Chinese-drone manufacturer SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd. has come a long way since they released their first ready-to-fly drone, the Phantom, in January 2013.
The company, best known as DJI, on Wednesday announced the Phantom 3, a drone that integrates with YouTube Live to stream aerial footage in near real time. It comes in two variations, the Phantom 3 Professional ($1,259) and Phantom 3 Advanced ($999).
The Phantom 3 model is a huge leap for drone technology, matching the $2,899 Inspire 1 drone that DJI announced in 2014 in terms of technical specifications, but closer matching its predecessor, the $1,099 Phantom 2 Vision+ in cost and aesthetic.
The Phantom 3 controller comes integrated with DJI’s Lightbridge technology, which allows the drone operator to see what the drones camera is seeing at 1080p at 60 frames per second. It also is stabilized with a 3-axis gimbal. The three pound drone has 23 minutes of flight time and can fly at a maximum altitude of 6,000 meters above sea level.
The difference between the Professional and Advanced model lies in the video quality; the Phantom 3 Professional is capable of shooting 4K video at up to 30 frames per second, while the Phantom 3 Advanced records at 1080p at 60 frames per second.
The drone also integrates with the DJI Pilot app, which comes with a flight simulator for operators to virtually practice flying and a ‘Director’ feature, which automatically edits shots from flights into short videos that can be shared instantly.