Update April 2015
Following on from this rumours blog, I'm pleased to announce the release of the much anticipated Phantom 3
, available in Advanced
editions. Please click the banner below to see more.
Update March 2015
A lot has happened since this original blog post in 2014, DJI's Inspire 1 was released, which at the time took the focus off a Phantom 3. However anticipation is starting to build again with the possibilty of the features and functions of the Phantom 3. The Phantom range really hits the sweet-spot with cost/performance, and is the go-to choice for those who's budget doesn't quite stretch to an Inspire 1. When more is announced we will update this blog with the release date.
This blog will be updated as soon as information is released so stay tuned for more updates.
DJI Innovations has had huge success with their range of ready-to-fly quadcopters, the first Phantom was released at the end of 2012 shortly followed by their Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal. This led to an explosion of smooth aerial photography, with new videos being uploaded daily in perspectives previously impossible to capture.
At Christmas 2013, DJI released the Phantom 2
, with numerous improvements over the original Phantom. With an incredible flight time of 25 minutes, and the release of the Phantom 2 Vision, more and more people were now able to capture incredible footage, with no prior flying experience.
It's safe to say, DJI Innovations are at the top of their game when it comes to innovation. In a very short period of time they have developed new products with great improvements.
So whats next?
Surely a Phantom 3? Most likely, we doubt it will be this year, but I have compiled a wish list for what we would like, and think is possible on the next generation Phantom. These are entirely my ideas, as DJI have currently not released any information.
1. Built in FPV Video Link
Wouldn't it be handy if a video link was already built in to the Phantom 3 and ran on 2.4Ghz like the transmitter? The 2.4Ghz Lightbridge that is already available runs transmitter and video link on the 2.4ghz frequency allowing greater reliability and range.
This could be a standard feature on the Phantom 3 and allow live video from your GoPro, perhaps outputted from a receiver or even a video out on the transmitter. This could also enable you to remotely control your GoPro from the ground to start recording, change mode, or shoot a still.
2. Flight Time
The Phantom flies for around 10 minutes, the Phantom 2 flies for around 25 minutes. So would it be possible for longer flight time? Most likely! With advancements in electronics and batteries, we have seen other quadcopters flies for up to an hour. We'd be happy with over 30 minutes, but its not impossible to see 30-45 minute flight time on a Phantom.
Sales of Phantom accessories are huge; cases, back-packs, monitors and propellers are all very popular and an area where DJI could increase their range. Who wouldn't buy an official DJI Phantom backpack or HD monitor? I think we will see DJI moving more in to this in the future.
4. Fold-Up Legs
Technology from DJI's larger aerial platforms tends to make its way down to their consumer products such as the Phantom. The S900 and S1000 both feature fold up legs to allow the camera to spin 360 degrees. So is this necessary on a Phantom? Well its a cool feature, the Zenmuse H3-3D handles rotation (yaw) very well, however with a fairly short range of motion (so as to not see the legs) there is a limit to its performance. I see fold up legs as a possibility, but not a must on a Phantom 3.
5. Naza V3
The Naza V2 is a great flight controller, at some point it will surely be replaced by a new version. The Phantom 3 could be the plaform to introduce a new flight controller.Expect something stable and with more features. It's quite likely flight logging could be introduced to show a history of your flights, which could perhaps be overlaid on a map once you have uploaded the information to your computer.