signal strength. At the bottom is location information, such as the altitude, speed (both horizontal and vertical) and heading. In the right corner is a small map, including icons for the home location and the drone's current location. On the left side are buttons for takeoff, return home and define home. On the right side are the camera controls for starting and stopping video, as well as video and still image settings. That puts a lot of data in view, which can be somewhat overwhelming. However, the data and controls are well organized and grouped, so you quickly learn to navigate it.
If you tap the map in the bottom right, the map and live view swap positions, shifting you to flying in map mode. Here, you are presented with a map, satellite or hybrid (satellite with map overlaid) view of the current location.
Once you go into the settings menu and disable beginner's mode, there are five flight modes that put the Phantom 3 under computer control: Course lock, Home Lock, Waypoint, Follow Me and Points of Interest.
In Course Lock mode, the quadcopter is locked into flying a straight line. You can still spin and rotate the quadcopter, but it will only fly in the direction that it was pointing in when you turned the mode on, at a constant altitude. This allows you to do a clean, smooth video of flying past a subject without worrying about keeping the flight path level: It handles keeping straight and level and you can concentrate on panning the camera to keep the subject in view.
Home Lock is similar to Course Lock, except it is in three dimensions. Here, the quadcopter will fly in a straight line at a user-defined upward angle away from or toward the home position you set, producing a smooth, clean shot of flying away from the subject.
Waypoint allows you to select a number of GPS waypoints, and then automatically fly a path between them on command. You have to fly to each of the waypoints first: you can't just set them on the map. When the quadcopter is flying the calculated route, you get the choice of either orienting the camera as it was when the waypoint was captured (called Constant With Record), or having it constantly pointing in the direction that the quadcopter will be flying along the route (called Constant With Route).
The Follow Me mode does what you expect: Select this, and the quadcopter will fly away to a specified distance, then follow you as you move, based on the GPS position of the device running the app. One thing to note is that it uses the GPS of the device running the app, so if this does not have GPS support (such as an iPhone without network coverage), it won't work properly.
The video captured by the Phantom 3 Standard had excellent quality, with plenty of detail, and smooth, clean movement.
In Point of Interest mode, the quadcopter keeps the camera focused on a point of interest, which can be either the home position or any other selected spot. The quadcopter is under manual control, but it will keep the camera pointing at the point of interest as you fly around.
MORE: Best Drones
Most modes worked as expected, producing smooth flights that, in turn, produced attractive video. There were a few quirks, though. The Follow Me mode was a bit jerky in our tests, not noticing that the subject (me) had moved for a short time, then struggling to catch up as I walked. It might work OK with an object moving in a straight line at a fixed speed (such as someone on a bike or a boat), but I am not sure it would replace a decent pilot watching the subject carefully. A similar mode on the Yuneec Q500 worked more consistently.
The Waypoint mode sometimes angled the quadcopter so that the camera caught a glimpse of the rotor blades and the arms holding the rotors. This happened when the quadcopter was turning, stopping or starting, and showed up either as the rotors and arms clearly appearing in the video, or as a flickering effect in the top right or left corner of the screen. This was definitely distracting, affecting the look and feel of the video. It can be limited by slowing the quadcopter down, but it still shows up occasionally.
The combination of a conventional remote and a touch-screen control makes the Phantom 3 very easy to fly. You can either let the quadcopter itself do the hard work (by using the auto takeoff and landing feature of the DJI Go app) or take manual control, using the control stick. The quadcopter is responsive, with only a very slight delay between moving the stick and the quadcopter responding. On the default settings, it flies and turns quite slowly, but these settings can be tweaked for much more aggressive flying if required in the settings for the DJI Go app.
DJI claims a maximum horizontal speed of 35 miles per hour and 11 miles per hour vertically, and I don't doubt either: I was able to get it to achieve a serious amount of speed in my tests.
This isn't a stunt quadcopter, though, as it is focused on keeping the camera platform stable rather than doing flips and somersaults. And it does a great job of this: No matter how hard we maneuvered the Phantom 3, the camera remained level and steady.
The Phantom 3 doesn't have a true autonomous mode: out of the box it can't fly a route independently. The Waypoint mode gets close, but you still have to manually fly the quadcopter to each of the waypoints at least once to record the route. These routes can be saved and flown later, though, so you can fly the same route multiple times. There are options for true autonomy, however. DJI offers a program called Ground Station for Windows and iOS that is more focused on creating routes from a map that the Phantom will then fly. Other third parties offer similar systems that add additional features. Pix4Dmapper , for instance, turns the advanced and professional version of the Phantom 3 drone into a 3D-mapping platform that can create 3D models from the captured visual data.
Photos & Video
The camera on the Phantom 3 Standard can capture 12 megapixel still images and has three video modes: HD (1280 x 720 pixels, at between 24 and 60 frames per second), FHD (1920 x 1080 pixels, at 24 or 30 fps) or 2.7K (2704 x 1520 pixels, at 24 or 30 fps). The latter mode is a nod to GoPro cameras, which can capture at a similar resolution, but there is no real 2.7K video standard. We were able to import 2.7K video into iMovie and Adobe Premiere and easily convert it to 1080p video, though. The Advanced model adds the ability to capture 60 fps FHD video, while the Professional model can capture UHD (Ultra HD) video with a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels at 60 fps.
The video captured by the Phantom 3 Standard had excellent quality, with plenty of detail, and smooth, clean movement. It is a definite improvement from the video quality of the Phantom 2, which produced rather soft, fuzzy video. By comparison, the Phantom 3 Standard video has a much more natural and realistic look at all of the video settings. It was also cleaner, sharper and more natural-looking than the $1,129 Yuneec Q500 and the $499 Parrot Bebop. See the still frame from a 2.7K video below and look at the detail on the leaves of the red tree in the middle right: You can see a lot of detail in there.
You can also live-stream video from the drone to YouTube, so your adoring fans can watch your crashes live.
There are a few small issues, though: As well as occasionally capturing the rotor blades and a glimpse of the arms of the quadcopter itself, we noticed that the video occasionally had a wavy look to it, making distant objects look as if they were made of jelly. This almost looks like the rolling shutter effect that we see on video captured by some SLR cameras, but I think it is caused by movements of the camera. The video also gets a strange, almost stroboscopic look if the rotor blades come between the sun and the camera. The camera captures this as a flickering in darker areas of the image, rather like how a cheap camera looks under a fluorescent light.
The Phantom 3 Standard is a very repairable drone, with all of the parts easily available for replacement after a crash. You get two sets of rotor blades in the box, and a replacement set will cost you about $20 . DJI also offers a set of carbon fiber blades that are lighter and tougher for about $40. The landing gear and case are the other parts that will get broken, and they are also fairly cheap to replace, at about $40 and $60 , respectively. There is also a thriving community of third-party add-ons for the Phantom 3, including replacement rotor blades , LED lights and others.
The Phantom 3 Standard comes with a single battery; a large, heavy 4480-mAh that provided about 21 minutes of flight time on our tests. That is about the same as the flight time of the Yuneec Q500, although that more expensive drone does come with two batteries.
The Phantom 3 Standard battery takes quite a long time to recharge: about 50 minutes using the included charger. Extra batteries for the Phantom 3 Standard aren't cheap: a spare from DJI will cost you about $145 . There is also a $90 charging hub available from DJI.
The DJI Phantom 3 Standard remains the camera drone to beat, and nothing we have tested so far comes close. It flies well, producing generally rock-solid video with excellent color and lots of detail. The $979 Professional and $1,300 Advanced models add support for 4K videos and a few other flying tricks, but I doubt most users will need these: The 2.7K mode looks great on an HDTV, and most people just don't need 4K video at the moment. The various flight modes are superior to the Yuneec Q500, producing a drone that is easier to fly and shoot great-looking video with. That's what counts in the end, and the Phantom 3 Standard remains the easiest and best way to do it.
Richard Baguley has been working as a technology writer and journalist since 1993. As well as contributing to Tom's Guide, he writes for Cnet, T3, Wired and many other publications.
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DJI Phantom 3 Specs & Drone Info (Updated Feb. 2016)
Phantom 3 Pro:
Ultra-HD 4K Video
Live HD Streaming to YouTube
Seamless App Integration
Updated Feb. 2016
Following in the footsteps of its immensely popular Phantom 2 drone series, DJI unveiled the Phantom 3 Professional and Phantom 3 Advanced.
Here's what you'll need to know about DJI's latest creation:
As far a new releases go, much of the Phantom 3 follows the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" line. The Phantom 2 platform with its advanced flying capabilities and styling is instantly recognizable on DJI's newest quadcopter. But there are upgrades, especially to the Phantom 3 Professional, drone enthusiats are excited about.
Both versions of the Phantom 3 now come standard with a three-axis gimbal and camera setup. While the Advanced model shoots in 2.7K video, DJI has fitted the Phantom 3 Pro with a 4K camera. Past versions of the Phantom series allowed for the switching of gimbals and cameras, but DJI replaces that with its own non-detachable camera and gimbal. In addition to the new high definition cameras, upgrades to DJI's Pilot app enables full control over camera. A range of camera settings including shutter speed and exposure compensation can be adjusted from the remote control or app with the Phantom 3 in the air.
In keeping with the high definition theme, DJI has also fitted the Phantom 3 with remote HD video streaming straight to a mobile device or tablet. Utilizing DJI's Lightbridge technology, the Phantom 3 can travel up to 1.2 miles under complete control all while displaying live streaming 720p HD from the camera. Phantom 3 pilots can now engage with the online community while on locaton by sharing their flights live on YouTube or editing and sharing them directly from the app.
As a final added caveat, DJI has fashioned the Phantom 3 with its Visual Positioning system similar to DJI's pro model the Inspire 1. The Phantom 3 can now hover in place, take off and a land without GPS, all of which give it indoor flying ability that previous Phantom models lacked.
Here's a brief rundown of Phantom 3's technical specs:
- Weight with Battery and Propellers: 1280g
- Diagonal Lenght including Propellers: 590mm
- Hover Accuracy: +/- 10cm vertical, +/- 1cm horizontal
- Max Speed: 16m/s (ATTI mode, no wind)
- Mobile App: DJI Pilot
- Required Operating System: iOS 8.0 or later, Android 4.1.2 or later
While unveiling of the new Phantom 3 got the attention of drone enthusiats and even quite a few newbies, Drone World's Phantom 3 Kits have the eye of the "pro-sumer" looking to take their adventures even farther.
Featured in the industry's first Phantom 3 Kits are an array of add-ons and upgrades from Drone World. The final result is a Phantom 3 with superior control, upgraded coverage and custom styling.
Here's a brief rundown of what you get from a Drone World Phantom 3 kit :
- Phantom 3 Professional Gold Edition with additional battery: Ready to fly right out of the box, you get the latest and greatest Phantom from DJI with 4k camera and additional battery for added flight time.
- Custom Phantom 3 Case: Store your new Phantom and it's accessories safely and securely in our customized hard case. Choose from white or black case.
- Self-tightening Carbon Fiber Propellers: An industry 1st, exclusive to Drone World. Self-tightening carbon fiber propellers are a lightweight and strong upgrade on DJI's stock propellers giving you more control and power.
- DW Neck Harness Lanyard: Remain in complete control of your drone by securing your remote control to our customized neck lanyard.
Have a look at Drone World's Phantom 3 kits and Phantom3 accessories today!
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Phantom 3 Drone Specs and Features
Phantom 3 is the third generation product line of the Phantom series of drones by DJI. It was first launched in April 2015. The Phantom 3 drones are designed in such a way that they can fly straight out of the box with very little setting-up required.
The Phantom 3 models have an improved navigational capability. The product line was the first one in the Phantom range to have a downward facing sensor. Bottom sensors allow the drone to remain in place when flying indoors or when there is no GPS signal. The Phantom 3 series drones were also upgraded to work with the GLONASS satellite system in addition to the GPS system.
The Phantom 3 series also has DJI’s flagship “Lightbridge” communication system on most of the models. Video quality is pretty good too with some models offering 4K recording. The Phantom series drones are classified as consumer drones on DJI’s website. The Phantom 3 series is great for recreational users, hobbyists, and semi-professional users.
The Phantom 3 series consists of the Phantom 3 Standard, the Phantom 3 SE, the Phantom 3 4K, the Phantom 3 Advanced, and the Phantom 3 Professional. They have different specs overall, with some particular specs being the same while some others being more advanced on the Phantom 3 Advanced and the Phantom 3 Professional models. Let us look at the specs in more detail:
All the DJI Phantom series drones have a maximum flight speed of 35 miles per hour or a little over 56 kilometers per hour. This speed is normally obtained when using the ATTI mode. 35 mph is enough to shoot basic action shots. Following objects and cars is feasible only up to a point with this speed. One cannot possibly do serious action shots or follow a fast moving car on a highway with 35 mph.
The DJI Phantom 3 Standard , SE, and 4K models all have a maximum flight time of 25 minutes before the battery runs out. Interestingly, the more advanced Phantom 3 Advanced and the Phantom 3 Professional have a lower flight time of 23 minutes. Given the fact that Phantom 3 is an older generation, the flight times are pretty low. It is also important to note that most of DJI’s consumer and professional drones (except Matrice 200) have maximum flight time in the mid-to-high 20s or at the most 31 minutes. So, 23 to 25 minutes is pretty reasonable, though still on the shorter side.
All Phantom 4 drones weigh over 1200 grams. Phantom 3 Standard: 2.68 lbs or 1216 grams Phantom 3 SE: 2.72 lbs or 1236 grams Phantom 3 4K: 2.82 lbs or 1280 grams Phantom 3 Advanced: 2.82 lbs or 1280 grams Phantom 3 Professional: 2.82 lbs or 1280 grams
The Phantom 3 Standard and the Phantom 3 SE both use a Panasonic 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor which offers 12 megapixels. The Phantom 3 4K uses a Sony EXMOR 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor. The Phantom 3 Advanced and the Phantom 3 Professional both use a slightly improved Sony 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor offering 12.4 megapixels.
Camera Video Resolution
Any drone can be great at flying and can have advanced controls. But it has got to be able to take amazing pictures and video too. The Phantom 3 has pretty good video resolutions between 2.7K and 4K. The Phantom 3 Standard can shoot 2.7K at 30 frames per second while the Phantom 3 SE, 4K, and Professional drones can all do 4K at 30 frames per second. The surprising case is that of the Phantom 3 Advanced which does 2.7K at 30 frames per second in spite of being a higher-end model in the series.
All the Phantom 3 drones support H.264 codec. The following are the video resolutions for the various Phantom 3 drones:
Maximum Video Bitrate
The maximum bit rate of the Phantom 3 Standard and the Phantom 3 Advanced is 40 Mbps. The maximum video bitrate of the Phantom 3 SE, 4K, and Professional drones is higher at 60 Mbps. A higher bitrate means better quality video. To put things into perspective, Blu-Ray has a bitrate of 25 Mbps. So, we are talking 2-3 times the quality of Blu-Ray.
When you shoot your pictures using the Phantom 3 drones, you can store them as JPG or RAW format in all the models. The option of storing images as RAW files is important because raw files allow for image editing.
All the Phantom 3 drones use a 3-axis gimbal (pitch, roll, yaw) with a controllable range of -90o to +30o.
All the Phantom 3 models have a camera with an electronic shutter. Shutter speed is 1/8000 s.
The Phantom 3 drones have two cameras, one for shooting video and one for stabilization. The bottom sensor or camera helps the drone avoid obstacles that are visible looking down. While this is a good safety feature to have, it still falls short of what more recent DJI drones offer.
The bottom sensor also helps the drone stay steady in an indoor environment. The bottom sensor recognizes patterns below the drone and contributes towards the overall stabilization of the aircraft. Flights that are closer to the ground at lower altitudes also become steadier due to the bottom sensor.
Communication link between the drone and the controller
The Phantom 3 Standard and the Phantom 3 SE both use Wi-Fi to communicate with the remote controller or mobile device. Wi-Fi has a lower range and is an older technology. The Phantom 3 4K, Advanced, and Professional models all use the upgraded Lightbrigde communication protocol to link the remote controller to the drone aircraft body. Lightbridge is a lot more advanced than Wi-Fi. It uses 2 separate links, one to communicate with the camera plus gimbal and the other to send and receive drone controls. That enhances the quality of the link and the overall controlling of the drone.
All Phantom 3 drones use a combination of GPS and GLONASS systems for redundancy and more accurate navigation.
Live Video Quality
The live feed that the mobile device gets from the drone varies in terms of video quality. This video quality is particularly important if you are live-streaming your drone feed over YouTube. All the Phantom 3 drones except the 4K have a live video feed of 720p at 30 frames per second. The 4K video feed is only 480p at 30 frames per second.
Intelligent Flight Battery and Charger
All the Phantom 3 drones have a similar battery in the drone body. The specs for the battery are the same for all models and are as follows:
The Charger Specs are also the same for all models and are as below:
The Phantom 3 remote controllers mainly use a 2.4 GHz frequency, which is on par with most of the models of the more advanced Phantom 4 series. However, the Phantom 3 Standard and the Phantom 3 4K remote controllers use a 5.7 GHz frequency band. Interestingly, the 5.7 GHz band gives the controller a shorter operating range. The Phantom 3 SE is the only model to have both the 2.4 GHz and the 5.7 GHz frequency bands in use.
For the 2.4 GHz band on the Phantom 3 Advanced and Professional drones, the FCC transmission distance is 5 km and the CE transmission distance is 3.5 km However, the Phantom 3 SE, which uses two frequency bands (2.4 and 5.7 GHz) only has an FCC transmission distance of 4 km and a CE distance of a mere 0.5 km.
For the 5.7 GHz band on the Phantom 3 Standard, the FCC distance is 1 km and the CE distance is 0.5 km. The Phantom 3 4K uses a 5.7 GHz and has a transmission distance of 1.2 km and a CE distance of 0.5 km.
The remote controller battery for the Phantom 3 Standard, SE, and 4K is 2600 mAh and the battery type is LiPo 2S. The controller for the Professional and Advanced models is 6000 mAh.
Both the remote controller and the aircraft of all the Phantom 3 drones have an operating temperature range of 0 o C to 40 o C.
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- Toys & Games
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- Quadcopters & Multirotors
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DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone with 2.7K HD Video Camera
About this item.
- Refer the user manual and videos on this page for troubleshooting.Enjoy the view: A live video feed gives you a 720p HD real-time view of what your camera sees right on your mobile device
- View a live image streamed from the drone up to a half mile away on the DJI Go app using your mobile phone or tablet
- GPS assisted flight features let you concentrate on getting great images while the drone helps you fly safely. You can achieve advanced camera perspectives with the Point of Interest, Follow Me and Waypoints modes (pending app feature availability)
- Fly up to 25 minutes with the included intelligent battery. A range of accessories is included:1 battery and charger, full set of propellers, radio controller
- Update the remote control first before use.
There is a newer model of this item:
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Important information, legal disclaimer.
Must be at least 18 & over to purchase. See DJI.com for additional information. You are required by law to register your aircraft.
To report an issue with this product, click here .
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Phantom 3 Standard
Meet the Phantom 3 Standard: the most accessible intelligent flying camera ever built. Easy to fly and engineered to let everyone take to the sky, now you have the power of flight.
US DJI Warranty Services Notice
Dear DJI Creators,
To provide you with ever better service, DJI will now only provide warranty services for products purchased from Authorized Resellers. Products purchased from unauthorized Resellers are not subject to warranty services. This rule takes effect from 3 Aug 2016. Customers who have already bought DJI products will not be affected.
Before buying a DJI product, visit the official DJI website to find an authorized DJI dealer where you can make your purchase.
When applying for a warranty service, the sales invoice of the product requiring warranty repair must be provided.
Conditions Apply. Visit the website for more details.
What's in the box
- Surveillance Video Quad
The Phantom 3 Standard is the best way to start enjoying aerial photography, even with no prior experience. With the all-in-one ready to fly design and simple GPS- assisted flight, the Phantom 3 Standard lets you focus on taking great pictures and videos from the sky. With a range of over half a mile and crystal clear live video streaming over Wi-Fi to your mobile device on the free DJI Go app, the Phantom 3 Standard delivers sophisticated functionality with a simple learning curve and an accessible price point.
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Compare the Phantom 3 Series
- Drones Size
DJI Phantom 3 Standard Size & Specs
On this page, you can view all sizes/dimensions and other specifications of DJI Phantom 3 Standard , including size of Dimensions, and you can view these dimensions in inches and centimeters, this will help you make sure that this is what you need most. At the same time, we also provide a lot of other specification information, which can help you better understand this product.
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Phantom 3 size: Complete Measurements
Some time ago, before getting my drone, I was researching the complete measurements of the Phantom 3. I got the info here and there, but it took a while. Here are all measurements of the Phantom 3 in imperial (inches) and metric (centimeters), if you were also wondering.
Measured from above:
Width & Height without props: 29 x 29 cm / 11.5 x 11.5 in
Width & Height including props: 49 x 49 cm / 19.3 x 19.3 in
Width & Height including prop guards: 52 x 52 cm / 20.5 x 20.5 in
Measured from the side:
Tall without props: 19.3 cm / 7.6 in
Tall with props: 19.5 cm / 7.7 in
Measured from below:
Landing gear Width & Height: 17 x 14.4 cm / 6.7 x 5.7 in
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- Introducing DJI Terra V3.7 and V3.8 Updates
Explore the latest updates for DJI Terra (V3.7 and V3.8) in this blog post, a significant leap forward in processing tools that can be used following geospatial data collection. New features include Automatic Ground Control Points Identification, LiDAR Data Ground Point Cloud Classification, and additional tools to create unmatched accuracy and efficiency.
DJI Terra V3.7.0 released
1. support automatic ground control points identification.
UAVs acquire height information through RTK and other methods, which is usually in ellipsoidal height. However, the deliverables often require heights in orthometric, need to deliver results with local vertical datum. Therefore, Ground Control Points are needed to help optimize the results of aerotriangulation, and checkpoints are needed to check the accuracy and reliability of the results.
When using control points/checkpoints, surveyors need to mark corresponding ground survey markers on the photos. With the Automatic Mark Identification features Introduced in DJI Terra's V3.7 update, surveyors only need to manually mark one photo for the control point/checkpoint, and the software will automatically identify the same control point/check point in other photos, significantly reducing the need for manual marking.
Once auto-mark identification is complete, you can see the number of identified points and the error from each photo.
Through data comparison between auto-mark identification and manual marking, it was found that:
① .For a 45 km² oblique photogrammetry project with 100 ground control points: On average, manually marking 20 photos for each control point took about 5.5 hours. After using the Automatic Mark Identification feature, an average of 32 photos were automatically identified for each point, taking around 20 minutes, resulting in time savings of over 5 hours.
② For a 15 km² orthophoto project with 30 ground control points: On average, manually marking 10 photos for each control point took about 53 minutes. After using the automatic marking feature, an average of 12 photos were automatically identified for each point, taking around 5 minutes, and saving nearly 50 minutes.
Data comparison results
It's important to note that when staking a photo, it's recommended to zoom in to ensure accurate staking. DJI Terra will automatically mark control points on other photos once a point is staked Access to this feature: Create a visible light mission->Add photos->aerotriangulation settings->Advanced settings->GCP management->Automatic Mark Identification
2. L1 data Ground Point Cloud classification
When using L1 for data collection and DEM (elevation data model) creation, it's essential to classify ground points out of the point cloud. Otherwise, the result will be a DSM (Digital Surface Model) that does not represent terrain DEM. DJI Terra 3.7.0 introduces the ability to classify ground points in the point cloud without the need of third-party software. This simplifies the process significantly.
Ground Point Cloud Classification
Access to this feature: Create a Lidar point cloud mission-> Add Lidar data -> Point Cloud Processing settings->Check the Ground Point Type box
3. Automatic alignment of Blocks
In large-scale real-world 3D projects, it's common to divide the region of interest into multiple blocks for reconstruction and then merge the block results back into one large model. During the merging process, it is essential to adjust the block models as needed to ensure the accuracy of multiple datasets. DJI Terra version 3.7.0 supports automatic alignment of reconstruction blocks based on the region of interest boundaries. This means that the software automatically aligns reconstruction blocks based on boundary lines, selecting all blocks within the defined region and outputting model files that adhere to industry standards.
Only rebuilding the edge blocks partially may cause missing data
V3.7.0 version can automatically align blocks along edges to avoid data missing
By u sing the " Auto Align Blocks " feature , all relat ed blocks within the area of interest are fu lly reconstructed, ensur ing precise dat a sti tching .
Building structures and road surfaces are visible, and the stitching results are ideal, with no apparent gaps.
The picture above shows the reconstruction effect of the V3.7 version, and the block vulnerability of low buildings in the task area no longer exists .
It is important to note that before using this feature, you should check whether the block parameters such as the coordinate origin and coordinate system are consistent, whether aerotriangulation results are correct; whether there are control points constraints at the overlap between blocks from different reconstruction blocks, and the overlap is sufficient. If these conditions are not met, issues with uneven stitching in the final model may occur. Access to this feature: Create a Visible Light Task->Add Photo->3D Model->Advanced Settings->Area of Interest/Block->Import KML Range (optional)->Edit Area of Interest
4. Reduce Model Size Feature
When displaying real-world 3D models on online platforms like DJI FlightHub 2, uploading highly detailed models can strain both computer performance and network bandwidth. DJI Terra 3.7.0 introduces a reduced model size feature, which significantly reduces the number of triangles in the model, improving the smoothness and loading speed of online model reviewing.
100% Reso lutio n Model (left) experien ces lag during loading
50% Reso lut i on model (right) loads more smoothly
It is impo r tant to no te that when you enab le the model s ize reduction fe ature , DJI Terra will strive to pre serve model accuracy to the max i mu m extent possible . How ever, i t may still lose so me fine details. For tasks where high detail fi de lity is required , it is recommended to e i ther disa ble the model size reduce feat ure or set t he size reduce parameter t o g r e ater th an 80%. A model size reduction param ete r below 20% may lea d to tex t u re map misalignment in some flat areas.
When using 50% resolution, the model remains virtually unchanged.
When using 10% resolution, the model loses many details.
Access to this feature: Create a Visible Light mission- >Add Photo->3D Model->Advanced Settings-> reduce the model to XX%
5. Comprehensive upgrade of quality reports
DJI Terra V3.8.0 released
Generate of dem -from classified point cloud.
DEM in image form
Previously, DJI Terra supported Optimize Point Cloud Accuracy and point cloud classification for point cloud data. Version V3.8.0 employs an improved DEM generation algorithm, supporting the generation of DEM data in Tiff format based on ground point cloud data.
Scale - setting parameters support user-defined DEM results with 1:500, 1:1000, and 1:2000 scales. Users can also set DEM results resolutions based on Ground Sampling Distance (GSD).
T h e us e of the O pt im i z e P oint C l oud A ccura cy significantly reduces stratification phenomena.
Additionally, the quality report for point clouds has been further improved, providing better visualization and more intuitive data representation.
Check out this video to learn about the new geotiff formatted DEM output feature for LiDAR point cloud data in the Terra 3.8 update!
Learn more about the DJI Terra Release Notes V3.8.0
Tags: AEC & Surveying , Product Innovation
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Phantom 3 Professional Specs
- Phantom 3 Professional
Intelligent flight battery, vision system, app / live view, phantom 3 professional videos, video tutorials.
Phantom 3 Professional Downloads
- Phantom 3 Professional Firmware v1.11.20 2017-07-06 zip
- How to Update the Firmware v1.4 2015-10-22 pdf
Software & Drivers
- Dlog to sRGB 3DLUT 2016-05-12 zip
- Dlog to sRGB 3DLUT User Instruction 2016-05-12 zip pdf
- Inspire 1/ Phantom 3/ X5 LOG mode Transcoding Tool v1.0.0 2015-12-07 zip exe
- Inspire 1/ Phantom 3/ X5 LOG mode Transcoding Tool v0.9.2 2015-10-20 zip exe
- DJI DNG Cleaner v1.1 2015-04-10 zip exe
- Inspire 1/Phantom 3/ X5 Transcoding Tool v0.9.2 2015-10-20 dmg
- DJI DNG Cleaner v1.1 2015-04-10 dmg
APP / LIVE VIEW
iOS Version v3.1.62. Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus,iPod touch 6,iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4, and iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular. This app is optimized for iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus. Android Version v3.1.59. Requires Android 4.4 or later.Compatible with LG V20, VIVO X9, OPPO R11, Google Pixel, Nexus 6P, Huawei P9, Huawei MATE 9, Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8+, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, MI 6, MI5. *Support for additional Android devices available as testing and development continues.
Documents & Manuals
- Phantom 3 Professional Release Notes 2017-07-06 zip pdf
- Phantom 3 Professional Quick Start Guide v1.2 2016-04-19 zip pdf
- Phantom 3 Professional Quick Start Guide (IT) v1.2 2016-04-19 zip pdf
- Phantom 3 Professional Quick Start Guide (PT) v1.2 2016-04-19 zip pdf
- Phantom 3 Professional Quick Start Guide (RU) v1.2 2016-04-19 zip pdf
- Phantom 3 Professional User Manual v1.8 2017-07-06 pdf
- Phantom 3 Professional User Manual v1.0(PT) 2016-02-03 zip pdf
- Phantom 3 Professional In the Box 2015-09-01 zip pdf
- Phantom 3 Intelligent Flight Battery Safety Guidelines v1.0 2015-12-01 zip pdf
- Charging Hub for Phantom 3 Intelligent Flight Batteries v1.0 2015-09-01 zip pdf
- Phantom 3 Prop Guards Installation Guide 2015-12-17 zip pdf
- Phantom 3 Safety Guidelines and Disclaimer 2016-02-05 zip pdf
- Car Charger for Phantom 3 User Manual 2016-06-17 zip zip
- Phantom 3 Intelligent Flight Battery Heater User Manual 2016-06-17 zip pdf
- * Disclaimer of Warranties: SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd. provides the firmware “as is” and “as available” for your use, without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including all implied warranties of merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. You expressly agree that your use of, or inability to use the firmware is at your sole risk. In no case shall SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd. be liable for any direct, indirect, punitive, special, or consequential damages arising from your use of any of the firmware, including but not limited to, any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of your misuse, transmitted, etc.
Phantom 3 Professional FAQ
The DJI GO app is only compatible with devices running iOS 8.0 or later or Android v4.1.2 or later. The following devices are recommended: iOS: iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, and iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular. This app is optimized for iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus Android: Samsung S5, Note 3, Sony Xperia Z3 , Google Nexus 7 II, Google Nexus 9, Mi 3, Nubia Z7 mini Support for additional Android devices will become available as testing and development continues.
This switch, called the Flight Mode Switch, allows you to toggle different flight modes: P-mode, or Positioning mode, indicates that both GPS and the Vision Positioning System are active and your Phantom 3 will attempt to stabilize using both. In A-mode, or Attitude mode, the aircraft does not use GPS or the Vision Positioning System. Only the barometer is used for stabilization. The aircraft can still return to the Home Point as long as a sufficient GPS signal is available. F-mode, or Function mode, activates Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) functionality. Refer to the IOC section in the Appendix of the User Manual. By default, only P mode may be used. Refer to your user manual for instructions on unlocking the other modes.
Phantom 4 Pro V2.0
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