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      Reviews — DJI

      Drone Technology Marches On ...

      Drone Technology Marches On ...

      By Dave Estment

      It’s been challenging getting my DJI Inspire booked onto aeroplanes, due to its size and controversial looks, which caused airport security to give me a hard time – as if I were about to highjack the plane or something sinister like that. To address this issue, it was time to look for a smaller drone that could up the game technologically and produce even better imagery.

      The Inspire has served us faithfully for the last three years, producing world class HD video at up to 120 frames per second for amazing slo-mo footage that has blown our clients away. However, in my opinion, the image quality of the photos could be improved, particularly in low light. Don’t get me wrong, the images are more than acceptable for the purposes required, but I’ve been hoping for DJI to provide a new, large sensor camera on a smaller frame that would improve the video quality even more and produce higher grade photographs. Guess what? A couple of weeks ago DJI launched the Phantom 4 Pro. My prayers were answered.

      Just in time, because we are doing a long-term time lapse video of a massive development project by Fortress Income Fund on the old Clairwood Race Course, near Durban. Fortress is one of our esteemed, long term clients who is leading the way in the warehousing and logistics industry, and since this is a 3-year construction project, we’ll be doing quite a few trips in the foreseeable future. Their compelling visual portfolio will include traditional ground based progress photos and videos, as well as regular aerial coverage.

      It was a pleasure to check in at the airport yesterday with my Phantom 4 Pro, which performed perfectly during the morning to capture this early stage of development. Here’s one of the aerial photos that I took, to show you the image quality:

      Aerial View of Fortress Construction Site

      The Phantom range of DJI drones have been the most successful in the short history of stabilised flying film and photo platforms, but they have always been the bridesmaid to the amazing Inspire range of professional DJI drones. That has just changed, as if the engineers at DJI sensed my dilemma and worked overtime to deliver a new Phantom that fully qualifies as a professional filming drone, good enough to be used in Hollywood feature films. 4k video at 50 FPS and a bit rate of 100 Mb/sec! Yes please. It is half the size of the Inspire, ideal for hand luggage in its discreet carry case that holds 4 batteries and all the bits required for shoots.

      The tech specs and smart functionality are mind blowing, enabling even more precise flying and route planning than before. The inspire doesn’t come close – sorry Inspire 🙂 My favourite features on this little powerhouse include a camera sensor (ALMOST 5 X BIGGER than previous ones), manual aperture, shutter, ISO and exposure control, manual and auto focus, plus a host of setting options. The bit rate of 100 Mb/sec ensures that all the data is accurately captured and the new route planning functionality such as Tripod Mode, Draw, Tap Fly and obstacle avoidance will certainly assist me in complicated route planning and camera control.

      Thank you for the new P4 Pro, DJI. And thank you Action Gear team for your support. May technology keep marching on . . . I love it!

      You can check out the rest Dave Estment's blogs here

      DJI Phantom 4 Pro / Pro+ Specifications

      DJI Phantom 4 Pro / Pro+ Specifications

      Written by Daryl-Leigh Preuss

      The DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Pro +, the ideal drones for hobbyists and professionals alike! Take a closer look at these incredible aircraft's.

      What's the difference between the DJI Phantom 4 Pro & Pro +:
      The difference between the Pro and Pro+ drones, is that the Pro+ unit has a built in screen on the remote (there is thus no need to connect to your phone or tablet). The drones, themselves, are exactly the same.



      • 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor
      • Shoots 4K/60fps video
      • Burst Mode stills at 14fps
      • Airframe made from titanium and magnesium reducing weight
      • Five-directions of obstacle sensing
      • Four-directions of obstacle avoidance

      Camera with 1-inch 20MP CMOS Sensor

      • Eliminates rolling shutter distortion when taking a photo of fast moving objects
      • Supports H.264 4K videos at 60fps or H.265 4K at 30fps (Both with a 100Mps bitrate)
      • Advanced sensors and processors enable more image detail and image data

      Five-Directions of Obstacle Sensing

      • High resolution stereo vision sensors placed at the front and rear
      • Infrared sensing systems placed on the left and right sides
      • Protected from obstacles allowing you to achieve more complex shots

      Remote Controller

      Phantom 4 Pro:

      • Upgraded Lightbridge HD video transmission system
      • Added 5.8 GHz transmission support
      • Choice between 2.4Ghz and 5.8Ghz
      • Maximum video transmission range of 7km

      Phantom 4 Pro +:

      • BUILT-IN 5.5in 1080p screen
      • 1000cd/m2 brightness (More than twice as bright as conventional smart devices)
      • Vivid colours easily visible in direct sunlight
      • No mobile device required
      • DJI GO app included (Hardware and software can be fully optimized reducing video lag)
      • Share images almost instantly using the DJI GO app
      • Integrated HDMI port, Micro-SD card slot, microphone, embedded loudspeaker and Wifi connection
      • 5 hour battery life
      *Unobstructed, free of interference, when FCC compliant



        • Waypoint control!
        • Draw the route on screen and the Phantom 4 Pro will move in that direction without changing altitude.

        Draw Modes:

        • Standard: The aircraft follows the route at a constant speed with the camera facing in the direction of flight.
        • Manual: The aircraft only moves along the route when instructed. The camera can face any direction in this mode.


        • The Phantom 4 Pro automatically recognizes, follows and captures subjects as they move
        • Advanced image recognition algorithms allow it to track fast moving objects while keeping it in the frame for a smooth shot.


        • Fly in any direction visible on-screen with a simple tap
        • Automatically avoids obstacles
        • Tap the screen again or use control sticks to change direction
        • TapFly allows you to turn and tilt the gimbal of the Phantom 4 Pro without changing the direction of flight.

        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!!!

        Return to Home

        • The Phantom 4 Pro automatically chooses the best route home depending on environmental conditions
        • It records its route as it flies, allowing it to return along the same route avoiding obstacles even if the control signal is disconnected
        • At takeoff, the Phantom 4 Pro will record the scene below and compare its recording with what it sees as it returns, ensuring a precise landing
        • It will alert the pilot and hover at the appropriate height if it senses any water or obstacles below


        Gesture Mode

        • Selfies can be captured using gestures instead of the remote conroller
        • The Phantom 4 Pro will recognize the gesture then lock and centre the subject in the frame
        • Hold your arms out to signal the aircraft, a three second countdown will begin giving you time to strike a pose!

        Sensor Redundancy

        • The Phantom 4 Pro features dual compass modules and dual IMU units
        • Ensures a stable flight
        • Constantly compares the data received through both pairs
        • Any inaccurate data is simply discarded without affecting flight keeping flight steady and reliable

        Intelligent Batteries

        • Maximum flight time of 30mins
        • DJI GO app shows battery lifetime and calculates remaining flight times according to distance traveled and more
        • It will alert when it reaches a minimum safe amount required for a safe journey home
        • It also has an advanced battery management system to prevent overcharging and over draining
        • When placed in longer term storage, batteries will discharge to maintain good health

        DJI GO

        • There are a large number of Intelligent Flight modes available on this app
        • Provides access to full manuel camera controls (ISO; aperture; shutter speed; image formats etc.)
        • All changes appear instantly on-screen

        The DJI Phantom 4 versus DJI Mavic Pro

        The DJI Phantom 4 versus DJI Mavic Pro

        [Update] When did the Mavic Pro stock arrive?

        By Bernice van der Westhuizen 


        The Mavic Pro was launched on the 27th of September 2016 and in only a few short hours, has taken the world by storm. Already comparisons, debates and discussions are taking place to determine whether this drone is the ruler of them all.

        Before we even dive into the debate between the GoPro Karma and the DJI Mavic Pro, let’s first take a look at how the launch of the DJI Mavic Pro will influence the popularity and relevance of its predecessor, the DJI Phantom 4.



        DJI Phantom 4

        DJI Mavic Pro

        Battery Life

        28 Minutes

        27 Minutes



        Tap to focus

        Speed (Sport Mode)

        72 kph

        65 kph


        1380 g

        734 g

        Flight Distance (Standard Mode)

        5 km

        7 km


        12 MP

        12 MP

        Slow Motion



        Image Max Size




        4K UHD

        4K HD




        Follow Me



        Visual tracking






        Obstacle Avoidance







        Similar in features, but different in size.

        Well almost. The Phantom 4 is still superior when it comes to the quality of the camera, speed and that extra minute of battery life. But this compact drone sure is making a good impression on us and the rest of the world. In my opinion, the Mavic Pro is not meant to be a replacement for the DJI Phantom 4 … it would have been called the Phantom 5 in that case. So what exactly is the difference?

        The Mavic Pro is essentially compact and easy to carry or transport. It’s great, that’s for sure - you can read about it more on our Mavic Pro blog. Being so compact with it’s range of features, it’s basically a drone with the convenience of a large mobile device. It’s not as portable as a mobile device but sure as heck more than some other drones and equipment nowadays.

        Being able to use the Mavic Pro without a remote is also driving some dronies mad, others however enjoy using the remote and even their tablet rather than their phones. Let’s not forget that a working professional would consider and experience the difference in screen size differently to a hobbyist.

        Because of its shape (and location of the legs and propellers), catching it with your hands become a bit risky, although possible. This essentially rules in favour of landing it on the ground, which if you’re on grass can be a bit destructive. This is also an advantage to the Phantom 4 as you’re able to land or catch it respectively.

        The major benefit of the Mavic Pro is essentially the fact that it is compact in size with a world of features still at your disposal. If you are smart enough, you’ll realise that the convenience of the smaller drone is also a disadvantage when this copter takes flight. Being so small and light it does not handle stronger winds or weather with the same stability or power as the Phantom 4 (let’s not forget the bigger propellers). 

        Essentially if you are using the drone for more professional or business purposes, the quality of the camera and stability of the Phantom 4 would be best suited. On the other hand if you are backpacking and have limited space, the Mavic Pro is the ideal drone companion.

        At the end of day we have to be realistic here. You cannot simply compare features alone, it is truly dependent on the usage of the drone itself and the gap between professional and hobbyist is one that needs to be taken into account when choosing between the two. Rather than a replacement to the Phantom 4, I feel it has it’s own unique place in the drone industry, namely for hobbyists.

        On a separate note, why on earth is it called the Mavic Pro? (and do we say “Mah-vick or May-vick”)


        Let's not forget the hassle of trying to get our hands on some Mavic stock. Seriously. The delay from November 2016 until March 2017 was an unbearable one. Nonetheless, we are glad to finally have stock of this bad boy. (see Mavic Pro & Fly More Combo)

        What's great about the DJI Mavic Pro

        What's great about the DJI Mavic Pro

        [Update] When did the Mavic Pro stock arrive?

        By Emmanuel Mudzielwana:

        Remember the Mavic Pro rumours? Well it's finally here.

        Spoiler alert people, I'm a huge DJI fan, so be warned, I will express my affection for DJI in this blog.

        The Mavic - tiny compact drone sized at Height -83mm, Width - 83mm, and Length - 198mm, weighs more than 200g less to a kilo - to be exact this tiny piece of scientific revolutionary art weighs 743g. In case you are not sure what that really means the height of a 750ml bottle of Coca-Cola and weighs less than that bottle itself. It is about just 3.8 cm longer than an average human hand.


        This is the first commercial drone in the whole world with an acclaimed to have abilities to land just under 2cm from the point of takeoff if not the exact sport, how you wonder? Well, here is how - this tiny little thing utilises vision cameras underneath it to take a bust of photos without needing your command, and whilst on it on coming back to land use those very pictures to reconfigure itself to that position - now that's intelligence. The obstacle avoidance was taken from the Phantom 4, but they didn't leave it there, it has an advance reaction to obstacles and the location of the forward vision positioning system it is just perfect for it size. Hovers precisely using GPS & GLONASS, the 2 ultrasonic range finders and redundant sensors and the 24 powerful computing cores embedded in drone.


        Max ascent speed of 5m/s in sport mode, that means it can fly a height of 2 average human beings - with the other standing atop of the other's head in 1 second, that is fast. Decent 3m/s max speed. Max flight time of 27 minutes (well - know this, none of you will ever reach that time due to the fact that they stated you have to fly at 0 wind, with constant speed of 25kph) with that said, stop hoping for the 27 minutes.

        This thing has a range of 7km, and for a drone that fits in your hand, that is very far - believe me you won't see it at 400m from you.


        Remember that rumour about the gimbal being 2 axis, DJI did it again - it is the tiniest 3 axis gimbal the company has ever made, and it carries a 4k Ultra HD video camera that shoot 4k videos at 30fps, it is a 12 megapixels with a maximum 8 seconds exposure time. DJI partnered with Adobe so this allows you to use DNG RAW from Adobe.

        As I have warned you before starting the blog that this will be a full expansion of my affection to DJI.

        The Mavic is the best drone in the world, it is compact intelligent, and not made of cheap plastic but composit material for that feel good moment - well that is all the times you fly the drone

        Video from Casey Neistat:

        Let's not forget the brilliant DJI video:

        You can also check out a bunch of new videos of the Mavic Pro on the DJI's YouTube channel

        Our Predictions On The DJI Mavic (+ Teaser Video)

        Our Predictions On The DJI Mavic (+ Teaser Video)

        [Updated 27 Sept '16] It has since been launched. Here's a quick overview & why we think it rocks!

        By Vhengani Emmanuel Mudzielwana
        As days crawl to DJI's big announcement, we all grow our anticipation levels on what's really coming up from the company. Rumours of the DJI Mavic grows bigger by the day,  a number of leaked pictures and a teaser video are already circulating around the net leaving the drone communities around the world drooling. 
        From just the pictures it is quite clear that the Mavic may be a pretty cold blow to the Karma (GoPro's answer to cameras in the sky), the Mavic appears to host a list of technical advances taken from the silk and intelligent Phantom 4, underneath the rumoured craft is a well lined Binocular sonic and vision sensors, and on the nose of the craft a set of front obstacle avoidance which will of cause help in assisting the drone to lend considerably smooth and we hope that the craft will have an increased distance and reaction time, together with the reaction speed when avoiding the obstacles.
        The battery life of the Mavic is still a mystery to us as well, though the leaked pictures have the battery's mAh reading to just a little over 3000 which is not the best of things battery concerned that DJI can do, yet with the Mavic being a compact and smaller unit compared the the big boys like the Phantom series and the Inspire 1 series, it may actually give us a considerable flight time compared to the drones that are in its size.

        The teaser video (see it below) that DJI released just a few days ago can only leave you marveled when you think of the agility and reaction speed of the drone, as always with a company like DJI trying to keep its throne in the drone industry, the best is what we look for.
        The Mavic also has one of the best features according to me of course, and protected 2 axis(rumoured of course) gimbal foldable propellers and arms for when you need to pack it compactly so, the top mounted battery for that quick assemble and disassemble which will the best thing ever (finally a drone from DJI that may fit in your backpack).


        What are some of your predictions? Comment below!