Tag Archives: dji

DJI Phantom 4 review: a drone light-years in the future

The first drone I ever flew (and crashed about 5 seconds later) was a DJI Flame Wheel. The first drone I ever owned myself was an original DJI Phantom.

So it’s incredibly exciting to be a flying a drone that is so far ahead in its technology that it literally can sense and avoid objects in front of it. What’s even more exciting is those Flame Wheel days were only about three years ago. I would have never guessed a Phantom 4 would exist as it does today even a year ago.

For $1,199, you can get a Phantom 4, launched in March 2016, — and it’s truly an incredible piece of equipment.

dji phantom 4 propellers
The propellers auto-lock as an extra safety feature.

DJI Phantom 4 review:

The Phantom is pretty much ready to fly out of the box. There are auto-locking propellers you’ll have to put on. You also will fly with the RC transmitter, but to get that first person (FPV) view, you’ll need to use a smartphone or tablet to see what the drone’s camera sees. You can do that by connecting it to the DJI Go app.

dji phantom 4 sense and avoid sensor
The camera has eyes! Check out those two sensors on the front.

DJI Phantom 4 review: sense and avoid

The real standout point here is two front obstacle sensors combining with advanced computer vision and processing to give the Phantom its “Obstacle Avoidance” feature. Continue reading DJI Phantom 4 review: a drone light-years in the future

DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H: which is better?

It’s time for the DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H showdown.

I had the pleasure of getting to review both of these drones. The truth is, both of these drones are truly incredible when you consider how far the technology has come just in the past couple years.  Both the DJI Phantom 4 and Yuneec Typhoon H have a lot of similarities — similar price tag, both have collision avoidance, similar camera quality.

But there are some minor differences that could make a big impact in your decision on which one to buy.

DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H Cost:

DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H Camera:

Both drones are intended for professional aerial photographers. Both cameras offer 12 megapixel resolution and 4K video resolution. The gimbal on both is incredibly smooth. Both offer a maximum frame rate of 30 frames per second in live view to deliver crisp and clear footage. I shot some footage on the same day at approximately the same time near Drone Girl HQ to show you difference in footage. None of this footage is edited or processed, so you can see exactly how it looks in the camera. (Make sure you watch in HD!)

For me, the video quality is a toss-up. Each photographer may have their own aesthetic preferences, so I’ll let you make that decision for yourself.

Winner: Toss-up

DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H controller
Yuneec’s controller (left) and DJI’s controller (right) plus my iPhone

DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H Controller:

DJI’s is controlled through a smartphone or tablet, which you in turn plug into the Phantom controller via USB. DJI’s app to operate the drones is very good, but I hate having to rely on my iPhone. It seems like one more thing to sync, charge and worry about. I’ve never liked that about DJI’s products. Continue reading DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H: which is better?

GoPro’s Karma is delayed, but CEO Nick Woodman has a consolation for you

This article was originally written for MarketWatch.

The launch of GoPro Inc.’s  drone is going to be delayed until the 2016 holiday season.

The drone, named “Karma,” was initially announced to be released in the first half of 2016. As part of an earnings report Thursday, though, the action-camera company said its highly anticipated flying robot won’t make the deadline it originally promised.

“As late as this week, we believed Karma’s launch was on schedule,” said Nick Woodman, founder and chief executive of GoPro.

“Karma’s features make it much more than a drone,” he added. “To give ourselves more time to fine-tune these features, we have made the difficult decision to push Karma’s launch to the holidays.”

The delay means Karma will have to push even harder to compete in a rapidly evolving consumer drone market. Two of China’s biggest drone makers, DJI and Yuneec, surprised consumers this year with highly advanced drones that have sense and avoid technology, making them nearly crash-proof. Smaller competitors like Autel and Parrot are also making names for themselves in an increasingly crowded consumer drone market.

3D Robotics, which offers the “Solo” drone that failed to compete with DJI and Yuneec’s new technology, cut an undisclosed number of staff earlier this year, according to internal emails obtained by MarketWatch.

“We made too many Solos, especially given how fast our competitors dropped prices and flooded the market,” 3DR President Jeevan Kalanithi wrote. Continue reading GoPro’s Karma is delayed, but CEO Nick Woodman has a consolation for you