In April 2014, DJI released an upgraded version of its popular consumer drone, the Phantom 2 Vision+. The DJI Phantom series is one of the first types of quadcopter drones designed with consumers in mind. The simplicity of the controls and thoughtful configuration works to eliminate the challenges of first time flying. The DJI Vision app is used on a mobile phone or tablet device in conjunction with a hand-held controller. The phone app controls the camera and shows flight information while the hand-held controller manipulates aeronautics. Drone camera footage is live-streamed to the mobile device so the operator sees exactly what the drone sees.
While there is concern of losing the drone or breaching restricted aircraft space, DJI has created a solution by fully incorporating GPS. While flying, drone operators are alerted to no-fly zones. If the drone exceeds its 700-meter range, ‘Return-to-Home’ is activated and the Vision+ will automatically fly itself to its original takeoff point. Similar to the Vision, both drones feature 14 megapixel cameras with full-HD 1080p recording capabilities. While in flight, pictures and video are downloaded directly to your phone or tablet and can be instantly shared on social media.
The Vision+ is the third drone in the Phantom 2 series. Next to its sister model, the Vision+ maintains many of the same key features with one significant upgrade, the incorporation of camera stabilization. By including a gimbal (a mechanism for keeping an instrument horizontal) this model takes steadier pictures and videos in comparison with its predecessors. Despite the enhanced video and picture quality, this improvement comes at a high price tag. With a $400 difference between the two models, the Vision+ is priced at $1,099 in comparison with the $699 Vision. Although the Vision+ is expensive, the improved features and the excellent photo and video quality are well worth the investment.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
I first used this drone last summer on a windy hill in park by the coast. I was amazed by how easy it was to fly on my first attempt, especially with the wind factor. The range of the drone is very impressive. It would fly beyond my eyesight, yet I could look on my phone screen and view everything the camera was seeing. The camera’s unique perspective created really, incredible pictures. While I have not tried the drone models without camera stabilization, I can’t imagine the footage would have come out so clear. -Emily
Release date: April 2014
Platform / Tech: iOS 6.1 or above, Android 4.0 or above
Features: Full HD video, GPS enabled radar positioning & return home, real-time flight parameters, camera stabilization, no-fly zone features, Adobe lens profile support, 90 degree camera tilt
Watch the demo video here
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Photo credit: Compudemano