Hawkeye Aerial Imaging Solutions recently purchased for its professional hangar, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. The P4Pro joins the DJI Inspire Pro Black and the DJI Inspire 1 ver2 in Hawkeye’s commitment to providing the highest quality imagery available for its clients. This new aircraft boasts the addition of a new redesigned camera that will shoot 20 megapixel photos and 4K/60FPS video. The P4Pro has 5 direction obstacle sensing/avoidance, in addition to several new autonomous flight modes, which will allow the pilot to fly with greater safety and confidence while concentrating on complex aerial imaging. See below for an in-depth look at the new DJI Phantom 4 Pro.
DJI – Introduces Phantom 4 Pro
An uprated camera is equipped with a 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor capable of shooting 4K/60fps video and Burst Mode stills at 14 fps. The adoption of titanium alloy and magnesium alloy construction increases the rigidity of the airframe and reduces weight, making the Phantom 4 Pro similar in weight to the Phantom 4. The Flight Autonomy system adds dual rear vision sensors and infrared sensing systems for a total of 5-direction of obstacle sensing and 4-direction of obstacle avoidance.
Camera with 1-inch 20MP Sensor
The onboard camera has been redesigned to use a 1-inch 20-megapixel CMOS sensor. A custom engineered lens made up of eight elements is arranged in seven groups, it is the first DJI camera to use a mechanical shutter, eliminating rolling shutter distortion which can occur when taking images of fast moving subjects or when flying at high speed. In effect, it is as powerful as many traditional ground cameras. More powerful video processing supports H.264 4K videos at 60fps or H.265 4K at 30fps, both with a 100Mbps bitrate. Advanced sensors and processors ensure everything is captured with more image detail and the image data needed for advanced post-production.
5-Direction Obstacle Sensing
Flight Autonomy is expanded with an additional set of high-resolution stereo vision sensors placed at the rear in addition to the pair placed at the front as well as infrared sensing systems placed on the left and right sides. This network creates a total of 5-direction of obstacle sensing and 4-direction of obstacle avoidance, protecting the Phantom 4 Pro from more obstacles and giving filmmakers the confidence to capture more complex images.
Remote Controller with Built-in Screen
A 5.5in 1080p screen integrated with the Phantom 4 Pro + offers 1000 cd/m2 of brightness, more than twice as bright as conventional smart devices. As the DJI GO app is built into the screen, hardware and software can be fully optimized, allowing you to edit and share instantly. A five-hour battery life makes the Phantom 4 Pro + a complete aerial imaging solution. The integrated upgraded Lightbridge HD video transmission system supports dual frequencies for greater interference resistance and a maximum video transmission range of 4.3mi (7km)*.
*Unobstructed, free of interference, when FCC compliant.
Using Gesture Mode, selfies can be captured easily using a few gestures without the remote controller. Advanced computer vision technology allows the Phantom 4 Pro to take instructions through gestures. The subject simply lifts their arms when facing the camera and the aircraft will recognize this movement by locking on and placing the subject in the center of the frame. When ready for a photo, the subject holds their arms out to signal the aircraft. A three second countdown will begin, making time to strike a pose, allowing moments to be captured without the remote control.
Draw is a brand new technology for waypoint control. Simply draw a route on screen and the Phantom 4 Pro will move in that direction while keeping its altitude locked. This allows the pilot to focus on camera control and enables more complex shots. There are two Draw modes that can be used in different scenarios.
Forward: The aircraft follows the route at a constant speed with the camera facing in the direction of flight.
Free: The aircraft only moves along the route when instructed. In this mode, the camera can face in any direction during a flight.
The Phantom 4 Pro automatically recognizes subjects, follows and captures them as they move, making it easier to get complex shots.
Following fast-moving objects can be very challenging, but advanced image recognition algorithms used by the Phantom 4 Pro allow it to recognize and track the object while keeping it in frame. This new algorithm also recognizes more subjects, from people to vehicles to animals, and will adjust its flight dynamics to match, ensuring smoother shots.
Pilots can now choose between:
Trace – Follow behind or in front of a subject, avoiding obstacles automatically.
Profile – Fly alongside a subject at a variety of angles to get profile shots of the subject.
Spotlight – Keep the camera trained on a subject while the aircraft flies almost anywhere.
Fly in any direction visible on-screen with a simple tap. Tap anywhere on-screen to smoothly adjust the direction of flight while automatically avoiding obstacles * and tap the screen again or use control sticks to change direction. A new AR route function shows the aircraft’s real-time flight direction for reference as its route is adjusted. As it can be difficult to control altitude, course, speed and camera pitch simultaneously using joysticks, TapFly Free allows a pilot to set the direction of flight, allowing them to turn the Phantom 4 Pro or tilt the gimbal as required without changing the direction of flight. In total, there are now three TapFly modes:
TapFly Forward – Tap to fly in the selected direction
TapFly Backward – Tap to fly in the opposite direction of the tap, i.e. tap in the bottom right corner of the screen to fly backward towards the top left.
TapFly Free – Lock the forward direction of the Phantom without locking the camera direction allowing it to turn as it flies.
*Obstacle Avoidance is not available with TapFly Free
In its upgraded Return to Home mode, the Phantom 4 Pro can automatically choose the best route to return home depending on environmental conditions. It records its route as it flies, allowing it to return along the same route avoiding obstacles if the control signal is disconnected.
Based on its altitude at the time of disconnection, the Phantom 4 Pro is also able to adjust its flight path to avoid obstacles it has seen during its flight. At takeoff, the Phantom 4 Pro will record the scene below and compare its recording with what it sees as it returns, for more precise landing. It can also detect the ground to see whether there is suitable spot for landing. If any obstacles are found, or there is water on the ground, it will alert the pilot and hover at an appropriate height, helping the aircraft to land more safely.