The DJI Phantom 2 and H3-3D gimbal used to be the best choice for creating great looking videos. But with the announcement of the new Phantom 2 Vision Plus, it’s getting a lot harder to choose between the two models. In this article, I’m going to point out the differences between the two models and hopefully help you decide which phantom is right for you. If you want to know more about the Phantom 2 Vision Plus check out the announcement article.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Phantom 2 Vision Plus is that it comes with everything you need to get started right away. The only thing you need is an iPhone or Android device. The Phantom 2 on the other hand requires a GoPro Hero 4. It also doesn’t work with your smartphone to control the camera in flight like the Vision Plus does, but it is possible to stream video back to a monitor if you’re willing to buy some parts and do some modifications to it.
Taking into account that the Phantom 2 needs a camera, they both are around the same price. The Phantom 2 Vision Plus is $1300 and the Phantom 2 with H3-3D gimbal and a GoPro hero 4 Black is $1360 (or over $1500 If you want FPV equipment to view live video from the GoPro).
Pros And Cons
Phantom 2 Vision Plus
- All-in-one design makes it super easy to use and understand.
- Raw photo support at 14 megapixels.
- Comes with a 4GB Micro-SD card and can support cards up to 32GB.
- Communication with a smartphone including live video.
- Control camera settings while flying.
- No microphone for recording flight audio.
- Can’t disconnect the camera to use without the Phantom.
- Range extender has to be charged separately from the controller.
- Transmitter communication distance of 800 meters (200 less then the Phantom 2).
- Can use any GoPro Hero 4 model allowing you to shoot 4K at 30fps or 1080p at 120fps.
- Can remove the GoPro to use it for other video projects.
- Communication distance of 1000 meters (200 more then the Phantom 2 Vision Plus).
- No live video or camera adjustments from your smartphone.
- Video could stop recording in flight without you knowing (if SD card is slow).
- No Adobe DNG Raw support.
Camera Specs Comparison
Phantom 2 Vision Plus onboard camera
- Image size: 14 megapixels
- Image format: Adobe DNG Raw, JPEG
- Video recording formats: 1080p 30fps, 1080i 60fps, 720p 60fps
- Recording field of view: 110° to 85°
GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition
- Image size: 12 megapixels
- Image format: JPEG
- Video recording: 4K 30fps, 2.7K 48fps, 1080p 120fps, 720p 120fps, and more…
- Recording field of view: 118° to 64°
In the end it all comes down to what features you want. I personally like the Phantom 2 better because you can use a GoPro, and the Hero 4 Black Edition is definitely a better camera for video than what’s built into the vision plus. I really don’t have a need for the iPhone camera control or live video since I already own FPV equipment, but for a lot of people the Phantom 2 Vision Plus is a great way to go because of how easy it is to use and the all-in-one design.
Phantom 2 Vision Plus Information Video