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      Reviews — DJI Inspire

      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 Range Specifications Explained

      DJI Range Specifications Explained

      Curious about some of the range specifications for the various DJI products? Search no more.  Here's a bit of useful information from our friend Grant recording the times at Pretoria altitude. 

      In South Africa, we fall within the CE Specifications, the same as Europe, and that means we are limited to half the transmission power as compared to the USA. DJI automatically adjusts the power output of the transmitters depending where the craft is being flown. This is not something that can be bypassed.




      DJI Phantom 4*  up to 3.5 km
      DJI  Phantom 4 Pro  up to 3.5 km
      DJI Mavic Pro  up to 4.0 km
      DJI Inspire 1  to 3.5 km
      DJI Inspire 2   up to 3.5 km

      *It uses Lightbridge for the Control and the Live Video feed to the operator

      Please remember in South Africa the CAA has limited Drone flying to 500 m of the operator, so the figures are academic anyway.


      If you've ever asked the question "How far can I fly my drone from me?", it's highly likely that you've ventured on to DJI and other website for the answers. The other specification on the DJI website that can be confusing is the flight time. All of the Flight Times on the DJI website are for Standard Sea Level, with no wind.

      If we look at the Phantom 4 specification, we see the following:

      Max Flight Time Approx. 28 minutes

      On the Highveld, in Pretoria or Johannesburg, we are over 1 km above sea level, and generally we are much hotter than the standard sea level specification, so we experience reduced flight times.

      So, how long does the Phantom battery last? My Phantom 4 consistently produces flights of 18 minutes, with the flight battery down to 30%.

      Please take note of this.

      What To Expect With The New Phantom

      What To Expect With The New Phantom

      By Wouter Du Toit

      DJI have released a video the past week and have their website setup to launch an event today (Tuesday 1st of March).

      If you want to see what is coming, I recommend you tune in today at about 6:40pm on the website and see what tech they are bringing to the drone industry. As the leaders in the field, I believe it will surely be of interest.  

      From the first Phantoms to the Phantom 2 with great advances we’ve been fortunate to see how the company has improved on the tech with regards to photography, gimbal stabilisation and flight, and it has brought it all together in a fun and usable way with the Phantom 3 range. It even launched a new Infra Red camera for the Inspire range  to be used to analyse buildings that are on fire to see where the fire’s core is, to analyse water distribution with regards to irrigation and land optimisation. They then launched the DJI OSMO which made the idea of capturing some professionally stabilised 4K video a possibility at a fraction of the cost of renting high-end production equipment.

      The drone casings are mainly made in a white polymer, but this isn’t the only reason the company can be compared to be Apple. When considering Design, usability and the capabilities it offers it’s inline with one of the largest companies in the world.
      So what do we know about this event tonight and what can we expect from the DJI team?  
      The rumours we have are the following:
      • That the new Phantom is rather shiny instead of the matte white we know.
      • The motors will be enclosed from above so it is more and ‘protected’ and ‘weather-sealed’. 
      • The gimbal has been moved to the inside of the casing which will reduce issues with it. 
      • It will most likely be called the Phantom 4
      • They won’t launch anything for the Inspire range because the Inspire 1 is relatively new on the market. 
      • It won’t be waterproof
      • It won’t have retractable landing gear like that of the Inspire Pro
      • The camera can have a 6K sensor but this is unlikely due to most people not even having 4K televisions yet.
      It seems as though they will focus on the camera mainly. Let’s see tonight!