DJI Phantom 4 Drone – Is It Worth all the Attention?
Ever since the DJI Mavic Pro saw the light of the day, more and more people became unsecure regarding their model choice - Should they opt for the P4 series, or go with the Mavic?
Ever since the DJI Mavic Pro saw the light of the day, more and more people became unsecure regarding their model choice – Should they opt for the P4 series, or go with the Mavic? Furthermore, many P4 owners, feel like their drone had become and an obsolete model, even though a year hasn’t passed since it was released.
So, the big question here is – Are the Phantoms really worth it?
To find an answer to that question, we will first talk about the targeted groups that should be more interested in the Mavic over of the Phantoms.
Sport and Adventure Oriented People
Those who are skiing, motocross riding, skating, climbing, or love any other adrenaline pumped activity, will look for a lightweight, packable, high-quality filming solution. This is where the Mavic performs the best, and is the most obvious choice for this group of potential drone owners.
So, thanks to the highly portable design, and the same modes like follow me, point of interest and such, the Mavic takes a huge win over the Phantom 4 in this discipline. And speaking of useful modes that allow you to create awesome action sports videos, the DJI drones aren’t the only noteworthy follow me drone models on the market, as many other manufacturers produce high-quality drones with the same and even better autopilot features.
Professional Aerial Photography and Videos
Even when it comes to professional aerial filming and photography, the Mavic has the advantage as it has a narrower field of view over the Phantom. The P4 offers 94 degrees, while the Mavic nearly 79 degrees, and the wider the FOV, the more noticeable is the fisheye effect in the video or the image.
Furthermore, the Mavic has the same 12MP camera that delivers smooth videos thanks to the same 3-axis gimbal the P4 comes with. And, both drones can shoot both JPEG and RAW photos. To get a better idea of what we are talking about, you can check the video quality comparison in the video, a bit lower in the article, where we explain the image quality more in-depth.
This is the group that includes people who are considered to be a more, less frequent type of flyers, but are still looking for drone models that offer the quality of prosumer models. So, even if what you want to do, is occasionally take your bird in the air and have a bird’s eye view of the park, just for fun, and maybe make some cool videos and photos while doing that, going for the Mavic over the Phantom would seem like a more logical choice. Especially, if you take the price difference into consideration.
Inspectors – First on the Scene Responders
For those who need a drone to reach and monitor from the above, some otherwise unreachable areas, the Mavic would be a much better choice. For starters, in order to be mobile before taking off, the Phantom needs its propellers to be taken off, while the Mavic comes with a design that allows its propellers to simply fold and always stay on.
So, the obvious conclusion here is that the Mavic can be ready to be deployed right away, thus it can reach the endangered area faster, not to mention that it can go further than the Phantom.
When the Mavic first appeared on the market, the biggest question was “Is the image quality worse than with the Phantom 4?” Some of the first review videos didn’t offer enough proof that the Mavic’s camera delivers better or even the same quality as the P4’s, which resulted with many concerns and some even claimed that the DJI did that on purpose so that the Mavic wouldn’t be a threat to the P4.
However, now, when both the models had been “measured” the right way, we can clearly see that this is definitely not the case. Sure, the Phantom offers a wider FOV, as we already mentioned, but other than that, their cameras and the stabilization systems are virtually the same. Both of the cameras perform well in low light conditions and their ISO can go up to 3200, only the Mavic’s images look narrower. To compare the image quality of the two models, check the video below:
Furthermore, what gives the Mavic yet another advantage, is the fact that it comes with an autofocus lens. This makes the Mavic’s camera more useful and gives your shots a better depth of field. Again, to get a better idea what we are talking about, you can check the video where it is explained how easy it is to focus on the subject in front of your drone, or how the focus can be set to infinity so that the objects that are much more away from you, can stay sharp.
The bottom line? Going from P4 to Mavic doesn’t seem like a step down, at least when the image quality is concerned.
Connection and Controllers
As for connectivity, the Mavic yet again wins. Its connection is more reliable and offer a breathtaking control range of 7 km, which is some 3 km further than the Phantom 4. When it comes to controllers, the Mavic’s one is quite small and portable, and offers basic flight information on an LCD screen.
On the other hand, the Phantom’s controller is way less compact and packable, and doesn’t have a screen for those most important information during the flight.
If you want our honest, personal opinion, the biggest advantage that still keeps the P4 in the game is its better flight stability when confronted with winds, mostly due to bigger overall size and frame.
On the paper, the Mavic comes with an improved propulsion system, which should result in the same stability in the winds as the P4. But, out on the field and numerous tests, the Phantom takes the win as it is more stable.
Furthermore, the P4 controller gives you the option of using a large-sized tablet such as the iPad Air2, iPad Pro, and iPad Mini, which is a huge pro if you already have one of these.
The conclusion? Most see the Phantom 4 as a professional video production model, while the Mavic is for everything else.
The Bottom, Bottom Line
After all the calculations and comparison, we still believe that owning a Phantom 4 is more of an advantage than owning a Mavic. Both models deliver great looking photos and videos, but each of them has its own advantage over the other. The P4 is more “windproof”, while the Mavic is easier to carry around and deploy in a few seconds, and can be flown more aggressively.
At the end, the final decision is yours and you need to figure out which overall package is most suitable for you. But, if you don’t own a drone and not sure between the two mentioned, our advice is to opt for the Mavic as it is easy to put in a backpack or even a pocket and take where ever you want, and come back with the same jaw dropping footage as you would if you had a Phantom 4.