Two New DJI Drones Take Flight with a New Sphere Mode

Drone technology has been on the constant up since its introduction into the world of photography, opening up new perspectives previously unimagined. DJI, known for their reputation as the market leaders in consumer drones and aerial imaging technology, have announced two brand new drones – the Mavic Pro Platinum and Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian – alongside a ‘Sphere’ mode for their renown Spark at IFA 2017 in Berlin.

These new drones are, in the most part, cosmetic updates to their previous counterparts. There are some new features thrown into the pile, though.

“DJI continuously look for ways to improve its products and introduce new features, many of which are the result of the positive feedback and requests we received from customers around the world,” said Paul Pan, DJI Senior Product Manager. “Starting with our Osmo Mobile Silver handheld stabilizer, DJI has been expanding its product variations to meet the different lifestyles and needs of consumers. Similarly, we’ve done the same with two of the most iconic DJI drone products, the Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 Pro. The Spark’s newly added ‘Sphere’ mode will also introduce a new way for people to experience the fun of aerial photography.”

Mavic Pro Platinum

The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is set to take the previous Mavic Pro to new heights by developing on its already advanced features, touted as the ideal tool for ‘travellers, amateur photographers and outdoor sports enthusiasts’.

DJI claim it to be the ‘best portable drone experience yet’, with a whopping 11% gain in flight time (total of 30 mins) and a %60 noise power reduction, all encased in a sleek platinum coloured shell. These improvements are made possible by the introduction of all-new electronic speed controllers (ESCs) and a complete overhaul of the propellor design.

Featuring a powerful 4K camera as standard and a 3-axis gimble, the sweeping high-def vistas made possible by drones are made all the easier. In addition to this, the Mavic Pro Platinum holds an impressive 4.3 mile (7km) range, FlightAutonomy technology that senses obstacles up to 49ft (15m) away, and numerous intelligent flight modes to aid overall user experience.

Phantom Pro 4 Obsidian

Professional photographers and drone enthusiasts should be familiar with the Phantom 4 drone, renowned for its consistent sky-high results combined with unparalleled usability. DJI have today revealed the newest iteration, coated in a matte-grey Obsidian shell, ‘featuring a magnesium, electroplated and anti-fingerprint coated gimbal’ demanding expert manufacturing unseen in standard models.

Equipped with a huge 1-inch CMOS sensor and capable of 4K 60fps recording, the Phantom Pro 4 Obsidian is guaranteed to deliver great results across any and all professional situations. Similar to the Mavic Pro, it offers a 4.3 mile (7km) range and 30 mins flight time, whilst integrated with ‘Lightbridge’ video transmission to ensure high quality, low latency results in comparison to other technologies.

Offering three flight modes: Position, Atti and Sport, the Phantom Pro 4 Obsidian is quick to adapt to all manner of shooting conditions. Intelligent flight operations further extend the drone’s technical flexibility, including ActiveTrack for tracking subjects, Draw Mode for tracing a flightpath, Gesture Mode to capture without the remote, and others.

DJI Spark ‘Sphere Mode’

DJI’s Spark drone – the famed miniature camera drone that rises gracefully from your open palm and can be controlled solely with a wave of the hand alone – is receiving an exciting and all-new ‘Sphere mode’ adding a whole new world of weird and wonderful perspectives.

Sphere mode, accessible in the Panorama photo feature, produces a panoramic photo warped together with the fisheye lens effect appearing as its own bright and beautiful globe. The creation can then be uploaded instantly to social media to share with friends and family, taking advantage of interactive image software on some of the sites. The feature will be included in the soon to be available DJI GO 4 mobile app and Spark firmware updates, utilising the 12MP camera familiar to the Spark drone.

Other features in the firmware update include:

•    A new gesture to start and stop video recording
•    Enhanced QuickShot video features for more cinematic control
•    A 180-degree photo shooting mode and improved photo image resolution
•    Full integration with the DJI Goggles
•    Optimisation of the PalmLaunch function for better stability after takeoff
•    Improved control accuracy under the QuickShot Dronie mode

Price and Availability

The Mavic Pro Platinum is available for pre-order at store.dji.com at a retail price of £1,119 (1,299 EUR) with shipping due in September.

The Phantom Pro 4 Obsidian is also available for pre-order at store.dji.com for the price of £1,589 (1,699 EUR) with shipping due in September.

Both products will also be made available at DJI Flagship Stores and Authorised dealers worldwide.

Ed Carr is a Yorkshire-born landscape photographer and nature writer. Having spent his youth in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, he takes any opportunity to don his hiking boots and head out, camera in hand. When not out taking pictures or hastily scribbling down his thoughts, Ed’s halfway up a hill out chasing after his dog, Hendrix.

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