The Phantom 4 Advanced just entered the Phantom family! With the Phantom 4 having recently been discontinued, the Phantom 4 Advanced has taken its place and the budget version of the most current Phantom design. In this article, we’ll take a look at how the new Phantom 4 Advanced compares to its predecessor, the Phantom 4.
Let’s start by taking a look at the Phantom 4’s camera. Released in March of 2016, the Phantom 4 has an impressive 4K camera that shoots 12 MP still and achieves impressive ISO levels. Stills taken with a Phantom 4 look vibrant in RAW or JPEG format. When it comes to video, the P4 shoots 4096×2160 footage at 25 fps and 4K UHD footage at 30 fps. If you don’t need the full 4K treatment, there are also options to shoot in 2K, Full HD, or 720p. Additionally, live video streams to your mobile device in 720p when downlink resolution is set as high as possible.
The Phantom 4 is an excellent drone, but the Phantom 4 Advanced features many notable advancements. Its 20 MP camera shoots 4K at up to 60 fps, which is perfect for slow motion shots. Perhaps most notably, the Phantom 4 Advanced’s camera has a mechanical shutter, which eliminates rolling shutter effect. Also, the camera has an adjustable aperture, which lets you play with depth of field in your shots. Phantom 4 Advanced footage is compressed at 100 Mbps using H.265, an improvement from the H.264 60 Mbps encoding offered by the Phantom 4. When it comes to image quality, the Phantom 4 Advanced is a big step forward.
Intelligent Flight Modes
With a wide range of flight modes, including ActiveTrack (which follows a subject automatically using visual data and machine learning algorithms) and TapFly (where the drone flies in a straight line to wherever you tap on screen), the Phantom 4 is one of the smartest quadcopters currently available.
The Phantom 4 Advanced has all the modes you’ll recognize from the P4 with some new ones added. Tripod Mode lowers input sensitivity, so you can fly confidently in tight spaces. Draw mode lets you draw a path on screen for the Phantom 4 Advanced to follow.
Apart from the new modes, some existing modes have been improved. ActiveTrack now has three sub-modes that help you capture different kinds of tracking shots. A new sub-mode of TapFly called Free mode allows the aircraft to rotate while moving along its flight path. So, while the P4 has great flight modes, the Phantom 4 Advanced improves those modes and adds some more.
The Phantom 4 Advanced has a maximum control range of 7 km, compared to Phantom 4’s 5 km. You should always be flying within line of sight, so this extra 2 km shouldn’t matter all that much. But it can be nice in certain situations, like if you have a spotter.
The Phantom 4 Advanced has a longer flight time than Phantom 4 at about 30 minutes in ideal conditions, compared to the Phantom 4’s 28 minutes. That flight time estimate is specifically for Positioning mode, in which it can fly at up to 31mph and avoid obstacles in front of itself. If you want to fly in Sport mode, you’ll get a top speed of 45mph, but your flight times will generally be less and obstacle avoidance will be disabled.
Here are some things you need to know before you buy a Phantom 4 Advanced:
- Phantom 4 Advanced batteries have a 5870 mAh capacity, while the Phantom 4’s are 5350 mAh. This explains why the Advanced can fly longer. However, one nice surprise is that both batteries can be used with either drone. So if you have a P4 and want to upgrade to a Phantom 4 Advanced Buy Now!, your batteries will still be usable.
- You can buy a Phantom 4 Advanced with an ultra-bright 5.5 inch full HD display built into the remote controller for $1499, or get the standard remote controller and save $300.
- Another advantage of the Phantom 4 Advanced is that ND filters aren’t as much of a necessity; you can just adjust your aperture instead.
So, should you upgrade from a Phantom 4 to a Phantom 4 Advanced? If you can afford it, you should definitely consider it. If you can wait, watch our review of the Phantom 4 Advanced and make a decision after that.