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Visionary intelligence. Elevated imagination. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro (White) has an uprated camera that is equipped with a 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor capable of shooting 4K/60fps video and Burst Mode stills at 14 fps.
The operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) is regulated in terms of the South African Civil Aviation (SACAA) Regulations. Familiarise yourself with these regulations before operating a drone for hobbyist, private or commercial use.
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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 FlightAutonomy 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.
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.
Sensor size is more important to image quality than the number of pixels because a larger sensor captures more information in every pixel, improving dynamic range, signal-to-noise ratio, and low light performance. The 1-inch 20-megapixel CMOS sensor in the Phantom 4 Pro is almost four times the size of the Phantom 4's 1/2.3in sensor. It uses larger pixels and has a maximum ISO of 12800 as well as increased contrast. It is good enough for images to be used immediately, while also capturing enough detail for advanced post-processing.
An enhanced video processing system allows video to be captured in cinema and production optimised DCI 4K/60 (4096 x 2160/60fps) at a bitrate of 100Mbps, enabling you to get high-resolution slow motion shots. The Phantom 4 Pro also supports the H.265 video codec (Maximum resolution 4096X2160/30fps). For a given bitrate, H.265 doubles the amount of image processing as H.264, resulting in significantly enhanced image quality. Record in the high dynamic range D-log mode to make the most of this image data for color grading.
The resolution and contrast of a lens is critical to image quality, because only a quality lens can capture sharp, vivid photos at high resolutions. The brand new Phantom 4 Pro camera has an aerial optimised F2.8 wide-angle lens with a 24mm equivalent focal length. It features eight elements – 2 aspherical – arranged in seven groups that fit into a smaller, more compact frame. Its images are consistently detailed with low distortion and low dispersion, ensuring that photos and videos are sharp and vivid. For the first time ever with a DJI camera, MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) results for this camera have been made public, so people can get a better understanding of lens performance.
Aerial imaging is not only used to capture landscapes; it brings new perspectives to everything from action scenes to motor racing. Capturing objects moving at high speed has always been a challenge for flying cameras using an electronic shutter. This is why the Phantom 4 Pro is the first DJI Phantom to use a mechanical shutter and a large-aperture prime lens. Mechanical shutter with a max speed of 1/2000s eliminates rolling shutter distortion which can occur when taking images of fast moving subjects or when flying at high speed. The electronic shutter has also been improved with a max shutter speed of 1/8000 seconds, and a new Burst Mode shoot capable of shooting 14 fps at 20 megapixels to catch the perfect moment.
FlightAutonomy 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 five-directions of obstacle sensing and four-directions of obstacle avoidance, protecting the Phantom 4 Pro from more obstacles and giving filmmakers the confidence to capture more complex images.
Pilots always need to be aware of obstacles when shooting from the air. This is a challenge for beginner pilots as well as experienced pilots, especially when sight lines are obstructed. The Phantom 4 Pro is equipped with an environment-sensing system based on stereo vision sensors and infrared sensors. It is able to detect obstacles 98ft (30m) in front, allowing it to plan its flight path to avoid them or simply hover in the event of an emergency. This same system also allows it to hover in position without GPS. Combined with infrared sensors on its left and right sides, the Phantom 4 Pro can avoid obstacles in a total of four directions. Forward and rearward obstacle sensing range has been increased, allowing the Phantom 4 Pro to fly at 31mph (50kph) with full protection of its stereo vision obstacle sensing system. It makes fast, dramatic video easier and ultimately safer to capture.
Three sets of dual vision sensors form a six-camera navigation system that works constantly to calculate the relative speed and distance between the aircraft and an object. Using this network of forward, rearward and downward vision sensors, the Phantom 4 Pro is able to hover precisely in places without GPS when taking off indoors, or on balconies, or even when flying through windows with minimal pilot control. In the unlikely event that front and downward sensors are unable to operate, the aircraft can still hover in place using the rear stereo vision system. The Phantom 4 Pro also is able to fly in complex environments at a flight speed of up to 31mph (50kph) while avoiding obstacles in its path. It will automatically adjust its obstacle detection method in line with its flight speed, allowing it to avoid obstacles at high and low speed.
FlightAutonomy is an advanced aerial intelligence and flight automation platform. It is made up of a complex network of ten component groups including seven cameras — forward, rearward and downward dual vision sensors and the primary camera — an infrared sensing system, dual-band satellite positioning (GPS and GLONASS), two downward facing ultrasonic rangefinders, redundant IMUs and compasses, and a group of powerful, specialised computing cores. The Phantom 4 Pro acquires a real-time view of its environment and information about the height and position of nearby obstacles to create a 3D map it can locate itself within. The IMU and compasses collect crucial flight status, speed and direction data, while redundant IMUs and compasses monitor critical data and rule out possible errors, dramatically enhancing the reliability of flight.
The Phantom 4 Pro is the first DJI aircraft to use an infrared sensing system. Placed on the left, and right sides of the aircraft, these measure the distance between the aircraft and any obstacles using infrared 3D scanning. When in Beginner Mode and Tripod Mode, these sensors have a horizontal field of view of 70° and a vertical field of view of 20°, providing a wide view of the scene to the sides of the Phantom, and a maximum range of 23ft (7m). Traditional ultrasonic sensors only have a detection range of 3-5m and may be confused when affected by propeller vibration or when sensing uneven surfaces. The infrared sensing system is able to sense larger areas and measure the distance between the aircraft, identifying the closest objects accurately while avoiding interference, providing more reliable sensing and protection.
The Phantom 4 Pro controller integrates an upgraded Lightbridge HD video transmission system that adds 5.8 GHz transmission support. The ability to choose between 2.4Ghz and 5.8Ghz allows pilots to cut through interference and eliminates image lag caused when flying in an area with extensive 2.4Ghz frequency use. Normally, Wi-Fi video transmission systems use a 2.4GHz frequency to work with a controller using a 5.8GHz frequency as this prevents interference that can occur when both use the same frequency. To perform normally, the video transmission system and the controller will interfere with each other causing image lag, especially if both use the same frequency. The use of two different frequencies has drawbacks in terms of flight performance. For example, flight performance will be affected when either of the two frequencies suffer interference.
The Lightbridge HD video transmission system used in the Phantom 4 Pro uses TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) to transmit signals, allowing it to send controller signals and receive video transmission signals at the same frequency. As the 2.4GHz frequency band is often affected by Wi-Fi, 4G cell towers, and other types of interference in urban areas, a 5.8Ghz band will increase transmission reliability. When switched on, the Phantom 4 Pro evaluates local signal levels, automatically choosing the transmission frequency with the lowest level of interference. This ensures the optimum range of a maximum video transmission of 4.3mi (7km)*
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. It makes bright, vivid colours easily visible in direct sunlight. With this screen, a mobile device is not required, simplifying pre-flight preparations. As the DJI GO app is built into the screen, hardware and software can be fully optimised, further reducing video lag. Integration of an HDMI port, Micro-SD card slot, microphone, embedded loudspeaker, and Wi-Fi connection allow images to be edited inside DJI GO to be shared almost instantly. Lastly, a five-hour battery life makes the Phantom 4 Pro + a complete aerial imaging solution.
*Unobstructed, free of interference, when FCC compliant.
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