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DJI Phantom 4 Pro review: DJI Phantom 4 Pro review: So you wanna be a drone photographer?

The Phantom's chassis itself is pretty much identical to its predecessor, too. It's light enough to comfortably carry in its supplied polystyrene carry case, and the propellers easily clip on to the motors making setup a blissfully simple process. For our troubles, we got close to 30 minutes flight time off the battery, which was a significant step up from the Phantom 3.

The ultra-bright display works both indoors and outdoors.

Dave Cheng/CNET

Camera specs

  • 4K video at 60fps
  • Max video bitrate 100Mbps
  • 128GB MicroSD
  • 20-megapixel, 1-inch CMOS sensor
  • Mechanical shutter
  • Aperture control f2.8-f11

It's the got usual suite of features you'll find in good camera-equipped drones, like orbital modes and follow modes. But the thing that really deserves commenting on is how good the automated features are.

Dave Cheng/CNET

ActiveTrack, the drone's subject tracking mode, can now handle following a subject's profile by flying sideways or backward in Spotlight mode. TapFly mode, which lets you tap a location on screen to automatically fly to, will now work backward and you can rotate the drone or tilt the camera without changing its path. The software can handle the gimbal's smooth sweeps and tracking better than you can, and that's worth the price of admission for budding drone photographers.

Okay, yeah, the Phantom 4 Pro hits a sweet spot between price and performance, but one thing you really need to account for is how fun and easy it is to fly. There's a beginner mode that caps your top speed and steering, but once you take the training wheels off, you can fang about with top speeds of 45mph (72kmh) in sports mode. Giddy-up.

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