DJI Phantom FC40 quadcopter is for anyone who want to take live streaming videos and photos from aerial viewpoint. A wizard of aerial photography, DJI Phantom FC40 offers you many features such as live HD FPV video, spare propellers, Attitude mode flight and many more.
Design & Features
Capture breathtaking moments with DJI Phantom FC40 that gives you live feed of videos without any buffer attacks. The drone includes FPV camera in itself. However, you can even use your smartphone in sync with the GoPro app.
With a white body with highlights of red, DJI Phantom FC40 comes with strong propellers all in a compact package that easily fits in your backpack. The propellers can self-tighten which takes the worry when your drone is in air. The drone has a built-in battery of 700 mAh Li-ion battery for easy recharge. Silent features such as retractable landing legs, lights under the wings, brushless motors etc. make the quadcopter an excellent choice.
With a single charge, you can get a running time of 15 minutes. To be honest, this is pretty bad when you compare them with other Phantom models. The distance between you and drone is approximately 500 meters max. Driving the drone further can lessen the proximity making it difficult for you to access it.
Capture high definition images/videos at 720p 30fps with streaming speed of 2.4GHz channel using your smartphone. It has an in-built Wi-Fi connection that also streams videos without any difficulty. An ergonomically designed drone, it features a micro-sd card slot and a micro-USB port as well. The LED status under the camera lets you know promptly as to what’s the current function – recording, charging, memory full and so on.
This model has the micro-SD slot right into the camera unlike other phantom models that have the slot placed in the quadcopter.
The camera is light weight with 2.4G Wi-Fi camera and 10x digital zoom. Low latency allows the camera to provide reel feeding as you capture. In-phone album sync helps you to save the videos and photos in your smartphone memory so that you can view them later. The Aperture rate is 2.2f which signifies excellent clarity without any blurred images. Lesser the number, better the clarity. However, 2.2f is a decent aperture diameter giving you quality images.
The only downside is DJI Phantom FC40 does not come with proper set of gimbals. At such point, capturing proficient images/videos can be difficult as the wings tend to interrupt the video. However, if you are willing to loosen the purse strings a bit, you can get yourself an excellent gimbal. Gimbals ensure that your camera stays in place and does not sway around when you change positions in air.
Handling The Flight
Easy adjustable features ensure that you have a safe flight. The aircraft controller is a breeze to learn. As a matter of fact, it is one of the simplest and easiest drone setups you would ever find. It works on four AA batteries for charging and operational purposes. There is built-in GPS that connects easily with the quadcopter. If you are using the GPS module, make sure to calibrate the compass. NOTE THAT only with proper compass calibration and connection is the GPS mode made available to you. Without proper compass module, the system will automatically move to ATTI mode.
The left stick controls the throttle such as up, down and going yaw (rotation). The right stick controls the tilt of the drone. The tilt control is a great feature to grab excellent photos and videos from your system. Increasing the movement of the tilt (maximum is 35O) can result in faster velocity of your flight.
You will find three position switch on the remote controller to handle the flight. There are three flying modes–
- GPS Mode – Automated flight mode. At such a position, the quadcopter will hover around in the same position. This is one of the best mode if you are learning to fly because you get to understand how all the controls work.
- Attitude Mode – a manual mode. Note that your drone will not stay in the same level when you release the control. In fact, it tends to move towards the last direction it was flying. At such points, any change in wind can alter the flight route. However, it does not function entirely on manual mode. This means you can still control the flight using GPS navigation system.
- Intelligent Orientation Control – When your drone is up in the air, it is challenging of determining between head and tail. We can get the controls all mixed up. Here is where Intelligent Orientation Control comes to picture. It keeps the tail pointed at the controller preventing any mishap. You can activate this feature with the Naza software as well.
Failsafe Mode is another feature of DJI Phantom FC40. Turn on the Failsafe mode, if your battery goes down. At such instance, the aircraft will slow down and hover around. Within 3 seconds, the system will then enter failsafe mode. DO NOT TURN ON the transmitter (within 3 seconds) if you want the drone to safely return to home. Turning on the transmitter can exit the failsafe mode that can lead to impromptu landing.
If at all you are sure about turning the transmitter on, you need to have a good knowledge and control on how to get the quadcopter back to ground safely.
If you are placing the DJI Phantom FC40 in GPS mode, make sure you avoid any buildings, trees, traffic etc. Also make sure there are excellent GPS signals before taking off. Similarly, during flight, keep a check on the GPS satellite status indicator. Bear in mind that if the signal is less than 3 (LED flight indicator blinks red twice or thrice), the flight will enter Attitude mode automatically. Worst comes worst, the aircraft may simply fly far away from you even if the transmitter is on, but the signal is weak.
It is always best to calibrate the compass before your first take off. Also make sure to stay away from magnetic force areas or electronic equipment when you are flying. For instance, if you are placing the drone in cars, make sure you do not keep them near the speaker as the compass module can get magnetized. It is also safe not to use ferromagnetic materials such as keys, cell phones etc. Even a magnetic screwdriver can confuse the calibration. If at all you need to use it, make sure to at least give a minimum distance of 10 cm away from the compass module to avoid any magnetic interference.
Make sure to keep a check on battery of aircraft controller. If it indicates low battery, make sure to land it ASAP to prevent the flight from going haywire or crash.
Along with the quadcopter, you will find a LiPo battery with a power of 2200MAH. It also includes a charger with an AC input of 100-240V. Unlike other Phantom models, the charging does not stop autonomously once the battery is full. You have to manually unplug it. Do not overcharge the battery that can challenge its efficiency.
DJI offers you two different voltage protection available when the battery is low.
- LED warning – flashes the LED light red to warn you that the battery is going down.
- Automatic land – the flight will automatically land with the center point of the remote controller going up slowly. At such instance, land the flight to prevent crashing.
This is no game. Ensure that you land the drone ASAP to prevent aircraft from crashing or any other adverse consequences.
The GoPro App offers you to control the drone and the camera with remote assistance. The built-in Wi-Fi makes sure that you capture all the images and record videos at efficient speed. Nevertheless, the app has only basic features such as zoom in, zoom out, camera etc. Unlike other phantom models that carry many promising features, the app of DJI Phantom FC40 scores only average.
Assistant Software For PC &NAZA-M Firmware
DJI Phantom FC40 uses the latest version of NAZA-M firmware – 4.02 released in 2014. Basically, the assistant software’s and NAZA-M firmware’s are used for advanced adjustments of the Phantom FC40. You need to install the drivers and software on your PC. For instance, you need to enable the IOC in the software that assists the users to set the flying direction. The entire steps are provided on the user manual available online for free – http://dl.djicdn.com/downloads/phantom_fc40/en/Phantom_FC40_User_Manual_v1.06_en.pdf
You can view and edit the configurations at your discretion. If you are upgrading the firmware, make sure you have a stable internet connection. Do not power off till the upgrade is completed or else the drone won’t work properly.
The firmware supports both Windows and Mac OS operating system. You can download the software from the official website – www.dji.com.
- Advanced features include live streaming HD FPV video which you can view easily on iOS or on Android smart phones
- Smartphone holder is available on the remote controller. While DJI offers you a cam, it goes well with any GoPro cam with Wi-Fi.
- NAZA-M V2 flight control system with latest up gradation
- Spare set of propellers provided
- Self tightening propellers that adjust themselves during flight
- GPS feature includes safe return to home facility
- Mobile app does not indicate the battery level.
- The product does not come with any instruction manual with the package though it is available online.
- At such a price, you would expect the quadcopter to come with at least efficient V2 props, extended Wi-Fi or at least a large battery seen in following Phantom models.
- The camera is not self adjusting during flight.
- Pre-flight Training mode is not available with this drone. This makes the users hog the manual and try it on their own.
DJI Phantom FC40 Reviews
The product has received 4.0 out of 5 star ratings from users. Many drone-lovers claim the product is excellent both performance and quality wise. Many tried different cameras (based at their discretion) to capture excellent aerial photography. Though there are no additional gimbals, the image quality is fantastic even when the drone moves at high speed or tilted frequently.
Just like any other product under the sun, this device too has its share of downsides. For instance, handful of users claim they did not receive an instruction manual along with the drone. Though it is available online, owning a hardcopy saves you good amount of time. Few users said that there is no pre-flight introductory session that can support newbies to gain confidence before actually “flying the drone”.
DJI Phantom FC40 is available at amazon. Here are few of the amazon customer reviews.
An Author – “Lots of fun. My husband loved it. But it is a bit loud. Probably better to use it in park than in the backyard.”
Rodman – “I have been having a ball with Phantom FC40. I even mastered how to get it through loops by reprogramming the S1 switch. I know its scary but I still do it.”
Bradley N. – “A great drone. Incredibly easy to fly. You do not need any prop guards if you are capable and careful enough to handle. I tipped mine many times on grass but there was no damage at all. Great product. But do make sure you order additional batteries for extra flying time.”
DJI Pahntom FC40 is a great product was released back in 2014. It is slightly outdated but for beginners this is a great product that is available at an economical rate. The smart camera offers great clarity with efficient aperture not to mention that it is absolutely user friendly. Though it is certainly not the best, it is pretty decent for those who are on the learning stage of handling drone for aerial photography.