I’m already Impressed with this drone
When the DJI Mavic Pro was released back in 2016, I was quite impressed with the shots I could get, especially considering how small it was. Now that the Phantom 4 Pro is out, It’s hard to go back to anything else. If you were to ignore the other features of the Phantom 4 Pro, just the video quality alone is enough to stop me from using my Inspire 1 Pro. It’s truly at a new level from any other drone but the Inspire 2 right now.
Before doing a review of the Phantom 4 Pro, I really wanted to get some good use out of it before coming to any conclusions. This video just shows what kind of shots I could get on one of my first flights, but I can already see that this is going to be my go-to drone for the year, or at least until the Phantom 5 comes out someday.
How The Video Was Shot
We shot the video in the Sonoran desert of Mexico just outside of Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point). The vehicle in the video is a UTV called the Maverick. This version is known as the Maverick X3 XRS. It weighs about 1,500 pounds, has 150 horsepower, 4WD and Fox suspension with 24 inches of travel. In other words, it’s a mini trophy truck.
If you already watched the video, you probably noticed a guy in the passenger seat of the Maverick. That’s me. Because of how low and fast I wanted to fly, I had to be inside of the vehicle, flying the Phantom 4 Pro line-of-sight in Sport mode at max speed. According to the flight logs, the Phantom 4 Pro reached speeds of over 50MPH (5MPH faster than its max speed) due to wind conditions.
The Video Settings I Used
For the frame rate, the first 40 seconds of video was shot at 48fps and slowed down to 24fps. The shots after that were shot at 24fps in the h.265 codec to get the best video quality. The only downside about h.265 over h.264 is that it isn’t supported by most video editors yet. I know that converting the h.265 clips to an editable format is annoying, but for me, it’s still worth the effort.
I knew I wanted to color grade the footage after shooting it, so I decided to shoot using the D-Log color profile. Surprisingly, the colors turned out just how I wanted them. This was one of the first times I shot D-Log and didn’t regret it, thanks to the higher bitrate video with fewer compression artifacts.
Since this was my first time using the Phantom 4 Pro, I didn’t touch the sharpness, contrast, or saturation settings. In this case, I think default settings worked out fine.
Exposure settings are something I never leave in auto. For both the slow motion shots and the regular ones, my exposure settings were ISO 100, shutter 100, and aperture f11. These weren’t the ideal settings to use, but without any ND filters, it was as close as I could get. Unfortunately, a lot of the shots were a bit overexposed, but it’s better than having a shutter speed of 800, which is what it would’ve been without aperture control.