"The DJI Phantom 3 is a brilliant way to capture gorgeous video from the air"
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CNET First Look
CNET First Look
The DJI Phantom 3 is a brilliant way to capture gorgeous video from the air
DJI has quickly become the go-to name in video recording drones.
And it's new model, the Phantom 3 makes it easier than ever to get gorgeous, stabilized 4k footage right from the air.
Physically, it's much the same as before, with its chunky wide plastic design.
It's very well built, and I can say from personal experience, that it can survive a crash into the side of your house, and a three story drop onto grass.
Of course, it is very wide, so fly it carefully.
It's incredibly easy to set up and to fly.
You can learn to fly via a digital drone In the DJI Pilot app before you decide to take the risk in taking the real one outside.
The camera has been given a bunch of upgrades.
It's still slung on a Stabilizing Gimbal, which smooths out weird jerks and bumps in flight.
But the sensor have been greatly improved to achieve a much more attractive image with better dynamic range.
Bright skies aren't washed out, as I've seen on earlier models, and colors look both accurate and rich.
There are two models available, the Phantom 3 Professional, which shoots in 4k, and the Phantom 3 Advanced, which is functionally the same, but only shoots in 1080.
Having 4k probably isn't a necessity for most of you So you can save yourself a couple of hundred quid and go for the advanced model.
Having 4K does allow you to crop into the image in post production, though, while still maintaining full HD quality.
So, for the professionals among you it might be the better choice.
Although you've always technically been able to fly the drones indoors, they are now two sensors beneath the phantom three which track the ground helping it keep it much more stable inside where it doesn't have GPS even so I do recommend only using it inside a big space.
A little living room probably isn't going to cut it.
The controller is roughly the same as on previous versions.
It's easy to hold.
They only give a basic amount of functions making it very easy to use and you'll find dedicated camera control buttons on the top which allow you start and stop recording, change exposure, tilt the angle of the camera all while the drone is still in the air.
The main downside of the Phantom three is still it's battery life.
DJI reckons you can get around 20-23 minutes of flight time, although I found in my own experience that to be nearer the 20 minute mark.
And I would be fine if you were flying in your garden, but if your taking away any distance, that short flight time will be limiting.
You can buy spares but they cost over 100 pounds each.
So it's probably only worth considering if you're using it for professional purposes.
The DJI Phantom 3 doesn't come particularly cheap but it has a hell of a lot to offer.
Its stabilized 4K footage looks absolutely fantastic and the drone itself is so easy to fly that a child can do it.
If you're an enthusiastic amateur film maker who's looking for a new angle for a video, it's well worth considering.
Although, you should spring for a couple of batteries.
I'm Andrew Hoyle for CNET, and this is DJI Phantom 3. [NOISE]
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