My second flight was over the California Coastline. And on this day, it was INCREDIBLY windy. So much so, that I had to launch the Phantom 4 from behind my car so that I could get it in the air without blowing over. Even in this blustering wind, I was able to maneuver the drone exactly where I wanted it. Compared to the Phantom 2 and Phantom 3, this new version seems to be easier to fly and the battery lasts noticeably longer.
Here is the video of a big wave crash, as I followed the wave in towards the beach:
For my third flight, I was back in San Francisco to speak at the Canon Learning Center. I drove up to the city early so that I would have time to fly the drone. I ended up at the Ferry Building and thought that this would be the perfect place to try some of the new features of the Phantom 4 and accompanying software. The updated software has a host of new features, one of which can automatically follow any object or person. More on that later. The one new feature that I was most excited to try out was the auto circling feature. And wow – this worked out beautifully!
Check out this video flying over the Ferry Building:
As you can see, I was able to fly a perfect circle around the Ferry Building. In the past, I have tried this countless times, but have always found myself either over or under rotating. But now I can set a center point in the software (on my iPad), fly the Phantom 4 out to the distance I desire, set the speed and direction and fly perfectly around that point. Here is what I did for this video. I flew the P4 directly over the clock tower of the Ferry Building, set that as the center point, and then let the software do the rest. I am now in love with this new feature!
In March of 2015 I flew my Phantom 3 over the construction site of the massive new Apple Campus that they are building in Cupertino, CA.
Below is a new video taken last weekend, using the Phantom 4. You can see that they have made quite a bit of progress on the building. And DJI has made a lot of progress on their drones. Not only is the newer drone easier to fly, but you will also see that the still and video quality is significantly sharper than before.
Whenever people see me flying the Phantom, they alway come up and ask me the same two questions. The first question is: How hard is it to learn to fly these things? For the which the answer is, It is really easy. The drone has GPS built-in, and the controls are incredibly easy to work, so it is actually simple. The second most common question is: How long does the battery last? The battery on the Phantom 4 seems to last about 25 minutes, which is really very adequate for most of what I shoot. I do recommend buying a second battery to give more flying time.