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We are now on day 2 of our 7 day review of the DJI Phantom 4. Today we’re going to be taking a look at the new DJI GO app. We’re going to see what has changed and what new features are available on the Phantom 4 that you don’t get with the Phantom 3. If you have any questions about the app (or anything Phantom 4 related) leave a comment below!
In the main view, there isn’t much of a change going from the Phantom 3 to the Phantom 4. The main thing that you will notice is the new obstacle avoidance symbols near the top of the screen. There are 4 sections that represent the field of view for the obstacle avoidance system. Since I was indoors while taking these screen shots, every possible bar was showing up. The system seems to start showing obstacles at around 20 feet with the yellow bars and then keeps increasing the number of bars until you get to about 2 feet away.
I’m glad that they added this feature, because it allows you to see if the obstacle avoidance system is actually working before trying to run into things. Another thing that you will see is the new flight mode icon located under the takeoff and landing buttons.
After pushing the blue flight mode button, you’re taken into a new flight mode menu where you’ll find all of the new features like Active Track and Tap Fly, as well as the old features like Follow Me. One thing that I thought was odd is how sport mode wasn’t in this list. This is probably because they don’t want new pilots messing around with it.
Taking a look at the MC settings page, you will see the new flight mode switch. This is where you’ll find Sport Mode, but only after enabling it in the menu screen above. I personally think they should rename this switch to something like “manual override” because they took out the old Intelligent flight modes and moved them to the new flight mode button in the app.
In P Mode, the P stands for Positioning. This is the mode for anyone who wants obstacle avoidance, and any of the special flight modes like active track.
In S Mode, S stands for Sport. In Sport Mode, you’re basically getting a faster and more stable Phantom 3. GPS and VPS (visual positioning system) is still active, but obstacle avoidance and all of the special flight modes are turned off.
In A Mode, things get really hard. A stands for Attitude Mode, and this means that there’s nothing to keep the Phantom 4 in one spot. It will drift around due to wind or turbulence and you have to use your expert piloting skills to keep it from hitting anything. You might be wondering why anyone would want to fly in Attitude Mode, but there are still some situations where it makes sense. One example would be flying indoors in a dark environment. In a situation like this, the positioning cameras won’t be able to see and the GPS won’t be able to lock on to enough satellites, so manual flying is the only option.
From the MC settings menu, if you tap on the advanced section and then go into the sensors page, you can see the new IMU (inertia measurement unit) and compass settings. In here, you can easily check on the IMU values for IMU 1 and IMU 2. If the values are green, that means everything is great. If the values are yellow, you can still fly, but it might be a good idea to do a re-calibration if you want the best performance. If the values are red, calibration is mandatory. Make sure you also take a look at the compass section every now and then.
There’s a new section called Visual Positioning System. This is where you can take full advantage of the obstacle avoidance sensors. The first setting in this screen is for turning the main Obstacle avoidance on and off. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just fly in Sport Mode if you wanted these things off, but it’s nice that they give you the option.
The next setting is for Tap Fly. When turning on horizontal obstacle avoidance, the Phantom 4 will fly around obstacles (when it can) instead of going over them. If you turn this on, make sure to test it out at slow speeds first before turning the speed setting up in Tap Fly Mode.
The last setting is for active track, and it allows the Phantom 4 to fly backwards while tracking you. I would leave this off until you get comfortable using Active Track.
This next section isn’t actually new, but I don’t think enough People know about it, so I’ll show it to you anyway. If you go to the Advanced Settings page in the camera section, you will find all of these useful settings for tuning the camera tilt to your liking. Gimbal Tilt Expo controls the speed of the camera when you move the tilt wheel. Gimbal Tilt Smooth Track allows you to adjust how smooth the transitions are from one input to another. So if you move the tilt wheel really fast and then stop, it will smoothly come to a stop instead of stoping instantly.
In the picture above, you will see the settings I found that work best for me, but you can play around with it until you’re happy with how your videos look. That’s all I have for today. This has been Day 2 of the 7 Day Review. In the next part, we will be doing a real world flight test to see how much more flight time the DJI Phantom 4 has over the Phantom 3.
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