Notes (script) from the video:
This is the DJI Phantom 4 pro and it makes me grumpy…here’s why
This is the fairly new DJI Phantom 4 Pro and this is my DJI Inspire 1 Pro with the X5 camera. In this video I wanted to compare the much newer Phantom 4 pro against my tried and tested Inspire 1 pro which costs a lot more than the phantom and is what it is thats making me grumpy.
I’m going to look at camera performance of the two (my main interest with drones)
Flying characteristics – batt time and Cost comparison.
1. Camera Performance
Camera performance – first up lets look at camera performance, on paper the P4Pro has a higher spec-ed camera being a 20mp camera capable of 100mbit data rates which right there gives you a glue to how this review is going to go. The Zenmuse X5 camera is a 16mp camera capable of 60 Mbps. The P4pro being the newer and higher spec-ed camera can also shoot 4K in 60fps which the X5 cannot. The P4pro also has a 24mm lens now which I personally think is a better focal length for aerial shooting.
However the X5 has an interchangeable lens system with proper lens and you have the option of choosing different focal length lens like I can with an approx 35mm focal lengths of 24mm, 50mm and 90mm.
It is very hard to do un-biased camera comparisons but what I did is put them side by side, locked them both off in manual exposure, white balance and recording formats and tested them. Here’s some shots
To my eyes I have to say that for shooting video the p4pro comes out on top, especially if you are shooting in 1080 as the 1080 out of the X5 is mush! I also love have the option of shooting higher frame rates in both 1080 and 4k which can smooth the footage. These a win for the P4pro.
I shoot a lot of Real Estate videos here and they often get me to shoot stills whilst I’m in the air and from the tests I did the P4pro does as good a job as the X5 and it was very hard to see any differences in the two. However having the ability to change lenses on the X5 is a win for the Inspire.
2. Flying Characteristics
First up and this is the same thing I said when comparing the Inspire 2 with the Inspire 1 in my previous video and that is battery time. You can get approx 25mins plus with the P4pro whereas I’m down to 10-12 with my Inspire flying the X5 camera. In fact it sometimes got to the point when I was testing the P4pro I had got all my shots, buzzed around for a bit and still had battery to spare!! Its not a bad thing but I have to get straight up and get the shots planned with my Inspire 1. A big win to the P4pro.
I never got to test the P4pro in really windy conditions but weight is stability and my Inspire can handle some pretty rough conditions whereas I suspect the P4pro is going to get batted around bit. However the P4pro flys and handles exceedingly well and one of the acid tests I like to do is one of the toughest shots to do well is the slide and pan shot I use alot for real estate and I actually for some reason found it easier to do with the p4pro.
Also I know a lot of people will say what about using the intelligent flying options that the P4pro has which the Inspire 1 doesn’t. The main one I tried was circling a point of interest to get the shot I previously talked about and it worked surprisingly well [shot] the Phantom took care of the slide and pan and I was easily able to add a tilt which can be a complex shot.
Obstacle avoidance, apart from the a close encounter with our garden hedge the P4pro now has 5 direction obstacle sensing. Now I am not a big fan of automatic this and that and firmly believe the best method of obstacle avoidance is skilled flying! However like most people I’m sure I’ve had close encounters with trees when lining up shots and if the obstacle avoidance prevents even one incident, then thats a good thing. So a big win to the p4pro for handling and flight characteristics.
3. Cost Coomparison
At the time of recording (writing) this the P4pro (without the built in monitor) is
$US1500 vs the Inspire 1 pro with the standard 15mm lens of $3400, in fact it I paid a lot more than that for mine as the price of the Inspire 1 has dropped.
So the question there is Is the Inspire pro worth moreqthen twice the price of the P4pro and thats a bit of a no-brainer and I’d say no. However that leads me nicely into my last couple of other factors
4. Other Factors
Here’s another factor to consider, my Inspire 1 pro can be used with two remotes so you can one person dedicated to just operating the camera gimbal if your budget allows which is a professional way to operate….and that segue-ways me into my last factor and that is size! Depending upon the type of job you are doing and I’m talking about paid jobs, size can matter. If I turned up on a professional video production or television shoot with a phantom as opposed to the Inspire, people perceive the more gear you have the more justified your price can be. They might look at your P4pro and think my brothers son has one of those why don’t I get him to do it of a fraction of the cost.
Some of you may disagree with me here but in my experience thats what I have found. For example with my Inspire I can give the director the other remote with a monitor and they can watch and direct the from the live feed.,
In another instance if I was doing a high end Real Estate job which I tend to be doing by myself, no-one cares or sees what equipment you have and rightly so the client is only concerned with getting good pictures, I would say that the P4pro is the best drone for the job.
So in conclusion and I think you can now see why I’m grumpy with the P4pro after all the money I’ve spent on my Inspire 1 pro.
Bang for buck I would say right now that the P4pro is the best value drone on the market and is a remarkable piece of kit. Its quite amazing to see how quickly the technology in the drone space is progressing.
Anybody want to buy a second hand Inspire 1 pro?