In the world of personal drones and quadcopters, there are few companies that have made as much noise as DJI Innovations. After the success of their first model as well as the second, the company is now back with the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus, an upgraded and revamped version of its predecessor. However, while the original model could be purchased for approximately five hundred dollars, both the Phantom 2 Vision and the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus cost well over twice as much. That puts them over the one thousand dollar mark and at that price, one must wonder just what it has that justifies that substantial price difference.
In the following article, we are going to take a deep look into the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus and figure out two things. How does it differentiate itself from the original Phantom 2 Vision as well as whether or not those improvements are worth paying double the price tag for.
The features of the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus quadcopter
Let’s start at the beginning, let’s look into the many features of DJI’s newest toy for grownups. How does it compare to the Phantom 2 vision? What features are new? What features are the same? Keep reading to find out.
It’s easier to take more stable shots
The biggest difference that the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus has with the normal Phantom 2 Vision is that it has its own built in gimbal active stabilization unit. What is a gimbal stabilization unit? In essence, a gimbal is a support that allows it to rotate around a given axis. In the case of the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus, the support uses a series of three gimbals that allow it to remain stable in all three axis’s and all this regardless of how the quadcopter itself is moving or of the pitch and yaw. They all add up to an ability to rotate 360 degrees and a range of ninety degrees vertically. This makes it possible to capture footage in any direction either in front of the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus or below. Thins of the range of motion as the bottom half of a sphere. The speed at which it can rotate and move is of ninety degrees per second and the power requirements for the gimbal is minimal, clocking in at a maximum of 900 mA.
This stands in contrast to the original Phantom 2 Vision that didn’t have this feature. What this does is quite interesting and legitimately positions the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus as the very best quadcopter that DJI has ever made. One of the major complaints that people had with the previous models from DJI (and this is a complaint that most quadcopter makers face) is that stabilizing the camera absolutely required a stable drone. Because the camera was fixed to the drone, every movement that the quadcopter made was reflected onto the camera and therefore, the footage that was being captured.
In contrast, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus placed the camera lens on the gimbal. This allows that camera to move, rotate and otherwise angle itself independently of the quadcopter. The drone is often subjected to movements that the user hasn’t intended. For example, winds that blow higher in altitude can throw the device off balance. But thanks to the gimbal system, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus’s camera is able to maintain a stable position and take fluid video as well as beautiful pictures.
What are the specifications of the camera itself?
All the stabilization mechanisms in the world won’t do much good if the camera itself isn’t good. Thankfully, the camera on the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus is very capable in its own right and in many aspects, it surpasses that of its fixed camera predecessor.
The camera has a 14 megapixel sensor, which equates to a resolution of up to 4384 by 3288 pixels. This resolution applies only to still shots however and not video. The DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus’s lens has a field of view of either one hundred or eighty-five degrees, depending on the settings selected. The photos are always recorded onto a MicroSD memory card and by default, they are saved as Adobe DNG files.
For video recording, the camera has a full HD resolution of 1080p at thirty frames per second. For taking slow motion shots at a higher frame rate, the camera is limited to sixty frames per second and a resolution of 720p. Once again, the video files are saved onto the MicroSD card. Finally, the manufacturer of the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus recommend that the camera be only operated in between temperatures of zero to forty degrees Celcius (which is equivalent to 32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit). It can probably be operated below or beyond those temperatures (knowing how much colder it is 500 feet in the air is practically impossible for the average owner) but to be safe, that is the target.
What about the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus quadcopter itself?
The drone in and of itself is largely the same as the previous version. However, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus has made a few significant improvements over its predecessor. It weighs in at 2.7 pounds, has a top lift-off speed of six meters per second (approximately 21 feet) and a top flight speed of 15 meters per second (just under 50 feet per second). Each propeller is nine inches across.
Power source and battery life
Just like with the older version, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus uses a 5200 mA battery that lets the user fly the quadcopter for up to 25 minutes at a time. However, in both cases, the system of how it integrates into the drone is much simpler than the first generation Phantom. The newer versions slots into the device easily and features an on/off switch. On top of that, the batteries can easily be charged by just plugging them into a wall outlet via the AC adapter or the car adapter, which can be purchased separately online or at the store where the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus was first bought.
Another new feature is that the battery has an indicator of battery life. This indicator comes in the form of four LED lights and are located on the tail end of the drone. When the four LEDs are on, that obviously means that the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus’ battery is fully charged and as the battery drains, the lights turn of progressively. This makes it easy to know how much approximate flying time remains even while the quadcopter is in flight. Tracking battery life is very important for the safety of the aircraft. Nothing is more infuriating that having a drone fall out of the sky at any moment because the user didn’t know how much battery life remained. With the new indicator system, this problem is eliminated with the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus.
The LED light indication system doesn’t only provide information about battery life either. It employs a color system and illumination patterns that let the user know a good many things that are going on with the drone. For example, the lights can be either green, amber or red, depending on various factors. But on top of that, the lights can either be solid or flashing intermittently. On top of the obvious battery life, this also lets the user know things such as the state of the built in GPS system or whether the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus is about to fly out of range of the remote transmitter.