Photographers who love aerial photography rely on drones such as DJI Phantom 2 that give them precise shots at an excellent FPS. The price tag fits the bill perfectly without burning a hole in your pocket. Besides having a drone for photography sounds a lot cooler. Over course, there are certain rules that you need to follow such flying over restricted zones, safety issues etc. that comes along with these quadcopters. But keeping that aside, what makes the DJI Phantom 2 vision tick with people? Here is the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Review.
Design of the quadcopter
Just like any other quadcopter, it is a four rotor arrangement. This gives you lot of stability, control while in the air. It is designed to be used as a tool which is very important.
A straightforward product, it comes with self-tightening propellers that balances itself during high altitudes. All the Phantom models are frankly quite similar with a slight up gradation here and there. It comes with an instruction manual that covers everything from charging the Phantom to installing the propellers.
A lightweight product, it weights 1,160 grams (2.60lbs). It is available only in white color and the body material is plastic. It comes with FPV camera that has a micro-sd slot. You will also find LED flight indicators that signals you the battery level, GPS mode etc. The built-in wi-fi ensures you that the device is working in proper condition. It also features a range extender that increases the communication between you and your aircraft. The extender also assists in raising the distance to 300mm.
Built-in features of the flight control include
- LED indicators to inform you of battery charge, GPS, compass, IMU, flight functions etc.
- IMU – is an sensor that measures both the altitude and attitude.
- Compass – ensures that the GPS (Global Positioning System) is accurate and delivers exact calculation of your drone’s current position and height for a stable flight. Make sure to calibrate the compass in an open space where there is no fear of any magnetic force. For instance, intrusion of magnetic force from outside can alter the flight control system. Examples include parking structures, steel reinforced underground or any ferromagnetic materials such as cellular phones, keys etc.
Flight Details – Pre-flight, In-flight etc.
Before you kickstart operating a drone, make sure to get a before hand training. The flight simulator is an excellent teacher and will support you on how to work the camera, take/land the flight, altitude level and so on. It is necessary that you get to know the quadcopter to prevent any mishap. Here are some pre-flight checklist that you need to follow.
- Make sure the batteries are full and all the propellers are fixed. The GPS is turned on with proper compass calibration.
- Do not fly the drone in bad weather conditions such as rain, more than normal breeze, fog etc.
- The area of flight must be open. Make sure there is no traffic, cars, buildings, or any other obstacles.
- Keep the quadcopter away from any power lines, trees, rivers, lakes etc.
- Avoid any interference between the remote controller and any other wi-fi equipment. This means ensure there are no cell towers or base stations near the flying zone.
- The control system will not work correctly at North or South Pole.
The Phantom 2 Vision from DJI can fly for 25 minutes and 17 minutes longer than regular drone. Apart from its built-in weight (including the components, propellers etc.), it can carry an extra of 800 grams (1.76 lbs).
Note that the flight time measured is the maximum your drone can fly with no extra weight on its shoulders. This means if you add any extra weight, the charge will go down giving you less hovering time. The flying altitude is 200 meters above sea level i.e. 656 feet at a speed of 15.0m/s. Nevertheless, this distance is based on the operating range that is 500 meters of the drone. Do not fly in extreme weather conditions. The operating temperature is 32OF to 104OF.
A multi-functional aircraft it comes with many features such as –
- Compass calibration
- Flight indicator
- Low voltage protection
- Single axis anti-vibration platform for camera for proper balance and stable images
- Range extender etc.
Flight modes of DJI Phantom 2 Vision include –
- Failsafe function – ensures proper landing in case connection with the flight controller fails. At such an instance, the flight control automatically descends down reducing any damage or injury.
- Ready to fly (non GPS) – the flight will autonomously descend and land. However, the drone may drift off to some other location in the process of landing.
- Ready to fly – Automatic go home and land. The control system works automatically to fly back to the home point and land safely. Note that GPS needs to be turned on for the flight to “return-to-home”.
When you initiate Ready-To-Fly status, the drone will record the GPS coordination including the homepoint. It is always best to check if the Ready to fly status has been confirmed before take off. In case of connection error, failsafe mode will be activated that will aptly descend your drone back to homeland.
In case the take off point is different from the returning point, Dynamic Home Point will be very much useful. It works only with GPS enabled smartphone. All you have to do is siwitch on the GPS and mobile data. This will give higher accurate position of your mobile device.
Abide by all the regulations laid down by organizations such as ICAO, region wise airspace rules to safety measures.
DJI App and Camera
DJI Phantom Vision’s in-built camera comes with 140 degree field view at a 14 megapixel with 30fps. The maximum size that lens can open up is f2.8 (aperture). The camera is multi-functional with many specialties such as multi-capture, continuous capture and timed shot. It supports both RAW and JPEG image formats with High Definition recording of (1080p30/1080i60).
The camera has a memory card slot at the back of it. Make sure to insert the micro-SD card before beginning on aerial photography. One of the highest resolution cameras available, it supports many applications that deliver excellent quality images.
The camera comes with a single axis anti-vibration gimbal that ensures that the camera does not sway away giving you blurred shots. However, this is not the best support for a model of this price. However, you can buy yourself an extra gimbal that will support the camera steadily. The compatible gimbals include DJI Zenmuse H3-3D or H4-3D.
Use your smartphone and DJI app to work in sync with the camera. You will find many capture settings such as ISO, photo size, white balance and so on. DJI Phantom 2 Vision has the ability to shoot both RAW and JPEG simultaneously so use the one best suited for you. Since the photos and videos are stores directly to your SD-card, you can synchronize it to your smartphone and share them immediately. Even the videos are live streaming and can be updated in YouTube easily.
DJI Phantom 2 Vision app works on both Android and iOS smartphones. Set capture, recording, settings, pitch angle adjustments etc. It also displays flight parameters, Wi-Fi signal strength, GPS status, micro-SD card status, battery life and so on. Stay updated with what’s latest on drones with DJI news page that is readily available at a single tap. (You need mobile data for viewing the pages).
The drone sports a high powered Lithium Polymer battery of 5,200 mAh that is larger than the average battery. Do note it is bit heavy to carry. In a way, this outruns its ability to handle extra weight.
Do not use incompatible battery. It is also necessary to use the battery in temperatures from -20OC to 40OC. Using it above 50OC can cause fire or explosion. Similarly, using it below -20OC can cause permanent damage to the battery. Also make sure that the battery does not come in contact with water (i.e. using it in rainy climates). This can cause chemical decomposition that can result in the battery causing fire.
DJI Phantom 2 vision gives you 25 minutes of running time. This is a great amount of time with one charge. This is a pretty decent for most people. Nevertheless, it is always best to buy more power packs if you want to fly longer.
That being said, if you are a serious drone operator, you need to think more about the shots you are planning to capture and making better videos. Natural issues such as too much wind speed, messing up the controls means you need to re-shoot the whole thing again that calls for much more efficient battery life.
DJI Phantom 2 Vision has got 4 out of 5 star ratings from users. A general consensus claim that the product is excellent and the tutorials on the online website of DJI are extremely helpful. They give exact info on how to use the flying machines making any newbie get a grasp of how it works. From propellers to range extender, the quality is excellent and works amazingly.
On the downside, however, few users claim that the battery takes good amount of time to get charged. While the main battery takes an hour or so, extender battery takes more than 3-4 hours to get pumped up. A general consensus state that even the quality of video is shaky due to flimsy gimbal that doesn’t do much when up in the air. This is a crucial point when it comes to Phantom 2 vision. However, if you can spruce up a 3axis gimbal, you will be set for aerial photography.
If you want a straight to use product, then Phantom 2 vision is for you. It will help you to start seeing the world from a different perspective. It is an excellent point for snapping aerial photos and videos. Nevertheless, if you think you want a better photo/video quality, you can consider Phantom 2.