As we may all know, the Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire 2 are two of DJI’s top professional-level drones. However, as a professional photographer, I know from experience the importance of choosing the right drone. So what sets these two drones apart from one another?
The Phantom 4 Pro: Professional Quality in a Smaller Design
The Phantom 4 Pro is a smaller drone with a 24 mm fixed focal length and 1” sensor, shooting still photos at 20 MP and 4K videos at up to 60fps (Related: The Phantom 4 Pro hands on ). To add to your creativity, it also offers a mechanical shutter for more control over the lens. This drone is capable of achieving flight times of up to 30 minutes, and with sensors on the bottom, front and sides of the aircraft, it has one of the most advanced sensor systems available. At a price point of around $1500, the Phantom 4 Pro is the ideal drone for any professional aerial photographer (Related: 8 Crucial Things to Know Before Buying a Photography Drone).
The Inspire 2: Full-Sized and Customizable for the Big-Screen
The Inspire 2 is a much bigger drone with the capability of holding a micro 4/3 camera. With the 15 mm (30 mm equivalent) coming standard on the Zenmuse X5S, the focal length is 6 mm longer than the Phantom 4 Pro, which could make a difference when shooting (Related: New Inspire 2 Testing: Top-Flight). However, on a mount like this, you are capable of using a variety of different lenses to fit whatever you’re shooting. With the micro 4/3 sensor putting out still images at 20.8 MP and 4K video at up to 60 fps, the image quality on these drones is shockingly similar. With the Inspire 2 however, you can upgrade your filming capabilities to 5.2K RAW with Cinema DNG and Apple Pro Res 4444. With the extra size of this drone, you can achieve flight times up to about 22 minutes with safety assurance from its top, bottom and front sensors. At a price point of about $6500, the Inspire 2 is the ideal drone for professional photographers looking to push the limits of their creativity.
Between these two drones, the biggest separating factors would be their size, choice of lenses, and image quality. With a few things to keep in mind when thinking about your next drone, remember that right out of the box, both of these drones are capable of achieving some amazing quality that any professional would truly appreciate.
So Which Drone Should You Buy?
In the end, this is the biggest question you have to ask yourself. With two drones entirely capable of satisfying nearly any professional and their client, I believe the choice comes down to what you will be using it for and how much you are willing to spend. The decision is ultimately up to your needs. For me, I wanted to step up the quality of my aerial photography, use different lenses, upgrade the quality of higher-end work when I got there, and also be able to perform dual operation. In this case, I realized that if I wanted all of those perks, my budget for a drone was going to have to be significantly higher. Going for the Inspire 2 over the Phantom 4 Pro simply opened up more options for me in the near future, once I could learn how to operate it.
If you are using your drone for travel, real estate, lifestyle, or personal use, the Phantom 4 Pro is a great, professional-level drone that will achieve every shot you need. If you are looking to do any high-end commercial or production work with the flexibility to make upgrades to your drone along the way, choose the Inspire 2. It will be your best option before upgrading to a larger system like the S1000 or Matrice 600, on which you can mount a dedicated photo or cinema camera.
One More Thing
Consider your budget. Think about what you will be using the drone for, what features you may like to have, and what you are looking to use it for in the future. The budget doesn’t just stop in the pocketbook. Consider the cost of convenience: Do you want to lug around a 50 lb case, or would you rather grab a 20 lb bag to throw over your shoulder? Do you want to take a few minutes to set up and mount a lens, or do you want to take your drone out, put the props on, and fly?
Every photographer is different and your decision should be based on your needs. Either way, both the Phantom 4 Pro and the Inspire 2 are outstanding camera drones for professional use.
You might also like:
Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian: Unboxing and Hands-on
Life at Sea from the Air – Photographing Ships with the Phantom 4 Pro
Inspire 2 Image Quality In-Depth Review: Part I
Practice Makes Perfect: Lessons from an Inspire 2 Photographer