With its recent price drop, the Phantom 3 Professional might be the best starting point for anyone seriously interested in aerial cinematography. Out of the box, the quadcopter is straightforward to set up. The propellers thread onto color-matched screws, and a wrench in the included toolkit helps achieve critical tightness. After charging the batteries, installing the DJI Go app, and updating the firmware, you’re ready to take to the skies.
The flight experience is simple but very powerful. The controller feels solid with direct and responsive sticks. The GPS and optical positioning system offers rock-solid hover stability, even with poor GPS reception. Its stability yields incredible confidence, even to novice pilots, and the telemetry and Lightbridge-powered live view make it easy to plan and execute tracking shots, even if you’re coming up with them as you go along. The 4K video is clear and distortion free, and the AVCHD QuickTime files make the footage easy to add to any production workflow.
The Phantom 3 Professional may not be DJI’s flagship model anymore, but there’s still plenty to like, especially as a starting point in aerial cinematography.
|Phantom 3 Professional||dji.com|
|Price as Tested:||$999|
|Includes:||Drone, 2 sets of propellers, transmitter, battery, charger, toolkit|
|Battery Life:||18 minutes|
|Drone Size:||15.5" diagonal (without propellers)|
|Controller Type:||Hybrid: transmitter for control, smartphone or tablet (not included) for live view, telemetry, and mission planning|
|Carrying Case Included:||No|