DJI Phantom 3 Professional review

DJI's groundbreaking 4K-enabled drone takes to the skies

Phantom 3 Professional

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Despite looking much the same as the previous generation, the Phantom 3 is a big step forward. It's easy to fly, and offers unparalleled control over the capture of stunning video footage and video at a decent price.

It might not have some of the autopilot features, such as 360 selfies, that exisiting users of Phantom's were hoping for and which will appear on the upcoming Hexoplus, but the auto take off and land, as well as home recall, are great a start.

In the past anyone wanting to fly a quadcopter might have liked the idea, but once in possession of the controls they would likely have found that it wasn't as easy to fly as they'd thought. The Phantom 3, however is, and with the support of live view to check on the direction of flight, anyone should be able to fly the Phantom 3 in little or no time.

The standout feature is the small camera's 4K video capability, which is excellent with just enough options over resolution and manual exposure to satisfy both photographers and videographers. The camera produces stunning footage, and once you're familiar with the app and its settings it's incredibly easy to use and control.

The addition of direct control for starting and stopping video recording on the handset, and the ability to tilt the camera along with the live view for composition, make the Phantom a quadcopter that's easy to recommend to videographers and photographers.

The Phantom 3 has everything you need for hassle-free flying and high-quality video capture, the integration of flight and camera control make this a complete package that is easy to understand and use.

Drones, multirotors, quadcopters or whatever you want to call them have been causing a fair amount of controversy over the last couple of years, and as their popularity increases there are more incidents reported about the misuse. If you are thinking of buying one, read the guidelines and check the rules with your aviation authority. For more details in the UK, see the Civil Aviation Authority website.

Final verdict

The Phantom is the easiest drone to fly to date, and offers an all-new advanced flight control, high-quality 4K video and a set of GPS features that ensures the Phantom 3 delivers on more than just specs. Photographers and videographers will be impressed both the video and stills, and with the iOS and Android integration that enables live video to stream direct from the drone's camera to the ground. Anyone new to drones will find that they're able to fly the Phantom 3 within a short time, and the app and DJI Phantom community provide a vibrant and exciting network.

Imaging Lab Manager

Ali Jennings is the imaging lab manager for Future Publishing's Photography portfolio. Using Imatest Master and DxO Analyser he produces the image quality tests for all new cameras and lenses review in TechRadar's cameras channel. Ali has been shooting digital since the early nineties and joined Future's Photography portfolio back in 2003.