Does The DJI Phantom 3 Rank As The Best Drone?

According to one of the best drones is the DJI Phantom 3. They make a couple other ones. This one is more focused on cameras. As you can see the camera’s just right up front here. The battery pack’s right behind it. The camera’s definitely the center of the show here. Might not look like much, but this drone has a lot of stuff going on under the hood.

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View of the top from a drone

It’s got GPS and Glow Nav Satellite Con Activity, so it can connect to a lot of satellites and tell exactly where it is on the earth. It’s really, really good at staying in 1 position. It’s got a 1080P camera on the front. It streams to your tablet so you can see what it’s doing in real time. It’s also got a bunch of little things like pressure sensors, gyroscopes, accelerometers that let it know where it’s moving and how high off the ground it is. In addition to being able to fly this thing outside, you can fly it indoors pretty easily too.

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Burning aerial shot from the drone

As you can see it doesn’t really look like the highest end drone out there. It’s kind of got some Styrofoam on the outside. The battery pack’s held on by a Velcro strap. But don’t let that fool you. This is a pretty stout little drone and it can take a tumble. That’s what it’s designed to do. All of these parts are easy to replace, so you can really just beat this drone up and it’s not really that much of a problem.

The camera is a super wide angle, 180 degree, fish eye lens. It shoots 14 megapixel stills or 1080P video. Normally when you have a lens that’s that wide, there’s a little bit of image distortion, but all of the stuff on here is corrected through software so images come out super level. There’s no curving or anything going on like you would see in things like a Go Pro.

Boat on fire captured by a flying quadcopter

Boat on fire captured by a flying quadcopter

Right out of the box this thing comes with 2 batteries, both of which give you about 11 minutes of fly time. That’s going to vary depending on how hard you fly it and how hard you make each one of these little motors work, but generally speaking you can expect to get about 10 or 11 minutes with each battery. Once you run out of juice each battery takes roughly an hour to charge. In terms of speed, you can get this thing to hover in place and not move an inch. Or, if you want to take it up to full throttle, it’ll go about 13 meters a second, or roughly 27 to 30 miles per hour.

If you’re just flying with your tablet you can get about 250 meters of range, or at least that’s what it says on the box. In our experience when we tested it we only got about a football field and a half, so about 500 feet, before it started getting weird. The great thing is, it has an auto return function so if you ever do get in hot water and fly it outside of range it will automatically stop itself and then fly back and re-establish the connection.

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Closer look at the burning boat using the DJI Phantom drone

The thing I like about it is really that it’s kind of a great little tag-a-long drone. You can easily just throw it in your backpack, forget about it, just have it in there. Then when you find yourself at a park or something it’s really easy to just pull out, connect to your tablet, and fly around. If you’re interested in getting into drones and shooting photos and videos from the sky, this is probably a pretty good place to start. It’s relatively cheap. It’s under 500 bucks. It’s portable. It’s durable, and if you do want to upgrade in the future, they have that Sky Control add on that gives you extra range and more precise controls.

Honestly, it’s one of the best little drones out there so there’s no reason it shouldn’t be on the top of your list if you’re in the market for a new quadcopter.