A pilot must remember to remove the reusable plastic gimbal lock
and a small piece of white foam used for shipping purposes.
Model type: Quadcopter
Skill level: Beginner
Diagonal size (including propellers):
Weight: 45. 5 ounces
Power system: Four DJI brushless 2312
Propellers: Eight 9 x 4. 5 self-tightening
Battery: 4S 15.2-volt, 4,480 mAh LiPo
Intelligent Flight Battery
Street price: $1,259
Camera: Sony Exmor 1/2.3-inch sensor,
20mm f/2.8 lens with 94° field
of view; maximum video
resolution of UHD 4096 x 2160p
@24/25 FPS; 12 megapixel stills
Gimbal: Three-axis stabilization
Radio system: DJI 2. 4 GHz transmitter
with integrated Lightbridge
technology and 2S 7.4-volt 6,000
mAh LiPo battery
Battery charger: 100-watt output; used for both
controller and Intelligent Flight
Software Android or iOS operating
application: system (free)
Flight duration: Up to 23 minutes
• The Phantom 3 Professional is an ultimate
aerial media platform.
• Capable of flight durations of 20 minutes.
• Real-time 720p video downfeed is smooth and
• Extremely high level of integration between the
hardware and software.
• No camera lens cap included.
• Extra batteries were not initially available
at the time of the Phantom 3 Professional’s
• Fixed landing gear limits the repositioning of
the camera in flight to the tilt axis.
• Camera is not quite mechanically balanced on
AT A GLANCE ...
a good idea to keep the lock installed
when the P3P is stowed or in transport.
The propellers are packaged in a black
drawstring pouch, which offers an easy
way to protect them. DJI even includes
a Class 10 16 GB micro SD card; Class
10 cards of up to 64 GB are supported.
Video can be recorded in either MOV
or MP4 format, while the 12 megapixel
still photos can be saved in either JPG or
One feature sure to be attractive
to aerial media enthusiasts is that
the camera settings can be manually
set. Although it is possible to adjust
exposure, shutter speed, and ISO, a user
can drill even deeper into the camera
settings menu and adjust color grading,
aspect ratio, and a host of other settings.
The still camera includes an exposure-bracketing mode, multiple time-lapse/
delay values, and burst shooting at three,
five, or seven frames.
A packet containing multiple pieces of
documentation is included. All included
manuals are also available for download
from the DJI website. The Quick Start
guide and full P3P manual will be of
particular interest to most pilots.
Conspicuously absent is any sort of
written or detailed guide to all of the
intricacies of the DJI Pilot application.
The application itself offers a tutorial
and walkthrough the first time it is
executed. DJI has arranged 24/7 online
customer support specifically for the
Phantom 3 product line; an abundance
of information is also available via DJI’s
online user forums and a variety of other
forum-based websites used by Phantom
enthusiasts to discuss this new product.
While unpacking the P3P and readying
it for its first flights, I made a few initial
observations involving the camera and
gimbal. A fundamental requirement
of any gimbal is that it needs to be
With no power applied, the gimbal
and camera should generally maintain
whatever position in which the user
manually orients it. I could not get the
camera on my P3P to remain in any
manually set orientation. When I let go
of it, it would rotate so that the lens was
My other minor complaint was DJI’s
failure to include a protective lens cap
for the camera. Given the cost of the
package, including a plastic or rubber
lens cap would not have been a budget
Most photographers immediately
install a UV lens filter on any new lens.
This protects the lens glass from damage
and the UV filter is easily replaced.
Leaving the P3Ps glass lens unprotected
when not in use will almost inevitably
result in a scratch or damage.
The time required to initially charge
the batteries was roughly 45 minutes for
the Intelligent Flight Battery and several
hours for the 2S 6,000 mAh controller
battery. Both devices feature intuitive
charge-status indicators in the form of
flashing LED lights. When the lights on
the battery and controller have stopped
flashing, their charge cycles are complete.
According to DJI, the two devices should
not be charged simultaneously.
The P3P includes two complete sets
72 Model Aviation DECEMBER 2015