What’s up guys, in today’s Tech Gear Talk we’re going to look at the DJI Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian and talk about why it’s one of the best prosumer drones out on the market.
This drone was recently released by DJI and it’s identical in specs to the white Phantom 4 Pro. The only real difference is that the drone itself, as well as the controller and even the batteries have this super nice gunmetal gray, or matte black finish to them. So in addition to being ranked highly by pretty much every online publication, it’s definitely one of the cooler looking drones you’ll see.
My goal with every product review is to give you a detailed overview of the product features as they relate to real life use. If you find it helpful please let me know by giving it a like and consider hitting the subscribe and notification button for more drone and tech reviews.
We’ll get into the specs in a bit more detail later on in the video but I’d like to go over some highlights first. If you’re familiar with the white Phantom 4 Pro, you’ll notice that the specs are exactly the same, and actually you can use the white batteries and charger on the Obsidian model. So this review actually applies to both models. Ok, so let’s looks at some highlights. The phantom 4 Pro has:
Alright, so let’s start looking at this drone it a bit more detail and I’ll cover the aspects that I take into consideration when I make a buying decision about a drone. If you do end up choosing to get one of these or any of the accessories, it would mean a lot to me if you would use the affiliate links I have in the description, it doesn’t cost you anything and it helps support my channel and makes it possible for me to get more products and create more reviews for you.
Those are definitely 2 things we’re looking for because we want to reduce as much movement in the body as possible so that it doesn’t transfer onto the gimbal and camera and impacts image quality. And naturally a lighter drone means longer flight time.
Of course, the Phantom 4 Pro uses brushless motors, which have a super long lifespan, are powerful, efficient and help keep the drone and camera leveled.
It doesn’t get as small as the Mavic Pro because the bigger body and the fact that it doesn’t fold down at all, but it’s much more portable and easier to deploy than the Inspire 1 Pro, because the camera is always attached and ready to go.
The Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian has a battery with a maximum flight time of 30 minutes, which is very long. I always recommend that you pick up at least one extra battery for whatever drone you buy so that you can extend your flight time. I have 2 extra batteries for the Mavic, and 3 extra batteries for the Inspire 1 Pro because I hate missing a shot if I run out of batteries.
DJI also used an advanced battery management system that prevents the battery from overcharging and over draining. And when you store the batteries long-term, they will discharge power to maintain good health.
If you get multiple batteries, you may want to consider getting a charging hub so that you can put all of your batteries on it and it will automatically move on to the next battery once the first one is full, rather than having to switch them out yourself on the provided charger.
This model is the Phantom 4 Pro+ so it includes a super bright 5.5 inch 1080p screen which helps overcome the challenges of glare when shooting outdoors in direct sunlight. The transmitter comes with the DJI app and some basic android apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and a browser.
I like the fact that I don’t have to use my cell phone and that it’s not another thing I have to charge, because of course the display is connected to the transmitter and they are charged at the same time.
Pretty standard operation for a DJI transmitter. You hit the power button once to see the current battery life, or tap it once then hold it for a few seconds to turn the transmitter on. There is also in indicator light here that shows you if it’s connected to the drone. Red means it’s not, and green means it’s connected.
So this isn’t just true for drones, with any camera, if you’re interested in image quality, you should look at sensor size before you look at resolution, or the number of pixels.
The camera can record video at up to 4K at 60fps and Full HD, or 1080P at up to 120fps which is super nice if you want to do slow motion shots. What’s really nice about being able to shoot in 4K, is that if you export in 1080P, you can re-frame and crop the video to get the exact shot you want. If you have any questions about that, just let me know in the comments section.
On the side of the drone, you’ll see a Memory card slot where your micro SD card will go. The Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian comes with a 16GB card, and you might want to get a larger card, especially if you plan on using multiple batteries. It’s always a good idea, especially if you’re recording 4K get a fast micro SD card. I’ll put some links in the description to some cards that I use and really like. Make sure that when you insert the card you put it in upside down. It’s a little counterintuitive but you don’t want to get it stuck in there facing the wrong way.
One last nice feature that aerial photographers are going to like is that the camera actually has a mechanical shutter. The reason for why that is so important, is that a mechanical shutter eliminates the rolling shutter distortion that you sometimes get when using an electronic shutter to take pictures of fast moving subjects, or when flying at high speeds.
One of the things I wanted to mention is the cable leading from the camera into the body of the Phantom 4 Pro is hanging out of the gimbal, a little vulnerable. Would be better if it were recessed. It’s not a super big deal but it does make it more likely that it would get damaged if you hit some branches.
Of course you can avoid that by not flying into a tree… but nobody’s perfect.
I’ve read a review about someone having the gibmal brush against this cable and it causing some issues with the camera. This was resolved by tucking the cable away, but I have not experienced that and haven’t had any issues.
I do want to highlight the improved Return to Home feature though. It actually records and tracks the flight path so it can return to home while avoiding obstacles if the transmitter ever loses connection with the drone or if you lose sight of it.
There are also infrared sensors on the left and right sides of the Phantom 4 Pro, but they are not the same as the ones on the front and back. They do a good job, but don’t work in every flight mode so you can definitely still crash if you’re not careful.
I always look at these types of features as insurance, rather than something I blindly rely on. It’s super nice to have and at the same time I make sure I do everything I can to prevent the drone from ever having to use these sensors to prevent an accident.
That should be plenty fast for what most people are going to need. I’m rarely finding that I would like to go faster with any of my drones while shooting video. I could see if I was shooting a car or something like that, and I’ve followed boats before with my Inspire 1, but 45 MPH is very fast.
What’s more important to me is that you can fly at up to 31 MPH with full multi-directional obstacles avoidance. That means that even as you’re performing fairly high speed maneuvers, the drone is still capable of avoiding obstacles. To me, that’s a big plus!
As far as range goes, the Phantom 4 Pro uses DJI’s upgraded Lightbridge HD video transmission system. This system uses Time Division Multiplexing which lets us send controller signals and receive video transmission signals at the same frequency. The Phantom 4 Pro constantly evaluates local signal levels and chooses the transmission frequency with the lowest level of interference.
This may be a lot of technical info for you, but it allows the Phantom 4 Pro to have a maximum video transmission range of 4.3 miles, 7km. The connection is super solid and there is no need for any extenders or modifications. Let’s not forget that this range assumes the best flight conditions possible and line of sight.
Now, I’m not one to fly the drone that far away from me anyways, I’m a conservative and safe pilot. And always, you should obey the flight rules that apply in the areas where you are flying.
The camera can shoot 20MP images and video at up to 4K @ 60 fps and Full HD or 1080P at up to 120 fps for even more impressive slow motion. FlightAutonomy with redundant sensors give the Phantom 4 Pro five directions of obstacle avoidance to help prevent accidents. It has a top speed of 45 mph in Sport mode and a maximum control range of 4.3 miles.
There are a ton of intelligent flight modes and the batteries offer up to 30 minutes of flying time. If you do choose to go with the + model, the remote will come with a super bright, built-in 1080P display which means you don’t have to use your cell phone or tablet. The Phantom 4 Pro is currently selling for $1499 and the Plus model sells for $1799. I’ll put links in the description because there are always promotions and discounts and the links will be automatically updated with the lowest pricing.
I really hope this video gave you a good overview of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. If it was, please let me know by giving it a thumbs up, tweet it, share it, and if you haven’t yet, hit that subscribe and notification buttons. You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @techgeartalk.
Good luck and see you soon.